中秋節月餅 The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is the second most important holiday on the Chinese calendar aside from Chinese New Year. Although the atmosphere is not as vibrate and involved in North America as compared to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, etc.; the tradition of gift giving, eating mooncakes, and family gatherings is still heavily emphasized. If Blast from the Past is possible, I’d love to live a day in the ancient Tang Dynasty and experience the carnivals, see the brightly lit lanterns and Fire Dragon dances. Moon Festival at The Urban Tea Merchant Vancouver this year has been kicked up a notch with colorful displays.
New generations of mooncakes have evolved and been repackaged to attract and arouse consumers tastebuds. Gone are the days of just Salty Egg Yolk with Lotus Paste. Frozen Minis (flavours of matcha, fruits, sesame, etc) and even ice-cream mooncakes (my favourites are the Haagen Dazs) can be found.
This year, The Urban Tea Merchant features TWG Tea infused Mooncakes. Now you can “moon gaze” over tea and indulge over their uber fancy premium cakes at their Downtown Vancouver location. Their salon store front is adored with colorful paper lanterns! They always have festive decors – see here and here. During the month of September, TUTM features the Moon Festival Tea Services $38 pp and also the Haute Couture Tea Service $48 pp.
We were invited to enjoy the Moon Festival Tea Services and catch up with Casey and Reza. The first order of business calls for some delicious Petite Chou Cream Puffs served with a fragrant Weekend in St Tropez Tea and strawberry infused butter.
Next up is 1837 Black Tea, Singapore Breakfast Tea and Silver Moon Tea. The Silver Moon Tea is a special blend pair exquisitely with the Moonlight Mooncake: white lotus paste with Silver Moon Tea, scattered wild berries & red fruit marmalade center. The Silver Moon Tea is a green tea accented with a grand berry and vanilla bouquet, smooth, with just a hint of spice. TWG features 4 types of Mooncakes:
- Constellation: This iconic signature of the mid-autumn festival holds within a golden crust a smooth and elegant brown lotus filling infused with Singapore Breakfast Tea, a scattering of roasted melon seeds and an embedded salted egg yolk heart. A timeless favourite.
- Moonlight: Encased in a lavish, red crust, this exquisite TWG Tea mooncake is filled with smooth white lotus paste infused with Silver Moon Tea and scattered with wild berries, enveloping a flavourful red fruit marmalade heart.
- Dragon: A celestial moment of indulgence, this sumptuous chocolate brown crust is filled with a velvety smooth lotus paste infused with 1837 Black Tea and sprinkled with chocolate chips, enclosing a heart of zesty orange marmalade.
- Pagoda: Wrapped in a baked yellow crust, bursts of dried mango dazzle in smooth Moonlit Night Tea infused lotus paste, encasing a scrumptious candied chestnut heart.
The Moon Festival Tea Service is beautiful to look at: It is vibrantly colorful. Features the Moonlight Mooncake and a bamboo basket of Pork Dumplings. Some items previously featured in their Sakura Westcoast Tea Service made their appearance again.
Open-faced smoked salmon sandwich with wasabi aioli and maple (instead of sake) soy ponzu jelly.
And off course sweets:
- Signature tea truffle
- chevron strawberry
- “Silver Moon Tea” infused watermelon strip with assorted seasonal fruit
Vee and I had such a lovely time sipping tea and enjoying some modern twist on mooncakes. For those struggling with what to buy as Moon Festival gifts, TUTM has you covered with gift boxes of Mooncakes or TWG Tea and Mooncakes. Don’t be caught short handed sans gift when you visit your friends and family.
The Mooncake prices are below:
- Mooncake Gift Box 75- Silver Moon Tea Design (package of 4 mooncakes & knife & fork)
- Mooncake Gift Box 75 – Singapore Breakfast Tea Design (package of 4 mooncakes & knife & fork)
- TWG Tea Mooncake Gift Box 95- Haute Couture Silver Moon Tea (package of 2 mooncakes, Haute Couture tin, filter, & knife & fork)
- TWG Tea Mooncake Gift Box 95- Haute Couture Singapore Breakfast Tea (package of 2 mooncakes, Haute Couture tin, filter, & knife & fork)
- Individual Mooncakes (only served in the Tea Salon) $20 each
The Urban Tea Merchant Vancouver
Cuisine: Tea Rooms, Desserts, Pacific Northwest
Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
1070 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6E 2Y2