There's a bit of a stereotype that we Irish love our tea (as well as our beer). Walk into a pub in Ireland and you'll either see someone sitting over a pint of Guinness or sipping a cup of PG Tips breakfast tea. Funny fact, Ireland is listed as number 3 in a list of countries organized by tea consumption per head. Apparently, we Irish drink 3.22kg of tea per person per year.
On an average day, I probably drink 5-8 cups of tea, mostly herbal and non-caffeinated...But still, that's a lot. My name is Sean, I'm 24 years old, and I'm addicted to tea.
On a recent visit to Deep Cove, I popped into Sunnyside, a tea & home goods store located in the heart of the town. The store was inspired by the idea of discovering an abandoned cottage somewhere in the dense woods along the sunny side of an Indian arm. The founders brought this idea to life, and it's been a success ever since.
The first thing that hit me when I walked through the door was the scent of the Indian Masala Chai brewing at the counter, a reminder of my life in India. Next thing I noticed was a colorful wall displaying an array of different types of teas, soaps, oils, and natural beauty products. It was love at first sight. I suddenly couldn't stop myself, pointing to everything, telling the lovely sales lady to pack it up, pack it up, and pack that one up too...
My favorites so far are the Mint Bergamot and Organic Top of Quarry Rock. The Mint Bergamot is made with peppermint and spearmint leaves with added organic bergamot oil to create a refreshing cuppa. The Organic Top of Quarry Rock, which I had brewing to perfection (on a timer) while I shopped, was inspired by the energizing and uplifting feeling of looking down on the water, and out on the mountains after climbing to the highest point of Quarry Rock. I did that hike to the top, and I too was so inspired and energized.
I haven't managed to get through my stash of tea yet, but I'll update you when I do. I've been using this incredible tea steeper from David's, called the Miracle Steeper, it's a tea lover's dream come true and I can't stop telling people about it. I think I'll even pack it in my suitcase on my next adventure. Speaking of David's, I surely could have gone there to stock up on my tea, or I could have gone to Teavana, or even Kusmi... but in Deep Cove, it's all about shopping locally, and more about quality than quantity. And at Sunnyside, the quality of tea is top notch.
Sunnyside wasn't just about the tea for me, there's also a stunning array of ceramics on display as well as organic, handmade & locally made soaps, cosmetics and essential oils. Everything seemed to fit so perfectly together, the store is super chic, modern, fun, and beautifully merchandised. I had the feeling of being at a cozy tea store in Galma Stan in Stockholm. The use of color, plants, scents, and light brings this store to life.
I was also on the hunt for a new mug (to enjoy my Sunnyside teas) as I'd had just about enough of my boring old white IKEA cup. The collections on display at Sunnyside were so incredibly beautiful and creative, and I admit, it took some time to choose. I wanted something special that would remind me of my first visit to Deep Cove, and so I decided on a marbled tumbler designed and crafted by artist Jenny Rijke. I'm a pretty spiritual person and this handmade ceramic tumbler reminds me of the air, the ocean, and the earth. I love that each piece of Jenny's work is completely unique.
It wasn't until I reached the counter that I realized I'd totally forgotten to shop the soap collection, so alas I went back to dig through the various scents of handmade and uniquely named bath & body products. I chose 'Cove Rain', a fresh and floral scent with added shea butter, pure essential oils, and ratanjot root. My second choice was 'Winter Cabin', inspired by a dreamy winter escape in the woods, handmade with ground cinnamon, sweet patchouli and shea butter. This one reminds me of winters at the cabin in Northern Ontario, sitting out by the lake with the bonfire going. It's a cozy, warm scent.
I'm delighted that I stopped by Sunnyside, and it definitely won't be the last time. I'll be refilling my teas on a regular basis for sure.
105C - 4390 Gallant Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
+1 (604) 971-4340
Photos courtesy of Sunnyside