If you know me, you know that I’ve never been a coffee drinker. You’d also know that my tea collection was starting to get so out of control I had to have an intervention with myself and cut myself off from buying anymore tea. I once even started a Facebook group for fans of DavidsTea (a North American tea company) years ago and somehow it has over 9,000 members. To say the least, I like tea, and thankfully I live in a diverse city that is filled with amazing cafes and tea experiences. There is seriously so many that I have not even scratched the surface with this post, but I wanted to share some of my favs with you!
1205 Queen Street West
This tea bar is one of my favourites. First off, it’s locally owned and the space is super cute but what makes this tea joint unique is how they make their tea. Along the wall behind the cash, you’ll see a bunch of ingredients. Choose what tea you want off their menu, and they’ll mix up the combination of tea and spices, etc. to make your tea concoction for you right there in front of your eyes. There’s no bagged tea here!
King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East
The King Edward Hotel offers a classy afternoon tea service on the weekends and if little finger sandwiches and macarons are your jam, this will be the perfect experience for you. The room is set with beautiful china and the waiter will come over to your table with boxes of all sorts of teas to choose from. The perfect experience for a special occasion!
Read about my full experience at the King Edward Hotel’s afternoon tea here.
Elchi Chai Shop
130 Harbord Street
LOVE LOVE LOVE this place. When I traveled to India a few years ago, I fell in love with their chai and I know what you’re thinking, they have chai in Canada too! However, when you get chai tea at any typical cafe like Starbucks it is NOTHING like what it’s like in India. Sad that I’d potentially never have “real” chai again, I stumbled across this cute little cafe on Harbord Street entirely dedicated to chai, and it tastes as authentic as the stuff you’ll find in India!
Read my full feature I did on Elchi here.
235 Spadina Avenue
Serving all things Chinese tea related, Icha Tea has a formal tea room as well as a grab and go area. One of the things they’ve been known for is their cheese foam teas. Yes, you heard me correctly. These teas have all natural foam made from cream cheese and even though it sounds bizarre, it’s super tasty! You can also take part in a traditional tea ceremony here in their back tea room!
147 Dundas Street West
With locations around the world, Tsujiri is known for their matcha, and they seriously have matcha everything. For those that don’t know, matcha is a Japanese tradition and is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. This high quality green tea is super caffeinated and offers a ton of health benefits. Tsujiri has a large menu of matcha products, including regular cups of matcha tea (iced and hot), as well as other desserts infused with matcha like the above ice cream.
201 Harbord Street
This bohemian house of tea and board games cafe is super cute and the perfect place to take a date or your best girl friend. The vibe is incredibly chill, with different types of seating including on the floor, in little cute private booths. Their tea menu is massive and there are so many different types you’ve probably never seen before. Order a pot for the table and pair it with some of their yummy little snacks!
One Zo Tapioca
399 Spadina Avenue
A relatively new addition to Toronto, One Zo Tapioca is famous for making their own in-house tapioca for their bubble teas. The tea shop has a ton of different bubble tea flavour combinations and various types of homemade tapioca to add in. If you arrive at the right time, you’ll be able to watch the tapioca being made right in the window!
717 Bay Street
This place is super new in the tea space in Toronto, and by super new I mean it just opened in the last few weeks. Labothery’s concept was unlike any other, so I obviously had to go try it. Essentially think of it as a buffet for bubble tea. When you walk in you choose your cup (dependent on if you want hot or cold), then you choose a syringe or test tube of your choice of flavour(s) for either your regular tea or milk tea. Next you move on to choose any sugar you want (maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.) and then choose your “toppings” like different flavours of boba, jelly, etc. and/or milk (if you’re having milk tea). When you’re done, you’ll hand over your tray of ingredients, choose the type of tea you want (oolong, black or green) and the team of “scientists” will mix it up for you! I had a pomegranate iced tea with green tea, mango boba, and tapioca. The only thing I would’ve changed is asked for their recommendations to make it a little less sweet!
This bakery/cafe has been featured in a ton of places lately so I wanted to go give it a try to see if I would add it to my list! First off, they sell a ton of tasty desserts, many of which are tea based like a milk tea or matcha croissant (pictured above). I think my croissant would’ve been amazing if I went at the beginning of the day when it was fresh, but mine was a little stale. However, the main reason I included Bake Code on this list was for their drinks. First off they have the whole Chatime menu but I recommend trying the Bake Code signature drinks. I tried the purple potato latte iced and it was incredibly good!
What are some of your favourite tea joints in Toronto? Share them in the comments below so I can give them a try!
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