The mad scientists–and we are required to call them mad scientists on first reference, check the AP Stylebook if you don't believe me–at Portola Coffee Lab have always had a few tins of tea sitting at the far end of the bar, near the espresso machine and on the other side of the glass from their limited concessions to the popular demand for substances (sugar, for example) to put into coffee.
It's never been a focus, though; you can order it, and they'll make you a great cup of tea, but the name of the place is Portola Coffee Lab, and they geek out over coffee. They even opened a coffee tasting bar named Theorem. Tea was an afterthought…
…until now. Jeff and Christa Duggan are taking over even more space in the OC Mart
Mix, in the space formerly occupied by Nirve Cycles, and they're going
to open a space called Seventh Tea Bar, named for the idea that tea is the seventh of the seven traditional Chinese necessities. Given that they are doing things with coffee unattempted anywhere else (cáscara tea, anyone?), it's a fair bet that the teas will be just as, ahem, eye-opening.
An opening date has not been set, but the staff hope to have it open by year's end; construction has started in earnest. Watch this space for updates.