There’s a moment when walking into DAVIDsTEA for the first time that you realize you’ll be back again. Start with the wall of 150 different teas (don’t bother counting, just trust them), the free samples, or the tea team who can seemingly read your mind and suggest the perfect cup. But you’ll be back.
DAVIDsTEA is the creation of Montrealer David Segal, a 30-something entrepreneur with a vision of democratizing the sometimes snobbish tea experience. The store in Uptown Yonge is the fifth; more than 130 now operate across Canada and the U.S. The bright space, long tea bar, and mix of natural wood and bright colours is inviting and playful.
A couple of tables near the window and take-out cups let you grab a single brewed cup, but the selection of loose leaf teas and accessories encourage discovery and steeping at home. Tea Guides are helpful almost to a fault, asking questions, providing samples, and making suggestions for new teas to try. Teas are sold by weight and organized into eight types, moving from traditional black teas like a heady Earl Grey, to premium Gyokuro green tea, to chocolatey Red Velvet Cake that tastes just like the dessert and is sure to satisfy sweet tooth cravings. Opposite to the bar is a wall of gift sets, mugs, infusers, and natural sweeteners to recreate the DAVIDsTEA experience at home.
The crowd of tea lovers, tea discoverers, and coffee drinking expats suggests that DAVIDsTEA has succeeded in its mission. It’ll just take another 149 visits to get through their full selection.