O5 Rare Tea and Kombucha Bar has become a fixture on West 4th since we featured them back in 2012.

We recently had a chance to sit down with the tea bar’s manager over a flute of kombucha, and we rediscovered why we love this spot so much and why it is such a perfect fit for Kits.

1) The ‘O’ in the name stands for ‘origins’ and the ‘5’ is referring to the five elements – earth, water, air, wind, and fire – as a testament to their philosophy that all tea is grown, not manufactured. The tea you’ll find at O5 comes straight from the land.

2) The experience you’ll have is entirely interactive. You’ll sit on a barstool at a long table with bartenders serving you ceaselessly and telling you all about how and where the tea is made. Your bartenders go through in depth training and are a wealth of information. My server was actually a certified tea sommelier from Vancouver Culinary College.

3) But I bet you didn’t know that they also have tea-to-go! While the experience is intended to be relaxed, leisurely, and informative, sometimes you just need that deliciousness of O5 tea and you don’t have time to stick around, so they serve it for on-the-goers as well.

4) O5 is open at 10am and it is actually the perfect place for a mid-morning pick-me-up. As folks¬† who wake up earlier than necessary just to make sure we can fit in two large cups of coffee before we leave the house, we would never have thought to turn to a tea bar for that caffeine kick. But Pedro filled me in on all the secrets of matcha. It’s essentially an espresso shot that shoots you into awake mode, but keeps you grounded and calm rather than jittery and shaky. This is our new favourite secret weapon to get me through those extra long days!

5) The tea bar only has one location, and chose Kitsilano for its proximity to the water, its neighbourhood energy, its quality-oriented clientele, and its health-focused community. Now that’s some high praise from a business ensconced in the global market. Aren’t we lucky they chose us?

O5 Rare Tea and Kombucha Bar, 2208 W 4th Ave., 604-558-0500, o5tea.com

Last modified: August 12, 2018

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