Urban Tea Merchant

Last week, I had the chance to visit The Urban Tea Merchant in downtown Vancouver. I’d been meaning to try their tea service; the newly-minted Signature Sweet Plate ($30) was the perfect opportunity to enjoy Singapore-based TWG (The Wellness Group) teas along with sumptuous sweets.

Urban Tea Merchant macarons Urban Tea Merchant tea candles Urban Tea Merchant Weekend teas Urban Tea Merchant tea jellies Urban Tea Merchant

Upon entering the shop (colourfully dressed up with Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day products), I perused the teas, jellies, candles, chocolate counter, and tea bar, smelling the blends from TWG’s unique air-tight tins.

Urban Tea Merchant

Urban Tea has been in business for three years, and carry TWG teas exclusively in Vancouver. Most of the TWG shops are located in Asia, the US, the UK, and United Arab Emirates. Every TWG tea sold is made from 100% natural ingredients without chemical processing. Tea leaves come from single pesticide-free estates, while natural fruits and flowers are used, rather than their essences.

Urban Tea Merchant

At any given time, the shop stocks between 175 and 250 tea varieties. The high wall at the far side is stocked top to bottom with pink and lime green tea tins.

Urban Tea Merchant chocolates

White linens top the tables at the salon located at the back. The salon is a calm space featuring a lovely cascading tea kettle-themed fountain. Mellow lounge music plays while guests enjoy a variety of sandwiches, tea services, and sweets.

Urban Tea Merchant salon Urban Tea Merchant salon

Every tea sold in the shop is available by the pot. I tried two with my three-tiered sweets assortment: Weekend in Venice ($9/pot), and 1837 White Tea ($11/pot). The 1837 is pure white tea with notes of fruits and flowers from the Bermuda triangle. I found that it combines very well with a variety of sweets and sandwiches.

Urban Tea Merchant tasting

The Weekend in Venice green tea blend contains pineapple, floral berries, and rose petals, imparting a slightly sweet flavour. This was my favourite of the two and I made sure to purchase a bag for enjoyment later at home.

As well, you can order black tea lattes ($8), rooibos lattes ($8), and matcha lattes ($9) to pair with a menu that includes West coast tea, Chinese New Year tea, an upcoming Valentine’s Day tea, brunch, plus sandwiches and sweets.

Signature Sweet Plate

Now back to the signature sweet plate. Each one of the eight items is specially infused with TWG teas.

Wild berry macaron infused with TWG tea

The TWG Tea macaron is created by chefs in Singapore and delivered fresh daily. The wild berry cookie and filling contain TWB tea. The TWG chocolate (shown behind the macaron two photos up) introduces coconut, infused by this signature black tea containing fruits and flowers.

Pear bavarois tartelette infused with Lucky Tea

Wearing a fine strand caramel ‘hat’, the Lucky Tea pear bavarois tartelette is infused with notes of vanilla, rare spices, and ginger, combining black and green tea with the delicacy of the soft pear flavour.

Signature Sweet Plate/top tier

The heart-shaped Love Me Tea mio amore panna cotta has a light texture, allowing the green tea’s lime blossoms and verbena to come through. Next to the heart is a little dark chocolate rose, to heighten the lime.

Earl Grey Gentleman Tea is appropriately infused into a white chocolate cheesecake with strands of white chocolate on top. This Ceylon tea is mixed with TWG tea bergamot and citrus for added intensity. It complements the white chocolate quite well.

Lemon Tartlette infused with Tokyo Singapore Tea

My favourite was the lemon tartelette containing Tokyo Singapore Tea. Topped with a fresh blackberry, this combination marries the green tea, citrus, and fragrancy of the flowers with the lemon curd’s tartiness. By the time I was ready to leave the salon, some amazing smells were beginning to emanate from the kitchen in time for lunch.

Urban Tea Merchant Amor de Thé

Make time to enjoy all the thoughtful flavours of this tea service, one that will be featured on The Urban Tea Merchant’s February menu.

My tea service was compliments of The Urban Tea Merchant, for the purpose of writing this article.

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