As the cold winter descends on Vancouver, there is no better time for a steaming hot cup/thermos/bowl of tea. Whether you like them green, black, white or herbal, there are literally hundreds of flavours awaiting you in Vancouver.
Here are five spots to stock up on the season’s worth of loose leaf tea, packaged and ready to go.
The U.S. loose-leaf tea chain arrived in Canada a few years ago and has seen its popularity boom, especially thanks to a partnership with Starbucks. There are currently four stores in Metro Vancouver which serve an extensive collection of teas -black, white, green, rooibos, mate, oolong, and herbal.
Like some other major tea brands, Teavana releases popular seasonal flavours, with Spiced Apple Cider, White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos, and Pumpkin Spice Brûlée being particularly hot this year.
Prices on tea can vary based on the type, but most of Teavana’s go for between $4 and $12 for 2 oz. packages. Anyone is also welcome to stop by Teavana locations and taste their featured teas and pick up a hot steaming cup of something nice.
Address: Metrotown – 4820 Kingsway, Suite 365, Burnaby
Address: Richmond Centre – 1400-6551 No. 3 Road, Unit 1612, Richmond
Address: Central City Shopping Centre – 10153 King George Boulevard, Unit 2586, Surrey
Address: Guildford Town Centre – 10355 152 Street, Surrey
David’s is a mammoth tea chain based out of Montreal and has taken over the tea scene with bright colours, fantastic flavours and super-trendy tea-ware. Buying tea there is a real treat too, because you can mix and match your selections or opt for one of their pre-made Tea Samplers featuring several different flavours.
The 24 Days of Tea advent calendar is one of the most popular, especially for gift-giving as it contains 24 different types of tea, enough for 48 cups. The David’s Top 12 Tea Sampler is a personal favourite and gives you the 12 most popular teas on offer, such as Forever Nuts, Birthday Cake, Super Ginger and Cold 911.
If you know what you’re looking for, however, step right up to the counter and order a tin. You may be tempted by one of their chipper sales associates to smell any new teas on hand, but be warned: it’s tough to leave David’s Tea without more than you came for.
Address: 9 locations throughout Metro Vancouver; check their website for more info
Granville Island Tea Company
Located in the bustling Public Market at Granville Island, the aptly named Granville Island Tea Company is a must-visit pit stop on a rainy Vancouver day. It’s a small but mighty shop, carrying over 200 teas of all kinds.
The small staff really know their stuff, including tea ingredients and the possible health benefits certain types can provide. Even more useful, they’ll show you exactly how to brew each tea – with what temperature of what, how much tea, and for how long. There’s a fairly good chance you’ll leave as a tea guru yourself.
Typical teas go for about $8.50 per 100 grams, but others can get up there in price, like the luxurious Organic Orchid Oolong which sells for $83.50 for 100 grams. If you’re in need of some truly high quality tea, this is where you must go.
Address: #117 1689 Johnston Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
Pekoe Tea Lounge
The Pekoe Tea Lounge is located in vibrant Mount Pleasant and is now in its 10th year of operation. Though it’s also a homey cafe to take a break and relax, they also sell premium loose leaf tea by the weight to enjoy at home.
There is a wide variety of flavours to choose from, including unique blends like the Banana Cream rooibos and the Hawaiian Blossom black tea with mango and passion fruit. Popular caffeinated teas like the Ceylon English Breakfast and Ceylon Earl Grey also make a rich and smooth cup, no matter the time of day.
If you’re a real tea connoisseur, Pekoe Tea also has some delicate old-fashioned style tea cups for sale, which make great tea party accoutrements.
Address: 895 West Broadway, Vancouver
It may sound like your Grandmother’s favourite spot to stock up on Orange Pekoe, but Murchie’s can be forgiven for its old-timey demeanor. They have 125 different kinds of loose leaf tea available to choose from, including a CBC Radio Blend to hunker down with while you watch Murdoch Mysteries.
They are a true-blue Canadian tea company and not afraid to show it with blends like Canadian Breakfast, Government Street, Rideau Hall and Royal Alberta Museum. Two ounces of loose tea starts at about $3.50 and goes up from there
Don’t be surprised if you leave with an armful of coffee and pastries as well; Murchie’s is your one stop shop for the most antiquated of tea parties.
Address: 7 locations throughout Metro Vancouver; check their website for more info