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Best tea (bagged or loose)

mega munchies Jan 4, 2008 08:00 AM

Making party favours for an engagement gathering over High Tea at the Royal York. Was planning to give tea and chocolates.

What is the best tea (bagged or loose) to give (whether it be Mighty Leaf etc.)?

As for chocolates, I was planning to give a few from JS Bon Bons. Any flavours you'd recommend or any other chocolatiers you'd suggest?

Thank you!

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  1. 50firstdatesguy Jan 4, 2008 08:22 AM

    The Metropolitan Tea Company makes some really delicious teas. I keep some bags of Sencha here at my desk at work, they have things like Long Island Strawberry, Blue Mango and Cherry Rose flavoured Senchas to name a few kinds. The flavours are mainly a result of the dehydrated fruit mixed into the tea leaves vs. any funky chemicals of flavourings. The tea is all loose leaf of course.

    They make nice gifts, mine came in these little red bags.


    They're located in Etobicoke.

    1. s
      Scary Bill Jan 4, 2008 08:39 AM

      Distinctly Tea is the best tea shop in Canada, without parallel, with over 350 selections.

      The Rooibos Fruity Orange will keep you returning forever. Every tea I have bought (only about a dozen types) has been unsurpassed in freshness and quailty.

      The website provides excellent product descriptions.


      1. pescatarian Jan 4, 2008 08:40 AM

        I like Mighty Leaf a lot. You can order whatever flavours, etc. you want from their websight at mightyleaf.ca.

        I have a great tea at home that is always a big hit with my friends. I can't remember the name of it, but I will check and get back to you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pescatarian
          pescatarian Jan 5, 2008 05:08 AM

          The great tea I have at home I was talking about is "Betjeman and Barton" Blue Mountain Black Tea, which is made exclusively for Williams Sonoma. It's always a big hit.

        2. blue bike Jan 4, 2008 08:47 AM

          I am not tea expert, but I like The Tea Emporium.


          If you go to the location on Eglinton, they also serve tea there, so you can try flavours before you get stuck with a big bag/box.

          JS Bon Bons - my favourite is the lemon and thyme one.

          1. c
            chrispa Jan 4, 2008 10:56 AM

            I really like tealish. The owners are really friendly and more than happy to spend a fair bit of time walking through their collections with a neophyte (like myself). Plus they seem to have gone through a lot of effort sourcing their product and have some really unique blends in addition to nice takes on old standards.

            They have a website at www.tealish.com which seems to list more of their collection

            1. thenurse Jan 4, 2008 11:58 AM

              If you have some time, order chocolate from chocodirect.com. You can get large(r) volumes of individual chocolates and bars, and confectionaries like salt caramels. All high quality European imported. No fancy packaging though.

              I'm all for the Mighty Leaf tea - LOVE IT!

              1. Juniper Jan 4, 2008 12:09 PM

                I agree with others that Mighty Leaf teas are quite good. However, I'm going to recommend Revolution Tea (which follows in a similar vein to Mighty Leaf) because they sell them in boxed single servings (i.e., one fabric tea bag in a small branded cardboard box), which I think would be ideal for a putting together "loot bags" for parties. Or else, if you don't mind asian style teas, I was at T&T (downtown) and found a pack of 6 assorted Japanese senchas (e.g. sencha with ginseng, sencha with rose petals, etc.) that were packaged in small, pretty tins. The tea itself is a touch tannic for my tastes but otherwise enjoyable.

                1. Juniper Jan 4, 2008 12:16 PM

                  Oh, and for chocolates, Le Fromagerie on College (between Ossington and Dovercourt) sells individually packaged squares of Amadei chocolates, considered by many to be the best single cru chocolates out there. That will allow you to mix and match chocolate from Trinidad, Ghana, etc., so your friends can taste, side by side, the differences in flavour inherent to the cacao beans in different parts of the world.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Juniper
                    chocabot Jan 4, 2008 06:44 PM

                    The individually packaged amedei chocolates are also at Atelier Thuet for $6 I believe.
                    JS has a good salted caramel truffle and a nice cardamom and pepper flavours.

                    1. re: chocabot
                      Suresh Mar 3, 2008 09:39 AM

                      Or you can get the full bars for $10 at pusateris as well. They were at the gourmet food and wine expo last year. I love Amedei, easily some of the best chocolate I have had.

                  2. b
                    Bordeaux Girl Jan 4, 2008 03:02 PM

                    For gourmet tea lovers, Language of the Leaf beats anything you can get in T.O. imho - I'm an avid tea drinker and have tried many brands from all over, and they have among the best and freshest tasting teas. You can buy online and the service is prompt. I've spoken to the owners and they try many teas before selecting one, so they take a lot of trouble.


                    1. j
                      john88 Jan 4, 2008 06:37 PM

                      Language of the Leaf has lovely teas - I got some smaller sized assortments of flavoured green and black teas as a gift once and now order from them over the web regularly - they do wonderful flavoured rooibos blends too.

                      Regarding chocolatiers, there's Bernard Callebaut located in Oakville on Lakeshore Blvd - they do delicious truffles. I like the Canadienne and the chocolate coated organic BC Cherry. JS Bonbons has something called the Mangaro which is very good.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: john88
                        jayt90 Jan 4, 2008 07:02 PM

                        The best loose tea have found is a high grown, hand picked orange pekoe from Ceylon (their name, not mine) in traditional 7 oz. tins at $7 sold by Lee Valley http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page....

