Tea Houses in Sydney

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, 2018

AtTea 在茶

Opened in August 2018, AtTea is a modern Chinese tea house with excellent, authentic Chinese food (mainly Shanghai cuisine). While the tea selection is not as wide as some other tea houses, they have solid options in all the main categories and serve it to you in a mini gongfu set as nature intended. The decor is modern but with some traditional murals and tea paraphernalia that I think matches well with today’s Chinese tea enthusiasts. Combined with the great food and generous opening hours (currently open until 9pm), this is a winning combo for after-work meet-ups.


Four Sisters Tea

A small shopfront in the Chatswood Village complex facing on to Albert Avenue, it’s easy to accidentally walk past Four Sisters Tea. The owner, Helen, is very friendly and will invite you to try some tea with her. The shop is full of beautiful traditional Chinese teaware and high quality tea. Having grown up around the legendary Wuyi mountain area in Fujian province, she specialises in their rock oolongs and the black (red) teas. Upstairs is a private tea room that can be booked by a group of 2-8 people to order and enjoy tea. Helen also runs tea appreciation courses through a local community college.


Long’s Tea House

The newest tea house in Sydney, 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.


M.Y. Tea House

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.


Tea Journal

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). My favourite thing here is their weekly tea education class, which you can book a spot for on their web site.

The Chatswood store is the original one and 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. It’s naturally quite similar but has later opening hours, a bookable room and they will be experimenting with other new things over time, apparently.


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 playing (a Chinese zither) and Chinese calligraphy.


Zensation Tea House

Sydney’s oldest running Chinese teahouse (since ~2004), Zensation recently relocated 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.