Author: Lisa Clapper

Ich Liebe Berlin! Isabelle’s Adventures in Berlin

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Isabelle, who works in tech design, recently returned from a trip to Berlin. Check out her adventures!

Ich Liebe Berlin!
I knew that I would like Berlin when I got there but didn’t realize I would end up loving it so much. I had no idea that I could wind up feeling a tad jealous that my city wasn’t as cool. I didn’t know what to expect knowing its gloomy history but to my surprise it was incredibly colorful, inviting, hip, and full of tasty, not to mention inexpensive treats! It was only 22 years ago that the wall fell and the city has since then transformed itself into this Mecca for artists, designers, technology geeks  and of course Techno lovers! I felt welcome there and free to sit back, open up a container and enjoy the scenery.

Berlin Wall remnant at the East Side Gallery

So many inspiring quotes littered the city. I know I was on vacation but I couldn’t have felt more liberated there.

The walls were alive with art and graffiti everywhere I walked. Graffiti felt welcome as artistic expression more than a nuisance as it is viewed in other cities I’ve visited. From full on murals that were sky high to tiny scribbles on the wall, I don’t recall seeing much painted over.

Throngs of people show up every week at Mauer Park to get in on some Karaoke action. I wonder if anyone has ever sang a song by Berlin in Berlin?

Berlin style beer was as colorful as its people! Hanging out at a beer garden was a must while in Berlin. My favorite was the Biergarten at the Tiergarten. The pretzels were hot out of the oven and the mustard was the best I’ve ever had.

Flea Market fodder on Sundays at Mauer Park.

Photobooths were scattered everywhere in the city. The fact that I could capture a moment with my friends on a whim felt very exciting to me.

Art Gallery visit at Direktorenhaus to see a show by one of my favorite Swiss artist duos, Husmann/Tschaeni. I just happened to be there while they were in town for the weekend and met up with them for a drink on the canal. I couldn’t have been happier to meet the artists behind the art which so inspires me.

Sunset on the platform. The time has come to say Tschuss! (German for See ya!)  Don’t you worry Berlin, I plan on visiting you again.

Honor Día de los Muertos with A Fun Puzzle

Behind the Design Bonus: Día de los Muertos Downloadable Puzzle

A little while back, we wrote about how much we enjoyed our trip to Mexico City. We had a particularly fun day on a colorful boat made even more memorable by the mariachi band that played for us from their very own boat. We took that fabuloso experience and gave it a little Day of the Dead twist by turning our band into a trio of skeletons on the Mariachi en Barco Tee.

On November 2nd (not coincidentally close to Halloween), the Día de los Muertos holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico and in many Latino communities around the world (and here in San Francisco).

On the San Francisco site, I learned that “Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to our honoring our ancestors. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away.

In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession.”

Help your kids learn about and honor their own ancestors with this Día de los Muertos puzzle from our Modern Mexico Activity Book. Just click on the image below and print it out at your favorite size.

I’ll be thinking about my loved ones too – especially my grandmother Mabel, who passed away 2 years ago at the age of 97 in Tucson, Arizona, very close to the time of the Day of the Dead.

SF Rain (in early October!)

Typically in SF, we have very dry springs and summers and then the rain comes in November (and stays). Well, it rained Monday (and again a little bit yesterday). The sun is out right now but the rain is due back unpredictably. It even snowed in Tahoe and they had a chain alert for the mountains — oh my!

Lots of us at Tea are bike-to-work riders and when it rains, we get wet (or stop riding). I’ve been searching for something fashionable and long enough to keep more of me dry. Keely (one of our newest bike commuters and team members) sent me a Daily Candy about 2011 Start Small, Go Big Winner Iva Jean founded by Ann DeOtte. I’m kind of obsessed with her Rain Cape.

Should I get it? I need to hurry before it rains again. Tell me what you think!

Foodie Friday – Catalonia Style

In the spirit of our current destination Catalonia, and spurred on by one of my favorite food(ie) newsletters and sites, Tasting Table, my husband Tom and I went on an excursion to the Noe Valley restaurant Contigo for Calçots, a special variety of spring onion from Catalonia, Spain.

We had first seen them picked, grilled and devoured “live” on the PBS Series, Spain…On the Road Again with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gwynneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. Needless to say, when I got my Tasting Table email, I was salivating.

At Contigo, they came two ways – roasted on the grill and in a light tempura coating. The accompanying sauce, salvitxada, was amazing, kind of like a romesco, but a bit different (roasted red peppers, garlic, nuts and red wine vinegar).

I forgot to snap a photo, but here’s a pic to give you a sense of what calçots are all about:

We tried some other dishes, including the Catalan style chard and the flatbread. And we enjoyed our tour of Spanish wines. It was a transporting and tasty experience just a couple miles from our home. Proof that you can go there across the street.

Here’s a salvitxada recipe if you’d like to try the sauce on for yourself. I think I’ll grill some veggies this weekend and give it a go. Happy tasting and Happy Mother’s Day and love to my mom and all the moms out there!

Speaking of a closely-related Tea Family…

Here’s a picture of Emily, our co-founder and chief creative officer with her daughter Georgia James. Georgia came into the office for a visit not long ago and we just had to capture the moment. We think Em and Georgia look resplendent and warm in their Tea clothes! By the way, Emily’s wearing the Mila Sweater and the Modernista Tee in Medium Heather Grey.

Emily and Georgia James

We’ll be sure and post more pics of Tea people (and their kids) in Tea. And as always please feel free share your own pics here or on Facebook. Happy Tuesday!

Our Rambles on Las Ramblas

It’s been almost a year since our design team went on the Inspiration Trip to Catalonia, Spain. We spent much of our time in Barcelona taking in the food, architecture, art and people. Like many visitors, we found our way to Las Ramblas, which winds its way from Plaça de Catalunya (Barcelona’s unofficial city center) to Port Vell on the waterfront. It’s filled with trees and beautiful modernisme and Baroque architecture like Palau Moja and La Boqueria (Barcelona’s colorful food market). We wanted to share just a few photos from our trip:


Street View

The winding path of Las Ramblas reminds me a little of Lombard St. here in SF


Miro art in the plaza



Miro art in the plaza

Crazy Serpent Sculputure/Light fixture

Crazy serpent sculpture doubles as light fixture

Inspiration for our Modern Graphic Tee

Inspiration for our Modern Tee

Our head designer, Laura Boes is on her way back from her Inspiration Trip for Fall 2012 (if you can believe it). I’m hoping she’ll share a little bit more about her Las Ramblas rambles when she returns. And don’t forget to spring forward and turn your clocks ahead one hour. We’ll see you next week out and about enjoying the extra hour of daylight. Cheers!

Our Fashionable & Tasty Neighborhood – Dogpatch

Tea is headquartered in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of SF. Our nearby neighborhood, Dogpatch is fast becoming full of creativity, food, wine and fashion! We can’t wait to check out this new multi-purpose collaborative destination featuring MAC, Blue Bottle Coffee, Piccino Restaurant and DIG wine bar at 1003 Minnesota Street. It opens March 14. I read about it here: 7× The Dogpatch: Your Next Shopping Destination?

Speaking of Dogpatch and food, it’s been a while since I posted about neighborhood food trucks. Kitchenette is like a food truck without a truck, operating out of a loading dock on Illinois Street. It’s tasty and the menu changes every day. Here are pics of our last visit. What are your favorite neighborhoods for food, fashion or fun?


Jeff & Jen outside Kitchenette

Even their sign has personality!

Even their sign has personality!