                        When your guest opens the tin, they will know it will make a great cuppa.

                        1. re: john88
                          Little T Mar 3, 2008 02:42 PM

                          I guess Language of the Leaf is not available at Toronto stores?

                        2. t
                          tracey Jan 4, 2008 08:17 PM

                          My favourite is The Tea Leaf, sadly no longer located in The Beach, but I travel by TTC all the way to their new location at Bayview Village just to pick up their tea. I am addicted to the Creamed Earl Grey and the Chocolate Mint (with actual little chunks of chocolate that melt into your cup).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tracey
                            pescatarian Jan 5, 2008 05:06 AM

                            I like The Tea Leaf also and I like the owners. They seem like very nice people.

                          2. morrigan Jan 5, 2008 05:26 AM

                            What about the House of Tea on Yonge north of Bloor? I have always found that they encourage you to smell everything and give elaborate descriptions. Extremely helpful and friendly. They also have an assortment of very small boxes that I would think held one or two teabags... Just thinking of chocolates, House of Tea has a very nice chocolate-flavoured Rooibos... Our local chocolatier is Leonidas (in the Holt Renfew Centre underpass)...very tasty and good selection of Belgian chocolate and truffles. I have too many favorites to list. I would love to hear what you choose and where!

                            1. g
                              gps_shag Jan 5, 2008 11:56 AM

                              Don't forget TenRen Tea for lots of different Chinese teas.

                              454 Dundas Street West
                              Toronto, Ontario M5T 1G9
                              Tel: 416/598-7872 Fax: 416/595-5080

                              330 Hwy 7 East
                              Richmond Hill, ONT L4P 3P8
                              Tel: 905/881-8896

                              4350 Steeles Ave. East, Unit 103
                              Markham, Ontario L3R 9V4
                              Tel: 905/305-9086

                              Ten Ren
                              454 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gps_shag
                                miranda Jan 5, 2008 05:48 PM

                                Mighty Tea.....is the BEST....can buy in specialty shops or Whole Foods.....expensive but worth it...their green line is my fave....there are 3 green choices....Miranda

                              2. h
                                hoagy294 Jan 6, 2008 09:41 AM

                                I used to like Metro Tea but it's not as flavourful as it once was. I think it was the hideous decaf that started their slide from favour, and then an order from Upton finished them off.
                                How do any of the other places recommended compare to Upton? We only drink black tea and Earl Grey is as fancy as we get with flavours.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hoagy294
                                  Bordeaux Girl Jan 6, 2008 11:08 AM

                                  If you like Earl Grey, I definietly recommend trying the Earl Grey Supreme from Language of the Leaf - it's fantastic, along with other unflavoured black teas they have! Couldn't agree more about Metro Tea unfortunately.

                                  1. re: hoagy294
                                    mrsleny Jan 6, 2008 02:28 PM

                                    I have ordered online from Teavana and they make the best Earl Grey Creme I've ever tasted. It's Hubby's favourite and I have to order every few months for him. I haven't had great success with the flavoured/scented black teas but their Spice Nut Mate is amazing and I also love their Strawberry and organic pu-erh.

                                    For flavoured black teas, I really like Upton's Orange Spice, Christmas, and New England Harvest. I like how Upton has sample packs to try.

                                  2. littlegreenpea Jan 6, 2008 02:05 PM

                                    Some of my favorite JS Bonbon truffles have already been mentioned:
                                    lemon & thyme
                                    sea salt & caramel

                                    I also really like her coriander & lime.

                                    She also does a chai tea milk chocolate truffle, an Earl Grey molded chocolate and a Jasmine Tea with grapefruit sugar molded chocolate.

                                    You may also wish to consider purchasing individually wrapped squares of Dolfin chocolate. They have many great flavors (my fave is the ginger), but I'm thinking of their Earl Grey chocolate in particular, for your tea theme.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: littlegreenpea
                                      blue bike Jan 6, 2008 03:03 PM

                                      I remember trying the Earl Grey one but I expected more bergamot flavour. Jasmine Tea with grapefruit sugar molded chocolate sounds good. I must go and try it.

                                    2. t
                                      T42 Jan 7, 2008 12:02 PM

                                      My first post to Chowhound!! As for tea, no one has mentioned Stash Tea, specifically the "Chai" Thought I would add my vote in. When I steep this everyone asks what brand and flavour it is as it is highly aromatic. You can find this at the St Lawrence Market or at some select Loblaws. Enjoy!

                                      1. T Long Mar 3, 2008 02:59 PM

                                        I came across this great black (orange pekoe) tea served at the International Doubletree.... unfortunately not yet available in stores but can order online. Tea is packaged unblended unlike most teas

                                        SilverTips Tea - www.ceylonteacompany.com

                                        1. s
                                          steve987 Apr 7, 2008 02:31 PM

                                          No one has mentioned my favorite tea site yet - TeaFrog - http://www.teafrog.com

                                          I love their Rooibos Tea selections - the Rooibos Love is to DIE for! They also have free shipping in their local area. I picked up some of their samples at a craft show in the fall, and I am hooked!

                                          1. Finnegan Apr 8, 2008 06:36 AM

                                            I like the Ceylon Pettiagalla at Say Tea (Yonge/Eglinto Area). They have a good selection of estate teas (i.e. all grown on a single plantation). Not cheap but worth the price once in awhile. They also have the bloosom teas whcih I've yet to try (need a glass tea pot to get the full effect).


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