Cheeky Afternoon Delights

by The Editor

(No… it’s not what you thought!)

The Canberran was thrilled last weeks to run into a couple of inner city entrepreneurs selling their wares on the busy footpath on The Boulevard, between Industry House and Sour Cherry Café.

For those not familiar with this end of town, on Thursdays the footpath between Akuna and Alinga Streets is the scene for a small collection of card-table stalls selling fresh fruits, cut flowers and odd little handicrafts. Typically, these stalls are attended by seniors who are perhaps market gardeners or craftspersons.

On the last sunny Thursday of the school holidays I came across Kirsten and Maria, a couple of lovely ladies decked out in pink aprons and standing behind a table covered in different baked goods. After some inspections of the slices, cakes and macarons on offer, I asked about their sudden appearance at the typically dowdy little market gathering. As it turns out, both are school teachers who decided the best way to escape their children for a day was to do some baking and see how their cookies sell.

Upon interrogation, the ladies revealed they are looking to expand their enterprise. Operating under the working title ‘High Tea Traders’ (very good!) they aim to return to their capitalistic ways at the Hall Markets in December. Make sure you stop buy and grab enough stock for your own high tea! Having tried one of their orange macarons with chocolate filling, The Canberran can certainly vouch for their freshness and flavour. We certainly wish Kirsten and Maria all the best in their future endeavours.

While the ladies are working to establish their own empire for baked goods, it’s fair to say one particular operator has developed a one-stop shop for the other mid-morning essential: tea. While those in the inner city have had the Tea Merchant for ages, and T2 for a couple of years now, Adore Tea at Gold Creek on the edge of Gunghalin is the new kid on the block with a very well developed business offering a local flavour.

For those with a tea fetish, Adore Tea offers over 300 flavours across green, oolong, black, white, chai, herbal, organic and rooibos. I mean, roobios? Sounds like some kind of… I don’t know…Japanese video game. Armed with this new information I tried to find Roobios on the shelf. With all the different varieties of teas beautifully arranged in compartments lining the walls of the shop, the fit-out has a lighter feel to the dark interior of T2. It gives a feeling of freshness and openness, only enhanced by the sunlight flooding in the shop’s large windows.

Personally, my tea fetish leans towards the design of pots. Right now I am sipping out tea from a two person Japanese cast-iron pot that weighs in at around two kilos. If that’s not your preference, Adore stocks modern, vintage, electric, stove-top, ceramic, glass, cast-iron and every possible variation of all of the above. Some of the Zero teapots are stunning, and all are available via the online store. As it happens, I spent too much time perusing the various vessels on offer, leaving time enough only to taste one of the hundreds of teas available.

I decided a green tea would suit. “What do you recommend?” I asked the waitress.

“Ah, how about the Gyokuro?” she offered with confidence. It certainly sounded like a strong recommendation, and she was reeling me in to her way of thinking. “It’s the most expensive tea in the world.”

Hang on! That’s a bit much. Only last month had I read about the $1,000-a-pot tea available from the revamped Vue de Monde in Melbourne, and if that wasn’t the most expensive in the world, what was this going to cost me? Eventually I managed to unclear my throat. “Um, right….well, just out of interest, how much is a pot?”

“Oh, it’s just the same as all the others.” As it turned out, she was right, and I was charged nothing near the price of a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

The Gyokuro was smooth and delicious, without a hint of the tannin flavour that can easily develop as the tea gets older. However, if you’ve enjoyed a cup and feel like moving on to something a little naughtier as you relax in the sunny tea-garden, Adore also offers a range of wines by the glass, an interesting range of beers (mostly Eastern European) as well as the delicious Rekorderlig ciders. Adore Tea also serves a high tea served every second Saturday, so there really is something for everyone. Well, almost…

…just don’t ask for a coffee!