Tea Journal, Chatswood

Tea Journal is the per­fect set­ting for catch­ing up with good friends — there’s the tea-inspired chif­fon cakes, the extens­ive selec­tion of teas almost all of which come with free and unlim­ited refills for two cups and of course, the calm atmo­sphere that’s neither too noisy nor quiet. So, after an after­noon and even­ing out about Chatswood for my birth­day, we settled into a cosy corner at Tea Journal to end the even­ing.

This time we try the Roasted Japanese Black Bean Tea ($8.00/pot). We’d first tried this tea at a shop in Takayama, Nagoya in Japan, thor­oughly enjoyed it but did not pur­chase any (much to my later dis­may).

Rather than use tea leaf to make true tea, this steeps the beans in the water cre­at­ing an infu­sion with a trans­lu­cent deep red col­our and a subtly sweet nutty aroma.

The tea is served hot and has a pleas­ant, gentle sweet­ness that recalls a clear con­somme-like red bean soup that you often get in many Asian desserts. The subtle sweet­ness and the over­all nutty fla­vour cre­ates for a very com­fort­ing tea — the kind you turn to just before bed or when you’re need­ing a pick-me-up.

Because there’s always room for more tea, I also try their new Hojicha Latte with White Chocolate ($5.00).

The hojicha is lightly sweetened (made accord­ing the level of sweet­ness reques­ted) with a good depth of roas­ted fla­vour. The white chocol­ate is vis­ible on top but does not add much addi­tion­al cream­i­ness or fla­vour to the latte than with just milk.

N tries a tea from their more extens­ive menu. This is the Dong Ding Oolong from the Fujian Province in China, con­sidered ‘one of the most fam­ous and finest Formosa Oolong’.

As prom­ised in the descrip­tion, the ‘fra­grance and taste of this tea are won­der­fully sweet and will leave you hav­ing more’. We found the first flush to have a very light, slight brothy fla­vour with min­im­al astrin­gency, while the second flush extrac­ted more flor­al notes that recall a light jas­mine green tea.

We always have a good time at Tea Journal. It’s the per­fect place to catch up with friends with a cup of tea and some cake.

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