Tea in Sydney

Tea lovers often ask me where to go for tea in my home town, Sydney, so here is Teashirts’ (by no means definitive) guide to Sydney venues that serve quality leaf.

Tea venues

Please note this section covers venues that are primarily designed for sitting down to enjoy tea, not tea retailers.

At Tea Central Park SydneyAt Tea
Shop 6, DUO Central Park, 38 Broadway, Chippendale

A snack stop that serves Chinese favourites both edible and drinkable, this venue is great for light meals such as dumplings, bao and fried share plates, which you can wash down with flavoured or unflavoured tea, including bubble tea. The tea menu is curated rather than expansive and the location is a change of pace from bustling Broadway.

CPCI Tea House SydenhamCPCI Tea House
493-495 Princes Highway, Sydenham

What do you get when a Chinese art gallery owner and calligrapher wants to share his culture with the world? This new teahouse is yet to open officially but is already making ripples. Fujian’s Sanhe brand features heavily on the menu.

Fours Sister Tea Chatswood SydneyFour Sisters Tea
Shop 44, 47 Neridah Street, Chatswood

This two-level venue is a teahouse and retail space, a classroom and a private tearoom complete with everything you need to brew gongfu cha style. The Fujian sisters specialise in tea from their province, so expect quality yan cha (rock oolong) and original jin jun mei.

G&T Lounge at The Star SydneyG&Tea
Astral Tower – The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont

The casino’s latest roll of the dice is a good bet for tea-lovers: a tea-focused lounge tucked away on the ground floor of the Astral Tower that turns into a gin bar at night. Specialty tea will set you back double figures but with free refills you’ll get your tea’s worth. Call ahead for a hosted gongfu ceremony.

Good Tea EastwoodGood Tea
Shop 1, 35 Railway Parade, Eastwood

Hailing from Lincang, a city in Yunnan, China, Helena and Yao offer a selection of specialty tea – pu’er and dianhong – from their home province, as well as a variety of teaware, from Kamjove express brewers to handpainted gaiwans. While Helena’s father is the master tea processor, Yao’s practises ju ci, the art of pottery repair.

La Floraison SydneyLa Floraison
Lower Ground Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney

The loose-leaf tea comes in large glass teapots on a candle stand, perfect for a long afternoon sipping tea. The concept of the teahouse is floral, as the name suggests, so the tea is blended with flowers and presented beautifully. Plenty of tisanes on the menu, too, if decaf is your preference, plus pair it with a range of desserts.

Long's Tea Hurstville SydneyLong’s Tea
Shop 1, 9 Dora Street, Hurstville

The long-time Chinese tea wholesaler has opened a tearoom to showcase their tea to the public. Sit and brew at your own gongfu cha table and pay by the tea. The house specialty is bamboo stored pu’er. You won’t regret splashing out for the decades-old sheng pu’er.

MY Teahouse Neutral Bay SydneyMY Tea House
Shop 4-5, 129-133 Military Road, Neutral Bay

Expect to be invited to the tea table whether you’re there to buy or browse. Book ahead for special tea journeys, from beginners tastings to pu’er events. There’s a big range of Chinese teaware on offer, with the specialty tea of choice being pu’er.

Taka Tea Double Bay SydneyTaka Tea Garden
320 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Japanese tea specialists Taka Pan and Helen Kwok also offer premium Chinese and Taiwanese teas. I’ve only been here a couple of times because it’s not often open when I’m in the neighbourhood; ring ahead to confirm.

Tea Angle Enmore SydneyTea Angle
218 Enmore Road, Enmore

Known for their specialty oolongs, from fruity and floral dancongs to the rock oolongs of the Wuyi Mountains, Tea Angle have opened a retail and workshop studio to share their passion for pure Chinese tea. Come in, take a seat and have a taste.

Tea Journal Chatswood SydneyTea Journal
Shop 44, 436 Victoria Road, Chatswood
382 Sussex Street, Sydney

Tea Journal boasts a curated menu of Chinese tea, some from the proprietor’s family plantation, as well as tea blends. While just steps away from the hubs  of Chatswood and Chinatown, the peaceful venues are well-suited to taking time for tea.

Rabbit Hole Tea Chippendale SydneyThe Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar
Shop 1, 23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo

The Rabbit Hole is an organic tea-lovers haven. Specialising in inventive organic blends and and selection of light meals and snacks, the venue is a refreshing stop for visitors to and workers in Barangaroo.

