Welcome to Camellia Sinensis: Salon de Thé in downtown Montreal. The day after the Ottawa Tea Festival I finally had my chance to visit this lovely store. Back in 2010, I asked a friend to get me a few teas as they were visiting the area. They were also as blown away as I was at the end of November last year.
The day prior at the Ottawa tea festival , I had the pleasure to meet Kevin Gascoyne. We chatted about the Toronto Tea Festival and about the store locations within Montreal. It was a great honour to talk to him face to face and visit his Salon the next day.
The location I spent the most time at was on Rue Émery, one side is the tea shop and the other is a cafe. On the shop side I was greeted by the warm colours and delicious displays of tea ware. I left with a tray for ryakubon and tea, Matcha Sendo. After finalizing my purchase, I made my way over to the Salon side.
The space was full but still maintained its calm meditative feel. Patrons were chatting with friends, studying, reading or simply enjoying the atmosphere of the space. Once I was seated I was served a sample of tea and handed the menu to look over. Each table was given a small bell to ring once you were ready to order.
For this visit I decided to enjoy Sensha Nagashima and a selection of Japanese sweets. While waiting for my order I took in the space, warmth of the colours around me washed over. It felt like a home away from home. The space was lightly decorated my various artifacts from tea growing regions around the world. It was very hard to not touch them.
My tea arrived and I could not wait to start brewing this delicious selection of sencha. The grassiness was balanced with the sweetness that quickly came. Perfect development in the mouth. Paired with the quickly devoured Japanese sweets it made for a perfect evening.
I quite enjoyed that the service was focused on quality rather than speed of other establishments, it matched the atmosphere very well. Everything was simplified for quests right down to the amount of teas on the menu, which I must say should be between 15-20. This made it very easy for the Salon to be stocked with these teas at all times.
If you are looking for a quiet moment in the busy downtown of Montreal, I highly suggest making your way over to this establishment for some well deserved R & R, your taste buds will thank you.