You don't need to fly to Bangalore or Beijing to sample the best of Asian dining, shopping, and culture. We have it all right here
A bevy of tea bars is introducing Americans to the calming, healthful pleasures of green tea--the most traditional of Asian beverages.
Red Blossom Tea Company (San Francisco, CA). Although it's a shop only, it's worth a stop for high-quality teas, which have been sold to the likes of Charlie Trotter's restaurants. redblossomtea.com
Imperial Tea Court (San Francisco and Berkeley, CA). The first traditional Chinese teahouse in the United States, this classic was founded by Roy Fong, a Taoist priest and Hong Kong native who sources only the best teas. $$; 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, and 1511 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; imperialtea.com
Teance (Berkeley, CA). On Fourth Street, this retreat is a good stop for tea novices. A custom-made tea bar is flecked with bits of sparkly glass and bartenders pour White Peony Logevity Brows and other teas. Tastings from $7; teance.com
Miro Tea (Seattle, WA). This modern tea shop opened in Seattle's historic Ballard neighborhood and offers an extensive selection. Check out their informative blog. $; mirotea.com
The Tao of Tea (Portland, OR). Its two shops offer a large and sophisticated selection of Asian teas. There's also a Tao tea bar in Whole Foods Market. (7380 S.W. Bridgeport Rd., Tigard, OR). $; 3430 S.E. Belmont St. and 239 N.W. Everett St.;