Warm and cozy teahouse on popular Main Street. Let "Dreads" and "Glasses" educate you on the many teas they offer here.
Great bakery items though! Love the chocolate cookie as well as the complimentary ginger snaps! Can't fault the bakers & wholesalers they order their food items from. However, their teas are disappointing. I may very well be spoiled by what Steeps has to offer. The problem here might very well be that you don't get the tea leaves w/ your little kettle so it didn't get brewed or steeped long enough to make the flavours more obvious & I really have to wonder if they use the same stuff to make multiple portions for other customers (i.e., re-dry them). In either event, whether or not that is the case, it was a very disappointing experience--again, except for the baked goods--those were delicious! I wonder if they'd let you in on their suppliers' names.
The prices are mostly a dollar or bit more than at Steeps as well. Also, since there are no leaves included in the kettle, there probably is no point of refills if there is even such a thing.
The artsy ambiance makes the place seem cozy enough. The least comfortable seating might very well be the cute little bench they have by the window w/ the paper-thin seat cushions. Though I can see how it can be a nice young hippy hangout, I don't find it inviting enough to spend a couple of hrs there sipping tea--if my little kettle even lasts that many cup fulls. I wouldn't want to waste more $$ trying other flavours either as I've already been disappointed w/ the watery leafless pot we each received.
My friends and I are always on the lookout for new places to eat or try out. We were driving along Main one night and almost missed this wonderful jewel of a place. After all of us concurred that it looked interesting, I screeched a U-turn and parked right in front. The front of the room is draped with saris and the decor is one of a kind. Interesting furnishings like twig art on the wall, a treasure chest as a table and a burlap sack lamp. They have a wide selection of teas to choose from which you can smell before choosing. They also sell wonderful tea accessories like glass teapots, tealeaf envelopes and not to mention great teas. They are very helpful and will offer you a free sample of another tea when you buy some loose leaf tea. Great prices too.
Shopping on Main St, we decided to check out Shaktea one afternoon and I was very curious with the menu, the woman behind the counter acted annoyed after 2 questions. I had never been to Shaktea and I asked for a good green tea recommendation and she just kept going on and on about what they had on the menu, ignoring my question. We were the only customers in the store, what was so important other than business? She was also trying to rush me to order, who walks in not knowing the menu and orders within a minute?! I got so fustrated with her I just left the ordering to my boyfriend and went sit and wait. She should not be working at a tea house if she doesn't know what to recommend to customers! I did not enjoy my tea at all, I thought the tea I got was like any other at your local Starbucks, except it cost $6 for a small cup and it came with bad service.
I have been back several times already, and every time I have found that they have fantastic friendly service, the sweet treats are wonderful, and the tea is the best in Vancouver. My friends and I love to head there to unwind on a friday night (we aren't into the clubbing scene).
Definetly try the Coconut Chai tea!
EVERYWHERE ONE LOOKS AT THIS TEA HOUSE IS AN INSTRUCTION ON WHAT NOT TO DO!!!
There is a page in the menu regarding etiquette and signs on every display telling the client that if they break it they buy it, and that they are being video taped, and this and that - it is pretty stressful especially considering it is a tea house. The menu also sates that there is no outside food, no cell phones, no lap tops, no this no that - just when you think it is over there is a sign that says "don't put your wet things here". It feel really unfriendly. This isn't my first visit- I went a number of times a few years a go with a friend who lived nearby - she stopped going after the owner repeatedly offended her- so I stopped going too- I think the really hilarious quote my friend said was "Please do not have paper on the table, it might catch on fire" because there was a there was a tea light on the table as well. Today it seems that the trend has continued and the owner know has a sign maker.
I really can't comprehend why anyone that clearly loathes working with the public would own a retail space. I understand - I worked for almost 20 years in retail that people can be rude, frustrating, it is difficult work sometimes - you worry that stock will be broken /stolen, that children are unruly or that they will ruin the atmosphere- but this goes beyond concern and into a realm of absurdity.
We went for some afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I stepped into the place, I felt disgust as the interior looked rather ghetto. It seemed as though no thought whatsoever had been put into the renovation or the decoration of the place. Some of the furniture was extremely unsuitable for a tea house (plastic chairs from ikea). Service was exceptionally bad. When we called in the morning, we asked if there was room for 6 of us if we came for some tea in the afternoon? The lady on the confirmed that they would have room for us. When we arrived, only a few of us wanted the whole afternoon tea set as some of us had a late lunch. The rest of us just wanted a tea pot each. When we told the server, she informed us that we could pass on the tea time snacks but we would still be charged a total of 6 complete tea sets since we called and ordered 6. At this point in time we were rather annoyed as we did NOT in fact order 6 sets. Instead, we called because we wanted to make sure there was a table for us. It was a rainy day so we decided to stay there for that one time and have the 6 whole tea sets. But I am NEVER EVER going back there again and would not recommend this place to ANYONE since the food was too fusion and all the teas tasted the same (it's not just me, i've had a lot of experience with teas). Also, the teas were not refillable. Normally, you would expect the tea leaves to be left in the tea pot but lifted up so as to not keep them submerged; this was not the case. Shaktea just completely left out the tea leaves. Since the tea pots were extremely small, we paid a LOT of $$$$$ for a small pot of non-refillable tea. DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE.
This small tea lounge is like an oasis. After hearing about Shaktea from friends, I wandered in to check it out. Everything about it makes you feel immediately calm. As soon as I walked in, I was invited to sample some tea while I looked through the menu. I chose their Organic Coconut Cream Chai, which might be the best chai I've ever tasted, and a lemon cookie - so tasty! The super relaxing Indian music just made the experience all the better. The staff really know their tea well, too!
