Are you curious about where to buy the best loose leaf tea in Vancouver? I’ve compiled my favorite in this post and I even have a giveaway! I really enjoy drinking tea, there’s something about brewing a cup of hot tea that feels very therapeutically, especially in the winter time! I used to be a David’s Tea fan but since they started adding natural flavoring and now even artificial flavoring, I’ve stopped buying from them and turned to a few local alternatives!
These guys are best known for their coffee but they have quite the tea selection as well. I first found out about their tea as they opened up the new location at Thurlow which is only one block away from where I live. I would order a tea and donut combo and I started loving their Cascara tea.
The 49th Parallel packaging isn’t fancy. All of them come in an orange ziploc bag but the teas are vacuum sealed and nitrogen flushed to keep it fresh. I like that at the front of the packaging, the brewing instruction is given!
The Cascara Coffee Cherry Tea is a really unique tasting tea that is great for days when I feel like drinking coffee but want the hydration of tea. Cascara is the skin of the coffees. It gives off flavors of raisin and cherry and I really enjoy it for a unique tasting drink. When you brew it it’ll be a light orange/brown but the color will turn brick orange if you steep it for a while. $11.25 for 2.5 oz (pictured) or $30 for 8 oz.
The second tea I tried from 49th Parallel is the Sencha Miyazaki. If you put your nose into the package and closed your eyes, you would think that you are smelling sheets of seaweed. Once brewed, I can still smell the seaweed, but the taste is nutty, creamy, but light at the same time! $20 for 2.5 oz or $54 for 8 oz.
The brewing instructions say 5g but I actually use way less since the tea is really light and in small pieces. I would suggest getting the 2.5oz if you are looking to try any of them because it will last you about 15 brews!
The other teas I’d really want to try out are South African Rooibos with flavors of Vanilla and Roasted Almonds. As well as Yellow Mountain Tip with flavors of Apricot and Magnolia. I really like that the 49th Parallel tasting notes are actually easily recognizable and accurate. I find sometimes you have to stretch your imagination to match the tasting notes, but I found with the 49th parallel description to be bang on!
You can buy their teas in store at their 3 locations or online! Ships to Canada and USA but you can inquire about international shipping.
They have a physical tea shop in Yaletown that is state of the art and so modern! You can order a cup of tea, latte and pair it with toast! Or they have a great selection of loose leaf teas and I feel the flavors are inspired by Asian tea.
The tea I originally had was Mao Feng which was the first green tea that blew me away and started my new interest in finding more pure teas that taste unique. It was so nutty, creamy, and sweet and the flavors was just unlike any tea I’ve had before! If you like green tea, I would definitely recommend you to give it a try. This one doesn’t have any bitterness and is great just enjoyed on it’s own or with a buttery cookie.
I reached out to Cha Le to see if I can try a couple more options and wanted to share my thoughts on the Mountain Mist and Iron Goddess of Mercy. Many of Cha Le’s green teas are described as grassy and bittersweet and those are indeed part of Moutain Mist’s description in addition to a subtle pecan note! I didn’t find it too bitter but definitely not as sweet as Mao Feng. This was a delicious smooth pure green tea. $32 for 100g, $17 for 50g and $6 for 15g.
The 100g teas come in a copper tin can with the Cha Le sticker describing the tea. The tea inside comes in a vaccum sealed bag. but I like to just empty it out in the tin for easy access. I will show you the 50g size below and they also sell in 15g!
The 50g teas come in a card board box with pretty watercolor floral designs and a Cha Le sticker showing the tasting notes and origin. If you drink Chinese tea, this flavor might be familiar as the Iron Goddess of Mercy is actually Tieguanyin. I only found out about this when I was writing this post!!
Tieguanyin is well known as the top caliber of tea in China and is often given as gifts for special occasions. It is partially oxidized so it combines both flavors of the green and black tea. The one I have is the Roasted Iron Goddess of Mercy which takes high quality Iron Goddess of Mercy tea leaves and roasts them above charcoal for 5-7 hours! You definitely taste the roast come through and what it actually reminds me of is the roasted milk teas from Chatime! $42 for 100g and $22 for 50g.
