Saturday, May 26, 2012

Silk Road Tea

Address: 1624 Government St.
Phone: (250) 704 2688 (press 2)
Price: Teas are in bulk; a sample size costs $3-5
Notes: Victoria's deluxe tea shop with gorgeous products and a massive selection of teas

Silk Road Tea

It was recently brought to my attention (indirectly) that in my nerding out about the coffee scene in Victoria I had completely neglected to blog about our tea. Which is funny, because if you saw the tea selection in our cupboard... well, let's just say tea probably has more room than our spices do! (Unfortunately, my partner-in-food-and-life has a semi-written rule that tea will only be consumed when the house is clean, which is really only quarterly...!).

Silk Road has grown intensely as a company in the last few years. Originally had a small store in Chinatown, packed with tea, aromatherapy and house-made products to pamper yourself with, as well as separate area for spa and massage treatments. They have since doubled their floor space, with the tea products displayed on one side and the spa and aromatherapy products on the other.

What I really love about Silk Road is how gorgeous everything is in there! It's like eye candy just walking around - every tea pot, mug, tea towel, tin, bowl and strainer is a work of art in itself. The stock is arranged so artistically I sometimes find myself not wanting to buy something for risk of ruining their beautiful presentation.

Their tea selection is ridiculously comprehensive, ranging from traditional varieties like Earl Grey to their own blends like Westcoast Peppermint or Moonlight on the Grove (my personal favourite) with green tea and jasmine petals.

May 23, 2012
Victoria 150 Tea
This is a special tea blend to celebrate Victoria's 150th anniversary.

In ancient China, “tribute tea” blends were created as a way for tea makers to pay homage to the Emperor and Imperial Court. The City of Victoria was founded on August 2, 1862 and this limited edition tea blend is Silk Road’s tribute to Victoria, a vibrant community that we are proud to be a part of. In honor of the city’s culinary commitment to local ingredients, Victoria 150 Tribute Tea has been created using locally grown tea leaves, a first for Victoria! -- Silk Road's blog
Victoria 150 Tea
I opted to drink this tea without tea or sugar this time in order to taste the flavours clearly. I could taste the rose petal, but also detected something that I think was citrus-based (lemongrass or bergamont?). I didn't detect too much lavender. My tea palate clearly needs refining! Unfortunately, I suspect my water wasn't quite at a high enough temperature when I steeped the tea, so it may not have received as much flavour as it was supposed to.

The service here is always a blend of perky and calm. When you enter, you are always offered a tea sample at the door. When you enter the second side, you are offered a second sample. Ample staff are always on hand to tell you about the tea selection and answer any questions you might have.