"don't be loyal to tea. be loyal to your TEA merchant."
Treasure Green Tea Company is, itself, a hidden treasure, located on the 200 block of East Georgia in Chinatown. The street has no name on Google maps and not recognized on Foursquare. Yet, the street is rich with history and diversity. Established in 1981 by Olivia’s father, Treasure Green Tea Company is the first authentic Chinese tea shop in Vancouver.
Olivia is profiled in Sundance award winning filmmaker, Julia Kwan’s latest feature NFB documentary, “Everything Will Be”, which premiered at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival.
In this transitioning community, Olivia is a rare example of a second generation Chinese merchant in Chinatown. Her father opened the shop thirty years ago, and brought his passion for tea. Training under her father, Olivia went on buying trips to China and learned the traditions of the tea business, from self-sourcing premium quality teas to mastering the tea ceremony. Treasure Green Tea Company offers the most exclusive and diverse collection of tea, such as pu-erh tea cakes and Treasure Green emerald silver green tea, that are ethically sourced from the most famous regions in China. Olivia always tells her customers, “Don’t be loyal to tea. Be loyal to your tea merchant.” To this day, she stills serves some of her Father’s loyal customers as well as captivating a new generation of tea lovers who are drawn into the taste and health benefits.
The doors of some of the traditional Chinese shops have shuttered, unable to keep pace with the changing face and economy. For Olivia, she embraces the old with the new. She skirts both worlds, appealing to both eastern and western sensibilities. Olivia brings tradition, decades of tea knowledge and passion to her shop, coupled with modern décor and artisanal products, like exclusive camellia tea oil, tea martinis and organic iced tea, delicately cold infused with authentic premium whole leaves.
Lately, there has been much talk in the press about the value of heritage buildings and the evolution of ethnic enclaves across North America. As the face of Vancouver’s Chinatown is changing, Treasure Green Tea Company is an example of a modern Chinese tea shop rich with history and tradition, a gem hidden inside an unrecognized street on Google maps.