Saturday, August 12, 2017
Terroir Tea Merchant, Victoria, BC
If you are curious about tea but unfamiliar with loose-leaf teas and the wide variety of flavours and aromas that can be found in pure teas as opposed to flavoured teas (jasmine green tea, Earl Grey), then I highly recommend a visit to the Terroir Tea Merchant on Fort Street in Victoria.
Charity and her husband Jason are newly returned to Canada after spending several years in Australia where Charity studied to become a certified Australian Tea Master. Jason is a Tea Specialist with a science degree.
A visit to the Terroir Tea Merchant is a sensory experience. Sniff your way along the aroma bar and compare the smell and appearance of each variety of tea.
Then take a look at the tea plates to see how the leaves from different terroirs and cultivars vary in shape and size. If you’ve only purchased tea bags, you’ll be surprised by how large some of the leaves are once they expand in hot water.
Charity and Jason have worked with a local chocolate expert to match some of their teas with different bars of chocolate.
Last but not least, take a seat at the bar or out on the patio and enjoy a cup of tea. The store also hosts various tastings and special events where you can learn more about specific varieties of tea or methods of preparing it.
The Terroir Tea Merchant specializes in teas from Taiwan, so there are plenty of oolong to choose from, both low oxidation oolongs that smell of lilac and honeysuckle and roasted oolongs with a richer, fuller flavour. Charity and Jason visited and personally selected the teas from Alishan High Mountain ecological farm in Taiwan. There are also limited quantities of tea from Arakai in Queensland, Australia, where the Charity and Jason used to live.
Oolong, a Labour of Love
Nepal’s Terroirs: The Next Darjeeling