The Urban Tea Merchant is known in Vancouver for not only being purveyors of fine teas, but they live it and breathe it with passion every day! This family owned and run business only stocks Singapore based TWG Tea in a variety of forms like loose leaf, hand sewn cotton bagged and you can also find it in their food items. Offering a variety of tea services from light afternoon to full service high tea, you’re sure to find an experience that will satisfy. For the 2nd year in a row, they are fully embracing the Chinese Lunar Moon Festival with a line of tea infused and inspired mooncakes as well as a beautiful Moon Festival Tea Service.
Eating in Vancouver was invited to experience this mid-autumn treat that runs until September 19th, 2013. The Moon Festival High Tea service costs $46/person with a 2 person minimum. The tea chosen this year for the festival, appropriately named Longevity Tea, is best described like this: “a magical mélange of rare white teas which boast a high percentage of downy silver tips. This blend infuses into a royal yellow cup and yields a raw and crystalline flavor, sparkling and fresh. A joyful tea to extend the brevity of existence”.
The menu for the tea service couldn’t be more beautiful with savouries like miso-maple glazed sable fish in butter lettuce, smoked salmon with ponzu jelly, “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken salad cones, and a “Royal Orchid Tea” petite duck crepe. The sweets include a TWG Tea infused mooncake of your choice, “Silver Moon Tea” red bean chilled soup, and chocolate covered strawberries.
The menu highlights for me were the Chicken Salad Cones with their slight smokiness and the Petite Duck Crepe that was filled with juicy, tender duck and mushrooms. For the sweets, we went with the Dragon Moon Cake filled with Brothers Club tea-infused lotus paste and a roasted peanut center. The peanut was a perfect ingredient as it helped tame the sweetness of the lotus paste as well as making the mooncake approachable to Western palates like mine.
Overall I really enjoyed my experience at the Urban Tea Merchant and the Moon Festival Tea Service. Our service was impeccable, and the staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about everything related to tea and the Moon Festival. So any question you might have will be thoroughly answered. You can experience this unique Asian tea service until September 19th, 2013 and I would recommend making reservations.