I first came across Sugar N’ Spice in 2010 when I moved to Brisbane and spent an afternoon scouting for tearooms. I wasn’t disappointed. Mark, the proprietor is passionate about tea, coffee, chocolate, places great importance on great products, and excellent customer service, which is something that has been lost for many years in the UK and what I have been experiencing in Australia, too.
It doesn’t matter whether you are buying a tea, hot chocolate or coffee on the go, or whether you prefer to sit inside the café, Mark and his TEAm go out of their way to service you with a smile. I was very impressed that many of the customers were greeted by their name. Now THAT’s customer service.
Let’s get back to the tea though. For me, the tea that is available, the way it is presented to you and how it’s been presented to you is really important. It all starts with the tea menu.
The tea menu at Sugar N’ Spice is so big, I couldn’t get a flattering picture of it for you tea lovers, but the menu is great for novice drinkers to seasoned sippers. The regular English Breakfast and Earl Greys are there. What is popular in Australia is Stockholm Blend (a blend of black tea, citrus peel, and a varieTEA of flowers and fruits) and French Earl Grey (depending on the brand, this is a standard Earl Grey with the addition or rose petals or different flowers). These are on the menu as well as the regular herbals such as peppermint and camomile. For the seasoned sipper one can choose from several oolongs such as Jasmine Mao Jian, Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Compassion), Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe), and a 5-year-old ripened Pu’erh. All the teas are available in the loose leaf form.
I’ll let the photograph speak for itself shall I?
Sugar N’ Spice is consistent with their presentation. They present you with a great teapot that pours without spilling (how cool izzat??!?!?), a tea infuser and drip catcher with a spoon of course. They always ask if I would like milk if I choose a black tea. We are fortunate enough that the staff knows which teas to ask about milk and which ones don’t require that question to be asked.
As well as the range of loose leaf teas and coffee beans that are available to buy in store, they also have a range of tea ware. My particular favourites are the bone China English teaware, that wouldn’t look out of place in Harrods; the traditional Yixing teapots that wouldn’t look out of a place in a Chinese tearoom plus these cheeky critters:
The qualiTEA is consistent. The tea is well presented and always has a lovely aroma. There is nothing more pleasurable than placing your hands around your cup, bringing it to your lips and taking in a deep breath and allow the aroma to fill your nostrils before sipping the tea. I enjoy the music that quietly plays in the background: a mixture of music that can be enjoyed by all ages but I am partial to the British and American music that reverberates in the café from time to time. I have enjoyed many teas here and have introduced many a Twitter friend or business colleague to this place. To help me with my mission to have a better cup of tea in everybody’s cupboard, this is a great place to start in Brisbane.
See more of May King Tsang’s articles here.
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