About Thé ou Café?

An avant-garde café & fine tea & specialty coffee boutique proudly serving Mariage Frères. We welcome you to our lounge. We are happy to serve you in English and French.

The Highest Standards

We offer the highest quality tea and coffee available, each prepared to the highest industry standards. Our baristas and tea sommeliers are professionals: SCA trained and certified.

Quick Shipping

Fast shipping by courier (UPS or Purolator) for a flat rate of $18. We ship all orders immediately. Arrives in 1 to 2 business days within or near the province of Québec.
For Canadian destinations further away, overnight shipping is available as an option.
Thé ou Café? is pleased to offer free North American shipping on orders over $200CAD.

Collection in Store

Being sensitive to your precious time, we can prepare orders for you in advance at no additional charge.

Exceptional Teas

Discover the world's finest teas in our Haute Couture selelction.

A Remarkable Savoir Faire

We serve true coffee, carefully roasted and manually prepared to the highest Specialty Coffee Association standards. For tea, our high technology water filtration and temperature specific water heaters ensure that your choice of fine tea is made to exacting standards.

Discover Local Luxury

We seek and encourage local suppliers with exceptional products.

SCA

Proud to be an accredited member of the Specialty Coffee Association

The Specialty Coffee Association is an international  association of coffee professionals.  The SCA offers the highest industry standards for training of personnel in all corners of the coffee industry, and is responsible for the official certification of  “Specialty Coffee”. 

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What is the difference between white / yellow / green / oolong / black tea and pu-erh Tea?

The Tea plant (technical name Camellia Sinensis) is used to produce all types of tea.  The difference between the types of tea is due to the different processing steps and methods that are used:

White tea

Mariage Frères was the first to bring white tea across the frontier, introducing it to the French.  It is harvested before the tea plant’s leaves open fully, when the young buds are still covered by fine white hairs, hence the name “white” tea.

White tea is minimally processed, involving only the harvesting, withering, and drying the leaves. The buds and unfurled leaves from the newest growth on the tea plant are hand picked and withered for 72 hours in direct sunlight or in a room with a controlled climate. They are then dried to prevent oxidation from occurring.  This minimal processing and low oxidation results in some of the most delicate and freshest tea available.

Yellow tea

Yellow tea has been a Chinese speciality since the sixteenth century. The process for making yellow tea is similar to that of green tea: with the added steps of storing and steaming the tea.  The leaves are placed in storage once the oxidation process has been halted, and the phenol they contain automatically oxidises at a slow rate for a brief period before the tea is heated fully to denature the oxidising enzymes.  This gives the leaves a slightly yellow colouring during the drying process. Yellow tea and its liquor have a mild, savoury bouquet.  This is a far more mellow taste than is found in most green teas and the process removes the characteristic grassy smell of green tea.  These teas can be difficult to find and Thé ou Café? is continuously sourcing yellow teas to offer in our boutique.

Green tea

For green tea, the tea leaves are harvested from the tea plant and are then quickly heated so the activity of fresh enzymes and the oxidation of polyphenols in the fresh leaves are stopped.  This can be done by pan firing or steaming.  Generally speaking, pan-firing is typical of many Chinese green teas and steaming is typical of teas like Sencha.  The heating process is a key determinant in the tea’s flavour, aroma and colour.

Before drying they are rolled:  green tea leaves are not allowed to oxidise after rolling, which is why they remain light colour and flavour.  After this they are dried to prevent too much oxidation from occurring that would turn the green leaves brown and alter their fresh-picked flavour. The moisture content of the green tea leaves should be 4% once all these processes are complete.

Oolong tea (Thé Bleu by Mariage Frères)

Oolong tea falls between green tea and black tea and is often described as a partially oxidised tea. The flavour of oolongs may lean more toward a fresh green tea (less oxidised) and others toward a malty black tea (more oxidised).

After being picked the tea is spread on a flat surface and exposed to the sun for about an hour. Afterwards they are gathered and placed on drying racks in an air-conditioned drying house.  At this stage of the tea production the leaves are shaken every hour so that the edges of the tea leaves bruise and oxidise. The tea leaves will lose approximately 20% of their moisture content during step in producing oolong tea. They also begin to turn brown due to the oxidation process.

