You can’t walk more than a block in Toronto without hitting a coffee shop, but tea shops are a bit harder to come by in the city. There are many to be found, just not on the same scale as purveyors of espresso-based beverages. Whether you enjoy both tea and coffee, or tea is your go-to beverage, here are a few of the best places to sip and stock up.
This cozy shop in the heart of Bloor West Village has been supplying the city with an array of teas as well as sharing their extensive knowledge of tea since 1980. They’ve been at the Bloor location since 1988. At Say Tea you’ll find close to 200 teas on offer from around the world in both bag and loose leaf varieties. You’ll find everything from green and black teas, to herbal tea, white tea and rooibos. For those also interested in coffee, the shop stocks over 30 premium roast coffees. In addition to teas and coffees, Say Tea is also a good spot to pick up tea-related accessories such as porcelain tea cups and tea sets, glass teapots, various tea containers and cast iron teapots from Japan and China.
There are several locations of David’s Tea dotted around the city and they’re a great place to go for your tea fix. Some locations are grab and go, while others are more café style with seating for anyone who wants to sip in-store. David’s Tea opened their first shop in 2008 along Queen Street West and now there are shops all over Canada and the U.S. Variety is the name of the game here, with a huge array of teas to choose from in myriad flavour combinations. There are over 150 teas that range from traditional to more creative flavours like red velvet cake or mint chocolate rooibos.
David’s Tea also boasts the largest collection of organic teas and infusions in North America and carry a large selection of stylish tea accessories.
Roncesvalles is where you’ll find Tealish, another popular spot dedicated to all things tea. They carry over 100 different types of tea for your sipping pleasure that run the gamut from green, white and black teas, to wellness teas like hangover helper and stress buster, to dessert tea like toasty almond and hot chocolate chai. The Tealish shop is also where you can come to savour a tea latte, fresh brewed iced tea or tea smoothie. They also carry a wide selection of tea ware and tea accessories to add to your collection.
Tao Tea Leaf
Tao Tea Leaf was founded in 2009 by tea lovers and experts who want to share their knowledge and passion for tea. Their focus is on Chinese teas as well as selling blended teas and herbs that they source directly from growers and tea masters. They have over 180 teas and blends in their current collection including 53 certified organic selections, so there’s lots to choose from depending on what you find yourself in the mood for. Tao Tea Leaf also founded the first Toronto Tea Festival in 2013, host events and tastings and take small groups to China for tea tours each year.
If you like your tea with a side of board games, then this comfy, welcoming spot is for you. Bampot Bohemian House of Tea and Board Games is a unique space in the city to hang out and relax with some tea and some friends. Choose from a wide selection of teas and tea blends as well as a small menu of vegetarian food. There are board games aplenty and it’s $5 per person to play as much as you want ($3 if you order a main meal). Bampot also hosts events and live music, adorns its walls with local art and carries various tea-related accessories.
Sip on certified organic and fair trade teas at Infuse Cafe, which also uses a unique brewing technology known as Reverse Atmospheric Infusion, which allows for a deeper level of flavour extraction. In terms of types of tea, they offer a wide variety including herbal teas, oolong, white tea, green tea, back tea and organic iced teas.
Pippins Tea Company
Pippins Tea Company in Toronto’s east end stocks more than 130 loose and bag teas along with more than 100 different teapots, cups and saucers and mugs. The charming shop is also where to go to pick up cute kitchen accessories like tea cozies, aprons, tea towels and placemats. So whether you’re looking to learn more about tea, pick up a favourite blend, or find some brewing accessories or a unique tea-related gift, you’ll likely find it here.