222 D St. Suite 3, behind Pence Gallery
Tuesday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Food and ambiance quality
**** I’m dining here every day
*** Almost like eating at home
** Better than my roommate’s cooking
* Only if I’m starving
$$$$ chancellor $20+
$$$ professor $15-20
$$ graduate student/alum $10-15
$ undergraduate $5-10
The weather was quite pleasant in downtown Davis as my friend and I strolled down a small path that led us to Tea List. Nestled behind Pence Gallery and surrounded by other local shops and plenty of trees, Tea List is a tea room, a café with a large selection of teas. Tea List also offers tea services as well which is basically drinking tea whilst snacking on an assortment of sandwiches, fruits and pastries.
My friend and I had called ahead to make reservations for an afternoon tea service for noon. By the time we arrived, there was a small number of people sitting outside enjoying good conversation and fresh tea. Our table inside was already set with chinaware and a vase with fresh flowers in the center of the table. Our friendly and very helpful server handed us the tea menu. I ordered the Persian black tea and my friend ordered the Strawberry Long Island iced tea. The tea came in miniature teapots. Since I had ordered hot tea, it arrived with a tiny sand timer, which would let me know when to take the tea leaves out.
The wait for the food was a bit long — around 25 minutes, even though I had called ahead to make reservations. However, the owner makes everything fresh and by hand. Fifteen minutes into our wait, more customers arrived and ordered the afternoon tea service as well. The other customers were older professionals and local Davis residents. Some of the customers even personally greeted the owner with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
The atmosphere within the café was quite amiable and cozy, especially with the sunlight streaming through the windows. When our food arrived, it was on a silver three-tier plate. Our server explained what everything was and their ingredients as well.
On the top was an assortment of fresh fruits and berries. The second tier held scones, napoleons and cookies with a chocolate swirl on top. The third tier had an assortment of sandwiches. There were four different types of sandwiches cut into bite-sized pieces: smoked turkey, chicken salad, garden sandwich and cucumber. There were also small pots of strawberry jam and Devonshire cream to go with the scones. Out of all the sandwiches, I enjoyed the chicken salad most. It is a blend of chicken with walnuts and grapes inside savory bread. I’m not a meat person, but I couldn’t help scarfing down as much of the sandwiches as I could.
The Persian black tea was full of vibrant flavor and had a refreshing aroma. My friend liked her Strawberry Long Island iced tea as well, saying it tasted very natural. The blueberry scones were alright, as I prefer my scones less dry. The soft and powdery napoleon practically melted in my mouth. Time flew by really fast as my friend and I kept popping sandwiches and drinking tea while we discussed important topics of the day.
At first glance, there didn’t seem to be a lot of food since everything was bite-sized, but somehow both of us ended up being extremely full before finishing everything. The bill came out to around $20 per person. The afternoon service really isn’t for one who’s low on cash, which is why I only have it once a year. However, the other items on Tea List’s menu are a bit nicer to a lean wallet.
The lunch items, which are usually a sandwich of your choice and a side salad, is around $8 and the tea menu includes teas from around the world. I definitely recommend this as a great spot for couples as well as a place students should go to at least once before they leave Davis. Since the café is secluded, it gives off a completely different atmosphere. There is even French music playing inside, which will make even the most dedicated Francophiles swoon with delight. Go to Tea List once and you’ll definitely leave singing of its sophistication and great food.
MICHELLE RUAN can be reached at email@example.com.