Sydney’s new gin and tea bar mixes it up

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 29 January 2019

The Star hotel overlooking Sydney’s Darling Harbour has opened a new bar that serves a traditional Chinese tea by day, and transforms into a gin-inspired bar for sundowners and tea-tails by night.

The latest edition to the Star casino resort hotel – the G&Tea Bar – delivers a fusion of two seemingly different worlds – that of tea and the Chinese tradition, and the classic British spirit, gin. The G&Tea menu is in fact divided along these lines, with an extensive tea and gin menu.

Image: Pixabay

By day, guests and diners can enjoy a range of tea-riffic beverages with a whole menu dedicated to various tea experiences. Your classical teas are on offer (Assam, earl grey, chamomile, peppermint, chai) as well as a variety of traditional Chinese teas (various white, oolong, black, green, herbal and fruit teas), as well as pu’erh, a tea made from a little ‘cake’ of fermented tea leaves.

A number of ‘prestige teas’ are also available, starting from AUD$70 (R685) a pot, and this is where things get interesting. The prestige teas are served in the traditional Chinese way, that is a 21-step GongFu Ceremony, a ritual which requires great skill and effort to honour the art of preparing tea.

If you are in the mood for a bit of luxury, you can indulge in a GongFu ceremony and pot of yellow gold tea buds. The tea is harvested from one mountain, and only the buds from the upper parts of the tree are selected and cut with gold scissors. Each of the dried tea buds are then painted with 24-carat gold leaf, which is said to give a delicate metallic and floral aftertaste once infused and is believed to be provide nutritional health benefits. This golden drink will be set you back a humbling AUD$120 or roughly R1,200.

High tea is served between 12pm-4pm, and works out to about R240 per person.

Image: Unsplash

You can make a smooth and quirky transition into evening with some of the G&Tea’s tea-tails – tea-infused cocktails: how about a green tea mojito (Jing Peppermint Tea, Tanqueray, basil seeds, soda water, mint) or a tea tini (Jing Green Apple Hibiscus Tea, Ink Gin, vermouth, lemon peel)?

The bar stocks seven Australians gins, many from craft distilleries around New South Wales, as well as eight of the best international gin brands.

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