Long’s Tea has been operating out of Hurstville, Sydney for some time, but mainly as a wholesaler. Today they have opened a new tea house where they serve tea and snacks, as well as selling tea and tea ware.
- Location: Shop 1, 9 Dora St, Hurstville, Sydney
- Opening hours: Open 7 days from 10am to 6pm (opens later at 11am on Saturdays).
- Decor Style: Traditional Chinese
- Tea served: Many types of Chinese tea, but specialising in pu’er
- Pricing: A pot of tea for 2 people starts at $16*
* The tea is high quality and can be re-steeped many times.
Long’s Tea first popped up on my radar when I noticed they were hosting stalls at both the Sydney Easter Show and Melbourne Tea Festival earlier this year, but I wasn’t able to attend either. Finally I was able to meet them and try some of their wares at this year’s Sydney Tea Festival, where they mentioned their new tea house was coming soon.
As is common in Chinese culture, there was a spectacular lion dance ceremony to open the tea house for the first time, MC’d by Raymond Leung from Zensation Tea House.
Inside the shop
As you enter the tea house, the first room is the shop where you can browse their tea and tea ware.
They stock an enormous amount of pu’er cakes, bricks, tuos, mini-tuos and mandarins, as well as some other traditional Chinese teas. Many of the products come in beautiful boxes or tins that lends well to gifting.
The rear room is the tea room, with about half a dozen beautiful traditional-style tables that sit ~4 people each. The lighting, decor and traditional Chinese background music create excellent ambience. Each table has equipment on it to boil and brew tea, although these currently aren’t used yet (pending some additional safety features, I think). This means that, for now, the wait staff come around periodically to brew your tea for you.
Most exciting part (for me) about the new @longstea shop is that it's a proper tea house where they serve tea and snacks 👍 Their tea menu is quite extensive, with dozens of different pu'ers of different types, ages and regions, as well as a selection of greens, whites, reds, and oolongs (including a shuixian yancha).
You can choose from many different pu’er teas: many types of cooked/ripe and raw, young and aged. As usual with pu’er, these can range in price significantly from $16 a pot (2011 ripe) or $25 (2017 raw) to eye-watering prices for 20+ year old famous factory tea. There’s also a selection of greens, reds, oolongs (including some rock oolongs) and whites. A pot serves 1-2 people, and that tea can be re-steeped for hours. This means the value really depends on how long you’re planning to stay there.
Snack options include various nuts, seeds, red dates and chicken feet (similar to what you might order at yum cha, but marinated in tea). These can be handy to counteract the temporary low blood pressure that can occur during extended tea drinking sessions.
I’m excited to have another traditional Chinese tea house in Sydney, especially one so different from the others. The extensive range of different pu’er teas, beautiful traditional Chinese-style ambience and close proximity to Hurstville train station are its major draws.
As Hurstville has a high ethnically Chinese population, there should be an above-average appreciation for good tea. Hopefully this will be sufficient to keep the tea room viable, despite the high starting price of the pots of tea. It would be great to see the space being put to use for things like tea education classes or similar.