My visit to The Tea Collective starts with a squirt of scented water over the top of my head. Like a smoking ceremony, this Tea Project ritual is supposed to cleanse and help me relax. But I know it’s really about preparing my head for the mind-boggling choice of teas on the quirky tea menu. It’s a big ask to narrow down your choice to a single tea from a starting line of 70. With names like Irish Rum and Cream, Cream Tea Sauvignon and the cheeky Novocastrian Breakfast, it’s an unfair burden to put on a customer. There’s a tea for every taste; chai, green tea blends, oolong, white, herbal – it’s insane! Luckily the selective food choices are top-notch. The melt-in-your-mouth scone tastes dreamily creamy and fresh, and pairs well with the delicate flavours of the housemade rose water jam. The fresh cream is on the light side, but the sprinkle of rose petal tea leaves takes it up a rung on the presentation ladder and wins me over. After spending so much time hovering over the menu I try hard not to leave with a bag of tea, as 50 and 100 gram take home packs are available. NB: Since my visit, The Tea Project changed its name to The Tea Collective and moved to Cooks Hill. The details have been updated accordingly.
Tea: A sensational selection of award-winning (yes truly) house blended loose-leaf teas served in either a pot for one or two.
Overall: A tea world hipster vibe.