Whenever possible I like to meet friends and clients at Farfalla on Cordova Street. In the old Koret building in Gastown, Farfalla is a delightful teashop serving fine French teas, and also representing Kusmi Russian teas too. The presentation is lovely, in clear glass cups with clear glass teapots, on glass tables with warmed milk (if you wish) and sugar from France. There is great attention to detail, which means that service can seem a little slow, until you get into the rhythm of Farfalla’s atmosphere.
In that space I remember: what is tea for? a time apart, a moment of reflection, why be busy-busy when you can live at a more gracious pace? Their selection is so vast that you can go again and again and rarely repeat the experience. Tasting pots are also set up to help you decide, but I can say that anything you try there is very fine tea. Unless it isn’t to your taste, which is possible. I had only one disappointment: I tried a violet tea that seemed like it would be interesting, but I didn’t exactly agree with it.
The red tins of traditional Hediard teas from France, established in Paris in 1854, line the wall behind the main counter. The owners are more than happy to help you experience the tea before you make a choice – examining the leaves and the scent. Their Golden Darjeeling is my current true favourite. I stop myself from ordering it only because I know I should try something else and expand my tea experiences!
They sell croissants and pastries fresh from Paris (yes, fresh!), and delightful jellies, a line of perfumes and toiletries as well as tea china and glasswares, and other exquisite items. A beautiful place to browse and take tea, any afternoon. The Farfalla website looks like it is for online sales, but of course you can pick up any of these teas direct at the shop.