SUSHMA VEERA gets an education on teas when she visits The Tea Republic.
For many, a nicely brewed cup of tea in the morning helps you to get going for the rest of the day.
If you are an avid tea lover, then there is a place in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur you would want to check out.
The Tea Republic is the brainchild of a tea lover and her college mate. Located in the popular expat enclave of Bangsar Shopping Centre, this cafe, often called TTR for short, is an oasis for tea drinkers.
Graced by a outdoor balcony, the rest of the outlet is simply designed, exuding a homely yet contemporary feel. There are wooden tables and fluffed up cushions in white, brown and orange on the chairs. Those who prefer sitting outdoors enjoy the same comforts, plus the breeze.
The tea room feel is everywhere, look out for the unique custom-made teacups and teapot pendant lighting, and also tea cup-and-saucer plant pots. A perfect spot to enjoy pots of tea and scrumptious snacks. TTR is founded by interior designer Sumita J. Singam and television commercial producer Fabian W. Joseph and opened its doors last December.
"The idea took form during conversations years ago, during our college days. I wanted to open up a nice place to hang out. A tea lounge is a good start," says Sumita, who dreams of having a resort by the sea someday.
Sumita has been a tea lover since she was a child, but partner Fabian is a tea lover by default. Sadly, Fabian could not drop by that day due to work commitment.
The tea lounge can accommodate 35 customers at any one time. "We believe there is a tea out there for everyone. Here at TTR, we offer a variety of teas, and the range is updated continuously," says Sumitha.
There are 31 options, from black, green, red to flavoured, from stick to blooms, from oolong to herbal and blends, from across the globe.
Sumita says their selection of teas are sourced from France, Italy, Australia, Japan and the UK. Among the choices are: Stick tea with choices of darjeeling, Ceylon Earl Grey, spicy pepper tea, Jing (Jasmine silver needle, organic bohea lapsang); Organic Koala Tea (Rejuvenate, dreamtime); Lupicia (Momo, Sencha Matsuri) and tea blossoms.
Then, there are also the in-house specialities such as masala tea and iced black or green tea.
"We give people an experience they´ll want to come back for. We also have light eats such as croissants, cup cakes and sandwiches," says Sumita.
In line with the Chinese New Year spirit, TTR is also having a limited edition tea called the Rooibos Cream Orange tea.
"The Rooibos tea is also known as red tea. The uplifting blend is a celebratory drink, to be enjoyed without restraint. It is also theine free."
She adds that this is a full-bodied tea with creamy and delicate vanilla notes, further enhanced with aromatic orange peel.
Certain tea blends are best taken at suitable times. For example, the Organic Bohea Lapsang is a smokey tea which leaves an impression of almost peaty warmth. It is great on cold or rainy days. The Tropicalitea range, on the other hand, is refreshing on hot and humid days.
Another blend that is a must-try is Blooming Richness. It is certainly a pretty sight - the bright flowers pop into full blooms in your cup of hot water. Blooming Richness is a bouquet of green tea, marigold, jasmine and globe amaranth, and a spectacular vision unfolds as the globe amaranth flower is perched upon a string of jasmine flowers that arise from within high grade green tea leaves.
"Our caramel tea and Ceylon Earl Grey are also favourites," she says.
The caramel is a flavoured blend of China and Ceylon tea, with an intense taste of caramel and toffee. Brewed up to five minutes, the Ceylon Earl Grey has the traditional Earl Grey flavour with Ceylon Tea underlining the taste of delicate flavours of bergamot oil.
TTR also offers Cambric tea, a milky brew with a hint of tea, perfect for children. "This tea is named after the white Cambric linen that was made in the city of Cambric in France. It is also known as Nursery Tea," explains Sumitha.
The Tea Republic is a cool place to have small gatherings. Teas are priced between RM6.90 a cup to RM21.50 per pot.
THE TEA REPUBLIC
S132, 2nd floor,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
Opening hours: 9am to 9pm