14432 Tasting Notes
Y’know, I’ve been trying to do tasting notes chronologically and yet I still somehow managed to miss writing one of the Vancouver shop teas we tried!
Treasure Green actually ended up being one of my favourite stores we visited. Though I didn’t get a whole lot of tea, I did walk away with a beautiful gaiwan and the sales rep was probably the best and most enjoyable to talk to of any of the shops we went to. You could just really tell he was having the best time being there, and was super knowledgeable and friendly.
We samples of the their iced tea recipes while there. He did give us a run down of how it was made and what the ingredients were, but I can’t recall all of them. Only that it used one of their green teas iced as the base with additions of honey and freshly muddled mint among other ingredients. It was really refreshing with a crisp, cooling minty finish and the perfect amount of sweetness from the honey to make the more vegetal and grassy notes of the tea really pop and feel lush.
It was strange because, stylistically, the iced tea menu was so different from the types of teas the shop was selling (kind of like Paragon), but it was just so good and you could tell that there had been a lot of care taken to make sure it wasn’t made with just any green tea but, rather, using one that would really specifically compliment the other fresh ingredients.
This was another one my mom picked up. From my memory, it’s a green and black blend with jasmine and either peach or mango? I think peach. I found it a little underwhelming. Fruitier than floral but still managed to be kind of perfumey and off putting in its finishing notes, which made me think of licking a Lush Bath Bomb. Not the worst cosmetic you could lick, but I still wouldn’t recommend doing it.
Overall I think it’ll probably just be a forgettable tea among the thousands I’ve tried.
This is the one tea from Special Teas that my mom and I both bought. I ended up cold brewing it to sip on during one of the days in Victoria where our primary activity was outside the city as I knew I’d want tea for the road.
I liked chilled Genmaicha a lot, so predictably those toastier notes were as delicious cold as I’d expected. It’ll be interesting to see if the flavour balance is the same or similar when hot, but cold I thought the sweetness and bright notes of the apple popped more than expected but with that pleasant maple finish. I love the idea of a maple genmaicha, and maple and apple also taste wonderful together. As a blend, it’s sort of like DT’s now discontinued Movie Night but toastier.
After we took the ferry into Victoria our first stop was a perogie bar for lunch. As we were leaving the bar, we looked across the street and not four feet from where we’d parked was Special Teas – we’d completely missed it initially in our rush to fill our bellies!
Special Teas was a store I’d actually ruled out of my shopping list because I hadn’t heard of them before and I needed to balance my desire for tea shopping with my mom’s desire to do other shit. However, the fates must have been smiling down on me so we took advantage of the convenience of already being at the store to check this one off the list as well!
I picked up a decent haul of teas, but my mom actually grabbed a few things too – all green tea blends, which was surprising. Like I did with her Murchie’s haul, I made sure to steep a cup of each of them during the remainder of our trip. Aside from our one overlap tea we had both purchased, this was the one I enjoyed more from her two others. I didn’t expect to like it, the ingredients list is sort of wild and all over the place. However, when my initial sips were surprisingly just as creamy as they were fruity I sort of softened to the blend…
It tastes a little like vanilla custard, but if you crossed it with just a little bit of bubblegum and a handful of different tropical fruits – possibly the strongest of which was the sweet ripe pineapple note that poked through. I didn’t taste either the moringa or spirulina, for which I am thankful. Definitely a weirdly “smoothie bowl” type of vibe. I doubt I’d revisit this one, but seeing as it was essentially a free cup of tea I also can’t really complain about it. Weird as it was, it was pretty solid!
As I mentioned in a previous tasting note, it was actually kind of hard to find local RTD companies that were tea related so when we came across this company on our first full day in Victoria I seized the opportunity.
They’re actually not a tea company, as you may have guess from the name. What they make is “honey water”. Definitely not my first time seeing these types of honey beverages, but it was my first time trying one. The drink was actually less sweet than I had braced myself for, but the honey note was strong with more of a creamed honey/honeycomb kind of vibe where you can sort of taste the beeswax just a little. In contrast the Earl Grey notes were light, but I did feel the bergamot was distinct in its unique citrus flavour with a equally present vanilla note as well. Subtle, but more refreshing than I’d expected it to be and I was kind of just happy to be getting more of the taste for local RTDs that I’d hoped for initially.
Had this in the evening after our second Vancouver Day! Definitely a simple blend, but I liked the semi-sweet lemon notes and the fresh, natural taste of the zesty lemongrass. I’ve not really had the “citrus jelly” that the tea is inspired by to compare, but I thought there was a sort of lemon candy meets limoncello type of quality to this blend that was nice albeit simple.
We spent most of our second day in Vancouver at the Granville Island Market where we enjoyed several baked goods, some beer, a really cool ceramics studio (where I bought some teaware) and, of course, the Granville Island Tea Company! I did pick up tea, but I also grabbed one of the tea infused lemonades they were selling since it was a suuupppeeerrrr hot afternoon.
I thought the white tea lemonade, made with their Pai Mu Tan, sounded the most interesting so that’s what I got. Sadly the white tea was so delicate that the bright, zesty notes of sweet and pucker inducing freshly juiced lemons just totally eclipsed the taste of the tea. A bit disappointing, but I guess it was at least technically a caffeinated lemonade?? Small condolences.
This was the other tea my mom picked up from Murchie’s and, of course, I made sure to try a cup for myself one of the mornings we ordered breakfast in to our Air B&B…
It’s a straight forward blend, and since she was mostly just looking for something really coconut forward she could add milk to I think she’s going to be really satisfied with it. I found the very slight oiliness from the coconut fat to be somewhat distracting as I sipped the cup, but the taste was really nice. Just a rich, creamy coconut balanced by a brisk black tea base. Delivers exactly on what it claims to – nothing more or less.
I brewed this one overnight in a travel tumbler to drink on our second day in Vancouver – it was nice to have something really punchy and lemon zest heavy but with a deeply menthol cooling minty finish. Ultra hydrating as we drove around to the day’s various activities – many of which were just visiting tea shops.
This was the boba that I ordered!
I would have loved to taste through their entire menu, but that just wasn’t realistic. I picked this over the many others than caught my eye because it was a seasonal offering, so I guess I’m secretly holding out on some hope I’ll someday get to revisit this boba shop.
Honestly though this was delicious! The bottom portion of the drink, before I swirled it together, was filled with a black cherry puree mixed into milk that tasted sort of like an extra cherry forward pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. Rich, fruity but also dense. The top portion was freshly whisked creamy matcha with a bit of a unctuous yet floral quality. Definitely sweeter than the Dalgona Honeycomb my mom had ordered, but when you mixed the two parts together it balanced really well!