British Columbia

Vancouver's a coffee town, but good things brewing at tea spots

If you need a break from the pace of the holidays, consider going for afternoon tea at one of these places.

'It's kind of like wine in that there are so many different regions, varieties and blends'

Morning rush at the popular Vancouver coffee roasters. (David Horemans/CBC)

Vancouver may be known as a coffee city, but On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson says it's also home to some outstanding tea shops.

David's Tea ON Robson street. (David Horemans/CBC)

Singapore-based TWG Tea Salon and Boutique just opened its first North American location in the city and Johnson says this luxury tea chain has many of the same qualities as luxury dining.

"Just like chefs and home cooks want to know where their food comes from, TWG gets its tea directly from source gardens and estates," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

"It looks for the finest harvests and carries products from every single tea-producing country in the world."

She says its selection boasts over 800 tea varieties.

"It's kind of like wine in that there are so many different regions, varieties and blends."

TWG offers afternoon tea as well, and they're not the only place in the city worth checking out for that calming ritual, especially as holiday craziness picks up.

Johnson says one favourite is the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver which is offering the North Pole Express Afternoon Tea daily until Jan. 2, based on the Polar Express book and movie, so it's something kids might enjoy.

Another place Johnson recommends is Soirette, which specializes in loose-leaf tea and macarons and even offers pairings.

Soirette is a great place for afternoon tea, On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson says, but its speciality is macarons, like these festive Santa bellies. (@lovesoirette/Instagram)

They do high tea on weekends.

From Dec. 28-31, it is pairing its weekend high tea with a special dessert: an eggnog mousse with a dark chocolate glaze and crispy chocolate pearls.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast