R.I.P. Winnie Yu of Teance [Berkeley]

I visited Winnie Yu’s East Bay fine tea shop when it was still in Albany and still called Celadon, not Teance. I had “discovered” tea late in life, in 1992 Shanghai, after giving up on finding drinkable coffee. Celadon was the first place I experienced a guided tea tasting. (SF Chinatown’s Yau Hing had yet to morph into Red Blossom Tea and Imperial Tea seemed too imposing.) Although I only visited Winnie’s tea shop the one time, she always remembered me and said hello when our paths crossed. It was as if she could not forget anyne with an interest in fine tea.

Although her life was cut short so young, she has to be considered as one of the 四大金刚* of fine teas and ceramics in the Bay Area, along with Roy Fong of Imperial Tea and the Luong siblings (Red Blossom Tea and Song Tea and Ceramics, respectively).

Any Winnie Yu memories?

*sì dà jīngāng, "Buddha’s four great warrior attendants

Winnie Yu at Red Blossom Tea with Peter Luong (now of Song Tea and Ceramics) and Buddhist Filmmaker Tano Maeda.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold