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Cafes

Tea Blendz

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on March 17, 2011

Tea Blendz TorontoTea Blendz has introduced quality loose leaf tea and something called a "teapresso" machine to the Junction. I had never previously given much thought as to how my favourite tea lattes and other specialty tea drinks were prepared at various cafes around the city. But Jose and Khadija Jafferji, owners of Tea Blendz on Dundas West near Keele, piqued my interested when they pointed out their shiny new toy.

Tea Blendz Toronto"They have them everywhere in China," Khadija says. "Even in places like KFC and McDonald's, where people are drinking tea instead of soft drinks."

"It has two different boilers," Jose says as he strokes the top of the machine. "Each is at a particular temperature suited to certain teas."

"That way," Khadija says, chiming in, "you can make a perfect cup or shot of green tea, for example, and in just about 30 seconds."

Tea Blendz TorontoTea Blendz just opened a week ago in a space previously occupied by a record store (Traxx). Khadija and Jose had always been passionate about tea, often hooking up friends and family with their favourite blends before finally deciding to open a business of their own. They saw the Junction as a tea market just waiting to be tapped.

"The BIA has been very supportive, as well as the whole community," Jose says.

"It's funny--we have regulars already!" Khadija adds.

Tea Blendz TorontoTea Blendz has all sort of black, green, oolong, white, rooibos, and fruit and herb tea blends, sourced from various suppliers and given names including "Root Beer Rooibos" and "Indulgence Supreme." As well as brewed hot ($2.65) or in a latte ($3.99) Tea Blendz sells its teas by 50 grams, generally priced around $6, and up to $20 for more expensive blends.

Tea Blendz TorontoI opt for a Toasted Caramel Rooibos latte, which happens to be the cafe's tea of the day ("It's just basically whatever we feel like," Khadija says."). As it's being prepared, I browse the pots and infusers available for sale, as well as the wall of small canisters of all the blends, designed so customers can help themselves and open and smell before picking their selection.

Tea Blendz TorontoAnd my advice would be to do so. Especially since my Toasted Caramel Rooibos tasted just like it smelled. While I find that some teas can have misleading scents and end up tasting bland compared to their aromas, this one was in no way disappointing. Sweetened with agave syrup, it was creamy and sweet with a definite "toasted caramel" taste.

Tea Blendz TorontoWhile still in its early stages, Tea Blendz plans to offer up drinks including tea martinis, as well as a healthy take on bubble tea using crushed fruit and oolong in the summer.

Tea Blendz TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

13 Comments

Amanda / March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am
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Oh please tell me they'll call them mar-tea-nee's. That would guarantee me as a regular - although a real tea shop in the junction is enough to lure me in even without puns in the menu :)

Will have to check this place out asap!
ilikecheese / March 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Look how fancy.

Junction has come a long way.
Bubba / March 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm
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That's pretty snazzy!
To bad the kerning sucks on the exterior signage.

Sorry.
sean / March 18, 2011 at 01:10 pm
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horrible name. "Blendz"? Really?
mark / March 18, 2011 at 01:19 pm
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signage is pretty weak, I have to agree. Inside looks nice though, looking forward to checking it out.
oilchange replying to a comment from Bubba / March 18, 2011 at 01:35 pm
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lol. so true. it's worth it to hire a graphic designer vs. your kid brother and his photoshop skillzzzz.

other than that - yay for tea blendzzzzz!
shara / March 18, 2011 at 07:15 pm
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Definitely worth checking out. If you aren't a tea connoisseur, Khadija will guide you to the perfect blend for your tastes. Green tea lovers...the honey lemongrass blend is a MUST!
Mark / March 19, 2011 at 06:51 pm
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I love the new spot Tea Blendz in The Junction (Dundas St West & Keele). They have some of the best blends and original teas and the customer service is very very good. This is my new tea spot. They can brew you the best tea and lattes in Toronto!
Mark / March 19, 2011 at 06:52 pm
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I love the new spot Tea Blendz in The Junction (Dundas St West & Keele). They have some of the best blends and original teas and the customer service is very very good. This is my new tea spot. They can brew you the best tea and lattes in Toronto!
Nigel replying to a comment from Bubba / March 19, 2011 at 06:52 pm
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Too bad your spelling is terrible.
Liz / March 19, 2011 at 08:57 pm
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I stopped by a few days ago and had a toasted caramel rooibos latte. It was absolutely lovely! The staff is great and they really know a lot about tea. I can't wait to go back!
Chris / March 21, 2011 at 03:53 pm
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I don't care so much for tea, but tell me about the machine. Did you get pics of the portafilters? Simply looks like a modded espresso machine. And the "tea" in the "tea blendz" circular logo looks like boobs.
Marko / March 22, 2011 at 02:20 pm
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any ceylon blends??

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