Spilling the tea with Kym Cooper of The Steepery Tea Co. | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Spilling the tea with Kym Cooper of The Steepery Tea Co.

Mustering up memories of cosy nights in, early mornings and sweater weather, tea has always been our rock in the face of adversity – and also it just tastes darn good.

If you’re feeling stresso, it’s time to skip the espresso and leaf it behind with a good brew – and who better to give us the ins and outs of tea trends than the tea goddess herself, Kym Cooper of award-winning The Steepery Tea Co.

So Kym, tell us, what types of tea are we going to see take off in the near future?

The rise of specialty leaf tea is upon us, with a greater appreciation of pure leaf tea in Brisbane especially. I find the movement of tea being used in food pairing experiences particularly exciting.

What are your favourite teas?

My favourite teas hail from India, Taiwan and Japan. With the exception of bubble tea, the only tea I drink with milk is a single estate Assan black tea from India, which I drink daily. Taiwanese oolongs are a passion, and I hold Japanese green teas in high regard.

If we’re finding it hard to progress past the tea and scones stage, what pairings would you suggest?

The best part about tea and food pairings is the experimental freedom and the ability to have an open mind. Think outside the traditional high tea ideals, and start by upping your tea game by learning about the types at your disposal.

Our award-winning Jin Jun Mei, or Golden Steed Eyebrow, is a black tea from China with notes of cacao and honey, and served hot, it’s a perfect pairing with blue cheese. The Japanese Sencha is a savoury green tea with marine notes, ideal for seafood and rice dishes as well as shiitake mushrooms – and while the traditional Chinese Da Hong Pao is a full-bodied, decadent tea on its own, its spice and wood notes are amplified when paired with Madagascan single origin dark chocolate.

Why should we drink more tea than coffee?

I will admit, I do enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time – but research shows that the majority of brewed teas contain less caffeine per serving than coffee. The interesting chemicals in tea are amino acids, which are said to improve cognitive performance, mental focus and aid stress reduction when combined with caffeine.

What are you favourite places in Brisbane to grab a cuppa?

Shawty’s Espresso, Grown, Extraction Artisan Coffee and Gramps Café – and not just because they stock Steepery Tea! They have curated small yet interesting tea menus, and they’re dedicated to making the perfect cup.

For a traditional high tea experience, I can’t go past the Japanese green tea menu at Sonder Dessert, or the eastern style tea service from Sinmei Tea.

Where can we find Steepery Tea?

If you’re looking for a great place to settle in with a cuppa, I’d suggest coming and experiencing my own tea service at Wandering Cooks every Sunday morning from 8am-11am! You can select teas from my online tea catalogue and enjoy it eastern or western style, and I also offer bowls of ceremonial matcha prepared and served traditionally.

You can find Kym at Wandering Cooks in Fish Lane from 8am-11am every Sunday morning.

Words by Sophia Lunn
- The gourmand who'd do anything for a nice cuppa.