Spadina Avenue has many bubble tea shops, but there is also this cute independant cafe/tea bar that serves chinese tea, matcha, and tea-infused treats. Icha Tea (一茶間) is known as the heaven for tea lovers on Spadina Avenue. Once you step in, you can first order at the counter. There is a few seats where you can sit and wait for your takeout orders. Otherwise, you can continue to walk inside, passing through an authentic Chinese tea bar, and you can then find more seatings. It is spacious and quiet. There are many students working in the corner, as well as groups chilling around with drinks and desserts.
You can order tea-infused bubble tea at the storefront, and I decided to order a simple, classic Matcha Latte. The shop uses Isuzu Matcha (五十鈴) in their drinks, and they are prepared fresh to order. Though the drink does look delicious, it tastes bland. Matcha flavor is overpowered by the milk itself, which means more matcha powder is needed to make a richer drink. It is quite disappointing to try this in a tea bar.
Anyway, we also ordered two desserts, which are Sesame Tofu Cheesecake and Matcha Roll. We were asked to wait for 15 minutes because the roll cake is in the processing of defrozing. Since we had some spare time, so we decided to first try the Sesame Tofu Cheesecake. It is a square shaped cheesecake with crackers crumb as base. The cheesecake itself has a strong, pungent sesame flavor, yet tofu flavor is lacking. I was expecting the texture to be silky soft like tofu or at least creamy. It is still creamy, but it is on a harder side.
After 20 minutes of wait, the Matcha Roll arrived, and it is totally worth the wait. The matcha cream is creamy and strong. The matcha flavor is left in my mouth after each bite. The cake is soft and spongy. The proportion of cake and cream is perfect, so I don’t feel heavy after finishing it. For $5.50, I would totally order this again.
There are definitely hit and miss items at Icha Tea. However, the service is great, and I like how the tea bar is quiet and spacious, with many seatings. Though it has 4.6/5 on Google review, I think it is slightly overrated, as they cannot perfect a cup of matcha latte. I could be ordering the wrong drinks, because afterall it is a chinese tea bar. One item I highly recommend is the Matcha Roll. I would come back again for other desserts on the menu, as well as trying some real tea next time!
Taste : 4/5 • Service: 4.5/5 • Ambiance: 5/5 • Quality-Price: 4/5