This Japanese tea studio is selling specialty teas from Kyoto and holding traditional tea ceremonies in-store.
A new specialty Japanese tea shop has opened up in Collingwood and is equipped for all your tea-related needs. Leading Japanese tea retailer Harvest Index has partnered with Melbourne-based brand designers, Benjamin Wright and Lachlan Sinclair to bring its teas — and tea drinking ways — to Melbourne for the first time. With tea ceremonies and expert pouring tastings, this 40-square-metre store is more of a laboratory than your traditional tea shop.
The interiors, with hints of stainless steel, hardwood and the significant stone bar, are intentionally minimalist — like something you'd find in Tokyo, or around the corner at Cibi. The muted whites and huge forest-green velvet curtain (hiding 150 kilograms of rare Japanese tea) work together to achieve the Japanese concept of yuttarri — that is, to feel relaxed.
Harvest Index's first collection offers six certified organic varieties of Japanese tea from the Uji region in Kyoto: matcha, hojicha, sencha, genmaicha, mizudashicha and wakocha. You can sample all of them from the shop's large tasting bar or take some home from dispensers lining the opposing wall. The studio is keen to educate the public on the importance of tea and even flew in Harvest Index's tea ceremony specialist, Rie Ohnuki, to co-manage the studio, demonstrate brewing techniques and bring the spiritual pastime of tea ceremonies to Melbourne.
The shop also sells hand-crafted ceramic tea cups, bamboo teaspoons and speciality brewing equipment from Hario Japan — basically, everything you need to get started.
If you're a tea aficionado or new to the whole thing be sure and go for a tasting experience at Harvest Index to find the perfect tea for you. It's free, you just have to book here.
Want to live near this spot?
Check out our handy Neighbourhood Guides to find out how you can.