Murchie's Tea & Coffee★★★★★ – 1 review
1110 Government Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1Y2
ReviewsTea and coffee shops in general usually disappoint me with limited selections, cramped quarters, poor organization/labeling, overpriced items, uncleanliness, dim lighting, and/or staff that is disinterested, airheaded, or overbearing. This shop has so consistently impressed me, however, that I feel compelled to add it to the list and write a favorable review.
I have visited this store on four occasions: 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2016. While it has made some minor layout changes, the shop consistently has been clean, bright, roomy, well-organized and well-stocked with all the many varieties of their self-branded teas, almost all of which are sold both as loose-leaf and in assorted-sized boxes of tea bags. Their longstanding, traditional blends (e.g., Murchie's Afternoon, Golden Jubilee, Silver Jubilee, Scottish Breakfast, and a few others) are available in souvenir tins. They also sell specialty gift sets as well as accessories, from strainers and cups to small appliances.
The staff is quite knowledgeable and helpful about the products, neatly dressed, stands available, doesn't intrude, and doesn't engage in sales tactics. In fact, one cheerful young lady helped my wife to locate a less-expensive yet better-fit strainer than the one she asked about initially. Another explained the history behind a recent name change for a tea (Empress Afternoon to Murchie's Afternoon) that I loved before and couldn't find at first because of that change.
This store is within easy walking distance of the ferry dock, for folks disembarking from Washington state, has free and fast wi-fi convenient for us without Canadian data plans, and is definitely a worthwhile place to spend an hour or two shopping for, and even drinking, some great tea (or coffee, if you're into that). Many teas also have leaf samples in small bowls that one can sniff. Yes, they do have tables and seating so you can rest feet tired from a morning of tourist-strolling around Victoria. When the Canadian dollar is down, as it has been for most of 2016, their otherwise somewhat high-looking prices turn to great bargains. They also will either ship for you or pack your purchase neatly and tightly in easy-carry paper bags with handles.