The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FEATURE - WORDS: EMILY MAC­DON­ALD PHOTO: GLENN HAMP­SON

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.


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