Tea houses haven’t exactly taken off in Cape Town. While we embrace coffee culture with almost religious zeal, we tend to sniff our noses at anywhere that offers anything other than Ceylon and Rooibos (or perhaps Green Tea or Chamomile for the real daredevils.) The now defunct Tea Emporium in Cavendish Mall had dozens of varieties of tea, but its many Eastern-inspired teapots stood empty whilst denizens of the mall jostled for room in the coffee shops.
Thankfully we now have a new tea house in the suburbs to challenge the coffee oligarchy. O’ways Teacafe offers more than sixty-four exiting forms of nigiro teas and infusions sourced from all over the world. The exotic names are enough to make you try them all; Chinese Gunpowder, Strawberries and Cream and even the more esoteric flowering teas.
The whole act of tea drinking is a ritual unto itself. Coffee may be all about the buzz, but tea is a slower, more refined beverage that takes it time.
First, the smelling of the different varieties of teas and infusions in their clear glass jars. Each tea also has a story and description of origin which helps to really immerse you within the tea-drinking experience.
Next is watching the careful process of tea-making unfold. The tea is steeped in a glass tea pot and timed by an old-fashioned sand timer. When sufficient time has elapsed, the sieve is removed and it’s time to drink. O’ways does offer top-quality Origin coffee. The specialty coffee beans are sourced from Africa and transformed through artisan roasting into a rich cup of Joe. When you’re looking for your morning buzz; it more than delivers.
The menu is diverse offering a variety of delicious Asian-inspired meals. For breakfast I chose soft fried free range eggs with a chickpea patty and tomato-basil salsa, which was delicious. My friend (and fellow tea drinker) had a Taiwanese Dan Bing pancake omelette with guacamole and lime yoghurt.
Both meals were elegantly presented, appealing to look at and filling. I was so impressed with the delicious breakfast that I have vowed to return for lunch. A quick glance at the menu shows an interesting fare including Honey and Mustard Tofu slices in a ciabatta, Creamy young pea and lemon verbena soup, Tom Yum broth and warm vermicelli salad.
Contact Details & Address
Shop no.2, Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont, Cape Town.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 671-2850