Happy Tuesday, lovely readers! Today we have a great post on the delightful Teafarm in Cowichan Valley where Sarah and I sample some superb (alliteration alert!) local tea blends and gorge on absolutely scrumptious tea desserts. You’re gonna wanna stick around for this one.
It was a beautifully sunny, warm spring day when Sarah and I took the easy drive down to North Cowichan. As you know, we LOVE living in Nanaimo. One of the many, many reasons we love it here is that Nanaimo is a hub city and making a quick day trip out to surrounding towns is SO. EASY. Plus, if you don’t mind a little scenic detour the ocean routes (highways 19A & 1A) add a nice backdrop away from the hustle and bustle of the main highway.
North Cowichan’s Teafarm is nestled in lovely farm country where sheep farms, horse farms and more are tucked away from the city life of Nanaimo (and Duncan – is Duncan a city? Maybe more a town. Anyways…). Owners Margit and Victor’s farm has seen many changes – what began as a cattle farm turned horse farm evolved into a garden where they harvested hay and grew lavender and garlic. It wasn’t until an event in 2008, called Art + Tea, that the idea of merging tea with Margit’s beautifully crafted pottery emerged. Since 2010 Margit and Victor’s farm has been solely dedicated to tea. If you’re interested in reading about the whole story (which you should, because it’s quite interesting) check it out here.
Sarah has been to the Teafarm a hand full of times, whereas I was a Teafarm newbie. As you all know, I love my London Fogs. I’ve been trying to make them at home and wanted a new black tea from my usual Earl Grey. So I was super keen to check Teafarm out when Sarah suggested it.
My first impression was simply how cozy Teafarm is. With natural wood floors, tables, ceiling (pretty much wood everything!) it was easy to cozy right in to the Teashop. The shop also has huge windows that let all that warm spring sunshine in.
As we walked through the Teashop doors, we were greeted with a warm hello and a sample of the tea of the month – a cozy welcome to go along with such a cozy atmosphere :) We were then left to choose our table (one right by the window, optimal for photo taking!) and peruse the tea menu.
As we couldn’t settle on one tea alone, Sarah and I each chose one tea to sample and share. Sarah already had her tea in mind – Black Lavender. I took a little more time as there were so many great teas to try! I finally settled the Organic Jasmine Tea Superior.
As our super helpful tea connoisseur came to take our tea order, she also took the chance to explain the sweet treat menu. She actually brought out some visuals to help tempt us ;)
All of the Teafarm’s treats have some tea aspect or flair to them. For example, their chocolate bark is sprinkled with one of their original recipe hand-crafted teas. Did you know they also carry a milk and dark chocolate Nanaimo Bar praline?! Yum.
After some deliberation, and throwing our waistlines to the wind, we both settled on the chocolate cake (made with black tea!) while Sarah also opted for a chocolate sea salt caramel and I tried the bark.
Our teas and food arrived and we wasted no time.
I love a good jasmine tea, and this Organic Jasmine Tea Superior blend was no exception. It was robust with a strong jasmine fragrance – just how I like it. Sarah and I also fell in love with the Black Lavender tea. This Earl Grey blend was a perfect pairing to our chocolate cake. Described as a classic Earl Grey with a hint of lavender, this tea wasn’t too overpowering – there was just enough lavender to get a hint of that flowery purple fragrance.
After our tea, treats, and plenty of laughs, we decided to explore the rest of the shop. The first thing we noticed was the wall of beautifully crafted pottery made by Margit. Apart from using them to serve their tea in, you can actually purchase some of Margit’s artwork to take home with you! Items such as coffee mugs, tea cups, and tea pots are each uniquely handcrafted making each piece one of a kind.
Next we checked out their tea. Because duh, it’s the Teafarm.
The Teashop carries various sizes of their blends. And, hey, if you don’t see a size you like, they’ll measure out the perfect amount for you! Even better, they sell trial packs so if you’re trying out a new blend, or you want a bit of everything, you can pick up these $5 sample packs. They’re good for about 4-6 cups of tea!
Sarah and I, of course, didn’t leave empty handed. Sarah walked away with a trial pack of Black Lavender while I walked away with two samples – Black Lavender and Black Cream (I think Black Cream is my new favourite tea tbh – I drink a cup everyday!). With our bellies full and our purchases in tow, we bid adieu to Victor, Margit, and the rest of the staff at Teafarm.
We can’t wait to come back in the summer time when they have an outdoor seating area – how lovely would that be for an afternoon tea out in the garden?!
If you aren’t able to make it to North Cowichan’s Teafarm, you can find them at a handful of other locations. Teafarm has a booth at the Duncan Farmers Market while also supplying tea to local businesses such as Qualicum Beach’s new hotspot Radius Food Co.! They even have a hand in supplying tea to events like this year’s Island Savings’s annual Night of Stars. The theme was Alice in Wonderland which was a perfect match for Teafarm’s Mad Hatter brew!
If you’re a tea lover, a local artisan lover, or just looking for a new experience, pleasepleaseplease check out Margit & Victor’s Teafarm. You won’t be disappointed!