The turn over of restaurants, cafes and boutiques on Fourth Avenue is as frequent as the rain that washes the streets of Vancouver clean. It is best not too get too attached to a place, yet I have fallen inexorably for the 05 Rare Tea Bar.
A Tea Bar Experience Like No Other
Walking off the wet streets I was welcomed to a seat at the bar, which feels more like a long dining table situated in a zen-like atmosphere. Playing on the white wall at the end of the bar is a slide show presentation of the journey of the rare tea from the micro tea farms all around the globe to the warm mug in the patrons’ hands. A list of daily features includes descriptions of the name of the tea,the place of origin, the type of tea and the style. A cold infusion of Moonlight White tea was served to me in a champagne flute and as I was sipping this tantalizing beverage, Pedro, one of the founders of the 05 Rare Tea Bar came from the kitchen to greet me.
Plan To Stay A While
Pedro is a tea hunter. He explained to me how he personally visits the micro tea farms, builds a relationship with the farmers and selects the freshly harvested tea. Once he’s made his choice, he has it air mailed to Vancouver. To help me understand the concept behind the 05 Rare Tea Bar he gave me the burnt coffee analogy. “Twenty-five years ago people didn’t have a refined taste for coffee. They were drinking burnt coffee. Then along came Starbucks which revolutionized the coffee world. Suddenly coffee had chocolate and sprinkles and people came to equate consistency with quality. Intelligentsia made its way to Vancouver and people discovered that experiencing quality coffee was similar to having a refined taste for a vintage wine. The tea we serve is expressed from the land properly. The taste varies depending on how much sun and rain the crop had, when it was harvested and many other factors. We consider this to be what makes a quality tea.”
A Family Man
As Pedro was telling me his story he was very conscious of the squirming baby in my arms. The menu at 05 Rare Tea Bar includes tapas and Pedro brought out a quinoa salad flavoured with dates, walnuts, orange and agave vinaigrette and Man Li Hyangi Tea leaves for my son to snack on. He then thought we might like to try a parfait of Powell River Wild Huckleberries, Greek Yoghurt and White Moonlight Syrup. If that wasn’t enough to stimulate our palate, Pedro volunteered slices of apples with locally made jam for my son. Turns out Pedro is the father of four and knows how to keep a baby occupied.
The price of a rare cup of tea ranges from three to six dollars, and tasting flights are available from $12-17. The Tapas are five to seven dollars. Tea leaves can also be purchased for home consumption, but if you’re wondering where to experience tea and tapas in Vancouver, visit the 05 Rare Tea Bar.