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
December 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

Kirstenbosch Christmas CarolsChristmas Carol Singalong At ...

Tis the season for carols...

scout_smart_ideas_nerf_battleA Children’s Activity That They Will ...

There’s a range of games, from strategic to free play

african_relish_2019An Affordable Summer Food Adventure In ...

2 two nights accommodations, a half-day cooking course with lunch or dinner, and a recipe ...

extrablattWholesome Buffet Breakfast And Sunday ...

Hot food, cold food. Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays

cape_point_challengeElite Level Surf Ski Paddlers Race A ...

Find out if you can qualify to enter, and where you can watch and cheer from.

capegate-summer-splashWater Slides, Surf Simulators and ...

Plus sand building, kite making and water wars on Saturdays

aroundaboutnew3Season Specials And More With ...

From R200 vouchers and free upgrades, drive away with more value adds

Xmas Gift Fair11-Days Of Christmas Gifts at a Fab ...

Bring the kids for a show and games and get some good eats too

we_house_sundaysWe House Sundays 2-Day Outdoor Festival ...

There are 20 local and three international DJs on the line-up

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition At The Norval ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

akaIt's Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts Time

Southern Wild, Don Vino and more will make Sunday sunsets even better

Land_RewovenSee This Fascinating Interpretation of ...

Artist MJ Lourens pairs his modern landscapes with Pierneef’s, plus there’s cheese ...

dales_6Sunday Roast and Carvery at Dale’s ...

How good does apricot-glazed gammon sound?

Seafood, sunsets and sushi at Blowfish BloubergHalf-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

goudini_buffetA Sunday Buffet That’s Worth Taking A ...

Take your swimming gear along and enjoy the hot pools while you’re there

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

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

chicha2Sundays at Chicha!: Wine Tasting and ...

Beat the Sunday blues with wine, tapas and live music

Zeestock_paintball2Bush Style Paintball at Zeestock ...

Paintball Park is perfect for team building, bachelor parties and birthday parties

galileo_family19This Sunday: Summer Family Holiday ...

Discover what kid’s movies you can expect to see at the Kelvin Grove Club

Camissa Tour 5 2015Get A Unique Sunday Gospel Experience ...

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful ...

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

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

rivertonesEnd Your Weekend On A High Note At ...

Five hours of non-stop live music by two amazing local acts

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips