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Tea, Toronto

David’s Tea


Location:

336 Queen Street W, Toronto

Cost: $6.50 for 50g

www.davidstea.com

Beside the well-known Rivoli on Queen St. there is a sliver of a store that looks like it could be an urban bubble tea cafe. It’s urban alright, but not bubble tea. The place is called David’s Tea and it boasts over 100 varieties of loose-leaf teas.

The first time I walked in, I wasn’t greeted by any of the upbeat staff which surprised (and offended) me, although I must admit I sort of liked perusing the shelves of tea cups and pots and eyeing the wall of stainless steel tea canisters labelled ‘pu’er’, ‘earl grey’, ‘rooibos’ without being harrassed.

The next time I went in admittedly intrigued by the tea offerings and expensive fancy tea pots, I was offered a little ceramic shot glass filled with a peach-something-or-other tea. A tiny droplet hung off the side of the cup, which I scooped up and tasted fully expecting some pleasant orchard peach flavour. Instead, I received the bitter taste of dishwashing detergent! It wasn’t a taste the peach tea could wash away after either, that’s for sure. Once again I left with a bad taste in my mouth, this time, literally.

Then Spring came along and whilst on a break with some coworkers, we were greeted with a $2 special iced tea stand outside the store. We decided to try the almond spring tea (black tea, almond oil, toasted almonds, rooibos, chocolate, caramel, vanilla and coconut). This time, I luckily didn’t come close to tasting any utensil cleaning substances, but found that it was a tad too vanilla-y and and also a bit bitter. It needed loads of cane sugar to sweeten it up for me.

Then one day, I finally bought some loose-leaf tea: Earl Grey, Zing Me Tea and Kiss my Lips. The Earl Grey is good – perhaps not as strong as I’d like, but it’s reliable. The Zing Me (chinese black tea with ginger bits and lush pieces of peach and apricot) is just fantastic! It claims to induce “an instant feeling of well-being” and I have to say that it truly does! Must be the peaches or the ginger. I’ve yet to try Kiss my Lips (chinese black tea, vanilla, peppermint, chocolate bits and spicy red peppercorns) but I loved the minty chocolately smell. In fact it looks like potpourri so I’d probably be just as happy putting it in a bowl and air-freshening my work space. **update** The Kiss my Lips was a definite dud. Overly strong minty smell and aftertaste with a muddied hint of chocolate. Definitely not recommended. I’d much rather bite into an Aero mint chocolate bar.

I’ve also been fascinated by the tea pots at David’s Tea, especially the Brewt which I’ve seen at work firsthand and find completely marvelous, but most of them range from $25 – $75 and $179 for the svelte Eva Solo Tea Maker (!).

I also feel $6.50 is a bit much for only 50g of tea, and if I had more tea experience I’d be better able to voice an opinion, but it does seem to be a popular choice in the area (even coffee houses such as Dark Horse Espresso has started serving it).

David's Tea on Urbanspoon

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Discussion

17 thoughts on “David’s Tea

  1. I live in Vancouver and LOVE David’s Tea…i find the staff EXTREMELY helpful and well trained…i can’t say one thing negative about the store, staff or tea.

    Posted by i love tea | May 23, 2010, 16:19
  2. I found this thread by searching “teavana tea gives me headaches”. I have easily identified this connection. They’re supposed to be low caffeine green teas and I get no rush from them so I don’t think the headaches are related to caffeine. Caffeine headaches usually occur as a withdrawal symptom from having consumed it regularly and then not getting any. As I avoid caffeine and got a headache immediately after drinking Teavana tea several times, I am sure it is something other than caffeine. It is very dissappointing because I do like the teas and the store. I am perplexed by it and thought I’d do a search. Evidently I am not the only one this is happening to.

    Posted by Jim | November 12, 2009, 01:20
  3. I have had Teavana in Toronto and I didn’t find it to be anything special. I’m a huge davids tea fan though, their staff makes the experience really great. Even if you’re not a tea buff. And their teas are hands down the best 🙂 They just opened two new stores in Toronto, Id recommend them to any person interested in a good cup of tea

    Posted by JessCardilla | June 25, 2009, 14:10
  4. I’ve tried two of their teas. Caramel Crème Rooibos and Chocolate Mint Maté. Both were very good, but I found it a little pricey as well.

    Posted by Tam | June 12, 2009, 10:12
  5. Nice review. Zing tea seems fun. Write reviews of tea pots if you buy one.

    Posted by Harsh | June 10, 2009, 20:52
  6. David’s Tea is lucky to have had you back after the detergent incident! But I’d love to go there and check out the teapots they have.

    Posted by maai | June 10, 2009, 17:31
  7. Is it wrong of me to like lipton’s orange pekeo tea? 😉

    Posted by akim_hobo | June 10, 2009, 11:08
  8. Would love to try this place out! There’s a similar store called the Teavana (http://www.teavana.com/default.aspx) and they have an excellent selection of teas and teapots. And what’s even better is that there are typically two large containers outside of the store filled with brewed tea (every time it’s some different concoction) to attract customers. It sure does work. Rooibos is one my fav flavours when added to any tea. Its sickly sweet aroma is what gets me…but of course! They had something called African jasmine tea the other day and that was really good…no doubt because it had Rooibos mixed into it! he he. Thanks for the review!

    Posted by nani | June 10, 2009, 09:56
    • I love Rooibos too – but I think it may give me headaches..not quite sure – still testing out that theory! I love Teavana – I think the sample stations are a fabulous idea. David’s tea gives out samples as well, but I think it’s just the one time detergent taste-test.

      Posted by Foodhogger | June 10, 2009, 10:14
  9. Foodhogger…great review. Ewww about the detergent…how can someone washing the dishes not see a big blog of detergent?…gross! That would totally turn me off. The teas sound really good although seems like they are too pricey. Would love to see the teapots that you mentioned especially the $179 for the svelte Eva Solo Tea Maker…wonder what’s so special about it…hmmm! You should post pics of these teapots.

    Posted by COAT | June 10, 2009, 09:30
  10. It’s too bad you had licked the soap.. I would have been turned off as well. 🙂

    Posted by alicia | June 10, 2009, 09:18

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