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Best of Toronto

The Best Tea in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / November 2, 2012

best tea torontoThe best tea in Toronto often comes from purveyors who offer more than just loose leaves. The men and women behind some of these shops can tell you the optimal temperature for a jasmine green and the merits of a gojiberry herbal blend, all while brewing the perfect tea for a morning pick-me-up or afternoon unwind. The best tea in Toronto is usually offered alongside a good assortment of teaware and accessories, and a select few shops go above and beyond by serving their particular takes on afternoon high tea.

Though David's Tea is one of the more recognizable chains brands throughout Toronto and beyond, we've stuck to independent shops for this list of the best tea in the city.

See also:

The best afternoon tea in Toronto
The best brunch in Toronto
The best new cafes in Toronto 2011

House of Tea

House of Tea

I’m not sure if it’s House of Tea itself that people love, or the friendly service and expertise (expert-teas?) of co-owner and tea consultant Marisha Golla. Whatever the reason, House of Tea has consistently been one of the best places to shop for tea in Toronto, boasting hundreds of different varieties for more than 15 years. You’ll leave with armfuls and lots of information. More »



Tealish wins big props for its Toasty Almond alone. That said, you’d do yourself a disservice by sticking to just one tea, what with Caramel Apple Roobois, Coconut Cream Chai, and Walnut Ave. lining its shelves. Tealish is perfectly situated for a warm cup and Trinity Bellwoods-watching in the winter, and also keeps a few varieties on ice during the summertime for a quick tea grab-and-go. More »

Tao Tea Leaf

Tao Tea Leaf

Tao Tea Leaf offers an experience as much as a superb selection of teas from around the world. The Yorkville shop hosts weekly workshops detailing everything from the history of certain teas, to proper storage and preparation, to different qualities and characteristics, and of course, tastings. Owner Tao Wu also stages interactive Chinese Gongfu tea ceremonies for interested guests. And for everyone else, there are plenty of pots and accessories to peruse. More »



T-Buds has that “café” feel but with oolong in lieu of espresso. A big hit is its daily afternoon tea on the upstairs lounge, which comes complete with scones, petit fours, and itty-bitty sandwiches. There are plenty of loose leaf teas and boxed sets to take home, though the T-Buds appeal is definitely its ambiance. And can I stress again the itty-bitty sandwiches? More »



A winner in my books for best “punny” name, though a better reason to visit this Leslieville shop is for its blissful vibe. Owners Ian Macdonald and Robert Gignac are tea connoisseurs to say the least (just check out that invite from the Queen on the wall, if you don’t believe me), and together they’ve created a little tea-drinker’s paradise complete with rich wood accents, comfortable seating, and hundreds of different teas. Regulars are encouraged to join the “Loyaltea” program. More »

Tsaa Tea Shop

Tsaa Tea Shop

A haven of tea and that which is gluten-free. I’m partial to Tsaa’s Organic Second Spring blend, though many stop by purely for the gluten-free carrot cake. While seating is limited at Tsaa, the shop is a cozy spot to sit and enjoy one of Tsaa’s latest custom blends and peer out over the Danforth traffic. Definitely try the London fog if you consider yourself an Earl Grey Fan. More »

Pippins Tea Company

Pippins Tea Company

Over in the Beaches, Pippins Tea Company is practically equal parts tea and teawares. This is the tea shop for you if you want endless choices of mugs, pots, strainers, steepers, saucers and everything else tea-related. Plus 150 different types of teas and counting. And just to add even more choice, Pippins stocks a small selection of teatime snacks including Campbells Shortbread and Greaves Jam. More »



Blurg / November 2, 2012 at 03:26 pm
Uhh / November 2, 2012 at 03:53 pm
No David's Tea?
l'ilguy / November 2, 2012 at 03:55 pm

Otherwise known as the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
Monica / November 2, 2012 at 04:57 pm
I love David's tea but I'm going to have to try all these other places! great post!!

Willow replying to a comment from Uhh / November 2, 2012 at 05:05 pm
David's is not hipster enough for the blogto readership. Duh!
DS / November 2, 2012 at 05:07 pm
David's tea owners voted conservative in the 1990s, hence they will not be featured on BlogTO.. ever!
PG / November 2, 2012 at 05:49 pm
We stopped in Majesteas today, and my daughter had a really lovely chocolate tea. She liked it as much as a hot chocolate. It's such a nice place to stop on a chilly day for a warm-up. There are some really beautiful tea pots and cups, new in stock, that are going on my Christmas wish list too.
Toronto Tea Festival / November 2, 2012 at 06:02 pm
So excited about the "Best Tea in Toronto", Toronto Tea Festival is coming soon, please Sign up for our newsletter to get festival updates @http://teafestivaltoronto.com/
Adamski / November 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm
In fairness people, we all know about David's Tea.. If Blog TO did a list of places to get coffee and had Starbucks, second cup, lettieri etc on that list.. It would be a pretty useless service!
Me replying to a comment from Adamski / November 3, 2012 at 09:20 am
But if they did, even if they had Tim Horton's on it, because they said so all the Hipsters would run to those places also. lol.
Binky / November 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm
The list is soon hopefully to be joined by Samadhi Tea House about to open at 160 Baldwin St, in Kensington Market.
always happens... replying to a comment from Willow / November 3, 2012 at 05:34 pm
Do you not realize 99% percent of the comment on this blog are by old conservatives? Where do these complaints about 'hipsters' come from???
Toby replying to a comment from Binky / November 4, 2012 at 12:26 am
Let's let Samadhi Tea House open, and put a few good years of service to the community in first, and run a successful business before we go adding it to any lists
Melody / November 4, 2012 at 08:37 am
I love dropping in to Majesteas to se what's new. They have unique blends and even a tea for hangovers. :)
Binky replying to a comment from Toby / November 4, 2012 at 09:00 am
@Toby, I believe BlogTO updates their BEST OF... lists infrequently. Perhaps there exists a reasonable amount of time for a new business to qualify for a review, and if warranted, inclusion in the next list.

