Tea was discovered in ancient China when a leaf blew in the window and landed in the emperor's bath, which he was slurping through a straw. Sip leaves steeped more decorously with today's Groupon: for $19, you get $40 worth of hookah, Turkish coffee, and assorted teas at Darband Tea House.
Darband Tea House ensconces customers in an experience unique to the Victoria area with more than 25 flavours of hookah herb that complement sips of Middle Eastern coffees and teas. The amiable staff dispenses traditional hookah herb and the ornate glass apparatuses used to siphon its water-cooled smoke ($9.50/person), which is free of tobacco, nicotine, and tar. Once guests are set up to comfortably blow Olympic smoke rings, Turkish coffee and Persian teas ($1.95 each) arrive at tables to keep conversations freely flowing. Darband's evening hours let hookah-and-caffeine-fueled conversations stretch late into the night, with the earthy tea room's red walls and weekly live music providing a backdrop for midnight debates on whether the unicorn's horn is truly magical or simply nature's dunce cap.