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Cafes

Tsaa Tea Shop

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on March 3, 2011

Tsaa Tea ShopTsaa Tea Shop is a little respite oasis on a busy strip of the Danforth. I manage to get through its glass doors just as the city around me seems to reach its breaking point; wind howling, cars honking, a man inexplicably scraping the snowless street with a shovel. But it all stops once I get inside.

Tsaa Tea ShopThere I'm met with cool, pale wood furniture, delicate teaware lining the walls, and light chatter from the groups of women occupying all but a few tables in the medium-sized space. There's a mix of different people in the breezy cafe; a man typing on his laptop by the window, two twenty-somethings sharing a table by the back, boomers by the fireplace, and three ladies discussing something fervently in Italian. Pretty good for a shop that's been open for just over half a year.

Tsaa Tea ShopLuellie Ramos tells me her family has always been big tea drinkers and it was a dream of theirs to open their own business. Now, Tsaa Tea Shop at Danforth and Chester is family owned and operated. "Our tea comes from all over the world," she says. "And I'm still tasting new teas to add to our store."

Ramos estimates the shop has more than 100 teas in stock right now, many of which are special blends. "I did a lot of Googling," Ramos tells me. "And found a really good sommelier over on Queen Street who has made some fantastic blends for us.

Tsaa Tea ShopThose blends include a hot cinnamon spice, chocolate rooibos, and organic second spring ($2.50), and others, such as the midsummer peace, which I'm told is especially good served chilled ($2.85).

Influenced by the nearby Big Carrot and other businesses in the area, Ramos and family decided to offer its signature sandwiches, such as its grilled veggie mushroom melt and smoked salmon sandwiches, with many organic ingredients and the option of gluten-free bread. And beyond the sandwiches and salads, Tsaa offers breakfast options, baked goods, bubble teas ($3.95-$4.95) and smoothies ($4.05).

Tsaa Tea ShopAfter mulling over the tins of teas in front of me and Ramos' sister pleasantly indulging all of my questions, I opt for a cup of organic citrus and ginkgo tea. It has a mild flavour, smooth and a little fruity and great for memory, or so I'm told. Soothing enough--almost--to mellow my rush hour TTC ride home.

Tsaa Tea ShopPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

27 Comments

Tulse / March 3, 2011 at 09:33 am
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This place truly is a gem on Danforth. The space is warm and inviting, the staff is very friendly, and the teas are excellent. This is my favourite neighbourhood hangout.
mike in parkdale / March 3, 2011 at 10:08 am
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are the teapots on the shelf for sale?

silly question, I know, but tea shop owners seem to give dirty looks if you ask if their ornamental / decorative / sentimental teapots are for sale.
Not Daniel / March 3, 2011 at 10:28 am
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Hey BlogTO,

Maybe you want to change your misleading headline, which suggests an article on the proliferation of tea shops in Toronto, to better reflect the article's actual subject: a review of a cafe.

Just a thought.

gtafunmuscle / March 3, 2011 at 03:00 pm
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the writer obviously doesn't know much about tea...
Natalie / March 3, 2011 at 04:06 pm
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I love this tea shop so much... I have gone to Teopuia, David's Tea, and many others.. This shop is so overly friendly, super knowledgeable, and has the most unique blends of tea. I have and continue to recommend this tea shop to many people. Their prices are very reasonable and their teas are a unique, delicious blend unlike no other. The taste is of pure tea that has no chemicals and a potent taste to really enjoy what you are sipping on. The staff are super kind and sweet and are always smiling and welcoming to anyone. I love Tsaa tea!!! -Natalie
nicole / March 3, 2011 at 04:15 pm
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I love this tea shop! The staff are so sweet and the tea is deeelicious

sean / March 3, 2011 at 05:55 pm
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Does blogTO give you ANY money? How was the sandwich, how was the tea? Pros/Cons? This place can't be perfect?

I agree, misleading title.

While I love the places featured on BlogTO you guys really need to at least attempt a proper "review", we are not asking for NYTimes food reviews, because that's not what anyone is looking for here.
But be constructive, because if this "profile" was in any reputable publication, it would have to have to words " Advertisement" printed at the top.
Nasseer / March 4, 2011 at 05:20 am
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i agree the guy working there jonathan is pretty funny and he knows how to serve a bubble tea.. props to jonathan
akiva / March 4, 2011 at 05:20 am
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i would love to go there sometime after im off from work at wendys. good place
the real Akiva / March 4, 2011 at 10:44 am
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i love u guys bubble tea summer winter fall and spring just reminds me of little Manila :)
Jay replying to a comment from gtafunmuscle / March 4, 2011 at 01:06 pm
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is that so?
Sarah / March 4, 2011 at 01:59 pm
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I own a shop across the street from Tsaa and go there often. Love the service, the tea and their food. I am someone who likes to try new teas and I always get help in picking new flavours.

