Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tea Review: U Green Tea

New pop-up on the Montreal Tea scene: U-green-tea!

I was passing through the alleyway between Les Cours Montreal and Place Montreal Trust with my cousin Janet and we happened upon this new joint. "U-Green-Tea". Minimalistic and clean in design, the concept is simple-- serving tea like coffee.

U-Green-Tea has 2 main tea bases: Japanese Matcha or Black Tea. The matcha is prepared in a large bowl and frothed in the traditional way with a Chasen (whisk). You can have the tea as-is, or in the form of a latte. The way the black tea is prepared is quite interesting as well as it is ground up like espresso beans and run through an espresso maker! You can have it like a shot in a latte or allongé or simply like a large tea.

Jim whisking the matcha
Jim pouring the 'espresso-style' black tea
into a cup for a black-tea latte.

I opted for a plain matcha the first time, and a matcha latte the second time. Janet got a black tea latte, as did Martin, during my second visit. How did I like it?

Well enough! The other day I was sitting with some friends and though to myself, "Man. I could really use a matcha latte from U-Green-Tea right now!" The flavour was clear but not too strong, and I appreciated the process and natural ingredients used. Martin preferred the green-tea latte while Janet preferred her black-tea latte. Their most popular flavour right now is their vanilla matcha green-tea latte. The price was also reasonable. I think my large latte came in a little under $4.00. They're also doing a opening '2-for-1' after you buy your first cup, only 2,000 available with no expiry. I picked up a few and have promised to share them, so let me know if you want one.

If you happen to go, you might see Jim or his sister behind the counter. I asked them what made them decide on doing tea this way-- Jim explained that this method of drinking tea is currently very popular in Japan and they decided to bring it here. They also have a bunch of delicious looking treats behind the counter, though I forget if they are tea-related.

A cute selection of treats behind the counter.

The only thing I think might cause an issue for them is the speed-- preparation is careful and precise (which I really do appreciate), though in this case also meant slow. The first time we went, there was no-one so we were served right away. The second time there were 2 couples before us and we waited a bit. If we were rushed for time we probably would have bounced. The place is very new so we'll see how they do!

We definitely wish them well, as they bring something new to the Montreal-tea scene.
Have you passed by and tried U-Green-Tea? How was your experience?

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