PERTH teahouse Teassential was infused with pride after the business was named the Best Teahouse in WA – and Australia-wide – at an internationally recognised tea competition.
The two-year-old store won these titles and a cuppa of tea-blending prizes in the 2018 Golden Leaf Awards announced at the International Tea Expo in Melbourne last month.
Co-owner Bena Andriani, who runs the store with her husband David Liem, said she was surprised to be honoured as the cream of the crop because their teahouse was so young and the awards were competitive.
“We placed in all six categories we were in,” she said.
The husband and wife team won awards for their Ginger Bread, Teassential Honey Chai, Rejuvenate, Celebritea, Purple Rain and Kiss From a Rose blends.
She said her husband Mr Liem also won first prize for a tea-rific tea pairing at the expo.
“He paired an Indonesian black tea with quail eggs cooked in sweet soy and lapsang souchong,” she said.
Mrs Andriani said judging tea was similar to judging wine.
“You serve, judge the colour, swill and spit,” she said.
She said they started the business in 2015 and opened their shop in 2016 because they saw an opportuni-tea in the market.
“I love drinking tea and I find there’s a gap in the market for specialty teas, especially in Perth,” she said.
The business strongly aligns with the Spearwood resident’s own passion for tea.
“I drink litres of tea a day,” Mrs Andriani said.
“I’ve had to stop myself getting the tea out.”
The shop brews 50 different types of tea with five or six in rotation at any time.
Top sellers include Celebritea, a refreshingly cold hibiscus and berry blend, Gin Shan Crème from Taiwan which has a creamy buttery taste and Arakai green tea.
If you want to give it a chai, the store is located on hot proper-tea in the State Buildings.