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Published December 22nd 2016
Although coffee may be a popular drink of choice in Canberra, tea is also well-loved and catered for around the city. There is even a nationally-awarded Tea House which specialises in just tea, as well as cafes who offer long tea menus and quirky teapots. When tea comes from a particularly attractive teapot, it seems to make the tea taste even more tantalising - or is that just me? In the CBD, there are also tea shops who specialise in a huge range of tea to buy and take home, as well a teapots for gifts or for yourself. For tea lovers, Canberra has a good selection of venues in which to enjoy a good cuppa, however you like it. How do you take your tea?
TEA CAFES... Adore Tea is the first venue to be mentioned, as it the most popular Tea House in Canberra - in fact it is the only Tea House in Canberra. Thankfully, as we only have just one, we are lucky that Adore Tea is the "Most Awarded Tea House in Australia" - including winning the Best Teahouse in Australia award from the Australian International Tea Expo. It is a relaxing and charming place to visit, with over 200 varieties of teas to enjoy in the café or buy to take home. There is also a delicious food matching menu, so you can savour the flavours of both your food and tea combined. If you love all things tea, then you will enjoy the whole experience of choosing it, then watching the experts pour it for you at your table and explain its fragrance and tones. It is also situated in the quaint and historical Gold Creek Village, with a number of other cute shops and Cockington Green Gardens to visit afterwards. See website here.
High Tea is another good opportunity to savour some of the worlds finest teas, as well as enjoy tiny, delectable petites off pretty tiered stands. High Tea is popular in Canberra, especially for Mothers Day, however many restaurants, cafes and hotels offer them all year around. For a list of options, see article High Tea Locations in Canberra. Since writing this article, two more locations need to be added - Rodney's Café in Pialligo and Bookplate Café at the National Library of Australia.
Afternoon Tea at the Hyatt Hotel is an enjoyable way to try a variety of teas, as well as soak up the heritage atmosphere in the aptly named "Tea Lounge". The Afternoon Tea Buffet offers an array of savouries, finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, jam and cream and a selection of tempting cakes and slices. The finest estate leaf teas are served to compliment the afternoon tea, from light flavours to intense darker teas. See website here.
Afternoon Tea at the Hyatt Hotel. Source: Hyatt Canberra Facebook
Local Press Café is a popular café located on the Kingston Foreshore with a sense of humour about their tea. There are several tasty teas to choose from and the teapot is delivered with a hand-knitted tea cosy to keep it toasty and warm. It is sure to put a smile on your face and start your day with a ray of sunshine. This café has been open for almost three years and it became an instant success, due to its healthy menu and wholesome approach to food - and the tea cosies of course! See here for their website.
Tea choices (at the time of writing) are:
Rise and Shine: Licorice root, lemon myrtle, ginger & lemongrass. Raspberry Rose Tonic: Raspberry leaf, linden flower & rose petals. Winter Olive: Lemon myrtle, peppermint, elderflower & olive leaf. Citrus Strength: Orange, Elderberry, Rosehip & licorice root. Autumn Apple: Orange pekoe, cinnamon bark, apple and clove.
The Tea Centre is found in the Canberra Centre and it also has outlets across the country. Choose between a huge variety of black teas, green teas, teas by strength, organic teas, naturopath teas and a full selection of tea accessories. If you love your tea, or are looking for a present for a tea lover, this shop has quirky, beautiful and unusual accessories to admire. See here for website.
T2 is a chain of tea shops that can be found in all cities in Australia. The variety of teas in boxes literally spans from floor to ceiling in these colourful outlets. As well as tea, they also sell particularly beautiful teapots in a variety of styles, colours and inspiration. In Canberra, T2 can be found in the Canberra Centre, as well as Belconnen and Woden Westfield Shopping Centres. See here for details.
The beauty of tea is that it be enjoyed in all weather - it is thirst quenching in summer and a comforting hot drink in winter. This drink has been a tradition through the ages and now comes with a variety of modern twists all around Canberra. Modern, and beautifully colourful.