Tag Archives: Chinese Tea

Cha Le Tea Merchant: Fine Chinese Teas Steeped in Tradition

Yaletown Cafe + Shop introduces premium line of high quality, single origin teas from China

In February we check out the then new Cha Le Tea Merchant Cafe + Shop and sampled some very high quality teas and tasty prawn, tuna and ricotta toast. Cha Le (pronounced chah•luh), which translates to “Happy Tea,” features upwards of 20 high-quality, handpicked teas for retail sale in large tins and small boxes,  as well as a full-service tea cafe serving a rotating list of proprietary teas, blends, tea lattes, herbal infusions and a small bites menu.


They’ve even partnered with Beta5 Chocolate to make beautiful tea-infused chocolates.

Imported directly from independent tea farms throughout China’s tea-growing provinces, Cha Le Tea Merchant’s husband-and-wife owners, Charlie Zhang and Sue Wang, have selected two dozen of the finest black, white, green, oolong and pu’er teas representative of the best of a given region. Examples include:

• Edge of the City A rare, smokey black tea grown from ancient trees by the owners’ family friend high in the mountains over Sue’s native city of Chongqing.

• Moonlight Beauty 2009 This mellow, aged white tea from Simao in Yunnan Province that gets its name from its unique leaves, which are white and downy on one side, smooth and black on the other.

• Maofeng This internationally recognized green tea is cultivated on Anhui Province’s Huangshan Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cha Le’s Maofeng is especially handpicked to deliver a sweet tea with no bitterness.

• Cinnamon Rock Tea Grown semi-wild in rock cracks high on a mountain in the Fujian Province, this woody oolong tea expresses a cinnamon-like flavour. Tea from the other side of the same mountain, Narcissus Rock Tea, has a floral flavour profile reminiscent of narcissus blossoms.

• Aged Shou Pu’er Coin 2007 Processed in 2007, this aged pu’er, (named after Pu’er City in Yunnan Province this fermentation technique was invented), uses top-grade golden buds pressed into mini cakes. The earthy flavour and aroma mellow and become silkier over time, much like wine.



While Cha Le teas are steeped in tradition, the Yaletown Cafe is not your typical Chinese teahouse. Gone are the antique teapots, replaced by a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled glass vacuum brewing system that customizes temperature and brewing times for each individual tea to ensure optimal results. Most teas can be prepared and steeped to perfection within 90 seconds, less than the time it takes to make an espresso latte.
Designed by Leckie Studio Architecture + Design Inc., the café space is maximized with full walls of custom millwork shelving and a central tea bar where customers can watch the show of their teas being brewed into ceramic mugs thrown by Vancouver Island-based ceramics artist Rachel Saunders or in eco-friendly to-go cups. A tranquil and comfortable seating nook with eight seats is also available for a more tranquil experience.

cha le tea boxes photo credit john sherlock

Cha Le is open seven days a week, 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday; 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

1207 Hamilton Street, Yaletown
Vancouver, BC V6B 6k3

Instagram: @chaleteamerchant
Twitter: @ChaLeTea
Facebook: /ChaLeTea
Website: www.chaletea.com


Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver is ready to ring in the Year of the Goat with an exciting addition to the team. The hotel welcomes Che Huadong, tea master and trained expert in the arts of Kung Fu Tea and Chinese Face Changing Opera.

Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver Chinese New Year

On 19 February, 2015, the hotel’s Chinese New Year festivities will include a traditional Eye-Dotting Ceremony and Lion Dance in the lobby, starting at 11:00 a.m., followed by Huadong’s premier performances of the Chinese Face Changing Opera and Kung Fu Tea show in Xi Shi Lounge.

Under the private tutelage of mentors and well-respected sifus – masters of Chinese martial arts – Huadong spent three years perfecting his Kung Fu tea skills in his hometown of Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province of China. Kung Fu tea originated in the Sichuan province as a way to pour hot water in crowded tea houses. It was during the Tang (618 – 907 AD) and Song (960 – 1279 AD) dynasties that Kung Fu tea shows became a fashionable leisure activity, a tradition that continues to this day.

Shangri-La Hotel Opera Face Changing

During his training, Huadong studied the theory of tea, including its history and significance in Chinese culture, as well as proper tea handling and tasting techniques, to become a tea sommelier. With his 1.2 metre-long spouted teapot in hand, Huadong started his career with Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts in Chengdu, and had the opportunity to work and perform with Shangri-La properties in Manila, Fiji, and Abu Dhabi, before coming to Canada.

In addition to Kung Fu tea, Huadong is accomplished in the art of the Face Changing Opera, a theatrical performance that originated at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) in the Sichuan province. During a Face Changing Opera performance, custom masks of various patterns and colours are worn to represent well-known characters from Chinese folktales, each with its own symbolism. Huadong will change masks up to nine times per performance, each revealed in the blink of an eye.

Guests can view Huadong’s performances every Saturday and Sunday in Xi Shi Lounge at the following times:
·        1:00 p.m. Chinese Face Changing Opera
·        3:00 p.m. Kung Fu Tea Show*

*Guests can also enjoy shorter tableside Kung Fu Tea performances during afternoon tea service, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

Xi Shi Lounge is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m, and until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The lounge is accessible through the hotel or via its direct entrance on Alberni Street. For more details on Xi Shi Lounge’s afternoon tea service, Kung Fu tea master, or live entertainment program, follow @ShangriLa_Van and #XiShiTeaMaster on Twitter and Instagram, or Like us on Facebook.

*Press Release