Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Visit to DAVIDsTEA

I admit, I have a 'thing' for Canada. I've never met a Canadian I didn't like (and I've met quite a few), and I have loved every Canadian city I ever visited. They also have Mounties and great health care. What's not to like? When I heard that Canadian tea-purveyor DAVIDsTEA recently opened two shops in NYC, I practically grabbed my coat and ran out the door.

I decided to visit the West Village location, as it was more convenient to my office. Getting back and forth in an hour is key! Taking the subway from Midtown and ending up in the charming West Village is always a pleasant experience. Walking through the historic streets of 19th century brownstones and federal style buildings makes me a most happy lady.

The shop is on Bleecker street, the bright wood stands out from the other stores on the block. Walking in I was immediately hit with a loud and enthusiastic 'WELCOME TO DAVIDsTEA!!!' I was a bit startled, but enjoyed seeing all of the smiling faces behind the counter. A sample cup of tea was ushered into my hands as I looked around a bit. A friendly yet laid back employee asked if I needed any help. We chatted for a little bit, and I could tell that he loved working at the store. He seemed relatively new to teas, but was passionate and had all of the basics down. It seems that DAVIDsTEA is known for their flavored blends, but they also have a nice selection of White, Black, Green, Oolong, and Pu-erh as well. When I mentioned I was looking for a new black tea, he instantly started grabbing canisters for me to smell. It was a whirlwind of tea happiness.

If you've been following this blog at all you know I'm not too keen on flavored blends. But while I was smelling the slew of black teas, one called Glitter & Gold jumped out at me. I'm not much of a girly girl, but this tea had sugar gold balls in it. The man helping me mentioned that the tea gets glittery once it steeps. My inner teenage girl started jumping up and down.

I selected a Wild Black Yunnan to purchase. I was looking for a breakfast black tea, and it was picked from wild tea trees. I haven't tried it yet, but the idea is intriguing. I also decided to get a glass travel mug as I have been coveting one for weeks but hadn't pulled the trigger. While paying for my purchases, I was offered a complimentary cup to go. Of course I jumped at the chance to try the Glitter & Gold!

After leaving the store I eagerly uncapped my cup, revealing a black tea with gold glittery flecks slowly floating through it. The teenage girl squealed a little bit. I unfortunately couldn't get a good picture of the glittery goodness, so here is just one of the cup on someone's stoop. It tasted sweet, very cinnamony with a hint of orange and vanilla. Probably not something I'd purchase for myself, but it would be fun to serve at a holiday party, or give as a gift. It is festive, and comes with free entertainment, after all.

My visit was a great break from the day. The store is cheerful and filled with a good selection of tea and accessories. Walking around the neighborhood is always an enjoyable history lesson with historic buildings at every turn. The area is also home to quite a few other tea shops. McNulty's for tea buying in an old-school atmosphere, Bosie Tea Parlor for a lovely afternoon tea break, the always-wonderful Tea and Sympathy, and The Tea Set, a tea cafe that is on my list of places to visit. I sense a West Village tea crawl coming soon...

DAVIDsTEA (multiple locations) 275 Bleecker St, NY, NY 10014- Recommended
Highlights- good selection, friendly service, free samples

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