$1 iced drinks at McDonalds, BOGO at Starbucks from time to time, and shopping sales are summer indicators for me. When the sun decides to start coming out frequently, restaurants get ready to bring in their seasonal dishes. Couple weeks ago I attended The Urban Tea Merchant‘s introduction to Summer Tea Services. I tried their Summer tea service last year and I was looking forward to see what sort of new dishes they came up with for this year!
For those who haven’t heard of The Urban Tea Merchant, they are a carrier of one of the most luxurious teas, TWG Tea. Not only do they have an extensive tea collection, where sometimes they have to climb a ladder to reach that tea bin, they also offer afternoon tea services that are as aesthetically pleasing as delicious. Last time I tried their Sakura Tea Service which strays from the traditional three tiered service but The Urban Tea Merchant puts their own element in it.
I had a virgin Pink Flamingo Cosmopolitan to begin with. This tea infused cocktail was so refreshing on a sunny day in Vancouver, it didn’t taste too sweet and had a fizz to it. The new Pink Flamingo Tea Service includes a cosmopolitan for all to try. The Pink Flamingo tea has hibiscus in it, but there is no tarte after taste at all!
A graceful TWG Tea blend of green tea with crimson hibiscus blossoms that will brighten your day. This quirky mélange infuses into a rose-coloured cup with tart, fruity overtones.
Attendees also got to try some bites served canapé style. I can never refuse The Urban Tea Merchant’s “Dignitary’s Tea” chicken cone, they’re utterly divine and is a cult favourite in the salon. Chicken and waffles is a magical invention. Behind the chicken is the open faced sandwich of wasabi and smoked salmon with ponzu jelly.
And my favourite, mini desserts! These Pink Flamingo éclairs are filled with Pink Flamingo cream. As Pink Flamingo has a blend of green tea and hibiscus blossoms, you would think that these desserts would be a bit sour, but these gave my sweet tooth a tingle! Not to mention how incredibly adorable they are with floral decorations. My favourite dessert of the night was the Petite Four Opera Cake infused with French Earl Grey Tea though; a dark chocolate glaze on top with a smoky, creamy bite will make any chocolate lover swoon. If you love tiramisu, you would love this.
The Urban Tea Merchant also showcased their upcoming afternoon tea services (sadly these were for display!). If you’re a fan of pink and colour, the Pink Flamingo Tea Service is sure to delight any girl (or a guy who loves pink, no judging!) Should you choose to have a more traditional tea service with scones (because scones are essential!) and more savories, the Signature Tea Service is another choice.
I also got to try caviar for the first time! The Urban Tea Merchant started their Caviar Service ($88) this year. I had caviar with eggs and crème fraîche. I really can’t compare this caviar to previous experiences, but it didn’t taste fishy to me and melted on my tongue.
Northern Divine Caviar is a sustainable luxury produced from Fraser River White Sturgeon on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. The colour of the eggs or ‘berries’ range from rich grey, black pearl, olive to chocolate velvet. Purely refined, tastefully sublime, expressly created for astute palates that wish to embrace fresh sensations. Discover the impressive buttery, nutty delicate ocean flavour of sustainable caviar from the West Coast.
I love all the variety of food offers The Urban Tea Merchant has! When I was in Hong Kong last year, I saw TWG Tea salons and they were always busy and Vancouver is always lucky to have such a diverse food culture.
Vancouver foodies, have you been here before; if not, where do you go for afternoon tea?