To halt the oxidation the tea is pan-roasted. The decision of when to roast the leaves depends on the objectives of the tea master. Oxidation levels in oolong can vary greatly between 8% to 80%.  The next step after pan-roasting is to roll the tea leaves

Oolong teas are traditionally rolled, twisted or curled into tight balls or thin strands. This is an important aspect of oolong processing that alters the appearance, colour and aroma of the final tea leaves. Depending on how and when the leaves are rolled, the entire direction of the tea’s final flavour can subtly alter.

Black tea

Black tea is a fully oxidised tea.  This results in a dark, rich cup of tea that is high in caffeine. Black teas are often macerated during the oxidation process, allowing the tea leaves to be exposed to air and fully darken. Black teas have noticeable tannins, and brew a reddish-amber colour.

After being harvested, the leaves are spread out onto racks to wither until they are soft enough to be rolled. The withered leaves are rolled to release organic compounds which occur naturally in the plant.  This contributes to the tea’s final colour and flavour. Rolling also determines the shape of the leaves and also impacts the tea’s flavour and pungency. The rolled leaves are spread out in cool and humid rooms, exposed to oxygen for about 8-12 hours.  This causes chemical changes in the leaves and turns them from green to coppery red. Finally, the completely oxidised leaves are dried to stop oxidation. Drying can be done by  panning-firing, sunning, air drying, smoking or baking. Smoked-dried tea produces Lapsang Souchong.  Caution is always used to not over-cook the tea leaves.

Pu erh

Pu-erh tea is fermented and aged. These teas are post-fermented, referring to the microbial fermentation (called wet piling) that is applied after the tea leaves have been dried and rolled. This causes the leaves to darken and change in flavour.

While oxidation refers to exposure of the tea to air, this fermentation refers to an ageing process where tea leaves are broken down by the microbial activity. Pu-erh teas may be aged anywhere from a few months to several years, and develop a distinctive rich, earthy taste through this process. Pu-erh teas are often sold in vintages and are compressed into a variety of different shapes such as disks or bricks.

 

What is specialty coffee?

Specialty coffee must be able to pass aspect grading and cupping tests.  As green coffee beans, specialty grade samples must have zero category 1 defects and no more than five category 2 defects.  Specialty Coffee is graded 80 points or above out of 100 points by a SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) certified coffee taster or by a licensed CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) Q Grader.  Ordinary commercial coffee is not subjected to these quality controls and is usually roasted and packed in large plants with an industrial chain of custody. Specialty coffee is usually roasted in small stores or factories, using traditional methods and technology.  Specialty coffees are coffees at their peak and differ from other coffees by having been grown at an ideal altitude at the correct time of year, in the best soil, and then picked at the best time for the coffee’s quality.


What is matcha and can matcha have flavours?

Our matcha is ceremonial grade. It is a pure, very finely ground green tea made from specially grown young leaves (taken from the top of the plant) which are ground in a matcha mill. The tea plants used for matcha are shade-grown for three to four weeks before harvest; the stems and veins are removed during processing. True matcha is different from powdered green tea, which while cheaper has more of the tea plant in it than the specially grown and prepared young leaves used in a matcha preparation. Some powdered green teas are wrongly labelled as matcha. Because of it’s high quality and labour-intensive production, true matchas are not sold mixed with sugar, with additives nor processed in the matcha mill with other substances. When serving matcha as a latté, it is possible to add flavours at this stage. To appreciate matcha’s distinct flavour the only flavour Thé ou Café? suggests be added is bourbon vanilla. The other grades of matcha are “premium” and “culinary”. Older leaves are used for these categories of matcha and their price and flavour profile drop accordingly.

 

What is the difference between light / medium / dark roast coffee?

Roasting is the final stage of treating the coffee beans before they are packaged and ready for the consumer in a café or at home.  Thé ou Café? offers a choice of roast allowing guests to choose their preferred level of fruitiness.

Light Roast

Light roasts are heated for a shorter period of time than darker roasts. They appear the palest shade of brown out of all roasts. In this roast the oils are still inside the bean, so they are dry with no visible oil.

The coffee beans begin to reach their final roasted form around 350°F – 400°F. This is called “first crack”, indicating when the moisture being extracted from beans is signaled by its first bits of cracking. Generally, light beans are released into the cooling sieve a couple of minutes after the first crack occurs.