The Tea Cosy The Rocks SydneyThe Tea Cosy
33 George Street, The Rocks

Set in a haunted (allegedly) heritage house, The Tea Cosy has plenty of character thanks to the sandstone venue and the rainbow of tea cosies adorning the place. It has, hands down, the best scones in Sydney. Trust me, I’ve eaten a lot of scones in Sydney. Perfect for morning tea, afternoon tea, Devonshire tea, high tea…

Topo Tea Chinatown SydneyTopo Tea
D6 Sussex Centre, 401 Sussex Street, Sydney

Take a seat for a formal tea tasting or relax with an all-you-can-drink-for-$15 session. Topo has a mix of their own plantation teas alongside popular Chinese and Taiwanese teas as well as a couple of rarer teas and an outstanding range of gong fu cha teaware.

TTotaler tea Newtown SydneyT Totaler
Ground floor The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney
555a King Street, Newtown

Fun and experimental, using mainly organic ingredients, there are very few tea blenders that match the flair of T totaler. The duo will also teach you how they do it in their blending workshops. Its speciality is herbal tea but you’ll also find camellia sinensis and some awesome cake here.

Zensation teahouse Redfern SydneyZensation
816 Bourke Street, Waterloo

A well-appointed teahouse with a modern oriental theme, Zensation excels at hosting tea events, particularly at Chinese New Year. Pair your tea with food by choosing a degustation, or select your own brew from the curated menu. Leaf and teaware also available for sale.

 

Notable others

Venues where tea is not the main focus but they’ve put some effort into offering decent loose leaf tea.

Angel Garden by Uncle Tetsu
Lower Ground Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney

The cafe cousin of the famous Uncle Tetsu Japanese cheesecake shop, Angel Garden is a dessert cafe serving Uncle Tetsu’s popular cakes and tarts alongside a strong Yame-matcha cappuccino and pots of various tea.

Bread & Circus
21 Fountain Street, Alexandria

Fresh, wholesome and—above all—delicious food is the main game here, but it also has a wonderful selection of fine Asian teas.

Bruce Tea & Coffee
12 Bridge Road, Glebe

Gotta love a small specialty cafe that looks after its tea customers. Choose from a curated selection of Tea Craft teas served gongfu with multiple infusions if appropriate.

Cafe Cre Asion
101/21 Alberta Street, Sydney

The main game is coffee and macarons but there’s a decent list of Japanese teas and western style teas and blends by French institution Mariage Frères. Matcha lattes come in a bowl.

Cafe Oratnek
4 Pitt Street, Redfern

Choose from a pot of loose-leaf Mariage Freres tea, a matcha latte or hojicha thickshake to go with your matcha French toast—this is Japanese fusion for brunch at its best.

Fleetwood Macchiato
43 Erskineville Road, Erskineville

This little cafe deserves two thumbs up for tea service with a good, seasonal range of Tea Craft teas brought prepared to the table. Oolong and pu’er re-steeps offered without asking.

Juan Bowl & Tea
94a Pitt Street, Redfern

As you tuck into your beautifully presented don (rice bowl) you can sip a matched tea by Redfern teahouse stalwarts Zensation.

Oh! Matcha by Chanoma
Shop 11 Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney

Okay, hear me out. What if we had a place where you could get Japanese-style hotdogs and matcha drinks and desserts? Here ’tis!

The Palace Tea Room
Level 1 Queen Victoria Building, George Street, Sydney

An enchanting room that serves beautifully presented food with a serious offering of tea by Harney & Sons in fine china pots. Lunch and high tea both recommended (but not at the same time).

The Tea Salon
Level 4 Westfield, Pitt Street, Sydney

An oasis of calm in bustling Westfield, The Tea Salon offers a wide range of blended and flavoured teas accompanied by beautifully decorated cakes and other sweets. Oh there are savoury items too, but let’s face it, you’re here for a high tea treat.

White Rabbit Gallery
30 Balfour Street, Chippendale

A permanent home for contemporary Chinese art, the White Rabbit Gallery also houses a small eatery on its ground floor that serves a range of Chinese tea alongside dumplings and scones.

Tea retailers

Where to buy leaf tea in Sydney in addition to the teahouses named above.

  • Green Valley Spices: all over Sydney (< click link for store finder)
  • Quali-tea: Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St, Sydney
  • T2: all over Sydney (< click link for store finder)
  • Tenren’s Tea: 389 Victoria Road, Chatswood
  • The Tea Centre: Piccadilly Centre, 210 Pitt St, Sydney; Westfield Hornsby, 236 Pacific Highway, Hornsby

Coming soon: Matcha-Ya

Have I missed naming your favourite venue? Maybe I haven’t been yet! Nominate it here.

All photos by Adeline Teoh.

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