Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sakura Sakura in Vancouver! (Part 2) ... The tea service!

As mentioned in the previous post, while on vacation in Vancouver during Cherry Blossom Festival time, I invited my friend Drew to The Urban Tea Merchant for their special Sakura Westcoast Tea service. 

The Urban Tea Merchant only carries 100% natural luxury TWG Teas.

Tea Sommelier, Reza Nasooti, will do tastings to help you decide which tea to have with your tea service or purchase for home.

Reza brought several tins of their special teas us to sample:


 - Sakura! Sakura!
 - Paris Breakfast
 - 1837 Black

Sakura Sakura!

Drew smelling the tea
Paris Breakfast

Tasting Sakura! Sakura!  I enjoyed it!  Aromatic, sweet, refreshing

Paris Breakfast

And with the tastings all done, time to decide which tea to have with our 
Sakura Westcoast Tea Service...

Our server comes to get us and we are led to the dining area.  We pass a beautiful teapot waterfall. 

 We are told that our service will start with the sommelier's choice of chilled tea in a champagne flute glass.  Today's was the Sakura! Sakura! green tea, how fitting.  I wanted to try another tea, so  I selected the Brother's Club.  It was very nice, a little nutty, a bit sweet, reminded me of a fine smooth whisky.  Drew selected the very pleasant 1837 Black which is TWG's signature tea.

(Photo:Drew Taylor)
The Sakura Westcoast Tea Service!   (Photo: Drew Taylor)

Spring rice roll with honey & balsamic, shitake mushroom and crisp vegetables

Miso-maple glazed sable fish wrapped in butter lettuce - so delicious!

Smoked salmon and wasabi aioli with in-house ponzu jelly with flicks of lemon zest was yummy.  Definitely a nice yummy twist to the usual smoked salmon tea sandwich.                                  (Photo: Drew Taylor)

Japanese fish crackers, crisp soba noodles with tangy seaweed salad and sesame crumble - chewy, interesting

lovely tea-infused macaroons, chocolate truffles, fresh fruits, and edible flowers

Tea-infused jelly - light pear sweet taste.  The edible flower was fun to eat.  This went really well with a sip of the chilled Sakura! Sakura! tea.

Chevron strawberry - strawberry was perfectly ripe with the chocolate... mmm...
Both teas paired nicely with our food, but I preferred the Brother's Club.  I thought it was able to round out some of the flavours slightly better.  We saved the chocolate truffle (with a brandy-like tasting centre) for close to the end.  It was mmm, wow! oh my goodness good!  

A final piece of watermelon waited for a last sip of chilled Sakura! Sakura! tea to make the perfect well-balanced refreshing ending of a marvelous tea service.

I would definitely go back to The Urban Tea Merchant next time I'm back in Vancouver.  Try another tea service and some more of the fine TWG teas.  Unfortunately, since it's past Cherry Blossom season, the Sakura Westcoast Tea Service will have to wait for next year.  

But I'm sure they've got something special planned for Mother's Day!  

And Drew... how successful was I in making a new tea convert?  Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, have a look and you tell me...

Drew is also a local actor, will be performing in "Farragut North" at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver from May 15-26.  You can catch him there, enjoy a good play, support the local art scene ... and ask him yourself...

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