The teahouse revival in town has made the simple question of what hot drink to order – a cup of joe or Earl – more interesting. To aid your decision, and to advocate for your wallet, here are two local experts: Geoff Linden, owner of 104th Street’s Credo Coffee, and Cally Slater-Dowson of popular boutique Cally’s Teas, which is currently seeking a new location.
Attitude: “Sophisticated people are drinking coffee. They’re stimulated, engaged with each other. They’re people with ideas, people who start revolutions.”
Effects: “Coffee activates the mind and body, it engages people in conversation, motivates them. Tea is more about winding down.”
Nuances: “Your average cup can be elevated into a cuisine, evaluated on many levels with many tastes, and then you add the art to it and it becomes very special.”
Sophistication: “It’s art and science. The science is working with water temperatures, volumes, grind-particle size, grind consistency, speed – minutia will change the flavour of the coffee. The art side of it is the beautiful crema.”
Swag: “The equipment lets you go absolutely wild. It can grow outside the normal confines of a house.”
Attitude: “You don’t associate tea with the corporate culture. It’s seen as a drink to sit and relax, for the person who wants to be alerted, but not with a bang. Tea drinkers are more community-oriented and looking for harmony.”
Effects: “Tea has L-theanine in it, a calming component, but it also alerts the mind. I think it’s healthier because you can drink more of it, and it’s very high in antioxidants. And it’s good at getting rid of bad breath.”
Nuances: “There are more subtle nuances reflecting more cultural traditions. Coffee has nuances, but it’s more blatant, more in your face. Tea lends itself better to flavours because it’s milder.”
Sophistication: “There are various rituals, like the Chinese Gong Fu tea ceremony, that filters into the perception of tea as something that is community-based. All these rituals, including the English high tea, give it more of a ceremonial attitude.”
Swag: “Tea drinkers prefer something beautiful, but functional. They appreciate good design. There is an art to what teapot you use, and what tea you use it with.”
Get our Newsletters
Sign up for our free weekly newsletters:
Like this content? Get more delivered right to your inbox with Ed.Eats.
Every Tuesday, a list of what's delicious, delectable and delightful.