Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Satori Tea in Downtown San Jose!!!

Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term that essentially means "enlightenment." It's a name that embodies what Downtown is striving for right now, although I think we have quite a journey ahead of us. Shops like Satori are what's pushing Downtown along that road!

Satori offers undoubtedly the best tea and chai I've ever had. It's a bold statement, but my wife and I drink tea all the time and we're never buying tea from a grocery store or mall store ever again. Satori offers just about every loose leaf tea you can think of: black, green, white, chai, decaf, organic, exotic, fusion, rare display teas... you name it. If you look at some of the photos below, you'll get an idea of the crazy variety of carefully selected teas they offer. We've tried 8 different kinds, and they have ALL been amazing (my favorites so far are the Coconut Chai and Coconut Ginger Green Tea).

Vicoria Boyert is the proprietor behind Satori (photo down below). She's invested her entire life savings and the last year of her life--see previous blog post--following her dreams and opening up this shop in Downtown San Jose. Ever since she took a class on tea preparation at the age of seven, she's know that she wanted a career in tea. Today, her ambitions are more than just having a small tea shop. Victoria believes that tea is an experience and wants to build community around enjoying tea, perhaps similar to the the way people enjoy coffee in Europe today. To help build this community she's planning to have classes to teach people on different kinds of tea and proper preparation, as well as a focus on bringing various events to her tea boutique. In addition to purchasing tea to take home, patrons can also immediately enjoy a professionally brewed cup of any tea they carry, either toasty hot or iced (great idea for hot San Jose days).

As you can see in the photos below, the store has a really charming atmosphere. It's uncluttered, unpretentious, unique, with very comfortable furnishings.  There's plenty of local art on the wall (some by SJSU students), with more to come. Satori is even utilizing part of the late A.P. Stumps outdoor patio. You definitely won't find a tea shop like this anywhere else... as mentioned before, exactly the type of retail store Downtown needs!

Satori is located at 37 N San Pedro St (around the corner from Peggie Sue's), and is open 7 days a week, Mon-Fri from 9am to 6pm, and Sat-Sun from 12pm to 5pm. They also validate parking in public garages. They are planning a Grand Opening celebration for the public soon and while I don't have an exact date yet, I'll be sure to post more information as soon as I receive it.


  1. I'm incredibly excited to know there will be a place where I can buy loose leaf tea when I move to San Jose next week! Now I won't have to wait for it to come in the mail anymore.

  2. It's funny you say "tea AND chai" (my caps) - "chai" means tea. It's like saying "coffee and cafe".

  3. Actually, while "chai tea" may be something of a misnomer, we do not live in India, and, in the American dialect, chai is understood to be a particular preparation of tea.

    Thus, a more fitting comparison would be "coffee and latte." Like chai, latte is understood in the American dialect to mean a preparation of coffee, even though it means something different in the country of origin. And, like chai, there is a more lengthy proper name, used primarily outside of America.

    The statement is still incorrect, because one is a variety of the other. It would be more correct to say "chai and other types of tea". If you wanted to be picky, you could insist on "Masala chai and other types of tea." However, since this blog is directed at San Jose residents, most of whom speak and understand the American dialect, insisting on the full title seems overly formal (and could even be seen as pretentious). That said, if the authors decided they wanted to attract tourists, it might be a good idea to go with the more specific term.