This past Saturday I ventured on the TTC down to Bloor & Yonge where my new tea guide, Rita, would be meeting me for an afternoon of tea and conversation at a local shop Tao Tea Leaf (www.taotealeaf.com). I arrived to find Rita, two of her friends, Katherine (who works at Tao) and Mr. Tao Wu waiting for me and waiting to get started on what would turn out to be a fun-filled (and first experience in a Toronto tea shop) 3 hours. Fun-filled it was!
After our initial meet and greet, I sat down to my first taste test for the afternoon. In fact, we only had time for two tastings as Mr. Wu was welcoming two groups from Buffalo, NY, who heard through word of mouth about his store and wide selection of high-quality and great tasting tea. (By the way, the two groups left with both hands full of tasty treats and notebooks full of valuable information!)
The first tea we dove into is called Green Pu'erh. This Pu'erh was harvested in 2007 and had a light, yet lovely taste to it. Unlike most Pu'erhs that I have tried, this one was very light in color - similar to a Dong Ding Oolong. This tea was grown in Yunnan Province, China, and can be found in LinCang located not far from where it was grown.
The second tea we tried is a 2010 Pu'erh which was grown in JingMai, which is also in Yunnan Prov., China. This Pu'erh looked and tasted very similar to the ones I have tried before - and enjoyed! And did I ever enjoy this wonderful, woody and aromatic tea. Delicious! This Pu'erh, as with many if not all, came from a very ancient tea tree which looks very similar to your average tree (which is in stark contrast to the standard tea bush which is usually shorter).
The day wouldn't be complete without a visit from a member of the Tea Association of Canada and instructor for the Certified Tea Sommellier online course (French version). I had many questions for Raymonde and she was more than delighted to answer them all for me. I better not hesitate for much longer - the Tea Sommelier course starts on September 16 and I have yet to enroll!
Well, our visit to Tao Tea Leaf was everything that I expected. Relaxing, warm and full of wonderful convesation with NEW friends! Thanks very much to Rita (for organizing this greet and meet), Mr. Tao Wu (for sharing his two types of Pu'erh), Katherine (for keeping the hot water flowing) and Raymonde (for answering my endless number of questions).
Now it's onto another location to make some new friends and try some new teas!
Tao Tea Leaf
Downtown Toronto Location:
934 Yonge Street
Tel: (647) 728-3858
Yesterday, we shared a special Tea Outhing No. 5 with our very good friends from Taichung City, Taiwan. Some familiar faces, and a few new ones, came out to our final Tea Outing in Taiwan before Innofarmer Organic Tea moves to Toronto, Canada. It was definitely an enjoyable afternoon filled with good conversation, laughable moments and, of course, some delicious tea.
I would like to thank those who came out yesterday and to those who came out to some or all of our Tea Outings No. 1 through 5. We look forward to sharing our excellent tasting and healthy variety of tea with friends from around the world.
Next stop: Toronto, Canada (which also includes the rest of North America and beyond!)
Growing up in Canada I had the pleasure of enjoying many warm, beautiful summers filled with bicycle rides, trips to the Canadian National Exhibition and more baseball games than a boy my age could imagine. Winters also included an endless number of outdoor activities that were both fun and exciting. To say the least, I enjoyed my childhood.
Most nights as a child I would prepare for sleep-time with a book, completing my homework and brushing my teeth in the interim, and also following my parents around the house as they also descended into their regular night time routines.
While my Mother rarely (if ever) drank a cup of tea before bed, I could always find my Father sipping away on a cup with Lipton or Red Rose. Don't get me wrong: I'm not going to write with a negative tone toward those two types of tea and their underlings. However, I will have to say something about the maturing process and the discovery of great tasting tea.
Now that I am a father and have discovered what I consider to be some top notch tea, I want my son to share in the wonderful experiences and feelings that good quality and great tasting tea can bring to a simple get-together of friends or just for yourself. Still, I don't want to share with JUST my son - - I want to share with the entire City of Toronto and beyond.
Beginning in August 2013 (the 5th to be exact!), Innofarmer Organic Tea - Canada will be bringing some of Taiwan's finest teas to the streets, parks, shops and just about anywhere else that folks like to sip on tea. We will be exploring various types and flavours of tea from month to month in parks and shops scattered throughout Toronto.
If you would like to join us on an afternoon in the park (we call them Tea Outings here in Taiwan) or would like to try this exclusive tea in the comforts of your own home, feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com or check our FB Page for future scheduled events.
It's time to Tea Up - Up - and Away!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”