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Grocery Stores

Tao Tea Leaf

Posted by Talia Hart / Posted on November 2, 2012

tao tea leaf torontoTao Tea Leaf is a specialty teashop near where Yorkville transitions to Rosedale on Yonge. The storeowner, Tao, moved from China in 2007, and began his shop out of a love and passion for high quality tea. He offers an eclectic variety of Chinese, Japanese, organic, blended and flavoured teas.

Selling to retailers and wholesalers, their tea has gained a lot of attention including a first place award in the annual North American Tea Championship.

tao tea leaf torontoTao's shop offers about 140 teas, and a detailed catalogue for any walk-in rookies, unacquainted with the tea world. I sense Tao really cares about my finding the right tea, and insists I test out an oolong tea from Taiwan called "Baozhong."

My tea sample is served in a tiny teapot, and he tells me this style of tea drinking is unique to Chinese culture. In order to feel the true calming effect of tea, it must be steeped in a small pot, and served slowly and gradually.

tao tea leaf torontoTao Tea Leaf also sells a variety of tea accessories, many of which are antique pieces from Japan or China. In fact, his entire shop is filled with interesting furniture and tea-ware for both show and retail. He offers traditional and modern accessories such as tea infusers ($3.99), glass teapots ($36.99), or traditional clay teapots called Yixing teapots ($40). Prices for loose-leaf tea vary based on quality, but can start at around $5 for 25 grams. Tea drinks can also be purchased to-go.

tao tea leaf torontoI'm even more intrigued by the in-store tea workshops which help novice tea drinkers learn a little more about tea culture. These include basic introductory courses, and more specific classes such as the "Oolong Tea Workshop" or "Green and White Tea Workshop." Each workshop is $25, and schedules can be found on the store's website.

tao tea leaf torontoPhotos by Alexandra Grigorescu

Discussion

6 Comments

Victor / November 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm
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I love tea. I find my tea in Tao Tea Leaf. it is a place where you may find your faverite tea, and you may get the knowledge about tea.
Ben / March 19, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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Just visited this store. Owner is extremely helpful and a true tea expert. The teas are amazing.
Melissa / March 19, 2013 at 08:17 pm
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I've been searching for an establishment with authentic Chinese tea and I'm so glad I found Tao Tea Leaf. The proprietor (Tao) has such a strong passion for tea, he goes back to China every Spring to source the very best for his customers. He even leads tours on his trip in case anyone's interested haha.

Tao Tea Leaf is holding a Tea Tasting experience on Saturday, March 30th, 2013, which includes a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and an exploration of major tea types: white, green, black, pu-er, oolong, and herbal teas. More details of the event here: http://experiences.joylister.com/experiences/tao-tea-leaf-tea-tasting/
Dogeballer / April 6, 2013 at 02:27 pm
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The prices said here is twice the price at David's tea and that's expensive as it is!
They usually have 5-8 bucks for 50 grams of tea!
Madalin replying to a comment from Dogeballer / August 15, 2013 at 09:02 pm
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Please look at this website Dogeball as it will help you understand the background behind DAVIDsTEA prices.
True quality tea is what you find at Tao Tea Leaf, and many times I have gone in and got less than 50gs before. That would be in the price range you are looking for if money is an issue.
http://www.writingwhimsy.com/davids-tea-and-artificial-flavourings-flavorings/#comment-1477
John / November 4, 2014 at 08:47 am
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Took a trip to Tao Tea Leaf and i have found my tea place,the owner was incredible and very helpful,i asked for the "sample pack" and he was all out,so instead of brushing me off like they do at other places when they're out of my tea and not just sample packs,owner Tao spent over an hour making me up a dozen samples in their own little packages,weighing them all out with labels and temperatures,and instructions from the man himself…i purchased a tiny Yixing tea pot that i have seasoned for green teas and now i will be definitely heading back for one particular pot and more teas.

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