CapeTownMagazine.com

The Tea Bar on Long Street

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

The Tea Bar on Long Street

Cape Town’s newest (and first) hotspot dedicated solely to the leafy brew

Legend has it that the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong was the first to discover tea sometime around 2737 BC while sitting outside drinking a bowl of boiling water. A light breeze caused a couple leaves from a nearby tree to fall into the emperor’s bowl, changing the colour and aroma of his of beverage. After taking a sip of the brew, Shen Nong was pleasantly surprised by its flavour and found his new fortuitous drink to be delicious…

Fast forwarding to the present, I take a sip of my own delightful cuppa – a Pumpkin Chai Latte (created with rooibos chai, pumpkin, coconut blossom sugar and foamed milk) and I thank my lucky stars for Emperor Shen Nong and his inquisitive palate. Today I am at Lady Bonin’s Tea’s newest venture, The Tea Bar and am enjoying one of her many delightful creations.

Tucked away neatly on Long Street, The Tea Bar, which officially opened its pretty doors in May 2016, is the Mother City’s – not to mention the country’s – first-ever hotspot dedicated solely to the leafy elixir. Created by tea-enthusiast and entrepreneur-at-heart Jessica Bonin – founder of Lady Bonin’s Tea and Lady Bonin herself, The Tea Bar invites tea-lovers in for an enchanting take-away cup of the aromatic beverage ideal for soothing any frame of mind.

Sitting in the quaint outdoor courtyard located at the back of the store – a charming little spot perfect for enjoying your flavourful cuppa, I am captivated by Jessica’s passion for tea and thirst to learn more about the leafy brew. With a key focus on innovating the warm drink, Lady Bonin wishes to revolutionise and fashion the leafy brew into something new and exciting modernising the tea philosophy.

“There is a culture in coffee that even I love (and I am not a massive coffee drinker) and that is why I started my business. I want to enjoy that culture with tea and essentially give customers an alternative to the take-away coffee”, says Jessica.

Originally igniting her tea-revolution in 2010, Lady Bonin’s Tea has since then evolved from a mobile take-away tea caravan – Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour to a more formal production space and tea shop in Woodstock and now exclusively to the CBD tea bar. Despite this, Jessica’s tea-mission: to transform and reform the tea drinking culture while at the same time providing an alternative to take-away coffee, has not changed one bit. 

The Tea Bar is a purveyor of imported and locally sourced fair-trade, ethically produced and organic loose-leaf teas. The devoted hotspot serves a wide selection of nutritive brews – there are approximately 40 varieties in-store, think black, green, white, herbal, oolong, fruit, flavoured and more. Offering only loose-leaf teas – owing to the high quality and flavour density of the leaves as well as to eliminate waste, menu options include Rooibos Choc Chilli Chai Latte (made with rooibos spiced chai, raw cocoa, chilli and foamed milk), Turmeric Golden Milk (made with turmeric, spices, coconut milk and honey) and London Fog Chino (made with Earl Grey, vanilla and foamed milk), to name but a few (almond and coconut milk substitutions can be arranged).

What’s more, each brew comes with a suggested intended result next to its ingredient list: “When people ask me what they should have – I always ask them how they are feeling because then I can guide them to the tea that will have the right effect on them”, explains Jessica. “Tea has the most amazing physiological effects on you and can bring your body and mind into a conducive and aware space.”

In addition, the dedicated store also offers a small selection of tea-inspired and seasonal treats. Through her cyclical fare and store set-up (the beautiful Japanese Kimono mounted on the store’s wall will also change seasonally), Jessica wishes to follow the Japanese belief that we are not separate from our environment and must therefore honour the season and the goods it brings. Food items include buttermilk rusks infused with buchu or honeybush, rooibos choc chilli Chai brownies, Aphrodite tea loaf, Early Grey ginger cookies and Matcha puffs and more. The Tea Bar is also a retail store for their many different tea varieties as well as tea accessories such as their beautiful local and internationally-sourced ceramic and glass teapots.

What’s more, the little hidden chamber found behind the courtyard will house The Tea Bar’s traditional tea ceremony room in the near future offering customers the best of both worlds – the on-the-go tea option as well as the opportunity to learn more about the leafy brew and its culture. In addition, the tea ceremony room will also entertain tea and food pairings, high tea and various tea courses.

“This is where the take-away tea happens”, Jessica explains gesturing towards the counter and state-of-the-art Italian machinery, “and this is the rabbit hole [the tea ceremony room] where you can step into tea-Wonderland. I want people to be able to go into the ceremony room, taste and enjoy tea in the traditional and peaceful way while learning its history because every single tea has a story behind it.”

