Friday, June 4, 2010

Tea Travels: The Tea Emporium in Toronto

Hello TEA Friends,

The Tea Emporium in Toronto has long been on my "tea room visit wish list" and, finally, this past April, we made it there. We stopped at the Eglinton location which not only has a tea boutique and a tea lounge, but is home to Canada's only "Tea School".

Like those impassioned shoppers waiting at Best Buy at 5:00 am on "Black Friday", we were at The Tea Emporium's door when it opened on a Sunday afternoon. Once in, I couldn't get to the counter fast enough. Large black tins of tea line the shelves on the back wall and, though somewhat daunting, our enthusiastic salesperson navigated us through the greens, the blacks and the oolongs with detailed information about the teas' locale, history and preparation. He offered suggestions as we sniffed our way through a variety of samples and provided answers to our numerous questions.

For relaxing in the tea lounge, I wanted to try their Lapsang Souchong, and my husband, Chris, order the Brasil Yerba Mate. Chris found the Yerba Mate hearty, flavorful and refreshing and I savored the earthy taste of black tea from China's Fujian province in my cup. The lapsang souchong is like drinking in a campfire - but in a good way. It's a good drink to sip slowly and savor.

Although we had missed the bi-weekly Tea School class (held on Saturdays), we did get to peek in at the classroom. Attending one of their afternoon classes or the tea specialist course is also on my wish list. For the month of June, "Oolong and Pu-erh" and "The Fascinating World of Tea" are scheduled. For more information check out the Tea Emporium's School of Tea.

The Tea Emporium is a joy to visit for any tea enthusiast. We brought back a shopping bag's worth of tea and we plan to cross the border again very soon.

And, now, it seems like we just unpacked from Toronto and we're bringing out the suitcase for this week's out of town excursion: The World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. We'll be there with some of our fellow tea bloggers, too. Let us know if you will be there as well!

In the meantime, here's to all tea adventures whether international, across state borders or on your backyard deck.

Yours in TEA and friendship,


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