Meditations

Summertime is still tea time at the Urban Tea Merchant


Tea cocktails at Urban Tea Merchant

Summer isn’t typically the time of year when one can’t wait to get their hands on a nice, steaming, hot cup of tea, but at The Urban Tea Merchant over heated tea lovers can opt for something substantially cooler and more refreshing this year, while still indulging in a much loved cup of tea. This summer Urban Tea has paired up their amazing selection of top quality teas with well known Vancouver Mixologist, Ben Lambie, from Ensemble, to create some deliciously light and refreshing tea cocktails exclusively for Urban Tea Merchant.

Fellow Foodist Brenda Lowe and I visited the Tea Merchant on what should have been a beautiful, early summer day to experience the new teas, the new menu and the new cocktails.  Sadly it was raining. Of course. It’s Vancouver. But when tea lovers get together it’s hard to feel down for any reason. We were warmly greeted in the beautifully colourful signature store on Georgia St. by Casey James (marketing and events director) and Reza Nasooti (tea sommelier) who were wonderfully informative and welcoming.

Tea cups with a decidely carnivale flare

The Tea Merchant almost exclusively sells TWG fine teas, which vary greatly; from the freshest, top quality traditional teas to some delicious, lively and unexpected blends which carry you away on a sensory experience you would never expect.  I brought a sample of New York Breakfast Tea (because I adore all breakfast teas) up to my nose and suddenly felt as though I’d been pulled into the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 1960s, Manhattan, sweet and pink with a hint of chocolate…  It was amazing!

Brenda and I were given an aromatic tour of TWGs new summer teas.

Brenda and I were then led back to the dinning room to sample new items from Urban Tea’s new summer menu and to try out some of Ben’s cocktails.  Being brunch time I opted for a spinach eggs benedict and, of course, a Matcha Sour. Brenda chose the new Summer Westcoast Tea Service and the Bain de Roses Martini.  I must say I was quite surprised by the matcha sour, which I chose because it seemed somehow wrong, but it was really, really quite good – unexpected, and something I would definitely have again.  Brenda’s martini was light and refreshing, the perfect cocktail for a hot summer day (if only it had been a hot summer day!)

The food was fantastic, as always (the scones and cream alone are to die for).  Much of it infused with various teas available in store, as well as being local, seasonal and exceptionally well prepared.

The Westcoast Tea Service

I need to make a point of returning to Urban Tea on a gorgeous summer day – if only to sit out on their patio with a glass of their tea sangria to keep to me cool.  But until then I will be happy with a little home brew based on their recipe below.  Good thing I came home with a sample of the preferred tea for the recipe: TWGs Eternal Summer:

  • Place 10 generous teaspoons of tea leaves into a filter and place into a 1L pitcher
  • Add 3 cups of cold/room temperature filtered water
  • Add 1 cup white grape juice and 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup (for non-alcoholic) or 1 cup red wine and 6 tbsp pomegranate syrup (for alcoholic)
  • Place the pitcher into the fridge and let steep for 2 hours
  • Remove tea leaves and add fresh fruit.

Eternal Summer Tea Sangria

Thank you Urbane Tea Merchant, it was a beautiful, tea infused summer afternoon, in spite of all the rain.

New York Breakfast Tea  Benny  Matcha Sour 

Photos courtesy Brenda Lowe and myself

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