Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

JagaSilk Teabar in Victoria, BC
4/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

This is the place to go to for matcha in a variety of grades and preparations as well. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable as well. There is a small amount of local made food, and there is coffee from The Fernwood Coffee company but this place is primarily for matcha.

Special Teas Inc. in Victoria, BC
3/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

I don’t know if I can legitimately review this shop as I haven’t actually tasted their teas. I do want to step up and say that this is not the same company that went under and got bought by Teavana; this is a local store, and I gather that shops can have the same name in different countries.

I have a fairly full tea shelf right now, and practically no money since we just got a new ipad(!) but I wanted to pop in and see what they had. The salesperson there was fairly knowledgeable, though almost to the point of being annoying in that “I know more than you and all the things you are saying are wrong because I obviously know more than you since I work in a tea shop” way. And the salesperson talked down on the other chains in town, basically talking about tea from China, and this and that, and straight teas are better and these other places have lots of blends and not much straight tea…but, the really funny thing is, this shop had LOADS of blends, and a CRAPLOAD of rooibos too. I’m not sure if the salesperson was just bitter at the chain competition in town whereas this shop is a mom and pop shop. And I get that. I get that there is a lot of care put into the blends, and that some are very old and/or unique to the shop. I like that. But I don’t like the negativity toward the other shops. I like tea…I don’t discriminate where I get it, so long as I like it. I think that if you are going to compare yourself, you should focus on the positives, and not let the negatives be your mode for sales. All the stores in town have different things to offer, whether the business is a local one or not, and generally, the salespeople like what they are doing and selling, and are tea enthusiasts regardless of where you go. Focus on your strengths, not someone else’s weaknesses. So, will I go back? Maybe. I do like supporting local businesses, and I like tea. My biggest concern is that you cannot buy less than 50g, and there are no returns available. I suppose I’d have to try something very basic and straightforward as an initial tea, and go from there.

Amariel rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I admit I tend to get coffee when I am at Murchies, along with some yummy baked goods, which they excel at. You could probably put together a cheap, but yummy tea service, far cheaper than the Empress, though the Empress is an experience for tea. I have only been in the back section where it is more store than cafe, but it has been a while, but I seem to recall a decent selection of the basics. It is a very English style place if memory serves me. I think I ought to go in and check the back again soon.

Teaopia-Mayfair Mall in Victoria, BC
4/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

While I don’t like the selection of teas here as much as at DAVIDsTEA, they do have some really nice blends, though I think a little more traditional. They are trying though. One bonus here though, is that they have a larger selection of teaware and accessories. I find that the employees here are always pretty helpful, and they know me, as I work in the mall and come here frequently for tea on the go. I have to say that I find the stark contrast in decor and atmosphere between Teaopia and DAVIDsTEA quite amusing…Teaopia is dark and cozy (intimate even?) more akin to Starbucks or Serious Coffee while DAVIDsTEA is bright and airy and open more like BLENZ. Though this location is on a corner, and near a door, so it is a wee bit brighter.

DAVIDsTEA - Hillside Mall in Victoria, BC
5/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

This is the first DAVIDsTEA I went to, and I was immediately impressed with the selection and knowledgeable employees. I told them of some teas I liked already, and they were able to suggest teas I might like based on that. I would not have had any interest in Toasted Walnut had it not been for the SA at the time tell me that people that like Genmai Cha generally like Toasted Walnut too. I can go in and say, “I’m looking for something with ginger in it, or chocolate, or whatever ingredient” and they pull down multiple canisters til I find what I want. Sometimes I go in with a particular mood, and they help me narrow down what I am looking for. Very helpful people, here and downtown too. Looking forward to the Uptown location opening up too.

Silk Road in Victoria, BC
4/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I like that Silk Road is local, and I’m supporting my local community, but I admit that I still prefer DAVIDsTEA to all the tea places I have near me. Of the few teas from them I have had, they have been of good quality and average pricing, and I like the decor and feel of the store. I’m such a DAVIDsTEA groupie that I hardly ever get past them on Government to get to Silk Road, but I should pop in sometime and try something new.

Teaopia in Victoria, BC
4/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

Well, I will agree with Maddhatter that Teaopia tends to be a little more like Starbucks in the dark aspect, and I think clientele. To a degree, I am ok with this, as the decor is kinda warm and snuggly, and it seems like there ought to be a fireplace to sit by and read your book with your mug of hot tea. Though there is no fireplace. And the tea is average compared to some places in town, in terms of blends and originality. There are some nice blends though. It’s sorta like sushi…I don’t mind good traditional stuff, but I really dig experimental and fusion stuff too. I think Teaopia is trying to appeal to the coffee drinking Starbucks crowd more than some of the other places. This location seems to be quieter than the Mayfair one on the times I have gone in. I can’t say I had bad service there, but I will say that the ladies at Mayfair are friendlier I think. It could just be that I am at Mayfair more because of my job and they all know me there.

If given choice, downtown, I’ll go the extra few blocks up Government to DAVIDsTEA instead. I can’t quite pin my finger down on exactly why I prefer DAVIDsTEA, but I just like the environment and selection better. That said, if DAVIDsTEA didn’t exist, I’d be fine with Teaopia. I do have some teas from them that I do quite like. :)

DAVIDsTEA in Victoria, BC
5/5
Edit
Amariel rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Love DAVIDs!

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Profile

Bio

I generally like a lot of tea. I do find I have a preference for flavored over unflavoured, but I do love a good straight tea as well.

Likes are too hard, since there are a lot. Dislikes are easier, so here they are.

Hibiscus. Blech. I can tolerate a little, depending on the brew, like Berry Good from Davids and Ruby Pie from Butiki…but in general, it’s too tart and too strong for me.

Licorice. Anything that remotely resembles licorice is out too, so that includes fennel and anise. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Florals. I’m cool with petals in the tea to make them look pretty, and I’m cool with teas like oolongs having a floral note, but strong florals can give me migraines. Rose and jasmine are the biggest offenders. This is one where it can vary on the blend, as I can handle Teavivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea because there is very little jasmine actually detectable in it.

Rooibos is hit or miss. I can do some, but not others. I handle green better than red, and honeybush better than rooibos.

Um, I have an extensive wishlist. It is both a list of things I want to get again, and things I want to try. If you are sending me something, and you want to know which is which, I’ll tell you via PM.

My ratings don’t have a particular scale or method, and may on occasion contradict themselves, but I’m honestly not fussed about that. Sometimes I don’t even rate at all.

Uh, guess that’s it.

Location

Victoria, BC

Following These People