Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

The Spice & Tea Exchange (San Francisco, CA)

on October 14, 2012

On Pier 39 in San Francisco is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The Spice & Tea Exchange is a place I only allow myself to visit about twice a year because I’d go broke otherwise lol. I discovered it on my wedding day last year when we were wandering around Fisherman’s Wharf after the wedding. It’s not a very big store but it’s got all the hard to find, exotic spices that make a chef’s heart go pitty pat.

Now, those of you who know me, know I am a loyal Penzeys Spices customer. I suppose I’m cheating on them a little bit, but only a little bit 😉 Most of what I get at The Spice and Tea Exchange (STE) are things I can’t find at Penzeys. A few examples… all those fancy flavored salts that Penzeys doesn’t carry, I can get here. STE also carries things like soy sauce powder, worchestershire sauce powder, powdered habanero pepper and a whole list of other interesting products. They also carry some delicious teas and flavored sugars. I LOVE this shop! I will say one thing and it’s not a complaint, just an observation. The prices are high. It’s not unexpected given the location in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf but it explains why I don’t go more often. 😀

Here you see my lovely Sasha investigating the haul from yesterday’s shopping. One of the things we get at STE is the most potent catnip in the whole world lol. I sat down to take this picture and Sasha was immediately sniffing around to find the good stuff. I had to stop and feed everyone catnip before I could sit down and write this entry. In fact, I had to give them thirds before they began to be satisfied. Hugh is an especially big nip head.

Anyway, along with catnip, I got an acacia wood salt box (which Sasha is sniffing), Pirate’s Bite (a very hot blend that goes in a spice grinder and is Jene’s favorite condiment ever), Vik’s Garlic Fix (MY favorite blend for almost everything savory), Thai Red Curry, Ginger Teriyaki blend, pickling spice and whole allspice.

The owners of the shop, Richard and Stefan, are complete sweethearts. They also have a retired chef who comes in on the weekends and I adore talking cooking with him. I am horribly embarrassed to admit I can not for the life of me remember his name right now. Sigh. Well, hopefully he’ll read this and understand that I have a colander for a brain and I give my sincerest apologies for the memory lapse.

This weekend’s trip was all about the spices but their tea selection is very good too. I have a tin of Earl Grey that I love using to make my morning tea before work. I have some other fun teas but I’d actually have to get off the couch and look at them to remember what they are and I’m lazy tonight.

At any rate, if you’re near Pier 39, stop in and check them out. If you’re not near the wharf, check out their website http://www.spiceandtea.com/

Thank you again to all the employees there for another wonderful shopping experience!

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