3.2 stars out of 5
For a place to get 3.2 stars out of 5 with only 4 teas – one of which I can’t drink and one of which I probably won’t – is actually pretty good.
This is a lovely winery which plans to do high teas on special occasions. Today – Mother’s Day – was their first.
It seemed to go without a hitch.
Lovely weather is not a bad start. Well landscaped gardens, great food and good wines all add to the enjoyment.
As for he impeccably brewed teas – I alternated between a delightful Assam Golden Tippy and a somewhat wishy-washy English Breakfast were both from The Perfect Cup. Perhaps the English Whole Leaf blend would have been a better choice from the same supplier. The Earl Grey was enjoyed by others around us and I really don’t care what the Chamomile & Peppermint was like, I prefer not to think about it.
This is tea review and they are not a specialist tea venue. nevertheless, they did a great job.
I’d like to see a good green – Chun Mee would be ideal with their sparkling three-grape wine – and maybe something a little more Mother’s Day-ish, like a Chinese tea with rose petals.
A real find with a friendly team and the opportunity to meet the family behind the enterprise.
Mrs Devotea was thrilled to be taken there by Son No 2 (No 1 being overseas at this moment) and I’m going to press them for the recipe to the Date, Ginger and Chocolate slice.
Actually, hard to believe it was their first High tea.
My first ever 5 star rating. Quite frankly, I’d live there.
Now, it’s a Yum Cha restaurant and an oriental tea house, so the tea is predominantly Chinese and Japanese, and my taste is predominantly not.
But superb decor, elegant surrounding, impressive cleanliness, thoughtful and tasteful decor, and 8 teapots ready to taste have won me over.
I had dinner at an Indian restaurant, and then just swung into the OTH for a late night cuppa,
I had a KeeMun, which the served in an odd pottery cup with a tea strainer built into one side – you drink form the other side. A bit freaky, but it more or less worked.
Of the teas I tasted the China Jasmine and Lychee was incredible, and a few of the others weren’t at all bad. It’s also the only late night place I’ve found in Melbourne for a cuppa.
I was there 15 minutes ago, I might close up my laptop and go back.
The choice of teas -chamomile, peppermint or English Breakfast from their coffee suppliers. I should have listened to the alarm bells that range set off, but ordered the EB.
I have never seen tea better presented. A tin teapot with a pink butterfly embroidered tea cosy, teacup resting in an elegant swan dish, antique strainer, simply bountiful.
Really really cheap and nasty tea, and badly made by someone who clearly has never had a cup of tea in their life. I recommend this place for it’s bohemian atmosphere, it’s fine range of alcoholic drinks and elegance, but if they offer you tea, run!
What they lack in number of teas they make up for in cakes, care, olde fashioned decor and friendliness. Only about 15 teas but all pretty good. Never miss this place in Melbourne. Had the chance to meet the new owner -it’s been sold after about 18 years – and he seems switched on. Might well do good things
Melbourne’s comfiest tea atmosphere
The newly re-opened Red Star proactively encouraged me to come and try their tea, so I did.
Now, if I was reviewing their food, their service, their staff, their friendliness, they’d get a very high score.
But I review tea. There tea comes highly rated – by it’s supplier. The truth is, I got a cup of pretty mediocre tea, with a jug of unasked-for and unwanted milk. The infuser took up a heap of tea space, yet the mug was not filled anywhere near well enough, would have been only half full once I’d removed the infuser if I hadn’t asked for more.
I’m going to give them another chance, as the wrap was gloriously fresh and tasty and every other factor was excellent – but I hope for a big improvement in the tea.
2.4 out of five
First a word about the food : well prepared, vegetarian, vegan Chinese/Vietnamese style.
Odd paper menus that you fill in and take up to the counter.
Now.let’s talk tea.
They have about 40, and many of them are available black, white, milky and either style can be hot or cold.
Note that during last years Chinese milk crisis, they offered no milk teas. Apparently they only use Chinese milk- presumably the stuff that was responsible for infant deaths.
So I’ll take mine black.
Actually I had a sip of my dining companions’ Lavender Milk and Almond Milk teas, and both were nice drinks, really bubble tea milkshakes, but the milk tasted to me like it might be powdered.
I had the ‘finest Chinese oolong.’
It was served as a pot of wet leaves, with a jug of decanted liquor and a thimble-sized cup
And it was THE SINGLE WORST CUP OF TEA I HAVE EVER TASTED MADE FROM LOOSE LEAF TEA.
It tasted like the inside of a rubbish bin and had an oily consistency, like drinking hot, stale vegetable oil.
I’ve gone to this place before with vegetarian friends – next time, they can find somewhere else. The excellent food is to no avail if I can’t have a good cup of tea.
