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Published March 19th 2012
T-licious tea emporium entrance with outdoor seating for the attached tea bar
Forget everything you thought you knew about tea. Instead of posh stuffy-nosed grannies sipping traditional blends from paisley china, Brisbane is awakening to a contemporary and exciting tea culture with a youthful alternative clientèle base which you might not expect.
It all began on a cool rainy Sunday at Southbank's Tlicious tea emporium, a trendy tea house and retail store offering over 150 blends of loose leaf tea. Yes, you heard right - one-hundred and fifty blends! Selecting a blend proved to be a mammoth but enjoyable challenge. There were exciting sounding varieties like Pina Colada (hibiscus, rosehip peels, pineapple pieces and shredded coconut) and Lemon Sunset (lemongrass, citrus peels and raspberries) as well Chai and Green Tea varieties available.
Now I've always been quite fond of an alcoholic beverage or two and I must say that I felt the same level of excitement selecting a tea as being at a cocktail bar looking at a cocktail menu. Unlike alcohol though tea actually promotes good health and doesn't induce the dreaded hangover - what's not to like?
We finally settled on our chosen blends, mine a spiced black cinnamon tea with honey and my friend opted for an iced raspberry blend. The friendly and patient staff member informed us that all varieties could also be made as iced tea. While we waited we looked over the huge range of blends in-store and literally smelled the roses (okay, it was rosehip tea but close enough). This however gave me mild anxiety since I wanted to go back and order more tea just so I didn't feel I was missing out on anything. I focused myself however and continued to the task at hand which was investigating this fascinating tea emporium. Also available to purchase was a large range of colourful and charming tea-related accessories including funky tea pots, cups and mugs, strainers, wooden honey twirlers and plenty of paisley china for the grannies.
some of the 150 different blends on offer in the attached retail store
After exhausting ourselves smelling and looking at all the options -including tea recipe books and the like we retired outside to sit. We had perched outside overlooking vibrant Grey Street on cute little cane chairs with a matching table.My head was still spinning with new tea-related knowledge when our tea and scones arrived. They were accompanied by a set of three mini hourglass timers to let us know how long we should let our tea brew for - 3 minutes for light, 4 for medium and 5 for strong tea.
This was a sophisticated and impressive touch to what was an already impressively presented plate which comprised a mini tea pot, milk jug, honey and shortbread biscuit and we hadn't even looked at the scones yet. I left my tea to brew for the full five minutes letting me create the tea to my exact liking with just a small amount of milk and plenty of honey. The cinnamon and honey spices in the tea complimented each other perfectly as did the warm scones with their yummy whipped cream and raspberry jam toppings.
We sat quietly for a few moments appreciating tea and its contribution to the beverage scene and of course its contribution to health via those invisible things called antioxidants. Did I feel a little posh? Well yes I guess I did but I needn't have. Visiting T-licious was not an uptight experience like attending high tea at Great Aunt Ruth's country estate. No, not at all. T-licious is more of a modern, funky take on a unique and diverse beverage that has been around since almost the beginning of time. Thanks to some innovation and some colourful decor, tea and all its diverse blends have been heralded into the 21st century in Brisbane with T-licious leading the way.