Definitely a hidden gem.
This is a quaint little tea room. They sell a variety of tea cups and mugs, brewing utensils, British products (they had Jaffa cakes), and loose leaf tea. I believe the tea is only Metropolitan Tea company. They also have a small but decent menu from a light meal to more appetizers, also British style pastries and of course British drinks and tea. They also do special afternoon teas complete with the little tea sandwiches and everything, but a reservation is required for that.
I had a small pot of tea and cream tea (its not actually tea – it is a scone/biscuit, with clotted cream and strawberry jam). The cream tea was excellent. The tea was ok for being Metropolitan Tea Company. It did become a bit astringent as it was just loose tea thrown into the tea pot, so there was no way to take the tea out of the pot to stop it from brewing. They provide tea pot cozies to keep it warm, and also a traditional tea cup an saucer with a strainer.
The service was excellent, the servers were attentive and service was quick. The floor was a bit dirty, but being the time of year (winter), I am not surprised.
It is a very small place and was quite busy, so I had to wait a few minutes for a table to clear.
I thought this was a neat take on a tea house. It really reminds me more of a contemporary coffee house, but with tea instead of coffee. It was a little dark in there but also cozy, I went to read a book with a cup of tea so I had to strain my eyes a bit. They were playing jazzy type music and there were a variety of couches, chairs, and tables to sit in/at. They has numerous teas to choose from, there were small canisters you could smell from before ordering tea. There was a good selection of flavoured and straight teas and tisanes. There was also a small variety of pies, pastries, sandwiches and wraps. To stay in, you can order tea in a small or large French press, or vice versa order a small, medium or large to go cup. If staying in, you could choose your own tea cup, traditional or contemporary style tea cups with matching saucer and spoon. The staff that helped me were really nice and attentive but not pushy. I found they were not too knowledgeable though. While I was drinking my tea and “people watching” one customer asked the sales person “do you only put milk in black tea?”, the response was “ummmm, I’m not sure”. The same customer asked “is gunpowder tea really made of gunpowder?”. And the response was “ummm, I think so”.
I thought the tea was a bit expensive but it may be on par for the area it is in. You could also buy loose leaf tea on its own.
I found the store to be open and clean, not cluttered which is a bonus. I didn’t have to worry that my purse was going to knock things over. There were a large variety of tea accessories, pots and cups, etc, but I would not say anything unique. It seemed like the generic things you find in every tea store. There was also a large variety of prepackaged teas and tea bags, there was a lot of Tea Forte.
The Tea Desire teas were kept on the back wall behind the counter. It was frustrating that the teas were on shelves from floor to ceiling. In order to see the teas that were on the floor, I had to lean overtop of the counter to see them. The sales person even had trouble finding a tea I asked for that I had seen in the website.
The sales person was generally knowledgeable but only able to provide the basics, ie. this is a black tea so steep at boiling, but no specifics to each of the different teas. But to be honest, I didn’t expect any more.
The way they let you smell the teas, is they open the canister and wave a fan towards you to smell the tea. I understand why they do this, so you are not sticking your face into the canister, but I found it hard to smell the tea.
I am not sure if this is normal, but I ordered two different teas, 50 g each because that is the smallest amount you can buy, and the sales person put the tea into a foil bag that was big enough for about a pound of tea.
Overall, this is not a bad store, but I would not consider it to be a specialty store. Reminds me very much of a Teavana’s or David’s Tea.
Verdant offers a great selection of high quality teas. My order was shipped quickly and I received a handwritten thank you noted with my order. I love how verdant works with tea farming families instead of larger companies. It is a bit disappointing, though, when items go out of stock, but the website lets you know when quantities are low and when teas are restocked. The pricing of the teas seems to be consistent with the quality of the tea.
Butiki teas offers a wide selection of amazing teas. The customer service is awesome. I received free samples of my choice with my order. The order was shipped in a timely manner. The teas can be a bit more expensive, but well worth it. The flavoured teas are exceptional and there are many teas that are unique. Less than an hour after my first order, I received an email stating a tea I wanted to order was out of stock, suggestions were offered as a replacement and I was able to choose what I wanted (if I wanted) for a replacement, instead of just replacing the tea without letting me know. The labelling on each tea is perfect, providing specific recommendations for amount of tea to use and steeping instructions. A hand written note came with my order.
I found the staff at this location to be very pushy, and often they were more interested in talking loudly amongst themselves than helping customers. There was a lot of stock in the store, and when I was able to speak with an employee, they were able to answer my questions.
This is a great place to buy tea, coffee, or any accessories. There is a large variety of teas from all over the world, and the staff is very knowledgable. The staff has provided great advice on many occaisions for which tea to buy or which accessory is needed. This is a wonderful place to go and browse. For the most part, this is one of the cheaper places to buy loose leaf tea. Generally, most teas are between $3.25 and $3.50 per 50g. But the tea quality is still good.
I found Steeped About Tea to be very poorly lit, so it was hard to see the labels on all of the teas. There was a large variety of teas, but most seemed to be from The Metropolitan Tea Company. You can only buy a minimum of 50g. They sell a lot of Keurig products and kettles/milk frothers, but the prices are very expensive. The service was very slow.