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Cafes

Latte Mei

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on October 2, 2012

latte mei torontoLatte Mei might be new for Toronto, but it's a familiar name over in Taiwan. So familiar, in fact, that the odd Toronto passerby has stopped in after recognizing the brand. Local manager Amy tells me that popularity of Latte Mei overseas motivated her to open her own cafe here on Dundas.

latte mei toronto"This is something you couldn't really find in Toronto," she says, referring to the shop's signature savoury cream teas. While the cafe does offer other options such as slushes, milk teas, smoothies, and more, Latte Mei's savoury creams are certainly front and centre (quite literally — they're advertised on four huge banners in the store).

latte mei torontoTotally new to me, Amy explains that these drinks ($3.99-$4.49) are all about the mix of sweet and salty. "This cream is not like a cream like you'll find at other places in the city. It's savoury — not really sweet. It sort of has a cheesy taste."

latte mei torontoCustomers can pick from one of a variety of teas imported from Taiwan as the base, including green, wheat, brown rice, and black tea (served cold). After specifying the sweetness, the drink is topped with the fresh cream and dusted with a sprinkle of green tea powder.

"You don't drink it with a straw," Amy explains, adding that a sip from the rim ensures a good balance of cream and tea. The optimal drinking time, she says, is within one hour.

latte mei torontoI decide to try the savoury cream green tea, and despite Amy's warning, I think I still sort of expect more of a sweet whipped cream. Not so (obviously, I should've paid better attention). This cream is much thicker than your average whipped cream, and salty rather than sweet. A big sip yields a good balance with the cool, sweet tea, and certainly unlike most "cream" toppings you'll find at conventional coffee shops.

latte mei torontoBut if you aren't ready to take the savoury-tea plunge just yet, Latte Mei has a full menu of other options including the rosewater juice and basil seed combo that's my personal preference. The basil seeds become gelatinous in the drink, offering a little bit of that bubble tea texture without having to swallow huge blobs of tapioca (you can tell which side of the fence I'm on, obviously).

latte mei torontoLatte Mei also makes hot waffles to order (with pearl sugar — the best part) and offers seating for about 10 people along with free WiFi. The cafe is open daily during the week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Photos by Morris Lum

Discussion

12 Comments

iridescence / October 2, 2012 at 07:46 am
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I am from Taiwan and have never heard of this brand before. According to their website they only have 3 stores that just opened in Taiwan and Canada is their first international expansion, though according to their in store promotional material they claim to be a large international brand and the top tea brand in Taiwan? I stopped by the other day during their opening specials and did not come away very impressed. Their drinks are definitely a step down from the ones we have in Taiwan.
Font Lover / October 2, 2012 at 09:08 am
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The Macintosh's "Chicago" system font lives again!!!
margarets replying to a comment from Font Lover / October 2, 2012 at 11:01 am
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Ha! I couldn't quite place it. Thanks!
Eddy replying to a comment from iridescence / October 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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To iridescence,

I think your info was wrong,
they have way more than only 3 stores in Taiwan,
http://www.lattemei.com.tw/store_list.asp?i=DA#
you should check out again their website.
But yes, Toronto is their first international expansion.

Moreover, from what I know is, The brand "Latte Mei" is new,
but its company is not that new, though. They are/were originally running complex restaurants and decided to have their separate own tea shops afterwards, that's how "Latte Mei" was born.

How long have not you been to Taiwan?
E / October 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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More reviews from other bloggers =]

http://sblovesmiffy.blogspot.ca/2012/09/latte-mei-toronto.html?spref=fb
Solomon / October 2, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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I love tea lattes.
singaporesling / October 2, 2012 at 01:55 pm
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Savoury cream tea?? No thanks! Tried their buy one get one ooling cream tea and came away less than impressed. Tea was lacking in strength and flavour, cream was strange/different. Waffles aren't bad though quite small. And what is up with the washrooms in the basement? I hit my head on the light bulb while using the toilet! Is it just me or does anyone else find that kind of scary and crazy! Someone is going to get electrocuted.
Linsanity / October 2, 2012 at 02:04 pm
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Linsanity continues to dominate Toronto!
bbtmania / October 3, 2012 at 09:02 pm
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Came here for my first and likely last time last night. As soon as I walked in, it just felt awkward and uncomfortable from the very cramped space, the lady standing beside the cashier - whom I can only guess is the owner - staring at the customers while they order, the utterly insane time to make the 2 drinks I ordered (nobody in line in front of me but drinks still took 20 minutes to make), the washrooms that were obviously not well though out as someone is bound to get the shock of a lifetime as another reviewer mentioned above, down to the actual drinks themselves which were not very good to say the least. The "Savoury" cream topping was much much much too salty and overwhelmed the entire drink. Like I said earlier and most people I've spoken with have also told me it's our first and last time here with all the other great options in the area.
Sandy replying to a comment from singaporesling / October 28, 2012 at 08:50 pm
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imagine ur in an emergency of needing a toilet
be thankful!
and u would prob need their toilet in the future :)
ediface / April 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm
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Why is this place always empty, even on weekends?
QiQii / November 11, 2013 at 07:16 am
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There is a place at Times Square Lot 1-22

I wanna go there one day ;)

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