The Best Places To Enjoy Tea In Melbourne, Australia

Escape the daily (coffee) grind | Erin Leeder
Escape the daily (coffee) grind | Erin Leeder
Photo of Erin Leeder
27 October 2016

Calling all tea-lovers! Coffee-drenched Melbourne can seem like a harsh and hostile place for enthusiasts of everything camellia sinensis, but there are treasures around if you know where to look. The city is home to a number of tea-houses that treat the ancient beverage with the respect it deserves– next time your friends suggest going out for a coffee, take them to one of these places instead.

Tea | © A Girl With Tea/Flickr

Travelling Samovar

If you thought tea was as simple as black, green, and herbal, prepare to get the best kind of education at Travelling Samovar. The menu offers a selection of over 50 teas and you won’t find any tea bags or artificial flavorings in any of their options. The different black, white, green, oolong and puerh teas are grouped by origin and detailed lovingly in the menu. Fortunately there’s no reason to be overwhelmed by choice. Travelling Samovar offers a mystery tea option and a selection of ‘tea-sers’- three complementing teas for tasting and comparison. The knowledgeable owners and staff will happily show you how to get the best tastes out of your teas and give you advice on selecting and brewing. The teahouse itself is a lovely place to sit and drink. The two rooms are beautifully decorated with flowers, teapots and hangings from all over the world. Travelling Samovar is an essential pilgrimage for Melbourne tea lovers.

Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, VIC Australia +61 0487 182 822

Travelling Samovar | Erin Leeder

Take some time out to smell the tea leaves at Travelling Samovar | Erin Leeder

Porcelain Tea Parlour

Right around the corner from Cinema Nova and the delights of Lygon Street, the Porcelain Tea Parlour is the perfect place to take friends for a couple of hours. The parlor offers a highly curated selection of delicate teas and infusions served up in pretty porcelain sets. You can also ask for recommendations of macaroons, luxury chocolates or cheese platters to match your selected tea. The tea-house itself is small, but its comfy couches, open layout and assortment of available games and activities encourages a sense of community. There is an open knitting group every Thursday night and regular seminars on the history of tea and letter writing. The place seems designed to distract you from the lures of modern technology. A bundle of magazines and books is available for the solitary tea drinker, and letter-writing materials and a stamp are available for an extra four dollars with your tea.

The Porcelain Tea Parlour, 149 Elgin St, Carlton, Australia

Porcelain Tea Parlour | Erin Leeder

Pretty crockery and tasty macaroons at Porcelain Tea Parlour | Erin Leeder

Tea Drop

If you’ve ever wanted to try iced tea on tap, this is the place to go. Located in the heart of the South Melbourne Market, Tea Drop’s Brew Bar offers a rotating selection of iced teas, blasted with nitrogen and pulled from a tap set up by a local microbrewery. The resulting sparkling tea is light, refreshing and completely unique, though traditionalists may not appreciate the dramatically bubbly texture. If you prefer your teas hot, there is a wide range of traditional classics and special blends to choose from. The blends were all created in Melbourne and one of their more popular kinds, the South Melbourne Breakfast, was inspired by the sights and smells of the area around the shop.

Enjoy sparkling iced tea at the Tea Drop Brew Bar at South Melbourne Market | Erin Leeder

Impala and Peacock

Take a 55 tram up Sydney Road to find this gorgeously designed teahouse. Impala and Peacock’s decor provides a modern take on the traditional High Tea setting. The huge eye-catching chandelier in the center of the room is caged in a delicate metal sphere, and porcelain cups and vintage shelves contrast with glass teapots and contemporary art. The teas are all carefully blended by the in-house tea sommelier, and you can either select one off the pretty wooden menus or ask for a tea to be recommended based on your mood. The blended tisanes are helpfully categorised under smooth, spicy, indulgence, classic or wellbeing, but there are also tea tasting sessions for those who can’t decide on one. Impala and Peacock also host highly-lauded High Tea sessions, where five teas are matched with specially-made seasonal treats.

Impala and Peacock, 558 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Australia +613 8394 5661

Pouring tea at Impala and Peacock | Erin Leeder

Pouring tea at Impala and Peacock | Erin Leeder

Oriental Teahouse

Bar, Restaurant, Chinese, Dim Sum, Tea , Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
Oriental Teahouse in Little Collins Street is a good place for tea and yum cha
Oriental Teahouse in Little Collins Street is a good place for tea and yum cha | Erin Leeder
A little different to the other places on this list, Oriental Teahouse can be found in three different locations- Chadstone, South Yarra and the CBD. While tea is still a major focus, Oriental Teahouse also offers yum cha and a well-stocked bar. It’s also the only place on this list that sells coffee (look under the soft drinks section of the menu). There are around 30 types of tea to choose from and many different ways of sampling them. A signature blend for two comes out in a glass teapot with two tiny Chinese tea cups, while a flavored green tea is presented in a clever pot and cup hybrid. Oolong teas come in traditional Zi Sha earthenware. All this tradition is housed in a very modern setting. The Little Collins teahouse in the city is a high-ceilinged space with a bluestone feature wall and plenty of seating. It’s not a place to unwind, but you are guaranteed a nice cup of tea.

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