Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Subtle Teas

dining hiddenpeakAncient tea traditions have survived for centuries without the help of the Internet or cell phones. Hidden Peak Teahouse, which has created a digital-free zone, aims to instill a reverence towards the nuances between these simple leaves and the people who care for them.

The teahouse makes its home in the spacious room where Rhythm Fusion once delighted us. Shiny, wide-plank wooden floors support an array of seating configurations, from cushioned Asian-influenced sofas to black lacquered chairs with mother-of-pearl inlays. The shop boasts a collection of unique tea brewing and drinking vessels, including translucent cups carved from multi-colored moss agate stones.

Hidden Peak's delightfully lengthy tea menu is arranged by type of tea, such as white, oolong and black, with each section outlining differences in harvesting, growing, or aging. The simplest order is a bowl of the day's Pu-erh blend ($.99).

Instead of a pot, we opted for the Gaiwan service in order to interact with the leaves. Our server brought a thermos, a decorative lidded bowl and a cup for each order. Two leaves and a bud, hand-rolled into balls, is named Jasmine Pearls ($5.25). Steeped in the bowl, he used its lid to strain the liquid into the cup. The floral aroma filled our noses. Aged Tibetan Brick Pu-erh ($5.50) had an earthy flavor, with a surprisingly soft feel on the tongue. We repeatedly steeped the leaves, noticing different essences with long and short brewing times. dining hidden

Unique snacks included Living Spicy Green Tostada ($3), a thin handmade cracker of greens with flax and sunflower seeds spread with sunflower seed pâté, and topped with sprouts and slices of green and yellow cherry tomatoes which was gluten-free, organic and vegan. Living Flax Crackers ($5) were served with spicy hummus. Sweet treats included a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ($2) sweetened with agave. | KP

Hidden Peak Teahouse, 1541 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-4200. Open Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Visit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management