Confession time: I am a tea hoarder. I have gone so far as to document my tea collection on my personal blog, challenging others to do the same. When I offer guests a cuppa and pull open my tea drawer, they often gasp. So when I stumbled across the recently-opened SOKO Tea House in Newport Village one Friday morning in late September, I couldn’t resist stopping in to check it out and buy some more tea.
Tea, Tea and More Tea at SOKO
With 75 different types of tea to choose from, many of them organic, SOKO really is a tea lover’s paradise. As you browse their impressive tea list, you’ll be offered a sample. If the brew they’ve got going doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can ask to smell the different blends until you find just the right one. If you don’t even know where to start, the staff are very helpful, and will point you in the direction of a tea that you’ll be sure to enjoy, whether black, green, white, oolong, rooibos or herbal.
Dry, loose tea is sold by the gram at SOKO Tea House. On my first visit I bought two different blends – tangerine ginger herbal tea and vanilla bean black tea. Both are organic, and both are yummy. However, the vanilla bean really stands out for me. I have about two dozen different types of tea in my pantry right now, and I reach for the vanilla bean almost every time. If you don’t want to commit to a whole bunch of tea, or you just want a quick hit to warm you up, you can also buy a hot to-go cup for $2.50. On my second visit, during which I was under strict orders from my husband to not buy any more tea, I bought a cup of creme caramel rooibos that just may challenge the vanilla bean once I clear out some space for it.
A Feast for the Eyes
Not only does SOKO offer delicious tea, their space is a feast for the eyes as well. In the large, bright shop you’ll find a selection of tea cups, tea pots, Libre tea glasses and jugs to make iced tea, as well as a few cookies and sweets that go perfectly with a hot cup of tea. They also carry a large number of beautiful bowls, as well as bamboo whisks, to use in the traditional Japanese matcha ceremony. And check out some well-chosen gift items, like Moleskine notebooks and hand lotions.
A Small, Locally-Owned Family Business
We had a chat with Julie, who owns SOKO along with her husband. It’s their first retail venture, and they’re excited to be opening a shop in their own community. This is very much a labour of love by small business owners. They’re slowly getting their legs under them, and they’re looking forward to hosting some free events at their store, such as tea tastings.
Whether you’re a tea lover, or you know someone who is, you’ll want to take the trip to SOKO Tea House. But I won’t take any responsibility for the amount of tea you leave with!
Soko Tea House
229 Newport Drive, Port Moody | 604.492.0101