Sydney, Australia is home to a modest collection of Chinese tea houses that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Below is a run-down of all the ones I know about. As with all shops, over time they can come and go, so I will do my best to keep this page updated.
Last update: September 2022
Long’s Tea House
- Proprietor: Elric Chen
- Location: Shop 1/9 Dora St, Hurstville
- Web: longstea.com.au
- Facebook: @longsteaofficial
- Instagram: @longstea
Long’s Tea House is a traditional-style Chinese tea house where you can browse tea and teaware for purchase in the front or take a seat out the back and order from a large menu of traditional tea served gongfu style. They have a particular focus around high-end pu’er teas, but also have a small selection of other varieties. They also offer some snack food options to go with your tea session. Despite the tea house being new, they have been wholesaling for some time, and you can purchase from them online too.
If you’d like to learn more, I have done a full review of Long’s Tea House.
Ms.Cattea Tea Bar
- Proprietor: Cathy Zhang
- Location: 17/1-21 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
- Web: mscattea.com.au
- Facebook: @ms.cattea
- Instagram: @ms.cattea
Opened in 2019 and somehow surviving the Covid pandemic, Ms.Cattea jumped from being an online-only tea store to also having a physical presence in Sydney’s east. Despite occupying a small physical space, the menu of teas on offer is enormous: around 100 different teas and tisanes, including traditional favourites (e.g. Lapsang Souchong, Darjeeling), rare niche teas (e.g. Meng Ding Huang Ya yellow tea, various pu’ers) and innovative experiments (e.g. various iced teas and tea cocktails). Notably many of these are not available in the online store. There’s also a small snack menu offering delicious cake slices and other nibbles.
Teas are served in beautiful gongfu-style teaware and Cathy is there to top up your water and do re-steeps. She is also keen to share her deep knowledge and appreciation of tea, so it’s a great place to expand your tea knowledge or just talk tea with fellow enthusiasts. Periodically different types of tea classes (not just tasting sessions) are held, as well as a wonton dinner service on Friday nights. There are also seasonal features, like cold brew during summer and baked mooncakes during the Moon Festival period (September).
M.Y. Tea House
- Proprietor: Raymond Mao
- Location: Shop 4-5, 129-133 Military Rd, Neutral Bay
- Web: myteahouse.net.au
- Facebook: @myteahouseneutralbay
A large tea shop with an impressive amount of teaware, M.Y. Tea House also has possibly the largest range of teas in Sydney. There’s no sit-down table service, but Raymond is usually happy to sit down with you for a tasting session (mine lasted several hours!) He sometimes holds ‘official’ tasting sessions where you can pay to attend the session and try some particularly special and expensive tea.
- Proprietors: Dawn and Matt
- Location: 88 Addison Rd, Marrickville
- Web: teaangle.com
- Facebook: @teaangle8
- Instagram: @teaangle
Originally an online-only store who made a name for themselves with their very popular stall at the Sydney Tea Festival, they opened their own tea shop in March 2019. They take trips to China to source their own tea from small farmers/producers and specialise in dancong oolongs from the Phoenix mountain area in Guangdong province (but have been branching out into many other types lately). You can pop into their shop for tasting sessions to try before you buy, and they also periodically run educational workshops.
(Note: They moved to their current Marrickville location from their original location at 218 Enmore Rd, Enmore in July 2022, so older photos do not reflect the current place.)
- Proprietor: Sunny Huang
- Location: Shop 44 Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
- Web: teajournal.com.au
- Facebook: @teajournalsydney
- Instagram: @teajournal_
A modern take on a Chinese tea house, Tea Journal serves a decent selection of traditional Chinese tea in a sleek, stylish setting. The teaware used to serve the tea gongfu-style can be either traditional (e.g. ceramic gaiwans, clay pots) or modern (e.g. glass filters and cups) depending on the kind of tea you order. They make several kinds of chiffon-style cakes that you can order, and both tea and cake can be eat-in or take-away. There’s also a wide selection of tea and teaware on display for purchase (in-store or online). They used to have a free weekly tea education class, but sadly this is no longer offered.
The store is a little hard to find. It’s opposite the post office and can be found by turning right when exiting the train station and then turning right again. In July 2018 they opened a second one in the Chinatown CBD area (at 382 Sussex St) but it closed down during the Covid pandemic.
- Proprietor: Shane Shu
- Location: Shop D6, Sussex Centre, 401 Sussex St, Haymarket
- Web: topotea.com
- Facebook: @Topoteahouse
- Instagram: @topotea
A traditional Chinese tea shop full of beautiful high quality tea and teaware. Whilst it’s not a tea house where you can take a seat and order something, Shane is often available to run an impromptu tasting session with you. They have an unrivalled range of traditional teaware, which are on display in the shop and are a joy to browse. They also run regular workshops around tea appreciation, gǔqín (a Chinese zither) and Chinese calligraphy.
Zensation Tea House
- Proprietors: Raymond Yeung
- Location: Shop 160, 806 Bourke St, Waterloo
- Web: zensation.com.au
- Facebook: @zensationteahouse
- Instagram: @zensationteahouse
Sydney’s oldest running Chinese teahouse (since ~2004), Zensation relocated in 2018 from its Surry Hills/Redfern location to much larger digs in Waterloo (still on Bourke St but near Danks St). You can take a seat and order from a solid range of teas on the menu, plus a pretty good selection of food. There’s also a wide variety of tea and teaware that can be purchased to take home. They run educational tea tasting sessions and sometimes they host Chinese cultural events and activities (e.g. calligraphy classes) too.
A more complete list of tea venues (including all kinds of places that serve decent tea in Sydney) can be found on teashirts.com.au by Adeline.