Most of Cha Le’s teas are pure but there are a few blends in the White Tea, Herbal Tea, and Black Tea categories. I really love their packaging as it looks so luxurious and yet modern. I also like that they have their own tea shop in Vancouver so you can try out new flavors easily. I wish they had brewing instructions though as I just guess how much tea leaves to put in and how long to brew for. I would say their flavour profile leans the most Asian out of all the options.
You can buy their teas in their store in Yaletown or online.
You may know TWG as the place to go for high tea or a special occasion dinner. But they have a huge selection of loose leaf tea and often will have seasonal collections as well! The brand is known for being luxurious and sometimes over priced. I would say the teas in the tins are expensive but they have so many loose leaf teas that are not in tins at prices cheaper than some of the other options in this post! In reality, most of their options around around $10 for 50g.
The tea I have from them is the Follow Me tea which is a green tea with pineapple bits. Can you tell that I love green tea? This is from the Haute Couture Teas Collection which are $40 each. If you buy one of the tins, it comes in a beautiful cardboard box that matches the metal tin inside. I always love the artwork they pick for the various teas but it is a premium to pay. The 100g version of this is only $19.50 if you don’t choose to get the fancy packaging.
When you smell the tea, the first adjectives that come to my mind are tart and earthy. You definitely get a bit of the fruit smell but it’s a very tart smell. Once brewed, the tea is actually really soft. The flavours are mild and smooth. You definitely get a taste of fruit but I wouldn’t identify it as a pineapple if I didn’t know! I like this tea the most after a heavy meal as it seems to cut away all the grease!
I like TWG because of how many teas they have in their selection! I believe the Vancouver location carries about 100 types of loose leaf tea! If you are particular about taste or if you’d just like to try new things, there will be tons of options to pick from. The special tins are obviously a great gifting option or when you want to splurge on yourself!
Lastly, I wanted to include Murchie’s Tea on this list as they are an iconic Vancouver brand for tea. I personally love white tea and green tea the most, but I know tons of people like black and herbal teas. Murchie’s is most well known for their black teas so I wanted to share a few options! Also, the company has been around since 1894 which is just incredible!
Paris Afternoon is a blend of black and green tea but I find it tastes much more like a black tea. I think they did use some natural flavoring, which I’m not a fan of but it does give a wonderful caramel smell and taste. This tea is perfect for a little afternoon pick me up.
Murchie’s Afternoon blend is one of their classic black teas! I was pleasantly surprised with both Murchie’s Afternoon Blend and Paris Afternoon! I think the black tea I normally drink are just low quality so it’s often bitter and leaves a bad mouth feel. These two black teas were both full bodied but easy to drink. I drank mine as is, but I can imagine how a dash of milk would be delicious too!
Lastly, I tried out Pomegranate Rooibos which is fruity but also has notes of vanilla and creamy sweetness. It’s great for drinking at night since there’s no caffinee and this particular one is nice for the winter time!
I think Murchie’s flavor profile is the most Western out of all the options. There is quite the selection of breakfast teas, black teas, as well as fruit/herbal blends. The packaging is a bit more traditional and their loose leaf tea comes in pretty simple paper packaging. But they do often have gift sets that are presented very nicely in tin boxes as well as tea bags that are in nicely designed cardboard boxes.
You can find Murchie’s at their seven locations around Vancouver.
So there you have it, my four favorite spots to buy the best loose leaf tea in Vancouver! Let me know where you buy your tea and whether you’ve heard of these stores before!
I have an awesome tea prize pack generously provided by the vendors! The winner will receive:
-$25 Cha Le Giftcard
-2.5oz of 49th Parallel Cascara AND Sench Miyazaki
-All 3 Murchie’s teas + Earl Grey tin set
This giveaway is open to all residents of Vancouver! The winner will have to be able to pick up their prize from Downtown Vancouver.