The Vancouver tea scene just got a bit more impressive thanks to TWG Tea’s new seasonal menu for the mid-autumn festival.
TWG Tea is the highest end of the fine Tea spectrum and Vancouver is lucky enough to house their Canadian headquarters making the selection unlike any other tea store I’ve ever encountered! Having high tea at their location on West Georgia is an adventure for the palate that you would never believe! All of their food is made with tea or tea infused so they are definitely the real deal for tea lovers. TWG prides themselves with “honouring the traditions of tea” so every tea and menu item is definitely made with the culture and ingredients of the region they’re trying to honour in mind.The food is out of this world and never boring, they change their menu with the seasons and holidays and special occasions having a specific feature delight every time the special menu changes. This year they’ve brought the tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival with a special blend of tea called Lotus Jade and the arrival of their Lotus Jade Mooncake Collection.
The mooncakes are now being made fresh in Vancouver instead of being flown in from Singapore so we are able to savour the lovely snowskin mooncakes that need to be eaten fresh because they are so delicate and not baked so they need to be eaten within 4 days. All of the 8 featured mooncakes are tea infused and I had the pleasure of trying 4 of them. Very difficult to choose a favourite but I tried.
First, let me say that I have tried mooncake before but have found all of them too sweet for my taste and only able to take a bite before I feel the sugar rush hit my bloodstream like a kamikaze! It’s definitely a treat that I seldom eat because of that. But the sweetness of the TWG Tea mooncakes was a pleasant surprise! Not overpowering, very flavourful, and truly enjoyable.
First, I was served the Constellation. The iconic signature of the mid-autumn festival has a golden crust and brown lotus filling infused with Singapore Breakfast Tea and a sprinkle of roasted melon seeds that gives it a nutty flavour, the heart is a salted egg yolk which, surprisingly did not taste eggy at all. Every flavour came through each bite. Try this mooncake paired with the Silvermoon green tea for a perfect combination.
Next up was the Daydream mooncake with its bold red crust and a blueberry white lotus paste with a heart of puréed blueberry and almond infused with Red Balloon rooibos tea. If you like blueberries you’ll love this one. It was the next best thing to biting into a fresh blueberry. An earthy Puerh tea is just the thing to pair with this mooncake, it won’t take away from the taste of the mooncake and I felt that it almost enhanced the flavour. But then again I may have reached nirvana at this point.
Now on to the crème de la crème, the snowskin mooncakes. Starting with the Moonlight (my personal favorite, by the way), this jade green beauty is filled with a Lotus Jade Tea infused mousseline (lighter than a mousse, if you can believe it) and its heart is a Nashi pear marmalade encased in a white chocolate “crust”, it was so delicate that it pretty much falls apart the moment you cut into it and it melts in your mouth like a tea infused flavorful cloud. Accompany this mooncake with the special Lotus Jade green tea blend, a very smooth and fragrant fine harvest tea that is also what the mousseline is infused with, the tea helps bring out the flavour of the mooncake even more but it definitely does not overpower it.
The final mooncake that I tried is another snowskin called Pure. This white mooncake encases a smooth dark chocolate mousse (chocoholics rejoice) infused with 1837 White Tea, the heart is a black currant marmalade that is also inside a thin white chocolate crust. I’m not really a fan of white chocolate but the light taste of these works very well with the marmalade and the dark chocolate, another melt-in-your-mouth experience. The tea that is recommended to pair with this one is the Singapore Breakfast tea.
The mid-autumn festival menu and the mooncakes are featured at the TWG Tearoom at 1070 West Georgia St in downtown Vancouver until October 4th. If you’re planning to share the mooncakes with friends and family, which is what mooncakes are all about by the way, the set of two mooncakes paired with an Haute Couture Tea Collection tin of Lotus Jade Tea retails at $95 with the traditional mooncakes and $115 with snowskin mooncakes. A set of four mooncakes in an elegant Lotus Jade Tea Mooncake gift box is $80 for traditional and $95 for snowskins. And if you’d like to gift an individual mooncake in a Lotus Jade Tea Mooncake giftbox, the traditional is $20 and snowskin is $25. I suggest that you call ahead of time if you’re planning to pick some up because they are very popular and have been known to sell out.
Whether you’re picking up a gift or sitting down in their elegant tea room to enjoy a pot of one of their 800 varieties of tea, TWG Tea will not disappoint. However, I totally recommend you try at least one of their gourmet mooncakes before they are all gone, I still have four more of them to taste so I may see you there!