G & Tea
Watching Jingxing Gao prepare a tea ceremony is mesmerising. She places small ceramic cups in a precise row next to a glass vessel and bamboo strainer, and then puts a dish of tea leaves and pots of hot water on the small bespoke timber tea table. The tea master then begins the first of some 21 steps.
There’s an extensive artisanal tea range that varies in price and taste, from Chinese, herbal and classic black varieties such as Earl Grey and Assam Breakfast, to a Yellow Gold Bud by TWG Tea, a rare yellow tea that’s hand-coated in 24-karat gold and retails at G & Tea for $120 a pot. Enjoy with fancy sandwiches that include smoked ham hock and Gruyere, or a gin-cured Tasmanian ocean trout with shaved fennel, chives, finger lime and a yuzu emulsion.
By 4pm cocktail hour has begun. There’s a Green Tea Mojito (green tea, Tanqueray, basil seeds, soda and mint), a Passionfruit Green Tea Whiskey, and a Tea Tini (green apple hibiscus tea, Ink Gin, vermouth, lemon peel) that alters its colour from purple to pink with the addition of tonic and lemon.
At night the lights and music change and the outdoors is brought inside with a digital display of 10 LED screens framed in gold on the wall behind rose velvet banquet seats. During the day the screens show a lush rainforest canopy, while at night fireflies mingle under purple and navy moonlight. It could be tacky but the effect is pretty and soothing.
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