Tea paradise is in the T2 Headquarters in Collingwood. I was invited to the Summer Edition Tea Festival, a magical night filled with tea, food, and even tea leaf fortune telling.
The headquarters is stunning (it placed with silver in the Melbourne Design Awards). All open brick and soaring ceilings, the space is blocked off into smaller rooms, each filled for the night with fun tea experimentation. My plus one was my friend Lee, who runs Naturalee – a Facebook page devoted to healthy living and providing amazing recipes. She and I were in heaven as we drank shots of iced tea. We nibbled on Mexican offerings like tortilla chips and prawn tacos from the Taco Truck food truck.
Three hands-on activities made the night interactive and memorable:
- Tea Safari: A round table drawn into quarters with every single one of T2’s teas arranged by flavours. We went from the woodsy to the green and bitter into the spicy, all the while under the tutelage of a knowledgeable T2 staff member.
- Mix Your Own Tea: In front of barrel upon barrel of T2’s various mixes, we had guidance from T2 specialists to create our own special blend. I went with a combination of Spi Chai, Ginger Spice, and Turkish Apple Chunky, dubbed “A Teacup of Spice.” I’ve been brewing it constantly over the past week, and it’s as delicious as it sounds.
- Tea Leaf Fortune-Telling: The final room was where we got our fortunes told. My fortune was spot-on, and it was so cute to see how my tea leaves were in the shape of hearts (two for double the romance!) and a ladder (climbing that career path).
One of the best parts of the night was trying out alcoholic tea cocktails. I hear you say ‘What?!’ That’s right — tea with booze. T2 brought in bartenders from top places around town. The mix masters came up with concoctions to showcase how well tea goes with a splash of alcohol. Lee’s and my favourite was the ‘Geisha Garden’: tea combined with gin/sake and a dash of apple and thyme syrup. Or wait — maybe it was the ‘Spiked Southern Sunrise Crush’. Grapefruit, apple + cinnamon and apple popping pearls were a slushy treat. It was the perfect way to end the evening.
Our fortunes told, we walked out into the night — tummies full, and happily swinging gift bags filled with our bespoke tea mixes and a sample from the new T2 Flutterby range.
There’s no need to be jealous. You can make a tea cocktail for yourself any time. Just grab some T2 teas online or in their Melbourne stores — or at the new Brew Bar in Emporium.