ohh replying to a comment from Uhh / November 5, 2012 at 01:37 pm
"Though David's Tea is one of the more recognizable chains brands throughout Toronto and beyond, we've stuck to independent shops for this list of the best tea in the city."

It's mentioned in the article.
ccz / November 5, 2012 at 02:06 pm

all your other shops are invalid
Rob / November 5, 2012 at 02:07 pm
Went to the David's Tea around the corner from me. Just a totally weird experience... it felt pretentious, tons of overpriced 1%-er tea-lover crap for sale, felt like I was going to get arrested for touching anything, like I was test driving a car and simply ordering "umm, whatever tea you recommend" would be a challenge.

Never been back, but the yuppies like complicating things that are supposed to be humble and simple, so it's no surprise it's booming.
iliketea / November 5, 2012 at 03:50 pm
say tea is better.
Well... replying to a comment from ohh / November 6, 2012 at 01:14 pm
...that totally wasn't in the post when I originally commented on it.

Also David's wasn't even in the same post written four years ago, so... http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6MCLj6-bgi8J:www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_tea_in_toronto/+&;cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

I'm just saying that popularity or ubiquity shouldn't preclude one from qualifying for best anything. Starbucks - in my mind anyway - wouldn't be included from,say, a 'Best Coffee' list not because everyone has heard of it, but rather because I can list ten places off the top of my head that serve a better cup of coffee. I've been to most of the nine locations listed here, and I couldn't name two places better than David's (let alone nine!), perceived pretensions notwithstanding.
Anar replying to a comment from Well... / November 19, 2012 at 01:04 am
I find it hard to believe that you went to "most of the nine locations listed" and found David's to be better. Really? As an avid tea drinker I have found quality flavoured tea at Tealish and knowledgeable staff at Majesteas and Tao. I always found that staff at Davids and Teaopia know more about selling than they do about tea. I can get my tea without the tude from these smaller places.
Rajan replying to a comment from Rob / November 22, 2012 at 02:12 pm
I would rather support local small businesses, not owned by American companies (Starbucks, Teavanna)or someone with a rich -Le Chateau owner- Uncle(Davids)who are all about profits. I support small shops who also support their local schools, charities and actually know lots about tea and aren't interested in spouting BS just to make a sale. I've found the smaller shops to have higher quality tea that doesn't need candy added to it to make it drinkable. Good for BlogTO supporting the little guys out there. Now to find time to get to all these places and try them.
Me replying to a comment from Anar / November 22, 2012 at 02:35 pm
Same reason I don't get coffee at Tim Hortons, I like to support Canadian companies. Of course most people prefer convenience over supporting local business.
amy / November 24, 2012 at 05:47 pm
David's Tea is actually one of my favourite tea spots in the city and would be pretty high on my list, and I'm a big tea drinker as well (aka British). I don't know what location you all seem to be getting attitude at but I never have a problem. Sorry it doesn't have enough ~indie cred~ to impress you lot.
Shawntal / December 11, 2012 at 06:46 pm
Tsaa is simply amazing!!
Toronto Tea Festival / January 7, 2013 at 11:18 am
The Toronto Tea Festival is coming soon, please check the website:http://teafestivaltoronto.com and Follow up at Facebook
teaseed replying to a comment from Rob / January 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm
there is really good local Teahouse in Kensington Market .. House of Energy and they have all organic teas, wild mushroom teas and elixirs. Its a cool little spot, out of the ordinary.. You should check it out..
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Martin / December 8, 2013 at 06:04 pm
Ha-ha-ha. I laugh every time I go by any of the pretentious tea shops in Toronto. David's and other similar stores are way too overpriced. It's TEA you are going to drink, not some elixir that promises to help you live forever. GET HOLD OF YOURSELVES PEOPLE, DON'T BE SO GULIBLE.
I have been drinking tea my whole life (I am considered to be a senior citizen now)and have always been able to purchase good quality tea at a fraction of the price any of these new
stores charge.
Just today I bought about 100 grams of loose leaf Oolong tea. It cost me about three dollars and when I made it, it was delicious. For fun, I also went to David's Tea, which happened to be nearby and asked about the price of their Oolong tea. The price was close to twenty dollars per 100 grams. I just laughed and left the store laughing.
Enough said.
MGood / January 11, 2014 at 03:50 pm
Glad to see Majesteas here. My family chose a beautiful red "acorn" tea pot for me for Christmas, and the other day I found the Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh tea there to put in it. Ian was right - it's a tea for coffee drinkers. The store's a lovely spot in an increasingly busy neighbourhood, and their tea is now a happy part of my busy day.
Chris / January 12, 2014 at 04:14 pm
Cabin Fever on Bloor just East of Keele/Parkside is EXCELLENT as well.
Gold Tea / January 12, 2014 at 05:32 pm
I'd Prefer "Golden Mint" located around Rosedale station. Over any of these, The prices are affordable and great in quality! Also, It has a grand variety. Try it out! it's a really cozy place.
Albert replying to a comment from Martin / January 13, 2014 at 12:46 am
Wow really, 3$? Where did you buy your tea? I am looking for places to buy tea.
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Steve / February 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm
David's? Give me a break. Learn about real tea and then opine away. But first learn.
Frank / February 25, 2014 at 09:14 pm
I am surprised no one has mentioned the Tea Emporium. Fell off the radar?
Sarah replying to a comment from Blurg / October 26, 2014 at 07:10 pm
It is mentioned in the article

