Steeping a Hairy Crab Oolong tea for the third time, I inhale its aroma and marvel at how an aroma can trigger a memory. Then I smile remembering my first visit to Montréal (see Hello Neighbor – Tea and Dreams) and my tea experience there. It is enough to make someone ask, “How far is too far to travel for a good cup of tea?”
Isn’t the answer just as obvious? Drink tea where it can be found. Since there are tea drinkers all over the world, there is plenty of great tea if only we take time to look for it. In other words, shun the dust and drink the tea.
Latin in Tea Translation – 351 Rue Emery
Maison du Thé Camellia Sinensis is in close proximity to the Université du Québec à Montréal campus (UQAM), although Rue Emery itself was a quiet street. Some thoughtful Canadian draped a banner (pictured) announcing yet another one of Montréal’s diverse neighborhoods. This tourist, however, came prepared with smartphone GPS so as not to miss a single turn which would take me away from tea.
Stunning as changing fall foliage was, the sun seemed to illuminate the huge clay teapot and this sign over the door:
Cross the threshold and you enter a calm space. Choosing between the two rooms, I chose the back room for privacy (and not to practice my French via eavesdropping).
Pairing Worth a Pause
Not only does the Camellia Sinensis Teahouse have an extensive and well-explained tea menu, but it also offers edibles like matcha tea-infused cheesecake (fromage gâteau). Yes, the New Yorker in me was curious. Here’s a peek…
This was the prelude to the main event: le thé. Tea, that is. I selected the 2011 Da Hong Pao, a Wuyi mountain Chinese oolong tea.
Tea aficionados know that oolong teas are capable of multiple infusions. Nevertheless, this tea remained aromatic and flavorful for 12 infusions. The aroma cup became sweeter as the infusions progressed and the play between nose and taste buds was enough to make me lose track of time.
So when your travels next include Montréal, don’t worry about any good tea deficiencies. Tea dwells here.
Find the Camellia Sinensis Teahouse in-person or on Twitter (@CamSinTeahouse).
Let there be tea. Speaking of which, I must get back to my present oolong. Cups up!