Best Tea House - Vancouver

One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

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by Drax » Mar 15th 09 12:09 am

Very awesome, thanks for sharing the experience!

So how exactly was that 20th infusion....??

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Re: Best Tea House - Vancouver

by wyardley » Mar 15th 09 2:45 am

TomVerlain wrote:Vesper Chan, of the Best Tea House in HK wrote the introduction to Cloud's book "First steps to Chinese Pu'er Tea" and was Cloud's teacher.
Patricia and Michael are his sister / brother in law; Mr Chan is also the teacher of the owners of the Tea Gallery in NY, and Bill Lee from China Flair (also in Vancouver).
TomVerlain wrote: 6) No Meng Hai (Dayi) tea cakes in sight - lots of their own brands and CNNP stuff.
They definitely have plenty of Menghai cakes; one example is the '88' cake you mentioned, which is Menghai factory (7542 recipe)... A large amount of CNNP stuff is from Menghai factory. Even many of the modern cakes (since privatization) are made with CNNP / 7 sons style wrappers.

I don't think BTH has any of their own brand cakes, though they have commissioned a couple of special orders. They also carry the Tea Gallery 2004 cake. They have some loose blends packaged in their own packaging.
TomVerlain wrote: 8) He doesn't use roiling boiling water, it had a few really large bubbles, which he then took of the heater and let sit. It was a glass teapot with "mei fan" <?> rocks.
maifan - see

In case anyone missed the older post about it, here's one with some pictures, as well as contact information for mail order (phone is generally better than email, as they're sometimes kind of slow).

Prices are on the high side, but they are generally a little flexible, and they carry some stuff that's otherwise hard to get in North America. Their middle and top of the line Anxi Tieguanyin is pretty good (mostly mid to high fire stuff).

I think a lot of places use a filter unless you tell them that you don't need it. I always try to let people know that they don't need to use one unless they want to for themself.

Haven't been to either place in person yet, but anyone visiting Vacouver should also check out Aroma Teahouse (in Vancouver proper), and also member danluie's store (Arts de Chine). See for addresses.

There's also another store insde the mall that BTH is attached to, but I didn't get a chance to visit.

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by Salsero » Mar 15th 09 4:18 pm

Holy cripes, what a great experience! Thanks for the description and photos. Really a great post.

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by tony shlongini » Mar 15th 09 6:09 pm

How is it possible that Vancouver can have such a store, but not New York City? :cry:

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by shogun89 » Mar 15th 09 6:37 pm

That is a dream. . . .

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by kymidwife » Mar 15th 09 6:50 pm

OMG thats incredible!

And I see my ebay yixing in there, short, wide, and flat shape with the hole in the lid underneath the handle on top. Sweet!

***This organic blend is earthy & spicy, with a fragrant aroma & smooth flavor to captivate the senses. Naturally sweetened in the Kentucky sunshine & infused with natural energy. Equally delicious when served piping hot or crisply chilled.***

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by TIM » Mar 16th 09 4:22 pm

tony shlongini wrote:How is it possible that Vancouver can have such a store, but not New York City? :cry:
I second that.

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by depravitea » Jun 24th 09 2:54 pm

Ok, it's official, there is nothing interesting in my state - unless you're into loud trucks - which I'm not.

That tea shop is awesome. I wish they weren't so rare around here.
"The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation." - Bertrand Russell

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by cinnamongurlee » Jun 27th 09 10:09 pm

i have only lived in Vancouver for the past year, and i am presently on mat leave. this will be my pilgrimage before i go back to work. thank you for sharing your experience and photos. what a wonderful day you had :)

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by JAS-eTea Guy » Jun 28th 09 2:28 am

Tom -
Thanks for sharing!
What a fabulous experience. The pictures were great too.
Good tea drinking,

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by iguanahey » Jul 1st 09 11:58 pm

I'm fortunate enough to live right on the US-Canadian border, an hour's drive away from Richmond and the Best Tea House. I make monthly pilgrimages to that and the MANY other good tea shops within a mile or so of BTH.

Best Tea House is undoubtably the best place in town to get rare pu-erhs and esoteric teaware. They aren't shy about their prices, but they're one of the few places where I know you'll get full value for your tea money. Their tea knowledge is undeniable and they're friendly and eager to teach.

If you want to find bargains there was, until three months ago, a really nice shop not 500 feet away to the North called World Pu-erh. The quality varied all across the board, but there were fabulous deals and discoveries to be made and the owner, Sandy Zhu, was grandmotherly and generous. I'm not sure what happened to the store but it was suddenly closed and vacant when I visited in late Spring.

If you want to try the best mainland Chinese teas I've ever had, go one block further North to the Continental Plaza where Spring Cottage Tea, a wholesaler (who sells retail) resides. They specialize in subtle oolongs and greens but have top-tier pu-erhs as well, including small quantities of wild-leaf arboreal sheng from various peaks in Yunnan, which the owner' family picks and sends over. Once a year his wife's mother's tea farm sends a dozen pounds or so of the best silver needle I've ever tasted (we always buy a pound). They also sell full-sized tea desks (not the folding or carved tea desks, but hefty "partner-desk" sized works.

Just North of Richmond proper is the Aroma Tea House, the North American outlet of Hong Kong's Lam Kie Yuen Tea Co ( Ironically I've ordered from their mother store in Hong Kong but never visited their shop here. Another recommended stop though.

And of course Richmond has dozens of the chain stores, both mainland and Formosan: Ten Ren, Ten Fu, Van Cheung, etc.