Adam and I visited The Chinese Tea Shop on Columbia and Pender on Saturday afternoon. It was super awesome. I learned how to make Gongfu Cha, tasted some Gao Shan (High Mountain) Tie Guanyin and some Dragon Phoenix Oolong, and we were there altogether for about an hour. I bought an Yixing tea pot, a strainer, and tea cups, along with some excellent Tie Guanyin, a little bit of Bi Luo Chun, and some Silver Needle white tea for Adam. When we got home we seasoned the teapot right away and made some more gongfucha for ourselves. You're supposed to use just one kind of tea in a clay teapot, because it soaks up the flavour over time, so this one is for the Tie Guanyin. We had Josh and Mo and Justine over for dinner later and I made some tea for them also. I haven't had tea this good since I was in China.
The owner of the shop, Daniel Lui, is a bona fide Chinese tea expert. He totally knows his Pu'er manufacturers and the intricacies of clay teapots (which shape is best for which kinds of tea, etc). Friends who come to visit Vancouver are all going to be dragged to this shop as one of the must-see destinations (right along with Hon's and Stanley Park).