Yang Teashop is taking the art of traditional tea to the next level.
This simple cafe specializes in customizable beverages, where customers can control the flavours of their teas to a T.
Offering a variety of tea lattes, milk teas, and fresh fruit drinks, the options here taste more refined than your average bubble tea shop.
That's largely due to the tea shop's intricate process of steeping, but also because of their ingredients.
All tea leaves here are imported from Taiwan—where oolong teas are especially revered worldwide—as is the brown sugar used to make their tapioca.
Like the brown sugar from Okinawa, the stuff from Taiwan is actually considered 'black,' therefore more syrupy and more ideal.
They also exclusively use organic dairy products from the Canadian favourite, Harmony.
One of the best items here is the customisable tea latte (most medium-sized drinks here cost $5.30), which you can get hot or iced.
The first step is to choose your tea base from a selection of 12 types of leaves. There's three basic flavours, like black tea, green tea, oolong or Earl Grey.
Premium blends, which cost an extra 50 cents, include more interesting blends like lychee black tea, peach oolong tea, roasted iron goddess, and a decaf herbal tea.
While basic teas are steeped in the back using a larger quantity machine, premium teas are rinsed at the front using a sleek-looking machine that operates just like an espresso machine, but for tea.
Tea leaves are placed in the portafilter basket, just like coffee grinds, before being flushed with hot water. The first rinse is discarded while the second and third, which are considered the freshest, are used for your tea blend.
The result is a light and aromatic latte with tons of flavours to explore. For those who aren't trying to be adventurous, Yang's tea latte , which uses a basic black tea base, should suffice.
There are other options which come with pre-set flavours. While you're free to experiment with other tea bases, drinks like the marble matcha latte comes with brown sugar and tastes best with the recommended black tea base.
The cheesy maple boba latte is another pre-set drink, using a blend of milk, brown sugar, and a secret cheese mixture that gives the drink some subtle texture.
The Tea Boss nitro latte is something coffee fans can get behind when they feel like trading in beans for leaves.
Just like nitro coffee, tea is infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve. A specialty black tea is used for this drink, and is stored inside the tap.
The high pressure of the system results in a tea that tastes a lot airy than regular tea. While you can get your drink with any types of sweetener or dairy (organic almond, soy, and yakult too) they recommend you consume it as-is.
For less caffeine, there are tons of fruit options. Just like the tea latte, you can make your own fruit tea, choosing a base of either green or oolong leaves.
The options are mango, passion fruit, strawberry, grapefruit or kiwi.
Sweeteners are either organic sugar or honey, and for an extra 50 cents, you can top it all off with ingredients like aloe vera, pudding, cold foam, and even ice cream.