The writer doesn't point out that many of the teas are organic. They also have no additives to them.

All of the food is made to order only...so if you order a sandwich...expect to wait...but the wait is definitely worth it.
Anne Jarmaine / A.J / March 4, 2011 at 03:55 pm
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This is a great place as my escape because I am one of those people who want to relax and getaway from my busy and hectic schedule. Even if you are not into tea, they have many options such as bubble tea, cafes and lovely desserts. They also offer gluten free pastries which really is great because i can bring my sister along with me who has certain allergies. Honestly they try to accommodate everyone, and because it is a family operated business who are just starting out it may be a little under staffed but they really do have great customer service! Would recommend to anyone.
Anne Jarmaine / A.J replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / March 4, 2011 at 04:03 pm
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and regarding to the displays on the shelves... i believe they are for sale.
dan / March 4, 2011 at 04:24 pm
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Tsaa tea shop is my favourite. Any time I'm around the danforth I always stop by for a drink.
Arnold / March 4, 2011 at 04:27 pm
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I love their bubble tea, smoothies and sandwich. This place is a really good place to try since they are open in the later hours. I believe they are open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Really great place after a date! yes! Instead of coffee or booze the ladies will love tea! Great atmosphere! Love Tsaa!
Amy / March 4, 2011 at 05:04 pm
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If you are looking for the perfect "cafe/teahouse" then this is the perfect place to be. I AM IN LOVE with the fireplace which is the perfect place to detox after having a few drinks around the area(heehee) they have many kinds of tea that is suited for different types of mood you want to be in.
By the way for those of you who don't know, Tea can detox your body from different things that shouldn't be in your body. They also serve java coffee at your request and perfect desserts that pair up with the tea or whatever you are drinking it with. They also carry ORGANIC and GLUTEN FREE pastries. Oh and who can forget their bubble tea and smoothies, DEPENDING on the sweetness level you can request them to make it sweet or less sweet!|

Tea can be served chilled as well which their blend is sooooo delicious. Midsummer peach and Apple Sencha are my favourite! The only thing is you do have to wait for the sandwiches because they are made to order, but gosh darn it the smoked salmon makes me drool, I really don't think that the pictures justify how great this place is.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST THEY HAVE FREE WI-FI PEOPLE! you can also study there!

My gosh thinking of all this makes me want to go there right now.
Anita / March 4, 2011 at 05:10 pm
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I love Tsaa Teashop. GREAAAAAAAT tea, desserts, sandwiches, basically any of their food item, place, atmosphere, and service! Favourite from them is their Americano! Although this is a tea place I love their coffee!
Kate / March 4, 2011 at 05:13 pm
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Great place you guys, you must try!
Brandon / March 4, 2011 at 08:49 pm
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Really great place to sit down, relax and get a nice cup of hot tea. Beats the winter blues. Great atmosphere, love the service! If you are really into tea, try this place out!
Jake replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / March 4, 2011 at 09:04 pm
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@ Mike, ahhahahha you probably did not ask them directly if they were on sale or not, because if you did you wouldnt be able to purchase it anyway because they are on the expensive side. So keep your money because those teapots does have a place and its definitely not with you! hahhahaha.

although they really should have a tags on them......
Stephanie / March 5, 2011 at 08:39 am
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5/5 an awEsome place, service & products! My favorite is the Chai Latte. I really recommend this place to anyone who appreciates above QUALITY tsaa ;D Luellie Ramos, Millicent, Eunice & Jonathan provides excellent service.

cheers!
DT / March 5, 2011 at 01:02 pm
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Nice alternative to something like Starbucks I guess, but I wish we had some true tea guru shops in TO, such as Camellia Sinensis in QC...
Paul / March 29, 2012 at 12:30 am
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I'm a neighbor who has been going here since they opened. I don't ever go to Starbucks. Friendly! Love the smoothies.
Shawntal / December 11, 2012 at 06:43 pm
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This is my favourite Tea shop. I know all the staff by name, and I always feel like I'm being treated ay my friend's house. I bring my friends there, and would reccommend it as a place for everyone to get aquainted with. Whether you are looking for warmth during the winter or some refreshment during the summer, this place truly is a gem in a desert field!
Holly / January 23, 2013 at 02:00 am
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Love this place! They keep me nice and warm with their lovely fireplace. Hot bubble tea is delicious and is a definite must try! Oh don't even get me started with their sandwiches one of the best smoke turkey I have had in years!
TC replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / June 4, 2014 at 10:58 am
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Yes, they're for sale. They're very nice, would never dis you for asking!

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