Vancouver Tea Festival 2020: Recap

This year’s Vancouver Tea Festival took place on March 7th & 8th, 2020 at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia. It’s also the first year at this new location and my first time attending an event at Nikkei as well. Parking was pretty accessible at this new location, and I didn’t have issues finding it (with the help of my GPS…). I did see several bus stops nearby on a major road, so I feel as if it’d be pretty transit friendly as well.

As always, there were classes and tastings to attend that were on a first come, first serve basis. I was only able to attend on day 2 (Sunday) and I was there for a limited period of time, so I focused my time on the market and checking out the vendors as I didn’t think I would have enough time to sit in on a tasting or class this year. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to attend a class.

I did manage to take some time to chat up with a lot of the vendors, as well as sitting down and having tea with quite a few of them as well, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Some familiar faces were there this year, along with many new tea friends to be made!

Amoda Tea (above) and 8 Corners (below)

Wize Monkey (above) and Sunzen Art Gallery (below)

JusTea

The Chinese Tea Shop

kyth + kyn (above) and Teakan (below)

Van Cha

Jones Tea (above) and Sunny M (below)

Tea Lani (above) and Trudy Ann’s Chai & Spices (below)

Trudy Ann’s Chai & Spices (above) and Whisk Premium Matcha (below)

Many thanks to Del & the hard working team behind the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival for putting on a great event – and thank you for the media pass. I saw a lot of volunteers running around, helping people check in at registration and supplying people with tasting cups, as well as those that were checking in with vendors to make sure they had enough water for all the tea that was being steeped!

I managed to buy quite a bit of tea this year, and I’m really looking forward to reviewing them all and sharing those reviews here on One More Steep. They’ll be sprinkled throughout along with the stash of tea I have waiting for me right now. Definitely be sure to follow me on Instagram (@onemoresteep) as well to see my daily tea posts as well as stories on my tea drinking.

Tea Experience: Indigo Age Cafe

Indigo Age Cafe
Vancouver, BC
Raw Vegan High Tea – $34 each

I went to Indigo Age Cafe for the first, and last, time back in late January. I had received a Groupon for the high tea for two for my birthday. Unfortunately, Indigo Age Cafe had closed the first of February this year, which is disappointing since it certainly looked like there were a lot of fans of this cafe both in person and online.

Indigo Age Cafe was located in Vancouver, BC and offered a very unique take on high tea by having a mostly raw vegan menu. The entire restaurant featured raw vegan and vegetarian foods, so it was really quite something to experience as it was literally like nothing I had experienced before – and nor do I think I’ll be able to experience again. The entrance was at street level, with some short steps to reach the entrance. The tables were wood slabs that featured the natural shape of the trees, which I thought was fascinating. The high tea was offered by reservation only.

The tea selection featured a few each of black tea, green tea, rooibos, herbal tisanes and yerba mate. I opted for a flavoured black tea, Wild Strawberry Cream (ingredients: India Ceylon, strawberry oil, cream aroma, rose petals – described as organic fair trade). My friend and I each received a tea-for-one set with our respective teas in it. I really enjoyed mine – it had a lovely strawberry flavour that wasn’t too coyingly sweet or artificial tasting.

The food arrived on a three-tier stand. No scones for this high tea set!

On the bottom, there was a waffle, a samosa, a cucumber wrap with a veggie slider patty, a spring roll in rice paper, and a mushroom cap with shredded carrots. A lot of avocado on this level, which was great because I love avocado as much as the next girl. My favourites were the cucumber wrap, although a bit messy to eat, and the samosa for having such brilliantly bright flavours.

On the second tier were stuffed cucumber and tomato. The ‘cheese’ used was cashew base and honestly if nobody told me that it wasn’t real cheese, I might not have believed them. The cucumber had some great dill notes, but wasn’t my favourite overall.

For desserts there was this lovely blueberry ‘cheese’ cake and a coconut cream panna cotta that was basically to die for. So light and airy, but so rich at the same time. I liked both desserts and thought that they were both really well done.

I found that Indigo Age Cafe definitely had a lighter feeling high tea menu set – I didn’t feel stuffed at the end of it, but I wasn’t hungry either. I think the lightness of the dessert certainly helped. The service was lovely and there was a lot of smart and creative culinary choices made with the menu. As someone who’s not vegan or vegetarian, it was all very pleasant and tasty.

I really did enjoy my visit to Indigo Age Cafe – and I’m really sad that I won’t be able to have a second visit. There were some really great decisions made with the menu that I enjoyed – from the avocado, to the little slider patty and that delicious panna cotta on top. As much more people strive towards a more plant-based diet, I do hope that more Vancouver-based tea salons opt to have a more vegetarian or vegan friendly menu set, even if it doesn’t involve all the avocado (which I wouldn’t say no to…).

Tea Experience: Neverland Tea Salon

Neverland Tea Salon
Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
A Grande Adventure High Tea – $38 each

When my friend Suzanne suggested that we go for tea at Neverland Tea Salon in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, of course I said yes! This tea salon is easy to get to via transit as it’s located along a major road with plenty of bus traffic (and some free street parking nearby as well!). And look at that adorable sign to signal when you’ve reached the front door.

We opted for the A Grande Adventure High Tea, which is $38 per person and includes “never-ending pots of tea”. For those not wanting to switch out teas, there is the Demi Tea ($30 per person). Neverland Tea Salon also features a Take Me To Neverland Bubbly High Tea (features the never-ending pots of tea, along with one sparkling wine, rosè, or mimosa) at $48 per person, and a Tinkerbell’s High Tea for children, at $24 each. Read More …