Being Canadian-born, I should be used to the frigidly cold temperatures and wind chills, right? I mean, after all, I certainly wasn’t raised in a hothouse like California so the cold should be old hat to me. Or so I think. Experiencing winter does not get easier with age. I wish it did because that would mean I would have skin of steel by the time I’m 70! So to soothe my little shivering body, I turn to tea.
I may get things thrown at me for saying this, but I actually don’t like coffee *ducks*. My mom looooves coffee but I have never been a coffee drinker and have always preferred tea since my teeny tot dim-sum-with-grandma-and-grandpa days where grandpa would order oolong and b0-lay (as we would say in Chinese, I’ll find out the English translation for y’all!). Ahhh, nice warm tea. Tea that comforts every inch of you and makes you feel like burrowing in a blanket burrito all day. It’s no coincidence that I’ve been drinking a cup nearly every day for the past 2 months and I’m so very lucky to have a number of tea shops in the city at my disposal for all my loose-leaf needs.
An old friend of mine introduced me to David’s Tea (proudly Canadian!) and I have enjoyed many a cup there for over a year now. Not only do the cute tea shops have shelves upon shelves of loose-leaf varieties in black, green, white, herbal, and rooibos tea, for example, but they have lots of tea accessories, gift sets, and books for sale. I’ve bought cute little steel mesh balls for my loose-leaf tea as well as gift sets for presents. And like a true sucker for seasonal delights (ha!), I happily anticipate their seasonal lineups and collections. They sell loose-leaf tea by the gram and you can get small packets of it, or you can go big and get a tin for 50 grams. Prices vary depending on the type that you pick, but you can usually get a 50 gram tin for about $4.50-$8 (with the exception of white tea and some of the oolong varieties that are more expensive, from $11.50 and up) and it’s good for about 20-25 cups of tea. And of course, you can walk right in and order a mug of hot tea or a chilled version to go or to enjoy in the shop.
Yay! Okay, time for recommendations! Now, I’m by no means an expert, but I know what I like and what I don’t and although I wouldn’t say there have been teas I haven’t liked, I do have favourites. My favourite seasonal collection is definitely the fall one (as shown in my scrapbook page. Owl decals on the storefront window, how cute! And Lemon Cream Pie tea, how yummy and exciting!). However, in terms of single loose-leaf teas I have tried:
Love Tea #7
Lemon Cream Pie (pictured in my scrapbook page above); fall seasonal
Watermelon; summer seasonal
Elf’s Help; holiday seasonal
Baked Apple; winter seasonal
Out of those 7 teas, my favourite, hands down, is the Crème Brulée. Tied for second is the Baked Apple and Lemon Cream Pie. Both the Baked Apple and Lemon Cream Pie teas I had chilled with ice and the Crème Brulée tea I had hot in a mug and was it ever delicious, mmmm. Every ounce of flavour comes out in this one. Some teas are strong, some are subtle, and some just miss the mark entirely and just taste like hot water. This one hits it BANG ON and I would recommend this one to anyone who likes tea and who likes the sweet dessert teas. I find that I’m always gravitating toward the rooibos varieties (not just at David’s Tea but at other tea places as well) and this one does not disappoint at all. I can’t wait to share more tea stories with you guys so enjoy this one for now as I have plenty more up my sleeve.
David’s Tea boasts 5 locations in and around the downtown core, Scarborough, and Thornhill:
- 2285 Bloor St. W (Bloor West Village, west of High Park and Runnymede subway stations)
- 336 Queen St. W (just east of Spadina)
- 2389 Yonge St. (intersection of Yonge & Eglinton; north of Eglinton)
- Scarborough Town Centre (between McCowan and Brimley Rd. off Highway 401)
- Promenade Mall, Thornhill (Bathurst and Centre St.)