Tea Journal, Chatswood

Tea Journal is ded­ic­ated to Chinese teas. It’s much like The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar with a heav­ier focus on unfla­voured loose leaf tea and tea wares than tea-fla­voured dishes. It is very much one of a kind in Sydney, offer­ing free tea appre­ci­ation classes.

Jars of loose leaf and flowers line its walls, as well as an impress­ive selec­tion of pu’er cakes.

Tea wares for pre­par­ing dif­fer­ent types of tea are also on dis­play and for sale.

While the focus is on tea and teaware, they do offer a small selec­tion of tea-fla­voured cakes.

This is the Hojicha Chiffon ($5.00/slice). I’d had my sights set on this after my dis­ap­point­ing exper­i­ence with the one at Cre Asion in Surry Hills. This one has a deli­ciously fra­grant hojicha fla­vour both in its smell and in the taste of the chif­fon and the cream. There is no mis­tak­ing that this is hojicha fla­voured, while the chif­fon and the cream were light and fluffy. It’s an abso­lute delight.

And this is the Black Tea and Rose Chiffon ($5.00/slice). The chif­fon is light and fluffy and very pleas­antly infused with the fla­vour of black tea and rose with the rose petals adding that extra rose note in addi­tion to look­ing pretty. I’m not usu­ally a fan of cream on my cakes, but here it adds an enjoy­able mois­ture and sweet­ness to the cake.

It’s a warm night, so we have the Chrysanthemum and Goji Iced Tea ($5.00), which comes in an eleg­ant bottle prin­ted with the Tea Journal logo. Chrysanthemum and goji notes are evid­ent in the nose, but the goji doesn’t come through in the fla­vour of the tea where a sweetened, fra­grant earthy fla­vour of chrys­an­them­um dom­in­ates pleas­antly.

And on a cool­er night, we try the Black Tea with Rose ($8.00 per pot with refill) to pair with the sim­il­arly fla­voured chif­fon cake. The tea is a very high-qual­ity black tea without any hint of bit­ter­ness des­pite a long steep. A pleas­ant nat­ur­al black tea sweet­ness comes through in the head before mel­low hints of rose emerge in the body with a back­ground fla­vour that’s remin­is­cent Chinese medi­cine per­sist­ing through each sip and becom­ing more pro­nounced in the fin­ish. I’m not a fan of this back­ground fla­vour as it inter­feres with the bright and pleas­ant pal­ate cleans­ing qual­it­ies found in oth­er rose fla­voured black teas that make it a per­fect pair­ing for sweets, like that by Tao of Tea.

Tea Journal is a haven for any­one who’s a fan of Chinese teas with their more but­tery, smokey and toasty fla­vours. My tastes tend more towards the fresh­er veget­al notes of Japanese green tea, so I’m here for their flor­al teas and tea-fla­voured cakes.

For those unfa­mil­i­ar with Chatswood, Tea Journal may be a chal­lenge to find being on the quieter side of Chatswood Interchange. After exit­ing the train sta­tion, head right towards McDonald’s, then turn right at the post office and Tea Journal will be oppos­ite.

Tea Journal is loc­ated at Shop 44 Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Ave, Sydney NSW 2067.