The Best Tea in Toronto
The 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.
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 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 »
A tiny little tea shop in the heart of all the action, and don’t let its size fool you. Owner Dan Johanis can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about tea (and then some, most likely) pulling down canisters of one variety or the next from his awesome rolling-ladder-equipped wall of tea. And just so you don’t suffer from espresso bar-envy, Herbal Infusions offers tea frappucinos and lattes along with its regular steeped teas. More »
The Red Tea Box does afternoon tea with a twist, creating tea bento boxes of matcha cheesecake, salmon burgers, quinoa and more. All of which is served with a pot of tea, of course. The front of the shop is for little fondant cakes and loose leaf teas, the latter of which is available in small jars allowing customers to smell before they buy. And for your tea-loving friends, unique teaware for gifts, too. More »
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 »
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 »