DAVIDsTEA’s Choconut Oolong

DavidsTea Choconut Oolong

I’ve been a fan of DAVIDsTEA for a while now (who isn’t??).  My longtime favorite has always been and still is Mulberry Magic (why haven’t I blogged that yet??).  One holiday shopping day though I tried one of the limited edition flavors – Choconut Oolong – in latte form…and it blew my mind.

DavidsTea Choconut Oolong

I can only describe it as Nutella-in-a-cup. You are immediately hit with a shot of earthy nuttiness similar to biting into a Brazil nut. Ingredients include cocoa husks and cocoa beans along with natural and artificial flavoring (I’m betting hazelnut’s in there). The addition of liquorice gives it a natural sweetness so no additional sweetener is necessary!! The cocoa flavor is the least prominent though.

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Petite Afternoon Tea at The Urban Tea Merchant

For the month of August, The Urban Tea Merchant is offering a petite afternoon tea service for $20 per person. Now afternoon teas are never enough food for a guy so I made Fannypack go experience this with me.

The regular price for this service is usually $28. Now I’m not actually sure that the promotion is really a promotion because you actually lose an item from the regular petite afternoon tea menu, the item being a macaron. And FYI, each macaron will run you $4 here.  That’s probably the priciest I’ve seen in Vancouver so far.

However, having tried the macarons in Hong Kong, I’ve come to decide that the macarons made here do NOT do the intended flavor justice.  On that note, I’ve decided not to eat macarons in Vancouver anymore.  Having said that, I was not too sad about losing that from the menu.

The Urban Tea Merchant

Upon entering the store from the W. Georgia side, we were welcomed by a nice looking tea shop.  We waited a little while for a server to seat us.  And when he did, we were led to the back of the store towards the tea salon.  I would’ve rather stayed outside in the shop as it looked nicer.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea

While we were looking at the menu, we were brought a drinkable amuse bouche – Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea (a black tea with rare mango and flowers).

It was very refreshing and a nice mix of mango and cucumber flavor.  A little bit of sweet, and a little bit savory.  The “infused” part though I felt was just the sprinkling of tea leaves on top.  Fannypack and I both decided that it was a rather licorice-y flavor.

Their tea menu is indeed extensive.  There was so much to choose from.  Fannypack and I read from front to back a couple times before deciding on a tea each.  The price of the tea set actually includes $8 towards a tea.  Which means anything above is extra.

We found one that was $78.  It was a Hawaiian Oolong.  I wonder how many orders of that they get a year.

The Urban Tea Merchant: Weekend in Moscow tea

For my tea, I decided on the Weekend in Moscow.  It is a blend of green and black tea with rose petals, bergamot and sweet almond.

Fannypack chose the Orange Blossom Oolong, with notes of orange blossom obviously.

When the teas arrived, they were poured for us in a circular manner into our respective cups.  When mine was poured, we immediately smell the aroma of roses and vanilla, which I will attribute to the sweet almond.  It was very pleasant and I was very satisfied with my choice.

However Fannypack’s was less exciting.  In fact, we couldn’t smell the scent of orange blossoms at all.  Plus we felt her tea (or both for that matter) could’ve been steeped a bit more.  We did not have a choice as they were steeped in the kitchen for us.

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Oyster eXpress

Oyster eXpress Vancouver

Fannypack recently informed me of this little place in Chinatown that has Buck-a-Shuck happy hour…and get this…it REALLY is a buck for a shuck!!!  Not $1.75, not $1.50, just $1!!!  When I heard of this, I quickly scurried Hitman to the magical Oyster eXpress with me.

Oyster eXpress Vancouver

This corner restaurant has a very rustic log house interior…the birch color scheme a la Ikea is very pleasing to the eyes and brings a warmth…especially on a night like tonight when it was a huge downpour.

Their Buck-a-Shuck deal is only during Happy Hour Tuesdays to Fridays from 3pm-6pm.  We arrived at around 5:15pm and were the only ones here on a Tuesday night.  A few more patrons came in afterwards though.

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Sabai Thai

Sabai Thai

A friend from Surrey repaid a favor by taking me out for Thai dinner (actually I might’ve made him buy me dinner LOL…).  He suggested Sabai Thai from the Guildford area as he’s been there before and they seem authentic, as in it’s actually owned and operated by Thai’s.

We had quite an early dinner but the place was already half-full.  It got progressively fuller afterwards.  We also noticed that the clientele was all Caucasians, with me (and the owners/servers) being the only Asians.  We deduced that that could mean something about the authenticity of the food as in the actual supposed spiciness and such.

Sabai Thai: Thai Tea

I had been craving Thai Tea for the longest time and so far the only place I’m able to get it is from Tapioca Express in Richmond.  I was happy to see that it was offered here too, but it certainly wasn’t cheap.  I believe it was around $3.50-4.

Sabai Thai: Thai Tea

As with the authentic Thai Teas, this became a bright orange after mixing, and I was happy to see that.  Only wish the picture would do it justice in the bright “neon-ness” of the orange.  I was surprised that my friend hadn’t tried this before, having visited Thailand a few times…he wasn’t too impressed with it though.

I loved it.  It has a very distinct, almost herb-y flavor which I can’t quite describe.  You really gotta try it to appreciate it.

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Best Masala Chai Ever!

So after the failed Spot Prawn Festival visit, PS and I just decided to head to Granville Island for a stroll.  Trying out GoFish was out of the question too as that line up was probably the same length as the one to buy tickets for the prawn boil.

Then PS remembered the best Masala Chai in Vancouver, and took me there.

Granville Island Tea Company

And where did we get said best masala chai?  At Granville Island Tea Company.

Making tea at Granville Island Tea Company

It is freshly brewed and so it took a little while.  It was a Saturday after all but then I really thought the girls could’ve given more smiles or actually answered simple questions like “Is this my order right here?” without giving us eye-rolls.  That was honestly not necessary.

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