Downstairs, the “snug” is more casual and cleverly creates an atmosphere of buzz and energy while at the same time feeling very calm and restful. Walls are bleached wood and white brick, and seating is comfortable benches in cosy corners or chairs set around a large table. The hideaway sense of separation from the noisy world outside makes this a favorite space with local clubs, mums’ groups, and friends throwing a shower or a birthday party.
The tea list is impressive and ranges through single-origin first flush Darjeelings and Japanese Gyokuro to contemporary flavored blends such as Cherry Pineapple green and Cinnamon Spice black. Along one wall on the ground floor is a bank of 40 or more tall glass tubes reaching right up to the ceiling and filled with the different teas. On shelves below the jars are tins that allow tea lovers to smell and appreciate the leaves, along with retail packs of the same teas just asking to be purchased. Because this eye-catching, colorful, and informative wall of tea is so integral to the store’s design, customers stop in their tracks as they enter, drawn to the display where they can ponder and ask questions about these wonderful blends. To help them choose what to order at the counter, the list on the wall and in the table menus is color coded to distinguish the different categories of tea, herbal tisanes, and beneficial brews. The teas are carefully prepared at the marble-and-glass counter, in Amanzi tea makers in water delivered at exactly the right temperature from the state-of-the-art, under-the-worktop Marco boiler. The trendy transparent brew pots add a touch of theatre, allowing patrons to watch the leaves swirl and open as they deliver their flavor and color into the water.