Japanese tea shop offers matcha and other Christmas gift ideas

Arman Kazemi

vancouver japanese tea
Japanese teas are as much about the beauty of the process as the refinement of the product

A quick follow-up after folk requested more information on Japanese tea sources in Vancouver after we told you about the Master of Japanese ceremony's visit last month. Maiko Behr, both sponsor of the Sadõ event and Master Sōjitsu's translator, is opening her space at SaBi Tea Arts in the Dunbar neighbourhood for a one time tea shop.

The centre functions semi-regularly as a Vancouver hub for Japanese tea craft, where Maiko, who is a certified Chanoyu (Japanese tea tradition) instructor, offers semi-private and group training in this much sought-after style.

Following sittings, participants may opt to purchase a selection of specialized wares and matcha teas to take home. Every once in a while, though, Maiko opens her doors for a public sale, and such is happening on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9.

What to expect

Full disclosure is due: Vancitea has yet to visit the SaBi Tea Arts centre in person, so we can't give offer a first-hand rundown on the experience that's in store; but we can say that Maiko handily brewed bowl after matcha bowl for the reception after last month's Japanese tea demonstration – enough to humbly allow us (students as we are) to defer to her experience.

That said, visitors are sure to find some of the most representative teas and teawares for this style of brewing anywhere in the city, "featuring," according to SaBi's press schtick, "matcha tea from Ippodo and Ryuoen traditional tea merchants, as well as new and vintage tea ceremony utensils, books, kimono, and original scarves."

Check it out if, like us, you believe Vancouver needs more representative Japanese tea sources to supplement our healthy culture of Chinese teas – and, hey, you might just be whisked up in a whole new tradition.

SaBi's Year-End Open sShop runs from 11am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2018 @ 3675 W 16th Avenue. Check out SaBi Tea Arts for more info and regular events.

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