This sneaky little cafe caught my eye as I was scouring Crows Nest’s streets for a car park. Off the main drag of Willoughby Road and hidden by the tables and umbrellas of Garfish restaurant, Four Friends Coffee, Chocolate & Tea sits discreetly and I only notice it because of the Devonshire Tea sign out the front. There’s only room for two small tables on the footpath and the rest of the seating is inside and upstairs. It’s an odd set up with handmade chocolates virtually just inside the door on the counter and further around there is a shelf lined with small dishes of the loose-leaf teas available. I have a premonition that the scones aren’t going to be the highlight here as the microwave whizzes into action as I discuss my tea choice with one of the staff. The cafe feels pretty sterile and I ask how long they have been opened, ‘nine months’ came the reply. The sign says ‘three fluffy scones’, so when my three scones arrive, minus a serving plate, I have a double take. I am wooed by the cute two-tiered cake stand, but the scones are brownie mustard in colour and have a tough texture. They’re tasteless to boot and I can’t place what they’re made from. There’s enough jam and cream for one and a half scones and that’s not using it liberally either. However, I am impressed by the proper teacup and love the tea. Apparently if you want to purchase some to take home the staff can make it happen.
Tea: An exceptional 40 varieties of loose-leaf teas all laid out in little dishes for you to sniff and see. The vanilla quince sencha is sensational.
Overall: In the area and hankering for a pot of tea? Do it!
Location: 5/29 Holtermann St, Crows Nest NSW 2065 Ph: 0415 068 881
Reviewed in September, 2013