HAPPY CANADA DAY weekend! A few months back I was looking for an original gift for my out-and-about, hip-and-sophisticated cousin. Well I fell upon a very high-end tea shop in the Mile End.

It was an incredible visit where I learned so much about teas and brewing. Word of caution: go to this store armed with time and patience! The staff will take their time to serve to the fullest every customer and explain everything to ensure they brew the best cup of tea possible, of course according to each type of tea you buy. Remarkable service from the staff.

A quick guide to choosing top teas:

1. There are 6 categories to choose from: White, Yellow, Green, Oolong, Black and Flavored. The first 5 are in order of the least to most oxidized.

2. There is a series of letter classification, such as G.F.B.O.P: Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. I am no expert but I figure the more letters the better the tea probably.

3. The top producers of fine tea are China, India (Darjeeling and Assam), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Japan and Kenya.

4. If you do purchase fine teas, please do take the time to brew them the correct way or you will be throwing money down the drain. Aim to brew your tea to perfection; your palate will be amazed.

If you have an interest in tea I truly recommend visiting ESPRITHÉ. There are over 200 types of teas to choose from, as well as several tea tasting courses. I am off to enjoy my perfect cup of tea right now,

Hugs and biscuits,