I love a good cuppa tea, and I know I'm not the only one who thinks an earl grey Lipton tea bag is way out of line in a cafe, and much better left at home. So when a teapot comes to the table that sends fresh notes of the spices, herbs or leaves brewing inside, I know I've come to a good place.
It's great news that Melbourne cafes are hearing the call of tea drinkers. Still very new and catching on, cups are beginning to be filled with teas made from single estate or specialty blends. The focus is on quality products and ingredients with teas like jasmine pearl, golden oolong, sencha green tea and fresh lemon and ginger on offer.
Cafes on the tea run include Monk Bodhi Dharma in St Kilda East who focus on organic and fair-trade teas and Proud Mary in Collingwood. For each cafe, making tea is an art they have perfected. Blends are brewed taking into account the amount of tea used, the water temperature and seeping time.
Customer's are themselves taken on a sensory journey from the detail provided in the menu;
"The Guan Yin, Iron Goddess, China (95 degrees) Semi oxidised oolong tea. Wonderfully rich and smooth and full bodied. Notes of melon, citrus, mint, lychees and tropical fruits. Served in a 300ml pot, 4.25 min infusion" Monk Bodhi Dharma Cafe).
Through to the tea pot and cup your blend will arrive in - it could be an oriental pot to fit your tea's theme, a glass pot or something else.
Sitting with a long time chai drinker, her words summed up the aromatic brew sitting in the oriental ceramic pot in front of us, "Spicy and very drinkable. A good level of sweetness with a nice ginger taste."
As you learn of more places offering their customers fine brews, please add them to the comments section of this article to keep us tea appreciators in the loop.