Self-confessed tea addict Hanna Bradley has taken “cuppa habits” to new heights, getting into the trade herself. Along with her younger brother Miles, she founded Cuppa & Co in 2014 and this loose leaf lovin’ lady is definitely in-the-know when it comes to the best brews in Melbourne!
Residing on the west with her “very tall partner, four year old wild-child and large wolfhound” Hanna inherited her love of tea from her British grandma and their tradition of a cuppa and cake. “It reminds me of family and being together.” She shares. “When I see my family we all sit around, tea in one hand and pastry goods in the other, chatting away for hours.”
Speaking of sophisticated old ladies, if she could have afternoon tea with anyone, living or dead, Hanna admits she’d love to share a cuppa with Queen Liz, “It may have something to do with the fact that I'm a little obsessed with the series, 'The Crown' at the moment, but drinking English breakfast tea with mini cucumber sandwiches at Buckingham Palace, hearing stories from the most kickass girl boss - I don't think you could get a more British tea-drinking experience than that!”
Though she loves exploring her local cafes, Hanna admits she is a homebody at heart and her fave cuppa of the day is the one she has at home on the couch, first thing in the morning, in her pj’s, with some vegemite toast. As far as we know, there aren’t any cafes that offer such an experience (perhaps Cuppa & Co could patent the idea) but when she does decide to venture outside the house, Hanna recommends the following five spots to enjoy a cup of tea.
PORCELAIN TEA PALOUR
Elgin St, Carlton
“This place is hands-down one of my all time favourite tea-drinking spots. It has an Alice In Wonderland/Mad Hatter feel to it and is quite quaint with shelves of board games, books and a mismatched assortment of tea pots. They sell some sweets - the tea infused macarons are too amazing - and they also serve up delicious iced teas. Lemon and ginger kombucha is a big favourite of mine.
ASSEMBLY TEA & COFFEE BAR
Pelham St, Carlton
“I don’t go all that often but when I do, I remember just how much I love this place. They do such delicious brews. Assembly is small but has a lovely feel to it and you can really see the love that the staff have for tea. My favourite teas here are the breakfast tea and the China - Jin Mao Hou - so, so good.
POD CAFE AT POST INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS
Barkly St, West Footscray
“This quaint little cafe is located inside a small shop in West Footscray. The food is delicious. Their chai is one of the best I’ve had - so creamy and sweet - and if you decide to get takeaway, you can browse the shop while you’re waiting. They also sell some mean-ass, ninja gingerbread men. My son is a big fan.
MARY EATS CAKE HIGH TEA
Sydney Road, Brunswick
“Based on their award-winning tea house in Brunswick (Impala & Peacock), Sarah, a tea sommelier and Jess, a French-trained pastry chef joined forces to serve delicious high tea experiences. The menu is so unique and I love all of their brews so much it’s hard to pick a favourite….Peacock Chai would be one of them. I really can’t recommend this place enough! The table is set with vintage teaware and fresh flowers and it makes such a fun treat to share with friends.”
FAIRFIELD PARK BOATHOUSE & TEA GARDENS
Fairfield Park Dr, Fairfield
“One can never go past a cup of Earl Grey with scones, cream and jam. The rowboats are a bonus. Such a nice, tranquil spot to enjoy some afternoon tea.”
While she’s conquered her fair-share of the city’s tea hotspots, there are still plenty of places outside of Melbourne that Hanna is yet to experience, “Being a big lover of chai, I’d love to go to India.” She says. “I think it would be a dream to have a proper spicy Indian Chai and be taught how to make it.” We’ll drink to that!
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