It is hard to find a cafe or restaurant in Brisbane 🇦🇺 to enjoy a quality cup of leaf tea. Many of us 'tea drinkers' reserve tea drinking for the home as we have been conditioned by so many poor and low value tea experiences out - bad tea or bad service, quite often both.
There are very few dedicated venues in Brisbane that specialise in tea but if you look around you will find some gems that serve a small selection of quality leaf tea very well. With the exception of Lücha (definitely go and take a look at the way tea has been incorporated in the menu). For cold tea beverages swing by Nick at Tea Stop whose trailer pops up at most of Brisbane's local markets. As a frequently asked question, I thought it helpful to share all the good places that I have encountered to enjoy tea!
Full disclosure, many of these venues are customers of The Steepery Tea Co. You may not know but I am very careful about who I work with. I only partner with venues that are interested and capable of preparing and serving leaf tea with some care and attention.
I have also included other great places for leaf tea that may not have any links to The Steepery Tea Co. that have delighted me as a customer.
For each venue I share what teas they are serving and what to expect from a visit. I hope that this blog reflects a real-time version of the tea scene in Brisbane. More than anything, I hope as a Brisbane tea drinker you will find this useful.
And remember if you come across any great leaf tea drinking establishment please let me know.
A few final remarks. When I make reference to tea, I am talking about the bud, leaves and stalks of camellia sinensis, rather than the world of tisanes and herbal infusions. And anything that comes bagged will not make the list. I mean who wants to visit a venue and pay $4+ to have a 16-50 cent teabag served to them....pfffft.
Yoke Kitchen, West End. A plant-based and salad eaters sanctuary. The lovely team at Yoke are laser focussed on the service and taste of their drinks in as much measure as they are with their food. Beautifully prepared cast iron pots of Arakai Estate (locally grown) black tea, white tea and matcha lattes on homemade mylks.
Barko & Co, Teneriffe. Lovely Brisbane river views from the terrace. A family owned business that care about the source of their ingredients. Enjoy a delicious pot of single-origin Assam or a refreshing Jasmine Dragon Pearls. Ask for a second pot - it is rare to be able to enjoy all that tea has to offer.
Unbearable Bagels, Teneriffe. Love that this venue has double downed on black coffee only and has a great little selection of leaf teas that also are served plain! You will find Jasmine Dragon Pearls together with some delicious offerrings from our friends at Tour de Tea. Pair with Bagel - life is good!
Namu Leather, Alderley. Not only serving up a selection of The Steepery Tea Co. teas you will also find some good dark and fermented teas to sip and enjoy. One of those extra special venues for tea tucked away inside the leather workshop. I couldn't think of a nicer place to sit for a couple of hours and shop for some hand made leather goods.
Gramps Cafe, Red Hill. A wonderful cafe to enjoy delicious pots of tea. They have a rich Assam and Arakai Estate Black Tea that allows flexibility for milk and no milk tea drinkers. A firm favourite is the roasted green tea from Japan called Hojicha. Large pots of tea provide all the comforts of drinking tea in the home!
Florence, Camp Hill. Serving up delicious black and green tea from local artisan tea maker Arakai Estate (Bellthorpe) together with Steep Me. Breakfast Black. Perfectly brewed leaf tea best enjoyed with the seasonal food menu and sweet treats by Floss Bakes.
SONO Japanese Restaurant, Hamilton. Presents a full Japanese curated tea menu that offers green, oolong, black and a fermented tea. Sourced from boutique family tea growers across Japan, a menu full of classics (inc Sencha and Hojicha) through to some innovative surprises (e.g., Wakocha, Post-fermented green tea). Showcasing the depth and talent of Japanese tea production.
Good Folk Cafe, Bardon. No better place to enjoy tea in a lovely garden and patio area. Solid black tea options with a Sri Lankan single-garden option together with our favourite Japanese green tea with roasted rice kernels, Genmaicha, and a high-fired baked oolong tea round out the list. Again, large pots of tea await you here.
Extraction Artisan Coffee, Slacks Creek. Always improving and iterating to achieve a superior quality in their tea preparation and brewing. Consistently offering a brisk and bold single-origin Assam and featuring an ever-changing specialty leaf tea menu that covers some absolute gems from the key tea growing lands of Japan, China and Taiwan. Often serving up iconic Wuyi rock or Phoenix dancong oolong.
Told You So, North Lakes. Serves up consistently delicious single-origin Assam, wonderful advocates of Arakai Estate green tea and a rotating seasonal menu that shifts between white and oolong tea. Brewed to perfection, carefully presented in a glass pitcher, great space with lots of goodies to pick up from other local makers.
My next blog post will be "Where to buy quality leaf tea in Brisbane for gifts and home brewing' as I think this would also be welcome. So stay tuned.
Updated 22 January 2023.
Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash