I love independent tea shops (not chain affiliated) that have the stamp of the owner’s personality and generosity. Once again it is the positive nature of the tea culture, in all its moods and shades.
A few weekends ago I met a friend at Sawa Tea Lounge in the Waterfall Building just by Granville Island. A lovely selection of teas, and I chose ceremonial Matcha because I knew that the Japanese tea there would no doubt be high quality. I wasn’t disappointed – beautifully served in a ceramic tea bowl. But I was also curious to try some of the other teas – so I’m looking forward to returning to try some more.
On entering, it seemed a small little place, but there are a few steps that lead down into the seating area, which features a delightful optical illusory bamboo/mirror corner. The space where we sat at a table for two was a little uncomfortable, cold seeming, but perhaps when the central fire area is “on” or somehow in use, it might be really spectacular in the room. As it was, on a cooler day, and with the concrete walls and floors echoing all conversation, it took a while for us to find an intimacy of conversation (the other important component to meeting a friend for tea.)
I am still intrigued by the place, and the tea quality was very fine, and felt generous, so I’ll definitely be returning to Sawa. If you go to their site you’ll read the story of Sawa, and how the tea lounge came to be.