I’ve finished the last of my scrumptious pumpkin creation and it is time to leave the delightful little tea bar. As Jessica and I say our goodbyes, I take one last look at the tea-menu behind the counter mentally ticking off the warm beverages I will just have to come back and try.

NOTE:  Lady Bonin’s Tea products are also currently distributed to retail outlets – see website for stockists - and online stores as well as have just entered the export markets focusing on Malaysia, China, Japan, UK and USA.

Tip: If you are a fan of chestnuts and sesame seeds then try the Hojicha Black Sesame Seed Chino tea (made with Hojicha roasted tea, black sesame seeds and foamed milk). As Jessica explains – the Hojicha tea is one of her favourites – the brew tastes surprisingly like chestnuts and is both “sweet and savoury”.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4pm | Saturday: 9am – 2pm | Sunday: Closed

The Bill: Take-away Teas:Medium: R15 – R30 | Large: 18 – R34 | Sweet Treats: R8 – R20

213 Long Street | CBD | info@ladybonin.com | www.ladyboninstea.com | +27 (0) 21 447 1741

photo credit: Claire Gunn Photography

by Krysia Gaweda

---

ABOUT #CapeTownMagNew:

#CapeTownMagNew is a long-standing project that is dedicated to discovering exciting new places in and around our pretty city.  We tell their stories, find out what they offer, and delve into what makes them unique. From cafés and restaurants to trampoline parks and dog hotels, there is always one new place in the city that we uncover each week. You can follow #CapeTownMagNew on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to track recent features or read more here about more Hot Spots and New Restaurants in Cape Town and Surrounds.

DISCOVER OTHER EXCITING NEW SPOTS IN THE CITY: 

Byblos Trading Co

Malay Coffee Company

---

Tea drinking culture is changing. Come taste its new flavour at Royaltea, a Tuesday treat to share with a friend at Royaltea’s Cape Town tea special.

The Mother City is fast developing so to keep you clued up, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest latest additions to Cape Town in our New Restaurants and Hot Spots overview. Discover it.

---

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City.

Cape Town Events Calendar
August 2019
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

friday_night_live_aces_n_spadeA Raucous Night At The Good Bar Where ...

Live music and DJs at no charge + half-price drinks + R50 pizza until late

Ash_EvansBecome A Video Star

Learn how to handle yourself on camera

rotterdamUltimate Bachelorette Party: The Girls ...

Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool (or fireside bar) parties on a private ...

Jedi Tedi 3Drink Rosé & Find Inner Peace

Yoga, meditation and rosé on tap at this Women’s Day brunch in Milnerton

VW_Header_Square15 Reasons To Service Your Car On A ...

CapeTownMagazine.com and Barons Cape Town VW are making Saturday morning the best day for ...

goudini8Get Married At Goudini Spa And Stay in ...

It’s a 6-sleeper with panoramic views of the Breedkloof valley.

WildFlower2Join The Wild Flower Tour Madiba Did

Stay in a luxury guesthouse and learn about more than 1200 flower species

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

kiff_kombis_wine_beer_2019Buckle Up For A Beer Safari

Sample the best that Cape Town’s booming craft beer industry has to offer (and let ...

onomo_tacoTacos and Sangria at a Friday Fiesta ...

Tuck in while you soak in the atmosphere of the city centre

ghost_walksWalk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village ...

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

devonvalenew2Share A Double Brandy Special At ...

Enjoy a true South African sundowner at this picturesque venue just outside of ...

moyo_eden15Draughts for R25, R39 Cocktails Every ...

You, a couple friends, sitting at the Corona surfboard tables with your feet in the ...

cartelbraai5Friday Lunch Sorted: Lekker Braai At ...

End off the working week with a braai under the umbrellas in Green Point – food's ready ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

La Paris_Bistro3Farm-Fresh Fare and Live Music Fridays ...

What an awesome vibe: Top Franschhoek chefs’ lunch favourite is now open till late (one ...

Wine FliesA Wine Tour Like No Other With Wine ...

Experience the best wines the Western Cape has to offer, all while having fun with Wine ...

camissatownship_newEmbark On A Township Eco-Friendly ...

Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Coco Safar Dinner NEW 2Indulge In Dinner and Dessert At Coco ...

And now they have added couture alcoholic cocktails to the menu at this all-day cafe

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Nasty Womxn - 4But What If Medusa Had Won?

A sketch art exhibition retelling stories of Greek mythology from a women’s perspective

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.