T-Buds Toronto


T-buds Tea Lounge and Creperie is a two-story teashop at Yonge and Lawrence that offers a lot to choose from. Beginning with their tea, I have the option of choosing from over a hundred types of loose-leaf tea and 'tossane'. The friendly storeowner immediately explains that while tea generally indicates black, white, or oolang, 'tossane,' refers to Rooibos and herbal. Within seconds of walking in, I'm getting a full history lesson on the origins of tea.

The owner likes to position T-buds as an 'interactive teashop,' encouraging us tea lovers to smell, taste, and really interact with the various teas offered. On the sample display is their Apple Rooibos, which he explains is a South African tea, loaded with antioxidants, and naturally caffeine free.

As I sift through the various teas, I am given the choice of their Connoisseur Collection, which are straight (unblended) teas, or their Premium Collection, which are the classic blends known worldwide. They also have two lines of organic teas, with one called 'Life Stages', and the other 'Mind and Body'. I had no idea there were this many levels of tea.

T-buds also offers Afternoon Tea daily from 12-5 pm. Depending on how hungry I am, I could order tea and scones, or I could indulge on their signature Afternoon Tea platter, filled with various delights such as warm quiche, baked scones, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches, sparkling Jasmine tea, and of course, a teapot of my choice.

Worth noting is the fact that they serve all their tea in a teapot, as opposed to a single mug. They believe tea must be steeped in a particular capacity, and thus shy away from the typical 'teabag in mug' approach.

If I'm not interested in Afternoon Tea, their menu is pretty extensive too, serving appetizers, brunch, savoury crepes, and sandwiches/wraps (to name a few). They also have suggested teas to accompany many of their menu options. Comfortable seating can be found on both the main floor, and the upstairs lounge, where they've created a cozy atmosphere for those coming with tea, or food on their mind.

Prices will vary based on size or quality of tea. Tea to go is $2.50, and ordering a pot at the shop will cost 4 bucks with biscotti comped on the side. Their loose-leaf tea starts at $7-9 for the 55 grams, and goes up according to size.

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