It’s not only possible to get drunk on tea, but there’s a word that exists to describe it. Theic – ‘a tea drunkard, one prone to the immoderate consumption of tea’.
The phrase is stamped on the front page of Nathan Wakeford’s (of Somage Fine Foods) menu at his new pop-up tea bar located inside INSITU furniture gallery in Collingwood. It’s both an invitation and a dare to try some obscure specialty teas that go far beyond your average cuppa.
A total of 24 varieties – from Somage Fine Food’s ‘Chamellia’ selection – line the specially made wooden teacart that fits in seamlessly against the backdrop of INSITU’s contemporary light fittings and designs.
The specialty brews on offer hail from the likes of Korea, Sri Lanka, Nepal and China, with choices ranging from a robust Japanese sencha green tea to a floral Taiwanese Wenshen Baozhong oolong or a persimmon leaf tisane from Korea.
Whilst Theic Tea Bar is a strictly no coffee zone – the closest you’ll get is the mocha fudge brownie bite – the benifuuki green tea latte, steamed with soy or rice milk, contains antioxidant rich leaves mixed with raw panela sugar, packing a hearty punch that could easily replace your morning espresso.
The most appealing part of Theic is the attention to detail. Each week Wakeford treks up to Mount Donna Buang to collect the spring water used to brew the teas inside boilers adjusted to specific temperatures. Leaves are bundled, pre-rinsed then served in a variety of handmade vessels. And most teas offer two infusions, encouraging customers to sit back, sip and relax.
A small range of vegan and mostly raw bites are excellent drinking companions. The Snickers ball in particular will have vegans coming back to relive a long-lost flavour that tastes pretty close to the real thing.
Theic Tea Bar hopes to stick around for the next two or three months. So do your body a favour and instead of that third cup of coffee, go and try a Himalayan Spring Flush, a Sandehphu Silver Needle or even an Earl Grey.
Theic Tea Bar
77 Cromwell St, Collingwood
Tues to Fri 10am-3.30pm