I searched out Red Blossom Tea Company after reading an article about them in the Edible San Francisco food magazine. Turned out that they were located only about 5 blocks from my San Francisco friend's apartment. How lucky can you get? Red Blossom Tea will not disappoint you.
Red Blossom Tea Company is the real McCoy. The staff has several generations in the trade under their belt, and they source their teas directly from the producers and traditional, artisan tea processors. Their tea leaves are first quality and their prices are reflective of that fact. When you drink their teas, the flavour and craftsmanship of tea making are on display.
Many of the big box store tea companies merely buy from tea wholesalers. They add fruit oils or essences to the teas and then package it under their own names. The tea leaves and their quality are what get lost in the equation. You can hide a lot of mediocre tea under the added flavourings. It's the flavourings that predominate, not the tea.
So if you're really serious about developing a connoisseurship in tea, don't waste your time with the box store tea companies. Go straight to Red Blossom Tea Company. All of the staff are knowledgeable about their teas, and they can introduce you to some amazing cups of tea.