There’s a new trend in Vancouver that’s got stores popping up left, right, and centre. You can go for a decadent high tea in one part of the city, or a quick Chai and Corned Beef on Rye in another part of the town, and you can even pop into a Tea Tasting shop to sample teas from around the globe, and develop the connoisseur in you.
Coffee is about grabbing a quick cuppa joe or a chocolatey mocha,so let’s face it – coffee is not a grande affair like this tea thing.
Teas stand on ceremonies here. There’s the ritualistic Japanese green teas, the pinky-pointing earl greys, the master-blender tea expert, and a whole slew of tea cultures to steep in.
The tea salons in town all have their unique hook; tea and connoisseur are like cup and saucer these day, inseparable, and gosh forbid one should mismatch the two.
I grew up with teas that really were infusions – Lemongrass tea was literally a whack of blades, hacked from the bush in the sandy yard, washed and boiled with milk and sugar and served to us at bedtime. Lime leaf tea was a few carefully selected leaves from the lone tree in the front of the house.
Then there was the nastiness they fed us once a month to “clean us out”. The bitter punishment for a good month of eating great organic food was this “special tea” that was steeped overnight. We each had to have a cup on a fine Saturday morning before breakfast.
For years a tea party meant only scrumptious teacakes and sandwiches to me, but now I have newly discovered the joys of teas without the party.
Tea merchants rocking the Tea World in Vancouver:
“What is oolong? Oolong, from the plant Camellia sinensis, is a partially oxidized tea that is gently shaken and bruised before it is laid to dry in the sun and then shaped and roasted. they also create beautiful blends ranging from florals and herbs to pure ancient naturalness. Absolutely nothing artificial in these blends.” Check out teaave.com and read the fun information on the blog section too.
These teas are as fresh-faced, warm and pretty as the owner, Heidi Chan. Try the Oriental Beauty which actually reminds me of Guyana’s rainforest – amber coloured like our creeks, fruity scents and slight hints of honey. Try them all especially the Cape Jasmine Oolong and, a personal favourite, the Dong Ding Oolong.
Murchie’s, launched in Vancouver in 1894, history goes back to the 1800’s when John Murchie started delivering teas to Queen Victoria in the Scottish Highlands. Today there are nine locations in and around Vancouver. Step into any one of these salons and you’ll be carried away to new tea-heights. The selections of blends and traditional teas are a sight to behold. There’s a reason why they have some of the best teas in Vancouver…
“Our core business is focused on procuring only the highest quality teas and coffees obtained from the finest tea gardens and coffee farms around the world.”
Neverland Tea Salon says it best with their introduction…
Would you like your adventure now or would you like to have your tea first? – Peter Pan
“Not your average tea salon, Neverland is an amalgamation of everything we love: celebration, decadence, ritual, whimsy and creativity. We also love variety and offer you options on which Neverland experience is right for you, whether it’s “Hold the gluten and dairy free”, or “Bring it on”! Slip in for a quick indulgence at our Tea Bar Bakery, or enjoy our formal high tea service in our Neverland Room, or take some of our retail tea home to spoil yourself at any hour.”
DAVID’s TEA selection of teas is astounding with over 150 types of tea, including exclusive blends, limited edition seasonal collections, traditional straight teas and exotic infusions from around the globe. and the largest collection of organic teas and infusions in North America. I love their blog filled with pertinent information and loads of recipes, check them out here.
TWG Tea is luxury all the way. The Wellbeing Group (TWA) was founded in 2008 as a luxury concept that incorporates unique and original retail outlets, exquisite tea rooms and an international distribution network to professionals. A veritable tea institution with over 800 different single-estate, fine harvests and exclusive tea blends from all of the tea-producing countries, this is where tea connoisseurs go to learn.
Keep calm and brew on.