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…).

Recipe: Easy Chia Seed Jam

I’m a big fan of easy recipes so when I tell you that this is easy, I mean it! You can make some delicious fruity jam in 10 minutes or less (not including cooling time). And if berries aren’t in season where you are, have no fear because frozen works just as well! I make this year round and it goes great on scones, English muffins, paired with your favourite nut butter, or just on a spoon. After all, if you’re setting the table for afternoon tea – you’re going to have some jam to go with those Lemon & Cranberry or Pumpkin Spice Scones, right?

My Easy Chia Seed Jam is lower in sugar than traditional jams, which makes it also friendly for those looking to cut down on sugar – plus all those chia seeds are an added boost of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, iron and calcium! If you’ve ever made a chia pudding before, you’ll know that chia seeds thicken things up! That’s what makes this jam more jam-like than fruit juice – give it a bit of time to work, and it’ll thicken up!

Easy Chia Seed Jam – Makes 1½ cups

2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)¹
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons sweetener²

¹ I used a frozen berry mix for the Easy Chia Seed Jam featured in the photos (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry).

² I typically use agave syrup (unflavoured) or maple syrup, but you can opt to use honey or simple syrup (1:1 ration of sugar and water). If you want to keep this jam vegan friendly, then avoid using honey.

Throw in the berries into a saucepan and put it on medium to high heat.
As the juices start to come out, break up the berries with a potato masher.
Once your mashed berries start bubbling, add chia seeds and sweetener.
Turn off heat, stir until evenly mixed.
Allow to cool and then transfer into an air-tight container.

This Easy Chia Seed Jam will keep in the fridge for up to a week, but in my experience it doesn’t last that long. Please note, because of the low sugar content (as well as the lack of pectin) this is not a canned jam or preserve. You do need to keep it in the fridge and use it within a week (if you make a big batch, you can freeze it for later).

If you make this Easy Chia Seed Jam, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!