Their flavour may be toasted, grain-like or earthy with a fruity smell. Because the roasting process reduces caffeine, light roasts have the most powerful level of caffeine.

Lighter roasts have the most acidic taste. This acidity reflects how close the bean is to it’s green or fruit state.

Medium Roast

Medium roast beans have been roasted for a longer period of time.  They are heated to 410°F – 430°F. After the first series of cracks, they are heated until they reach the “second crack”.  The beans enter the cooling sieve right before the second crack.

They are a darker brown with minimal oil visible on their surface. The flavour and colour of the coffee will have more body than lighter roasts. This roast results in a flavour slightly sugary and less acidic than light roasts.  These beans contain slightly less caffeine than lighter roasts.

Dark Roast

These beans have been roasted for the longest period of time. Dark roast beans have an oily and shiny exterior from the length of roasting. They are dark to almost black in colour. These beans are roasted longer than lighter roasts and are heated at the highest range: more than 100°F higher than light roasts. They will be roasted to the end of the second crack or longer.

Their flavours are smokier, fuller and bolder, almost burnt. The flavours of the coffee fruit have been eliminated because of the higher temperature and roast duration. The flavours left are the flavours created by roasting. Coffee connoisseurs consider this flavour too intense and find it masks the taste of the coffee bean.

This roast is commonly found in industrial coffees.  Specialty coffees are rarely roasted to this level.  For many of our clients accustomed to dark roasts, our espressos are a pleasant, flavourful introduction to medium roast coffee where the flavour of the bean can still be appreciated.  We always have a choice, by the provenance of the coffee, to have as little or as much fruitiness as desired.

 

What is a Tisane?

A tisane is an infusion made with plants that are not Camellia Sinensis (tea). Tisanes do not have theanine that occurs in tea and while most have no caffeine, there are certain plants used for infusion that have naturally occurring caffeine like yerba maté and coffee leaf.

 

What milk is the best for coffee?

Espresso-based coffee beverages are traditionally prepared with steamed whole milk. To provide the highest quality beverages, our SCA-trained baristas do not steam other types of dairy. There are now several plant-based alternatives to dairy that also compliment coffee very well. Among the wide selection available at Thé ou Café? we find oat milk to have a wonderful body and neutral flavour. We use organic milks.

 

(We are currently updating this page with more content)

To ensure your order reaches you quickly, all our shipments are sent by courier.

Canada & USA 

Orders over $200 CAD :

FREE

Purolator Express (overnight – within Canada) : 

$25 CAD

All other orders: 

$18 CAD

Rest of the world

$30 CAD

All of our products are final sale so we do not offer refunds.

Terms and Conditions

Last updated: 15 April 2022

Please read these terms and conditions carefully before using Our Service.

Interpretation and Definitions

Interpretation

The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.

Definitions

For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions:

  • Affiliate means an entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with a party, where “control” means ownership of 50% or more of the shares, equity interest or other securities entitled to vote for election of directors or other managing authority.
  • Country refers to: Quebec, Canada
  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Agreement) refers to Thé ou Café?, 235-2700 Boulevard Laurier.
  • Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a mobile phone or a digital tablet.
  • Service refers to the Website.
  • Terms and Conditions (also referred as “Terms”) mean these Terms and Conditions that form the entire agreement between You and the Company regarding the use of the Service. This Terms and Conditions agreement has been created with the help of the Terms and Conditions Generator.
  • Third-party Social Media Service means any services or content (including data, information, products or services) provided by a third-party that may be displayed, included or made available by the Service.
  • Website refers to Thé ou Café?, accessible from theoucafe.ca
  • You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Acknowledgment

These are the Terms and Conditions governing the use of this Service and the agreement that operates between You and the Company. These Terms and Conditions set out the rights and obligations of all users regarding the use of the Service.

Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned on Your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions apply to all visitors, users and others who access or use the Service.

By accessing or using the Service You agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If You disagree with any part of these Terms and Conditions then You may not access the Service.

You represent that you are over the age of 18. The Company does not permit those under 18 to use the Service.

