I like tea. A lot. It's awesome with my Saturday morning chocolate chip pancakes, and it even makes my Monday morning toast taste better. This is why I was so excited to visit David's Tea.
Dara and I wander into the Queen Street West store, stopping to giggle at the 'David's Tea girls have gone wild (for the new spring collection)!' sign on the sidewalk.
Dara first notices the design of the store. It is bold and eye-catching with a relaxed vibe. She also mentions the flowers on the front window match the flowers on the spring collection tins.
Kim, who is very friendly and knowledgeable, is working when we arrive, and is handing out samples to customers as they browse the shop. She offers us a sample of the tea of the day - caramel pear. It doesn't taste much like caramel, but it's still really good - like fresh pear juice has been squeezed into my tiny porcelain cup.
As I sip, my eyes wander about the store. There are so many loose-tea-filled silver tins lining one side of the store that it's a bit overwhelming. I ask Kim what she likes and she brings over Exotica, Read My Lips, Vanilla Oolong and Kenya Silverback White.
One sniff of Exotica later, I am in love. Seriously. It is made with lemongrass, red pepper, cinnamon, pineapple and orange peel and reminds me of sitting on a patio in the middle of summer. A few more sniffs and I realize it also smells like my grandmother's sponge cake.
Read My Lips seems like it should be featured for Valentine's Day, but it's actually part of the spring collection. A black tea, the chocolate pieces, peppermint and red candy lips make it not only great to smell but also really fun to look at. We continue exploring.
There's a small counter at the front of the store that seats five or so, for those who'd like to have a cup of tea ($2.50) instead of getting it to go. Buying en masse does seem to be the way to go, though (and the better value - starting at $5.50 for 50 grams, which makes about 25 cups), so that's what we do. After smelling almost half the teas, I buy a small tin of Exotica. Dara goes with Read My Lips and at the last minute throws in a turquoise mug to brew the tea in ($18.50).
Only after we purchase our teas do I notice the cupcakes. No idea why I didn't see them right away - if there's one thing I love more than tea, its cupcakes. They look absolutely incredible, and Kim tells us they are made by a local baker. Guess I'll have to get one next time.
Writing by Laura Stricker, photos by Dara Skolnick.