New bar is everyone's cup of tea
Monica Naples has been brewing premium loose-leaf tea on the Sunshine Coast for the past three years.
Through her tea merchant business ARTEA she supplies cafes, restaurants and shops.
Now she's opened a retail shop and tea bar in Bulcock St, Caloundra.
"Because the cafes had to close (during) COVID … I wasn't selling as much product," Ms Naples said.
"But now I can reach a wider audience, so more of the 'real' tea drinkers who know their tea, but also attract a novice tea drinker."
Her new venture is about educating others on how to make the perfect tea.
"I find it nice talking to people about tea and showcasing what tea can be besides just a tea bag," Ms Naples said.
"Because a lot of people don't know much about it.
"But there are certain ways to make different types of tea."
Ms Naples said the secret to the perfect cup of green tea is:
- Don't use boiling water
- Use more tea leaves for a stronger flavour
- Don't let it sit too long
"You shouldn't use boiling water because the green tea leaves aren't oxidised like black tea, and they burn," she said.
Ms Naples said letting tea sit longer to achieve a stronger flavour was a myth.
"The longer you stir the tea, the longer you (seep it), the more bitter it will get because it draws out the caffeine," she said.
"Green tea has less caffeine than others, but not if you're going to use boiling water and let it sit for five minutes.
"If you want to make a tea stronger you should use more of the actual tea leaves."
Ms Naples described green tea as "the wine of teas".
"(It) is one of the most beautiful flavours around and the most ancient," she said.
"Sometimes you can tell where the type of green tea is from because it will have flavours (of that place).
"For example Japanese green tea has a slight seaweed flavour because it's influenced by the ocean around it."
ARTEA tea bar is looking for expressions of interest in tea education classes and tastings.