Your access to and use of the Service is also conditioned on Your acceptance of and compliance with the Privacy Policy of the Company. Our Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your personal information when You use the Application or the Website and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You. Please read Our Privacy Policy carefully before using Our Service.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to third-party web sites or services that are not owned or controlled by the Company.

The Company has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party web sites or services. You further acknowledge and agree that the Company shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such web sites or services.

We strongly advise You to read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third-party web sites or services that You visit.

Termination

We may terminate or suspend Your access immediately, without prior notice or liability, for any reason whatsoever, including without limitation if You breach these Terms and Conditions.

Upon termination, Your right to use the Service will cease immediately.

Limitation of Liability

Notwithstanding any damages that You might incur, the entire liability of the Company and any of its suppliers under any provision of this Terms and Your exclusive remedy for all of the foregoing shall be limited to the amount actually paid by You through the Service .

To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall the Company or its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever (including, but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, loss of data or other information, for business interruption, for personal injury, loss of privacy arising out of or in any way related to the use of or inability to use the Service, third-party software and/or third-party hardware used with the Service, or otherwise in connection with any provision of this Terms), even if the Company or any supplier has been advised of the possibility of such damages and even if the remedy fails of its essential purpose.

Some states do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties or limitation of liability for incidental or consequential damages, which means that some of the above limitations may not apply. In these states, each party’s liability will be limited to the greatest extent permitted by law.

“AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” Disclaimer

The Service is provided to You “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” and with all faults and defects without warranty of any kind. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, the Company, on its own behalf and on behalf of its Affiliates and its and their respective licensors and service providers, expressly disclaims all warranties, whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise, with respect to the Service, including all implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement, and warranties that may arise out of course of dealing, course of performance, usage or trade practice. Without limitation to the foregoing, the Company provides no warranty or undertaking, and makes no representation of any kind that the Service will meet Your requirements, achieve any intended results, be compatible or work with any other software, applications, systems or services, operate without interruption, meet any performance or reliability standards or be error free or that any errors or defects can or will be corrected.

Without limiting the foregoing, neither the Company nor any of the company’s provider makes any representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied: (i) as to the operation or availability of the Service, or the information, content, and materials or products included thereon; (ii) that the Service will be uninterrupted or error-free; (iii) as to the accuracy, reliability, or currency of any information or content provided through the Service; or (iv) that the Service, its servers, the content, or e-mails sent from or on behalf of the Company are free of viruses, scripts, trojan horses, worms, malware, timebombs or other harmful components.

Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain types of warranties or limitations on applicable statutory rights of a consumer, so some or all of the above exclusions and limitations may not apply to You. But in such a case the exclusions and limitations set forth in this section shall be applied to the greatest extent enforceable under applicable law.

Governing Law

The laws of the Country, excluding its conflicts of law rules, shall govern this Terms and Your use of the Service. Your use of the Application may also be subject to other local, provincial, federal, or international laws.

Disputes Resolution

If You have any concern or dispute about the Service, You agree to first try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting the Company.

For European Union (EU) Users

If You are a European Union consumer, you will benefit from any mandatory provisions of the law of the country in which you are resident in.

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You represent and warrant that (i) You are not located in a country that is subject to the United States government embargo, or that has been designated by the United States government as a “terrorist supporting” country, and (ii) You are not listed on any United States government list of prohibited or restricted parties.

Severability and Waiver

Severability

If any provision of these Terms is held to be unenforceable or invalid, such provision will be changed and interpreted to accomplish the objectives of such provision to the greatest extent possible under applicable law and the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect.

Waiver

Except as provided herein, the failure to exercise a right or to require performance of an obligation under these Terms shall not effect a party’s ability to exercise such right or require such performance at any time thereafter nor shall the waiver of a breach constitute a waiver of any subsequent breach.

Translation Interpretation

These Terms and Conditions may have been translated if We have made them available to You on our Service. You agree that the original English text shall prevail in the case of a dispute.

Changes to These Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right, at Our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material We will make reasonable efforts to provide at least 30 days’ notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at Our sole discretion.

By continuing to access or use Our Service after those revisions become effective, You agree to be bound by the revised terms. If You do not agree to the new terms, in whole or in part, please stop using the website and the Service.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about these Terms and Conditions, You can contact us:

  • By email: orders@theoucafe.ca
  • By telephone: +1 418 977 2233