Just in time for the frigid months ahead, Montreal’s tea lovers have a new place to warm up and geek out, at Teashop, which opened last Tuesday. Owner Laurent Han, a 26-year-old South Shore native, is a tea nerd himself who came to tea as a teen when he visited his parents's farm in Taiwan, and started to learn about varieties and process from neighbouring tea farmers.
At Teashop, Han hopes to reach a broad audience of tea nerds and novices with a refined and creative menu of traditional teas (white, green, oolong, and black), lattes, iced teas, and mixtures of fruits, herbs, and spices—like an oolong, peach and chrysanthemum blend or white tea, lavender and ginger. Food includes simple baked goods, and a weekday lunch menu provided by Mile-Ex-based caterer Cook Caravan.
Han plans to constantly rotate out varieties so customers can taste teas from different regions, and encourages experimentation, too, if a customer wants to try out their own mélange of tea, flowers, herbs, and syrups (created by Montreal-based Djinn Sirops). Process can get technical, and somewhat time-consuming here. The subtle, creamy chai latte contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, freshly made to order, plus black tea, and a simple vanilla syrup. For iced teas, Han plans to use a Graham condenser, a coiled apparatus that crash cools the tea before ice is added so the flavor isn’t as diluted.
Han has new creations like a black tea blueberry mint latte in the works, and because ‘tis the season, a pumpkin chai latte with a blend of chai latte and pumpkin-spiced syrup. Teashop's bright, minimalist, and airy space is located on the corner of Jean-Talon and Marconi, just before the underpass. It's technically located in Park Ex, Han says, but the shop fits in spiritually with nearby Mile-Ex neighbours like Brasserie Harricana and Dispatch Coffee.
Status: Teashop, 237 Jean-Talon Ouest, (514) 892-9888, now open daily.