"Though David's Tea is one of the more recognizable chains brands throughout Toronto and beyond, we've stuck to independent shops for this list of the best tea in the city."

"Stoopid" is not reading details and assuming facts.

Stephanie / December 6, 2014 at 12:23 am
Tea LC is Canada's newest online premium loose leaf tea shop, offering organic tea handpicked from tea gardens around the world. We are committed to providing healthy tea options through exclusive offerings of organic, natural, loose leaf teas. Good for You. Good for the Earth.
Stephanie / December 6, 2014 at 12:24 am
Visit http://tealeafco.com/. Tea LC - Tea Leaf Co is Canada's newest online premium loose leaf tea shop, offering organic tea handpicked from tea gardens around the world. We are committed to providing healthy tea options through exclusive offerings of organic, natural, loose leaf teas. Good for You. Good for the Earth.
lovetea / December 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm
Best tea is premium loose leaf tea because it is totally natural and its leaf refresh you whole day .Tea lovers should try it .It is high quality tea that i take daily.
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Rosie Luczay / December 19, 2014 at 09:41 am
I would like to extend my best wishes for a Happy and Merry Holiday Season to Robyn Urback and all tea lovers and their families and friends and invite them to visit probably the newest tea place in Toronto - the Iron Rose Tea gallery where you can enjoy one or more of our 52 types of teas ( and many other delights) or come by for a afternoon tea on the weekend. The address is 228 Queens Quay W( right across from the Harbourfront Center), the entrance is on Lower Simcoe. A street car from Union station is the best way to get there. And yes, they are already running-:)
To the Tea Troll / December 19, 2014 at 10:17 am
To the person who keeps making all these fake advertisements, do you REALLY think anyone is falling for it, or will actually go to your establishment? It just makes you look cheezy so stop it already.
nancy mitchell / December 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm
Not sure if they have a sit down venue, but have you have missed the best of all --- Sloane Teas. Please check them out and consider them with the next edition of your Tea review?
loose black tea / December 22, 2014 at 07:07 am
I think loose black tea has tremendous benefits that makes it different tea from other tea.
For more visit- http://www.lovetea.com/loose-leaf-black-tea-s/35.htm
organic loose tea / December 29, 2014 at 07:39 am
I like organic loose tea.It is the best tea for me.
For more information visit- http://www.lovetea.com/product-p/ft-gt-104.htm
gourmet loose leaf tea / December 31, 2014 at 12:52 am
Gourmet loose leaf tea is best tea .I like to take it .
For ordering this tea visit- www.lovetea.com/premium-gourmet-tea-s/79.htm
loose black tea / January 2, 2015 at 06:40 am
I like to take loose black tea everyday.
For more details visit- http://www.lovetea.com/loose-leaf-black-tea-s/35.htm
organic loose tea / January 8, 2015 at 01:40 am
I take oraganic loose tea daily. This tea has very good benefits that make healthy body.
For more details visit- http://www.lovetea.com/product-p/ft-gt-104.htm
Kenoeto South / January 28, 2015 at 11:36 am
Get your set of 2 tea infuser from amazon for only 13.99 with two day shipping. Perfect valentine gift
Nick replying to a comment from Blurg / February 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm
I follow TEANTEA_ on instagram and they have an amazing feed... Supposedly all natural and tastes amazing with no need for sugars and sweetness but their website isn't up yet for some reason.... Says they will launch in march so i will check in march and let you guys know what i think because it looks and sounds great!!!!
Shayna / February 28, 2015 at 04:43 pm
Tea Leaf Co is local and has high quality loose leaf teas. Selections are entirely organic. www.tealeafco.com
Shayne / February 28, 2015 at 04:44 pm
Tea Leaf Co is local and has high quality loose leaf teas. Selections are entirely organic. http://tealeafco.com/
Pamela / May 14, 2015 at 08:43 pm
A beautiful place and delicious High Tea.
I love the Guildwood Tea Room and Cafe.
Check it out:

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