Red Leaf Tea - Online in Rolling Meadows, Illinois
3/5
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Indigobloom rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

SO…. I ordered a bunch of teas from Red Leaf, after seeing so many reviews where people fell in love. I expected high quality, amazing teas that would blow me away! Sadly, none of them wowed me. Except for the Cherry Matcha, which was pretty darn good. The Sugar Destroyer is tasty as well, but then I didn’t buy it for taste, I bought it to control sugar cravings and I don’t think it worked, for me.
Now, that’s probably my personal bias and I fully admit that. Most of the teas I chose were risky choices for me.
Anyhow, one of the teas I chose was not listed as an Earl Grey, but did indeed contain bergamot. Seeing as I am allergic to Bergamot, I emailed the company and asked if they could compensate me, which they promptly did. Also, they changed the online description to match the true ingredients. Overall, I was happy with that and have no complaints. On the other hand, nothing about my experience is driving me to buy from them again. There were no free samples, no “I’m sorry” packages (that I know of, though it has only been a week or so) and generally nothing that made me say wow. Everything was more or less average, but in a positive way.
The packaging was great, and the shipping was fast. I got an answer about my Earl Grey experience almost right away.
I recommend their Matchas. Everyone else seems to be in love with them, and they have points program where if you review their matcha you get a free package. Can’t go wrong with that right?

Forever Tea House in Mississauga, ON
4/5
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Indigobloom rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

This is the shop my friends and I have been frequenting for years. It’s a lovely little place that feels homey. It’s not fancy or sophisticated.
You can go there and study, sit for hours and chat, or just stop in for takeout. Whatever the case, if you are a regular there… the shop owner, Nelson, will make you feel right at home. He doesn’t speak much English but that only adds to the charm, in my opinion!
It’s mostly just Nelson who runs the place. Way back when it first opened and bubbletea was new to Canada, the place was seriously hopping. On a Friday night, there was a lineup out the door.
However, a few branded competitors opened up and stole much of the business. It’s sad, but most patrons want to flashy decor and gimmicky teas. Myself, I prefer this place.
Then the recession hit and almost put the shop under. The shop owner had to let all his staff go, and ran the place pretty much by himself. That was a shame, because not only was he hurting financially, I’m sure… but the tapioca balls were consistently bad. They take a long time to make, and need to be watched carefully to get them right and even then they don’t stay fresh for long(have you ever tried making bubbletea? It’s not easy!). I’m not sure what the issue was, probably that he couldn’t afford to make a new batch every time they went soggy, but the “tap” was terrible! like drinking half made jello.
Those days are behind us now, and I’m relieved to say that the tap is back and yummy as ever!!!
and the food, ohhh the food is okay to. Not fantastic, but good quality and very satisfying. A little salty for my tastes but I use no salt in my cooking, or maybe a pinch when necessary so take from that what you will.
Not to mention, where else can you get a tea egg, cooked and ready to eat, served for 75c??? with a side of bubbletea?!

Tea Emporium in Toronto, ON
4/5
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Indigobloom rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

This place is great! The staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
Out of all the teas I’ve purchased, I’ve never come across one that was bad quality. (Sure there were one or two I didn’t enjoy, but that’s my own personal bias in terms of flavour)
Their hours are 9-5 M-F so it can be a bit awkward getting there during store hours.
The other concern I have is that they don’t sell any tea by the cup at this location (they have others) and their minimum purchase is 50g. I wish they would offer samples, in cases where I want to try something new.
I love that they rotate staff between all locations here. There is always someone new to chat with! :)

Tea Dynasty in Toronto, ON
5/5
Edit
Indigobloom rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I love love love this shop. The staff are super friendly and really good people.
(I’d love to qualify that statement but it involves personal info about the staff so you’ll just have to trust me on that one)
Anyhow, every time I have gone in there has been a positive experience.
If you have time to visit awhile, they will even share some samples made in a traditional Gaiwan… which is a tiny teapot, with tea served in tiny cups. (Check out the tea pets!)
They will also make tea blends to order. All of the blending options are on display so you can get any tea type they sell mixed with any tea addition (flowers, herbs, dried fruits etc)
They also have bubble tea there :)
When I have a spare moment, I often grab a cup from this shop and go browse the discount book store a few numbers down. (ABC books).

Profile

Bio

Let’s see… I’m a tea and workout fanatic, I work in HR, and most of my friends consider me to be an egg. White on the outside, Asian on the inside :)
-from philosophy to food, I love it all
Otherwise, what you see is what you get! I can be very straightforward and yet shy.

Also, I’ve started taking tea sommelier classes and it is an absolute blast! Well, so far I’ve only finished the first out of eight courses, but I am really looking forward to the next one.

Anyhow, if your curious as to how I rate things, this is how I work…

0-25
Like eating dirt, or some other unsanitary indelicacy that mentioning in my profile here would likely get me banned.
I don’t think I’ve found cause to banish a tea to the wasteland yet though so who knows what it’d inspire ;P

25-50
You know that expression “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”? I imagine drinking that water would be terrible enough to warrant this rating!
I’d never make my enemy drink this, but perhaps I’d throw it at them. Good thing I don’t have any enemies!

50-70
This is “tea”?? I tried finishing the cup… but my body rejected it. There may be others who enjoy this tea, but it’s beyond me!

70-80
I tried liking it, and I can almost get there! I certainly don’t hate it, but something is holding me back. Allergies? Men in white suits? who knows… certainly not me!

80-90
Lovely tea! Not my all time fave but close. I likely wouldn’t repurchase, but may decide to based on many factors: price, accessibility, whether it fills a “tea gap”, medicinal applications, and how often I crave it.
Every once in awhile I find the sweet spot that bumps these up to 90+. Those are the days I need to buy a lotto ticket!

90-95
Sweet Camellia! this is realllly good tea! Don’t talk to me until I’ve finished my cup…

95-100
Tea of the gods. I would do anything to get my hands on more of this liquid gold!

Location

Toronto (Mississauga, but I work in TO)

Website

http://hrslinger.wordpress.com/

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