Best tea (bagged or loose)
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?
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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
4350 Steeles Ave. East, Unit 103
Markham, Ontario L3R 9V4
454 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T, CA
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).