Sunny Huang wants to educate Sydney about Chinese tea. He’s the owner of Tea Journal, a modern Chinese tea cafe and shop in central Chatswood.
Here you’ll find less expensive, more generic black and green teas, but there’s also an extensive selection of pu’er, oolong, white and herbal teas (including a $600 16-year-old pu’er tea that’s been fermented for three months). If you have no idea what any of that means, that doesn’t matter – Huang and his staff run free classes every Wednesday. They also take pride in answering any tea-related questions in-store.
All the tea sold here is grown on Huang’s family or family friend’s century-old tea plantations in the Yunnan mountains.
If you’re thinking about the $600 tea, Huang (wisely) recommends trying it first; everything in the shop is available in a pot. There are also iced teas and a range of appropriately delicate cakes from Carmen Ng, Sunny’s wife – look for the black-tea-and-rosewater chiffon cake and the matcha sponge.
Although hidden in the Chatswood interchange, Tea Journal is quite a tranquil place to sit, too; soft folk music, light timbers and tea paraphernalia as decoration.