I went with Lucy and Samantha for afternoon tea one day at the Urban Tea Merchant on Alberni Street. I had heard about their delicious afternoon tea options recently and really wanted to give them a try. There are several different tea options available and for the most part, not everyone needs to order the same option but we all decided to have the Petite Afternoon Tea service.
There is quite an extensive tea menu so it took us a while to figure out what we wanted. Lucy was undecided between a couple of fruity tea options so our server brought the leaves out for her to smell to help her decide which one she’d prefer. I ended up going classic with the Early Grey tea that day.
First came a small mango sorbet amuse bouche. The mango flavour was quite strong and the sorbet was a refreshing way to start our afternoon tea service.
Unlike most other afternoon tea places I’ve been to, we each had our own tower of treats. I suppose it makes it easier for tables where everyone orders something different.
As usual, I worked my way from the bottom up. I ate the watercress and cucumber sandwich because it is usually my least favourite of the afternoon tea sandwiches. This one was no different. I always find it to be too bland for my taste. I couldn’t really taste the tea in the tea-infused curried egg salad sandwich but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. The curry flavoured the egg nicely and the creamy filling went well with the nutty whole wheat bread. My favourite of the trio of sandwiches was the smoky tea-infused chicken cone. Perhaps because it was smoked, I could taste the tea flavour more whereas the curry overwhelmed the tea flavour in the egg sandwich. The creamy chicken filling here went nicely with the crunch of the diced onions and the ice cream cone-like shell that the chicken was served in.
The plain scone was crispy on the outside and had a relatively moist centre. It wasn’t the best scone I’ve had but it was still tasty and served as an excellent vessel for the strawberry jelly and my favourite, Devonshire cream.
The dessert tier consisted of three options and I decided to start with the chocolate-covered strawberry first. The strawberry was pretty good but there wasn’t really anything that stood out. Next, I had the chai-infused pastry creme cone. This was basically like a mini ice cream cone except the creme wasn’t frozen. The chai flavour was really strong and if you are a chai fan, you’ll like this quite a bit. My favourite of the desserts was also the last one I had, the tea macaron. The macaron was actually slightly too chewy but the dark chocolate cookie held up really well to the tea-infused filling. It is quite sweet but went really well with my strong cup of Earl Grey tea.
The three of us had a great time at the Urban Tea Merchant. The tea service area is at the back of the store so it is pretty quiet and secluded from the retail section of the store. Service was very attentive and our tea pots were always replenished quickly. I definitely want to come back to try some of their other tea services. Note that there is also another location at Park Royal Centre in West Vancouver.
1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver