Laptop Friendly, Tea

Salon Teashop

Before you say anything, yes, I know I am reviewing a tea shop and Bean Stalk is a coffee blog. However, I still want to include it in my list because I don’t believe in restricting my coverage to limiting definitions (I’ve done brunch restaurants before, see Butterblume) nor can I keep myself from wanting to share a new found gem with my readers. Tea can be a refreshing change from the usual coffee order and I usually go for a tea when I need something lighter to drink. For example, after a big meal,  I find tea helps with digestion. In mornings when I want a more gentle wake up, I will also opt for tea as opposed to the bold kick coffee usually gives me. At the same time, sometimes I’m just looking for a spot to do some work or have group meetings. In that case, I’m less picky about getting a good cup of coffee and more concerned about my ambiance- think big spacious tables and wifi. In both cases, Salon Teashop wins, and this is why I’ve decided to cover it on my blog.

The coffee chosen is a single origin Colombian fair trade roast from Coffee Club, a Toronto-based roaster. Being primarily a teashop, Salon Teashop chose the Colombian roast as it is a crowd pleaser that is familiar and not too experimental in terms of taste. I’ve had two cappuccinos there and they were decent. Where they really shine, however, is with their tea, which is outstanding. The matcha latte was perfectly balanced in terms of tea-syrup-foam ratio, and the more innovative craft tea, Rose Water London Fog, was also delicious due to the layers of flavours. I have also had a taste of one of their specials that included Fuji apple syrup and the fruity notes were so delicate it was almost floral. Tea culture in Montreal is still in its infancy stage and I’m glad that Salon Teashop is there to jumpstart our appreciation for quality, authentic tea.

 

These are not your usual teabag tea nor is it the more commonly found Camellia Sinensis in third wave coffee shop. Instead, these are artisanal high-grade tea leaves sourced from various parts of Asia that are ground and mixed to order and professionally infused to let out the most aroma and notes. The tea is meticulously prepared to allow the flavours to really blossom in your mouth and nasal passages. The owner, who is of Taiwanese origin, often makes personal trips to Taiwan to collect the tea. The expertise runs deep as some of their family friends are tea farmers who specialize in a tea called Bao Zhong – a type of Oolong tea. These same tea farmers also compete in regional and country-wide competitions and due to their connection, Salon teashop is given reasonable prices compared to the retail price usually charged for their luxury micro batches. Basically, we’re lucky to be able to afford the tea we are getting.

Food wise, there aren’t many options other than the croissant or chocolatine from Les Touriers, matcha muffin (made in-house), or croissant ham and cheese sandwich. The good news is that they are looking to start serving bagels in the near future to expand their food menu. The wifi is fast, the tables wide, and with the abundance of light, the place is an ideal work environment. The last thing I want when I work on a project is to feel cramped both in terms of my desk space and my surroundings.

Finally, when I asked them if they had recommendations for first-time visitors, they suggested any of the fog items but especially the London Fog. This, understandably, is because the syrups used in their craft tea are excellent: preservatives free and contain no artificial flavouring. All things considered, Salon Teashop receives a strong recommendation on my part as it is a beautiful work space driven by a team that is passionate about serving quality tea.

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