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.