Word by: The Modern Connoisseur
Photography provided by: Greta Donaldson Publicity
Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.
Tea? Umm… no thanks.
Impala & Peacock… no.. I haven’t heard of them? Tea? No tha. what? Did you say High Tea? Well… maybe I will give it a go.
“Most customers who first walked through the door wanted a takeaway latte with sugar, and were a little confused by the concept of a teahouse,” says Sarah de Witt, owner and tea atelier of Impala & Peacock in Brunswick. “This is where I had the most fun, converting coffee drinkers to tea drinkers. Watching them sitting down for a pot of green tea instead, and then becoming regulars, was great.”
Sarah de Witt is only 23 years old and with a university degree in psychology, art and French. She has also obtained a business qualification and trained as a perfume nose in Grasse, France. Taking her nose cross-industry, de Witt continues to train her ‘secret weapon’ in the tea business. “I’m continually training and testing my nose. You will often see me walking around the teahouse sniffing herbs, flowers and teas with my eyes closed, so I can blindly test myself” proclaims de Witt. Opening Impala & Peacock in June 2014 after a full-scale renovation, the venue now serves and sells high-quality loose leaf teas as well as vegetarian high-tea goodies that are drawing their own foodie fan base.
Here at The Modern Con, we were lucky enough to be sent a sample of one of de Witt’s artisan teas – Aromatherapy. It was not only beautifully presented but, upon opening it omitted a beautiful aroma of spearmint, peppermint, lemon (verbena).. it was fresh and exciting. A sip-full of the brew was energising and what was nice surprising pleasing was the absence of bitterness that is commonly found in teas. It was a great way to get started in the morning and detox in the evening.
Whilst we have yet to try the High Tea experience, if it’s as good as the sample we were given, this is definitely one venue to visit.
558 Sydney Road
Sun – Mon: 10am-6pm
Tues – Fri: 1pm-6pm
Saturday closed (open for private High Tea showers only)
High Tea sessions (bookings essential):
Sundays: 11am, 2pm
High tea costs $38/head (+ $4 surcharge for gluten-free and vegan), minimum of two people, maximum 35