Whether it's summer or winter, or served hot or cold, drinking tea is a must. Not only has its health benefits been sung globally for the last few years, it's straight-up delicious and does everything from comfort to refresh. So, to celebrate this magical potion, we looked at five of our favourite tea shops in Toronto, where you can score your own wonderful beverage.
1. David's Tea — locations across the GTA
Tea novices, begin here: with its sprawling wall of available teas, its teas of the month, teas of the season, and tea paraphernalia, David's is a one-stop shop for gifts, variety, and even learning about which tea you like best. With scheduled tea tastings available at various stores, you can navigate the (boiling) waters of rooibos, green, black, or herbal, while experimenting with flavours like "Movie Night" or "Birthday Cake."
2. Tealish — 728 Queen Street West
Close enough to Trinity Bellwoods that you can grab a cup before spending an afternoon in the park, Tealish offers both tea and a cozy atmosphere in which to indulge your inner beverage aficionado. With over 100 varieties available, you're at no loss for options or for variety, and with prices from about $5 to $30 (depending on how much tea you plan on buying), you can pick up more than a few blends without breaking the bank.
3. Majesteas — 950 Queen Street East
Small, but mighty, Leslieville's Majesteas offers an almost regal vibe — without seeming stuffy or overly posh. Though located in a tiny space, the shop boasts an array of original blends, including one that's Royal Wedding-themed (which can only mean a Royal Baby-themed tea is also on the way, right guys?). And naturally, since (high) tea requires pots, cups, and etiquette, you can sign up for one of their tea classes that go into more detail on blends and types, as well how to prepare the perfect cup.
4. t-Buds — 3343 Yonge Street
The only thing better than one story of tea is two stories of tea, which is why the gang at t-Buds opted for a two-level shop with some major variety. Like the other shops, you can smell, taste, and discuss various blends (a good tea retailer will always let you do this — or should, anyway), and you can also drop in for afternoon tea from 12 – 5 p.m., and snack on scones, quiche, and sandwiches. Tea is an event, after all, not just a drink.
5. Moonbeam Coffee — 30 St. Andrew Street (Kensington Market)
"Tea at a coffee place? Are you insane?!" you ask. And to answer you directly, maybe — who can be sure. However, Moonbeam's impressive selection of teas are the kind that keep you coming back for both a cup and the atmosphere — not to mention you can bring up a full jar to the counter and ask for as much as you'd like. No, you won't get a proper schooling in which tea is better for you and why, but you will be treated to quality loose leaf blends that rival the shop's coffee selection (which is impressive in itself). Tea!