Location: 1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2L1 (Entrance also accessible on Alberni Street) Phone: (604) 692-0071 Hours: SUMMER HOURS (from June through September)
- Street Paid Parking
- All about the tea experience
- Reservations recommended for afternoon tea
Another long belated post, this was a special one because it marked our annual anniversary. Being the man, I decided to treat my girlfriend to something she will enjoy and remember. So I decided to take her for an Afternoon Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant. We made a reservation in the late afternoon, as we arrived we waited for a good 5 – 10 minutes before being seated. So we strolled around the place, as it was also an open tea shop.
The Urban Tea Merchant had tables throughout the 2 main parts of the restaurant, in the front and back. We were seated away from the shop (the back). The place was smaller than I imagined looking from the outside.
The Urban Tea Merchant sells their “TWG” tea brand. And to complete the tea experience, you are not only get to look at the menu of the variety of teas they have but the server will try to figure out your taste for tea and bring you actual tea samples so you can smell the aroma of the different kinds before making a decision. Our server, Alexia, was very knowledgable and also very courteous as we slowly decide our teas.
Aside from making a decision for tea, The Urban Tea Merchant also have 4 – 5 different afternoon tea services. Ranging from $25-50 per person. This does not include tea itself. However, there is an $8 credit for each tea service to go towards your tea of choice (which ranges from $8 – $20). We picked the Petite Afternoon Tea service for $28 per person. It comes with a petite three-tier, includes a small selection of tea-infused tea sandwiches and sweets including a fresh scone served with their signature creme and jam. Their tea service offerings changes within season, so that you will have a different experience every time.
I had their “1837 Black Tea” which is “a unique blend of black tea infused with fruits and flowers from the Bermuda triangle which leaves a lingering aftertaste of ripe berries, anise, and caramel.” The tea was light and has a light sweet taste.
My girlfriend tried the “Royal Darjeeling” which is “The king of Indian teas, this TWG first flush black tea boasts an exquisite fragrance and a vibrant, sparkling taste that develops remarkable overtones of ripe apricots. An exquisite daytime tea.” The tea was good because it tasted very traditional and not fruity. (Seems like my girlfriend and I both don’t like fruity teas.)
We started off with the savouries. In the front is a “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken cone, a hint of curry flavours and I especially liked the cone which was crisp and crunchy. On the left is a turkey tea sandwich with “Number 8 Tea” cranberry sauce. This was the second best savoury besides the cone. In the middle, an “Indian Night” curried egg salad sandwich. I’m not sure what it was about curry here, but a spiced up version of an egg salad sandwich. On the right, a cucumber and watercress tea sandwich.
I find the scones here a bit tough. Hard might be a better word, but definitely not dense. The scone experience was not the best I’ve had.
Lastly, we finished it with fruits and sweets. The sweets plate includes TWG Tea macaron, “Sakura! Sakura! Tea” Nanaimo Bar, chevron strawberry, and seasonal fruits. Good selection of fruits and sweets, I think the tea-infused macaron was quite unique. Presentation was fabulous.
Overall, The Urban Tea Merchant was quite an unique experience with a wide selection of teas. You may have to go a few times to test out your flavour. That being said, it’s not cheap either. The Petite Tea service was on the lower-end. Our server recommended the WestCoast Tea service which had more food but it also comes with a price. The Petite Tea service I would say is a good-sized afternoon tea to test out what Urban Tea has to offer. And it did. I would also recommend studying the tea collections they have before going. The atmosphere was calm and quiet, which is what’s expected for an afternoon tea. We enjoyed it.