Soohyang Korean Tea
Soohyang is a Korean tea house that specializes in traditional herbal Korean teas, many of which purport to have excellent health benefits. While Toronto is no stranger to Chinese or Japanese tea houses, it isn't quite as familiar with their Korean counterpart.
The cafe is small with pleasant, almost soothing ambience. Soft jazz music plays in the background. The menu, printed delicately on a slice of bamboo, lists a large variety of organic teas.
The Jujube Tea ($6.00), arrives on a wooden tray with flower handles. It's made with sweet and fresh jujube fruits and is a great option for soothing sore throats.
The Schizandra Tea ($4.50), or as it's known in Korean - omijacha - is a "5 flavour tea", as the drink is supposed to contain sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy flavours. I manage to only detect strong tones of the first two, but that doesn't detract from the overall deliciousness of the reddish-coloured beverage.
My favourite tea here is the Yulmucha ($3.50). Made with assorted nuts and grains, along with chestnuts, it's reminiscent of an organic unsweetened Horlicks. Apparently it's good for weight-loss too.
All the tea here is served with a small handmade yakgwa cookie, made from flour and sweetened with honey, along with candied dried ginger.
Make sure to also order a Glutinous Rice Cake Pizza ($7.90), made with glutinous rice, tteok, chestnuts, and almond slices. It's mixed with mozzarella cheese for a slight hum of saltiness and drizzled with a touch of condensed milk. The result is a satisfyingly chewy snack.
And don't forget the Green Tea Ice Cream with Matcha Waffle ($6.90). You can taste the authentic matcha bitterness with none of the oversweetened flavour you find in off-the-shelf green tea products.