Cafes

Introducing Yugen Tea Bar, South Yarra’s Boujee New High Tea Experience

By Simon Cassar
9th Nov 2021

A man standing pouring tea out of a kettle into a cup in a grey shirt.

As we come into an age where people are seeking alternative brews, calming the jitters and slowing the pace, it couldn’t be more timely that Yugen Tea Bar has burst onto the scene. 

Taking up residency in the Capitol Grand in South Yarra, Yugen is an accelerated take on the antiquated high tea experience; there are over forty speciality teas to choose from which can range anywhere from $6 to $110 for two cups. The sleek design of Yugen is one of its major attractions, the almost dystopian interior aesthetic provides a relaxed space and ushers in a new standard for tea drinking. 

The fit-out was led by Lucienne Hemmingway from Curios By Design whose previous work includes iterations of Arbory Afloat, the NGV gala and more. The intention of Yugen’s atmosphere is to provide an immersive experience with a mixture of textures and dark shades that provide a soothing and tranquil tea-drinking environment. 

The tea selection of Yugen has been carefully crafted by in house tea sommelier, Thibaut Chuzeville, whose extensive knowledge has helped establish a menu of tea varieties from all over the world including Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan, and India. 

If you’re wondering about the pace at Yugen, you needn’t worry about slamming back an Oolong as you would an espresso, Thibaut’s methods are careful and patient; “Tea gently brews”, explains Thibaut,“ the fix is not instantaneous. We sip quietly, listening to water pour and inhale the different aromas, feeling the cup, the warmth in our hand. It fills the body with caffeine but relaxes the soul simultaneously.

Alongside the tea is a dedicated menu of pastries and cakes led by executive pastry chef, John Demetrios. Each dessert has been designed to pair with the tea providing a balanced experience that compliments one another. 

Yugen is open now but we highly recommend booking in, secure your spot here.

Picnic among the cherry trees at this Yarra Valley orchard. 

Image credit: Yugen (Sean McDonald) 

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