S.F. tea culture & an opera picnic

“The Way to Tea” (Earth Aware Editions, $21.95), a slim, handsome, hardcover guide, explores the range of tea possibilities in the Bay Area with alluring photographs and straightforward text. Commercial photographer and tea enthusiast Jennifer Leigh Sauer shot 18 tea destinations encompassing traditional Chinese, Japanese, English and San Francisco’s own eclectic tea houses. Like any well-researched and opinionated guidebook, “The Way to Tea” awakens curiosity, gets the reader to try new places, answers questions and, in this case, opens up a culture that is blossoming right here. Sauer accidentally discovered the world of tea when shooting photos in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The owner, Uncle Gee, of Vital Tealeaf at 1044 Grant Ave., invited her in from the street for a tasting. She was drawn by the visual but hooked by the convivial spirit ofthe place. Though tea drinking confers many health benefits, the greatest of all may be the balm of inclusiveness, respite and relaxation. For more information, visit www.waytotea.com.

OPERA PICNIC AT AT&T PARK

Stage a picnic on the field — or in the seats — during the free simulcast of San Francisco Opera’s “Samson and Delilah” on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. Included: a bottle of Wild Horse Pinot Noir, cheese, bread, fruit, tomato salad, artisan salami, tapenade, biodegradable cups, cutlery, plates and a wine opener. Bring a blanket. Preorder the $80 picnic bag through the ballpark’s concessionaire. For more information, visit www.bonappetitsuites.com.

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