This one is so far my favorite in San Francisco. It's on the border or Chinatown and North Beach. It's a very authentic chinese tea shop, and their gung-fu tea service is top notch. The selection is sometimes small but it's usually fresh and well selected. It's also quiet and a peaceful break from walking around town.
First I would like to say the interior picture that is up right now is not from Far Leaves, it looks much more Asian style and has cool, decor. More importantly this is the best tea house I have ever been to. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable and the owner Donna is just the best. They have a great selection of tea that many times is specially selected by Donna and her staff on their regular trips to Asia. It's also quite reasonably priced and you won't get any snobby attitude around this place. Simply put, it's the best!
This is a really nice looking tea house and they have a good selection. But despite the fact that they are only a few blocks from my home I'll drive across town to go elsewhere. These people are tea snobs in the worst way. They are unfriendly and just plain rude. Once I went in with my friend and this time we were wearing casual attire (t-shirts) and we didn't look rich by any means so they copped an attitude and took about 30 minutes to get to get to us at the tea bar (more or less they kept ignoring us and serving others hoping we'd go away). We were not being rude and we didn't stink or wear offensive slogans on our t's, but clearly we were not welcome. The funny thing is that I was going to buy about $100 worth of high quality tea that day but they pre-judged and lost the majority of the sale. I am considered a tea master by the last tea shop I worked at which sounds silly but basically I know my tea and this place isn't worth your $.