Murchies… Serving Tea & Coffee Since 1894

At the Murchies Tea Salon
At the Murchies Tea Salon, originally uploaded by andai.

Murchies… I have heard quite a bit about Murchies Tea & Coffee and their vast selection of fine teas and good coffee. I had also heard about their famous high tea which I assume is served in their Tea Salon. So I was pretty much looking forward to trying out their coffee.

Before I talk about my latte, let me talk a little about Murchies. John Murchie founded the company in 1894. Their website does not really go into any interesting details if you are trying to find out more about the history about the company. But they do have the usual blah, blah corporate speak about how they serve excellent tea, made from the finest, highest grade, fair trade tea and coffees blah, blah etc. Nothing new there.

But whatever reason was, the company filed for bankruptcy in November 2007. Some have speculated that the company has essentially become stogy and out of touch with the direction of the specialty coffeehouse industry. Regardless, some wealthy Victoria BC family took over the company and now its back in business and even planning expansion and long term growth.

But enough about that, what about the offerings? I liked the interior of the shop. they has a couple of staggered seating levels sectioned into different areas. The section I lived the best was the Tea Salon which I assume is where they serve their high tea. They also had a pretty substantial selection of baked sweet and savory treats and other goodies. I was happy to see sausage roll also in the display cases since I really don’t see those here in Seattle. I was not happy that the sausage rolls were actually Turkey sausage. What happened to good old pork sausage rolls, are those not around any more? Since I had just come from Konpira and I was full of home made udon noodles and sushi, I wasn’t really hungry for treats so I passed on those for another day and simply ordered my latte.

How was my latte? Without going into details and trying to describe too much I didn’t think the latte I has was that great at all. I certainly do think the latte could have been much more tastier, a little more flavorful and even a little more softer or gentler tasting than it was. On the positive side, it certainly was a good strong latte and that I liked. At it certainly was no where near as bad not as bad as the Dolce Vita Coffee Art latte I was to drink later that day, but it wasn’t was good as I though it ought to be.

I think Murchies can certainly do a much better. On the other hand, I do want to go back and try their tea, especially since I get the feeling that they are better known for their teas… and their high tea. And to be fair, I probably would try another latte there again just to see if there is some improvement or if I just happened to have gotten a so-so barista make my espresso..

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