Can't wait to go back for more chai...
I also went to this little teahouse for the first time and was served by a rather dismissive woman in dreadlocks. Whenever i asked a question about the teas or the menus, it was as if it was a hassle for her to answer. She would give these curt replies. I asked about the cucumber sandwich and her reply was "we are not a restaurant so..." I paid $4.95 roughly for a single slice of bread with a bit of cheese and cucumber on top.
The only good part was the tea and the cookies. Will not go back and will not recommend it unless they change the people who serve the customers.
I've just returned from living in Scotland and visiting various parts of the UK and a few neighbouring countries like France, Spain, and Italy, and I must say Vancouver has, by far, the most selection of tea houses.
I was surprised how difficult it was to find comparable teas in the UK equivalent to the calibre Vancouver has to offer. Tea Pigs online teas were my salvation while I lived in the UK, but nothing compares to coming home to Shaktea
Shaktea has been my favourite all-round experience anywhere in Canada and in Europe for the soothing ambiance and creative interior design (ingeniously choreographed by one of the two proud Shaktea owners), the attentive, knowledgeable, and passionate service I received every time I had the pleasure of visiting Shaktea, and for the exquisite and ethereal teas and edible treats.
I consider myself a tea aficionado, and I've explored as many tea shops in Vancouver as I could, and Shaktea is my favourite - not because it is the best (I proudly rave about a couple other tea shops in the city) - although Shaktea has the smoothest and best-tasting rooibos I've ever had and has superb matcha green tea and oolong tea - but because the atmosphere reflects the mood I want to be in when I sip tea, and because the owners have provided me with the most one-on-one, personable, and enriching conversations and experiences I have had in any shop of any kind anywhere in the world.
Went a second time after an outstanding experience on our first visit a few months ago with (we found out later) the second owner, Maria. On the second visit, the woman who was serving us (Maria's co-owner) seemed frazzled and it felt like we were rushed through our tea selection, which was off-putting given that we were at shaktea for a relaxing, idle sunday chit-chat sort of experience.
She then poo-pooed our preference of drinking black tea with milk. She told us adding milk to black tea was akin to adding soda water to champagne, and that "tea professionals" like herself were all about tasting the subtleties and complexities in black tea, which milk ruined. Get over your ego, dear, and help educate your paying and passionate customers without being snooty.
The worst part of the experience was when we talked to her about a delicious Teapigs Peppermint bagged tea we'd tasted in London.... to which she rolled her eyes. There's nothing quite like feeling stupid after an interaction with a merchant that ensures my friends will hear about the experience.
To top it off, the tea was good, but by no means phenomenal, though the double chocolate pistachio cookie and craisin oatmeal cookies we had were excellent.
I won't be going back. Steeps on Broadway provides a better all-around experience.
After a hectic work schedule, i had a chance to drop by a small cozy teahouse called SHAKTEA on Main Street. As i wallked in, i've noticed the inviting ambience and the homey vibe. I was greeted by the hostess with a cheerful aura and welcomed by the cool lady barista. At that instance, i knew it... the place is really good. I was invited to try the tea samplers and had a chance to smell the other tea flavors. With the aroma alone, i can't wait to come back and try each flavor.
PICKS: Chocolate rooibos & peppermint flavors & blueberry cheesecake.
For a special cup of flavored loose tea leaves and a not-so-sweet cheesecake, it cost me less than $10 (tax & tip included). With the refreshing benefits of a steaming hot tea... i guess this is the best alternative than having Advil or Tylenol after a day's hardwork.
In general, the place is cheerful, clean and cozy. Feels like u get pampered with beverage that soothes your stress and worries. Bring your bestfriend and have a sweet time together chatting. This is the BEST PLACE TO UNWIND and to have a great time with your well-deserved afternoon tea.
I like the relaxed, cozy, and bright atmosphere of the place. Had the magnolia + pomegranate white tea with coffee chocolate mousse cake. The selection of leaf tea and tea products were okay, just what you would see in other tea shops. The tea service was around $3 and you get a pot of about 3 cups with a little candle warmer. The tea I had was light and fragrant, and the cake was small, also light, and quite nice.
A good place to sit and sip, read a book, chat, and/or just relax. The staff were very helpful and friendly too.
I stumbled upon this greatest tea house on Main Street, Shaktea. You walk in and you feel like you are in a spa - nice music, comfortable seating, great owners who know and are passionate about their teas. The place was buzzing with couples and small groups in little chatters, and enjoying the pleasantness of tea.
I had the Rooibos cinnamon swirl that came fully steeped, with those great tea cozies to keep my pot warm as I lingered reading my book. The croque monsieur was by far the best in the city with quality ham and delicious german mustard.
My 3 dollar something tea pot gave me over three cups, little ginger cookies, so cute. The best of the best.
Highly recommend it if you are looking for somewhere to linger, enjoy quality teas, educate yourself about tea and eat freshly made snacks or sweets.
PS - This is not a Starbuck or Starbuck type crowds. If you are looking for a place to surf the net, yack with your friends on the phone or have a quick drink, don't go there. But if you are looking to run away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and have a peace of heaven for a couple of hours, Shaktea is for you.
Thank you lady with dreadlocks for all you taught me about Rooibos.
I've been here a few times, and the place is very nice. The owners of the place are almost always there, and they most certainly know their tea, and take it seriously. They are always willing to let you smell the teas and will tell you all about them. They also sell various implements of tea and have very tasty baked goods on hand. They have some light food too, and the sandwiches are not substantial, but obviously made with care. The place could be more roomy, but it is indeed a nice place to relax with some tea, or to buy a bunch loose for home.