16 October 2012

Oh Carolina, what have you done - cafe review

Carolina café has always been on the elusive side since it’s opened for me. My friend Miss B and I have been trawling up Nicholson St for months trying to find it. Oddly enough it was on an outing with Master M that I stumbled across this inconspicuous café – it is one of those “so cool” places that rely on word of mouth rather than signage to draw people in.

Well, now that it’s location had been discovered, fellow tea lover, Miss B and I organised to have a business meeting there Sunday morning. Naturally we were both keen to try the tea, and the coolish start to the day made it an ideal temperature to enjoy a pot.

We arrived around 10.30, and the lovely outside area was packed so we sat in the booth inside. A blackboard proclaimed the tea to be provided by Vee Tea, a brand Miss B and I were both unfamiliar with, but we do love trying new things. A white tea with jasmine and liquorice caught our eye. I will admit to being quite a fan of T2’s liquorice leg, so I was curious to see how this would translate to a white tea.

Now, I don’t like to complain about slow service in hospitality, having spent a good deal of years working in the industry myself. But Miss B and I waited half an hour for our tea. And we witnessed the barista using boiling water right out of the coffee machine onto our white tea. I am yet to figure out how pressing one button on a coffee machine equates to us waiting half an hour. It didn't add to our mood when Miss B ordered some raisin toast, only to be later told they had run out.

Sadly, things did not improve from there. Inspection of the tea revealed rose and jasmine petals, and a lovely golden liquor poured from the pot. The taste was…interesting. The liquorice overpowered everything, starting on a sweet note and then completely covering the mouth a few seconds after swallowing the tea. It was much stronger than I was accustomed to when mixed with a black tea, and I don’t think white tea has enough body to pull off such an overpowering flavour. Miss B was not a fan at all, and I ended up drinking most of the pot while she got a piccolo latte to clear away the taste.

Perhaps we made a poor decision on tea choice, but the whole experience was a bit of a let down. I have had decent tea there before, but that was one of Carolina’s own herbal tea blends. This may have to be one tea review I give a second chance further down the track.

The Rating
Atmosphere: 3/5
Available food: 2/5 (good available range, loss of points for running out of what we ordered)
Tea range: 3/5
Tea had: 2/5

 Overall: 9/20

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