This venue is now closed.
Tues – Sun: 10am – 6pm
Weekend brunch runs until 3pm
Tea: Storm in a Teacup varietals of black tea, white tea and green tea, other tea-based drinks, tea cocktails
“The beverages industry is a strange and turbulent space. There is no set business model to ensure success, with a social following and the word of mouth of the community acting as major components to winning or losing market share. One only has to look at Red Bull as an example to the lengths (including jumping from space) they are willing to go to ensure they remain on top. Melbourne’s coffee scene has certainly seen a huge transformation in the past decade or so. Whilst the demand remains strong, new players have entered the market, making a huge impact to the quality most of us are searching for. Conversely, tea has not experienced the same level of appreciation. There are a number of unknowns about tea, such as how it should be brewed and sipped as well as the fundamentals about what is considered high quality (and what’s crap!). Storm in a Teacup is one of the leading forces set to change this scene.
The Smith Street location is limiting but appropriate to its offerings. As you enter, the vintage style counter bench is the center piece that peals along the side wall – perfect for a pre-dinner tea cocktail. The small tables inside and outside are snugged close together, allowing for close conversations and enables the staff to keep tabs on your experience. The space is not a brunch location for the hungry masses, but rather a relaxing alternative that is well suited to smaller groups.
This is usually the part where I talk about coffee, however, reading through the extensive tea menu and a quick reality check, there is no coffee machine in sight. It is both strange and refreshing to be at brunch without the constant clang, bang or grinding sound effects. There is a large selection of authentic teas to try, however my interest was in their shakes – Matcha Milkshake pretty and green with cream on top [$7.50].
The whipped cream that topped my milkshake took me back to my limited Starbuck experiences. It balanced the sweet textures of the Matcha (type of green tea). It was served chilled and for a non-alcoholic beverage to beat the heat, this was the perfect shake.
The brunch items are limited given the small set up, but my Baked eggs in Spicy Tomato Ragu with Smoked Ham with Labneh, Greens & Toast [$15] had a lovely spice aroma. The outer layer was wrap in ham and the eggs were cooked to perfection. The yolk was runny as I pierced the outer surface with the generous servings of bread that could be spread with a lovely labneh. The tomato sauce was thick and delightful as I cut through the high quality smoked ham. All the components of this dish were delightfully yummy with its innovative touches to create a decent baked eggs.There is no denying that coffee drinkers have dabble in tea from time to time. It’s the refreshing break from the ‘thick black stuff’ that allows you to experience a whole set of new flavours. Storm in a Teacup is certainly worth the visit for brunch, snacks or pre-dinner drinks. Changing up the usual way of approaching brunch can come with big payoffs.”
“Ever since I went to the Storm in a Teacup‘s Cocktail Event, I’ve been keen to try out their breakfast menu. The Russian-inspired dishes on offer seemed to reflect owner Hannah Dupree’s heritage, offering something a little bit different to your standard poach eggs on toast.
The heightened interest in tea and tea-based beverages as a trend in Melbourne – particularly coming up to summer – is ever increasing and so with that in mind we decided to explore what Storm in a Teacup has on offer.
It was a late Sunday afternoon when I met Mr LB, Carly and The Doctor (who was hungover) at the very quiet venue. The menu had a large array of black, green and white teas on offer but it was the beautiful cool drinks that caught my eye. I ordered an Iced Chai, served over ice with milk and cinnamon [$6.50], while The Doctor went for a Godzilla, matcha, avocado, banana, lime and peppermint [$9.50] to ease herself out of her tormented state. Carly ordered a Golden Tips [~$6] tea and when she realised there were cold drinks on offer, she also ordered an iced chai.
My iced chai was nice, sporting a strong cinnamon flavour and a bitter tea backdrop. I don’t know if it’s the years of coffee, but unfortunately it just didn’t hit the right buttons for me. I did, however, really enjoy The Doctor’s Godzilla smoothie and Mr LB’s matcha smooth. To die for!
Despite coming to Storm in a Teacup to try something new and exciting, I found myself attracted to the same old menu items, choosing the Gypsy Toast – avocado, Persian feta, Russian Caravan & honey-pickled beetroot with house-made dukkah on rye [$12]. Whilst The Doctor couldn’t handle food, Carly was ravenous and decided on The Stanislav – smoked wagyu, horseradish remoulade, dill pickle, shredded cabbage slaw & walnuts with rye [$15] (note: the smoked wagyu was an alteration to the menu).
My dish was very simply presented and looked a little minimal. The poached egg was cooked and crafted wonderfully, and the feta was dense, rich and creamy but I felt that more could have been done to dress up the plate. The feta was the star of the dish and was full of flavour. It acted as both the focal point of the meal with the flexibility to sit in the background, as it was easy to spread it on the bread and let it enhance the combined flavours of the avocado and egg.
I had a taste of Carly’s meal and I was instantly jealous. The smoked wagyu was beautiful and exciting in its make-it-your-way format.
Storm in a Teacup provides very reasonably priced brunch options with boutique teas that come at a price. This could be easily compared to coffees where the everyday person is willing to pay a premium for an exciting single origin blend, and so I don’t necessarily view the price point as an issue. If you are a tea lover – or simply looking for something new – then this is the place for you. Storm in a Teacup do exciting things with tea that pushes the boundaries of even coffee store owners, incorporating its flavours into different sorts of smoothies, cocktails and even meats (as part of special events)! The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so it’s a good experience all round.”
Final Thought: “An exciting place to try out different ways to use tea”