WITH THREE TEA SHOPS OPENING ON THE GOLD COAST IN THE PAST MONTH WE FIND OUT WHY THIS CUP RUNNETH OVER
While it used to be the beverage of choice for cardigan-clad grandmas, Gold Coasters are turning over a new leaf and embracing tea.
Pomeroy’s Tea and Coffee Co set up shop in the old Blackboard Coffee store in Capri on Via Roma on July 1, Harmoni-T opened in Chevron Renaissance on July 14 and just around the corner in The 4217 CHA Tea Providores began trading on Monday.
While some may not think this drink is their cup of tea, keep in mind there’s not a supermarket-bought bag in sight.
Instead, it’s all about temperature controlled brews, healing herbal blends and, according to Harmoni-T owner Jing Yang, an experience on another level.
“I wasn’t interested in tea at all before until a friend bought me back some from Hong Kong. It wasn’t just a drink, it had something to do with my spirit,” he says.
It’s no wonder Jing feels so connected to his tea – his hometown in China is in the Sichuan province, where botanists believe the plant originated.
He’s even created a special blend in tribute to his new home on the Gold Coast called Paradise Summer, which contains rooibos from South Africa and Queensland lemongrass.
Jing’s other great passion is converting the coffee drinkers.
“They come in here thinking it’s a coffee shop and we’ll say, ‘we don’t have any coffee but we’ve got better for you’,” Jing says.
“Sometimes they’ll say they don’t drink tea but that’s because they haven’t had the right type. We’re slowly changing people’s minds.”
Over at Pomeroy’s, owners Nathan and Lahnie Ward are also brewing up something special.
While some things from the old Blackboard store remain the same, namely manager Danni Roberts, the inclusion of an extensive tea menu has proven a hit.
But in this haven of sipping serenity there is one thing that makes Nathan’s blood boil and that’s an incorrectly brewed tea.
“Tea gets bought from the supermarket and 100 degree water poured on top – it ruins it.It’s just a matter of educating people,” he says.
“Fruit teas should be at 90 to 95 degrees and green or white at the 80 to 85 degree mark.”
Another coffee convert, Nathan says many people are surprised by the diversity of the blends on offer.
“My favourite is the Babas brew. It’s got elderberries, blackberries, strawberries and fruit currant.
“You can also do it as an iced tea, which is almost like drinking cordial but without the sugar hit.”
If you prefer to drink your cuppa with pinkie finger firmly outstretched, CHA’s high tea could be more your temperature.
General manager Brendan Guest says the high tea is a wonderful ritual.
“CHA offers a stunning bespoke traditional high tea experience as well as vegetarian and gluten free options created by our pastry chef who uses tea gastronomy infusing tea flavours into our food as well as showcasing the freshest seasonal flavours year around,” he says.
“CHA Tea Providores believes that tea takes time. As tea brews it allows people to take the time to slow down and enjoy the moment of a cup of tea.”
If the last time you tried a cup was when it was accompanied by a stale Monte Carlo biscuit at your great-aunt’s house, it may be time to give this brew a second chance.