Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Tea Spot: A tea trek in Toronto!

On this pleasant Sunday, the weather was just perfect for a tea outing. This wasn’t my usual Afternoon Tea out with a bunch of tea lovers. This was a Tea Safari! A day of tea store hopping, shopping, and sipping. My good friend Lisa organized a meetup where we headed off to the many different tea shops in Toronto. I was really looking forward to this day because I wanted to check out some of the tea shops I had heard of but never got around to going to. We even went to a place I didn’t know about.

The list of shops that were planned for visiting were kept a secret by Lisa which added to the fun. Here’s where our tea trek took us:

Pippins
I have been wanting to check out Pippins for the longest time! It’s been mentioned so often by my fellow tea lovers so I’m glad to see this was on the list. Pippins is a very British inspired tea shop that not only has many teas available, but also has teapots and cups, jams, creams, cookies, aprons, greeting cards, and even refrigerator magnets for purchase. The owner was very nice and provided each one of us with a reusable bag. 

Pippins Tea

Rooster Mugs!

Polka Dot Teapot!


David’s Tea
Okay, not everyone was too thrilled to be heading off to David’s Tea, but c’mon!They had a spot just a few doors down from Pippins, so why not? David’s Tea is all over the place much like Starbucks and have even cracked the American market. They are known for the tutti fruiti blends with funky names like “Read My Lips”, “Pink Flamingo” and “Nutty By Nature”, which makes many tea purists cringe! 

David's Tea.

Tea Filter.


Majesteas
This is another British inspired tea shop that is actually run by a fellow Tea Sommelier who graduated a couple of years ahead of me from tea program at George Brown College. Nice to see what he’s accomplished since graduating! Much like Pippins, Majesteas also has many tea accessories with an English twist. I was also awestruck by the potted tea plant they had sitting on their counter which they recently acquired. Very difficult to grow in Canada, but it is possible. 

Treats!

Tea Plant.


Niche Coffee & Tea Company
I had passed by Niche a few times in the past, but had never stopped by. We didn’t stay for very long here. Niche has a bar like atmosphere but has a great little patio out back. The teas offered are actually provided by a local company called Pluck. Their food menu wasn’t bad. I’d swing by for brunch or a light lunch to go along with a pot of tea.

Tea for drinking.


Tealish
I have been to Tealish a few times. It’s a nice little place with a cozy sit down area in the back where you can enjoy tea infused smoothies. Beside the ever present blended teas, Tealish also has a line of orthodox teas for those tea purists! 

Pretty cup.

Blue Teapot.


El Almacen
I’ve never heard of El Almacen, but boy am I glad we dropped by here. Just like Niche, this also has a bar like feel to it. The walls are displayed with beautiful paintings that may be purchased. El Almacen is known for their Yerba Mate. They also serve delicious South American food including empanadas. I enjoyed a yummy chicken empanada that really hit the spot after all the shop hopping. It was warm and flaky with just a little kick of spice. Nice!

Wall Painting.

Store Art.

Yerba Mate anyone?

Working the counter!

That was our day! A few tea shops at our service in my city. This doesn’t even cover half of them. There are still many more shops to check out, and with tea becoming more and more popular, there will be plenty new places to visit. Looking forward to each and every one of them.



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