To add insult to injury, it was expensive. Vastly better oolong is available at two more places within a block at least 20% cheaper.
4.2 out of 5
This is really an adjunct to my review of T-Bar at the Central Market.
Basically the same, but…
This one is slightly shinier and there’s a bit more tea knowledge in-house, but balance that against the bustle and friendliness of the Central Market, and it come sup just short.
But without a doubt, every tea drinker in Rundle Mall should be in here.
Saldechin, for me, is great in parts. The food menu is wide and varied, and the foods pretty good.
Thirty-two teas places it in good stead, you would think.
The problem I have is that the teas are all Chinese (OK, so it’s a Chinese tea room) and heavily favour greens and oolongs. There’s chrysanthemums and jasmines. There’s flavoured oolongs and greens. There’s an un-named white (looked to be Pai Mu Tan from a few tables away)
Price-wise, the teas are a little steep (hah!). A pot for two is twice the price of elsewhere for some of the fancier teas, and while it’s actually a pretty large pot, it’s not the nest value.
However, the venue is amazing. Built in the foyer of the original 1800’s ANZ bank, it’s full of marble and elegance.
It’s worth a visit for the ambience. They also have things like free jazz, high teas and a fair bit of alcohol if you are so inclined.
3.5 out of 5
There’s nothing wrong with the range of teas here.
However, there’s not a great deal of tea knowledge in-house. Looks to me like the tea just sits there until people buy it – this is more a coffee and cake place, in a line of coffee and cake places.
I’m wondering about some of the pricing too – some teas definitely look a little pricey.
This is the retail outlet for a wholesaler I used to use, so I’m pretty comfortable that the tea is of good quality, it just needs to be better presented and priced a little better, and offered by someone who knows what it actually is!
Now, I’ve given this place a four, even though there were some deficiencies in the tea.
Blessed Cheese is a cheese shop that capitalises on the popularity of cheese (Which I rarely eat) and wine (which I don’t drink) in one of the world’s most famous winery towns.
The place is lovely, built into an old cottage with various rooms and nooks and crannies.
It’s filled with exotic cheeses and good quality local produce.
They have altura coffee (I had a little taste, I think it’s their Tuscan belnd, which is great).
They also offer about 8 T-bar loose leaf teas.
I chose the Margaret’s Hope 2nd flush – a great tea.
What they did wrong was add to much tea to the pot – about twice what was required.
However, they turned up unannounced with a jug of hot water, and with a little manipulation, I managed to end up with a cup of tea, a jug of tea with two more cups in it and a teapot way too full of leaves.
So, no real harm done. They could use a bit of tea education, though.
They served superb, perfect sour dough toast with a generous pot of butter (not rock hard, either) and some lovely honey. I had ordered the jam but we checked and it would have affected my allergies. The honey was more than adequate, and I ended up adding a smigden to the tea.
A delightful experience. Next time, I’ll just let them know about the tea.
My actual rating would be about 3.8 out of 5, if it were possible.
Firstly the brickbats. These guys have about 30-40 teas, and they don’t know much about them. They’ve taught the staff to make it consistetly, but it’s somewhat by remote control. It’s the sort of place where you might be offered milk in an oolong. And incidentally, they need to get better sweetener. Saccharine-based stuff went out with the 70’s.
However, we need to look at the big context here.
In Adelaide’s Deep South, it’s not a teaphile’s mecca. There’s very few places that have loose leaf tea, and far fewer that have more than a standard 5 or 6. In a relaitively low sociao-economic area, these guys are bravely persisting in selling teas of a moderate to high standard.
The range is well thought out – sometimes a little stale in the more unusual ones – and it’s obvious that coffee keeps this place afloat. This is teabag heartland, and not even your better quality ones.
On many occasion, Cafe 16 have saved the day when I needed good tea in a hurry. Their Pai Mu Tan is very fine indeed, their Ceylon Organic is the pick of the blacks.
When I owned a tea shop, I always used to rate this place as the second-best in town.
The range of teas is good to very good, the in-store information reasonable, though has some grammar issues, and the surroundings a little different, with the communal teatables that all T-bars have.
So far that describes all T-bars.
The central market does have some unique features – it bravely exists in the midst of a ton of coffee shops, for one.
When I compare the two T-bars I frequent the most, I must say that the staff at this one seem to have a little less passion for and knowledge of tea that the Adelaide Rundle Mall one.
However, on the flip side, it’s well run and the staff here are really friendly. And given that I will typically turn up once a week or so, have 4 or 5 consecutive meetings, swap tables four or five time and drink 5-6 teas, I must admit, I’m probably hard for staff to keep track of.
I’ve rated it 4/5 but if the star system had fractions, I’d probably go 4.3 . All in all, my favourite place.