The good people at Cultivate Tea have just moved across the street from its original Mt. Pleasant location, opening a larger tea and kombucha bar (designed by Scott Cohen) at 7th and Main. Below is the official announcement together with a gallery of supplied images and a map showing the new address. Their soft opening hours are Thursday through Sunday from 12pm to 8pm.
Cultivate is known for their focus on rare, exceptional quality teas. Co-owners Jude Wang and Lynn Liu practice direct trade, building in-person relationships and ethically sourcing straight from small farmers and foragers in China, Taiwan and Japan whose craft and traditional knowledge has been passed down through generations, often over hundreds of years.
Wang and Liu rigorously hunt for these singular, hard-to-find teas during extensive sourcing trips to the best producing regions, travelling to incredibly remote villages and pristine, protected reserve areas. They join local experts as they go to great lengths—often involving arduous and sometimes dangerous off-roading into forests, trekking up steep mountain terrain and hiking along cliff faces—to find tea trees of beautiful quality and character.
Cultivate places particular emphasis on carefully selecting teas based on four main factors:
Terroir: unique microclimates, misty mountains, lush forests, high elevation, running water streams are some of the factors that produce the best tea trees
Growing conditions: wild, semi-wild, biodynamic and organic farming methods, with trees that are picked only once or twice a year
Age of the tea trees: “old arbor” (or “gushu”) trees produces the best teas; Cultivate carries teas from trees that are between 50 and 500 years old
Craftsmanship: tea made by artisans honoring the traditional craft in accordance with a deep respect for nature, the tea trees and the environment
Back in Vancouver at Cultivate’s tea & kombucha bar, brewing is given equal focus, as the calibre of any tea leaf is realized through its preparation. Cultivate uses “gong fu cha”, the Chinese method which translates into “tea with great skill”. Teas are meticulously infused with care using water filtered through Cultivate’s in-house kishu binchotan charcoal purification system. Time-honoured techniques and steps like water temperature and steeping time are tailored for each style of tea.
Cultivate’s interiors were created in collaboration with acclaimed restaurant designer Scott Cohen. The space is designed to align with Cultivate’s philosophical approach to tea as a humble drink that is simply made from the coupling of tea leaves and craftsmanship, bringing satisfaction and contentment to both the mind and body. Accordingly, the space features humble, natural materials treated with respect and craftsmanship to create a space that is both honest and beautiful.
This emphasis on integrity, respect for nature, passion and craftsmanship carries through in the deliberate consideration of every detail, from the thoughtful sourcing of the materials to the companies and artisans involved in the project. Tea literally steeps into every aspect of the design—Wang himself painstakingly hand-stained every single piece of wood used in the shop with pu’er tea to create a unique hue. Everything is the space is custom designed, including the front window sliding shoji screens and the striking walnut bar featuring 4 kombucha taps. Walls are Italian Venetian limestone plaster, with one feature wall made of clay—both giving texture and movement to the room that features an abundance of natural light. The result is a serene, minimalist and meditative space.
In addition to white, yellow, green, oolong, black, and dark loose teas available for purchase, Cultivate offers:
– Individual teas brewed to order with traditional methods
– Tea tasting flights
– Cold brew and ice brew teas
– 4 taps, dispensing small-batch organic kombucha made fresh from scratch, house-fermented using traditional methods kishu binchotan charcoal purified water. Staple and seasonally rotating flavours include:
- Green Tea + Local Blueberry
Green Tea + Shiro Plum
Green Tea + Okanagan Cherry
Green Tea + Meyer Lemon, Tangelo and Ginger
– Kombucha tasting flights, bottled kombucha to-go and kombucha growler fills
– Made-to-order Japanese onigiri, available 3 times per week
– Dessert pop-up with Chef Daniel Munoz, pastry chef, every Saturday
– Hand-shaped ceramics from both local B.C. artists and China’s Jingdezhen Prefecture, an area that has been making ceramics since the sixth century
– Tea accessories including tea sets, matcha whisks, and hand-made wood trays
– Kishu binchotan made from ubame oak, handmade by aritsans in Japan
– Events including tea tasting, tea and gong fu cha workshops, kombucha workshops, tea and food pairing classes, and more.