The Tearoom Mission: To create community one cup of tea at a time.
The Gallery Mission: To support the success of local, regional and national clay artists through the presentation, marketing and sales of their work.
About the Tearoom
One enters the Tearoom and the world shifts. You enter and, if willing, leave the busy world of the street behind. There are currently 16 choices of artisanal teas available for your pleasure including Green, Oolong, Black, White and Pu-erh teas. The Tearoom is decorated with 100-year-old Japanese tea scrolls and Chinese dynasty porcelains as well as a collection of contemporary cups and bowls and an ever changing display of contemporary clay artists’ work.
You will be greeted as you enter the Tearoom, seated and a conversation commences to determine what tea you are in the mood for in the moment and what tea might supply you with the experience you wish to have. We are all students of tea at the Tearoom. Each cup of tea is a different cup of tea even if it is the second or third pour from the same leaves. Tea is not an exact science although there are standardized recommendations for brewing the various types, each time one must be attentive to the tea being brewed which has a mind of its own. Your selection is tested before being served. If it is not perfect the entire pot is poured out and the process started again in order to provide you with the best possible cup of tea.
In the process of drinking tea, conversation emerges and relationship ensues. It is our intent to establish a community through the sharing of tea. Tea enjoyment is a common denominator for being related and out of that comes community and the ability to express heart and to create connected conversation with others.
We have a great time when all the tables are full and our tea drinkers start cross sharing their tea selections and discussing the various flavors and qualities of the teas. Conversation flourishes in that environment with the result of Good Feelings.
About Michael Thunder
Michael Thunder is the proprietor of the White Dragon Good Feelings Tearoom and Gallery. His background includes a direct experience of tea in Japan where he lived as a monk at the temple, Cho Shoji, in Beppu, Kyushu. Part of his exposure to the culture was the visits of the Tea Lady who gave instruction in the tea ceremony to the habitués of the temple. His first experience of Sencha, the Japanese national drink, as well as matcha, the powdered tea ceremony tea, occurred while he was at the temple.
After his return to the US, he was visiting his son, Sam, in San Francisco. Sam wanted to create a special evening for his father at The Slanted Door where he worked as a waiter. After a world-class dinner, he suggested Dragon Well Tea as a finish. Michael awakened, as though from a deprived, tea-less dream upon his first tastes of that tea. He had never experienced anything like it.
He began purchasing his teas, which included Dragon Well and Monkey Picked in 2006 from Silk Road Teas, at that time run by David Lee Hoffman who started the company and was instrumental in the inception and growth of the boutique tea industry in China. It was only in 2011 that he learned from Catherine of Silk Road Teas, that in fact they were the purveyor of the Dragon Well he drank at The Slanted Door many years before.
During the same visit Michael and Sam discovered a murky tea den off Geary Blvd in China Town where they shared a pot of tea, first picked green, just arrived from China and recommended by the owner, who wore Chinese clothes.
The other aspect of Michael’s character that influences The White Dragon Good Feelings Tearoom & Gallery is a deep love of beauty and of that beauty represented in vessels associated with the service and enjoyment of tea. He is unconditionally committed to clay artists and to the support of their success through the display and marketing of their wares. The culmination of beauty and function in tea ware allows patrons of the tearoom to experience and purchase vessels that are treasures. If the tearoom is not too busy, you might be able to choose a vessel from Michael’s personal collection from which to drink your tea.