Gone are the days when tea was something you only drank with your grandma. Tea is trendy now – and nowhere does it better than The Rabbit Hole. Using steam punk-style machines to brew luscious blends, and even serving sparkling teas out of beer taps, their flagship store in Redfern has redefined how we think about the humble cup of char.
Off the back of its success, The Rabbit Hole will open their second store on the streets of Barangaroo South in June. Forget floral china cups and dusty teabags of Earl Grey – The Rabbit Hole serves only handcrafted tea, made from scratch using innovative brewing techniques.
Founded by Amara Jarratt and Corinne Smith, The Rabbit Hole’s extensive tea menu includes original teas, seasonal tea, tea lattes (more than just your average Chai), tea infused nibblies (we can vouch for the lavender shortbread) and more!
We sat down with the tea-riffic Corinne Smith for a cuppa and a chat.
Hi Corinne, thanks for your time. We’re pretty exciting that The Rabbit Hole is opening in a second location. In your opinion, what makes you guys stand out from other tea establishments?
We are certainly not what you expect when it comes to tea. There’s no lace, no vintage china and no quaint high tea stands. Instead, we offer tea sodas on tap, tea shots, a range of tea lattes as well as contemporary food infused with innovative tea flavours. Also on offer are sexy brewing methods such as the revolutionary Steampunk brewer by Alpha Dominiche and a contemporary tea ceremony by way of our fresh infusions.
What inspired you to open a second store at Barangaroo South?
We want to share great tea Australia-wide. People love it and they’re been under-serviced for way too long now. You can easily get great quality coffee, wine, chocolate, food, gelato (the list goes on) wherever you go, but tea has been unloved.
We’re all about redefining that and delivering something extraordinary to lovers of the leaf, and we think there might be a few of those down at Barangaroo South so we can’t wait to introduce them to our blends.
What can we expect from your new store? How will it be different from your flagship tea bar in Redfern?
Our new location will be focused on meeting the needs of the office workers and residents nearby. You’ll still be able to sit and sip over a meeting or catch-up with friends, but there will also be a strong focus on fresh grab-and-go food and beverages for people looking for something a little bit different, with a focus on health and innovative flavours.
In terms of design, it will be an interpretation of the kintsugi concept that the brand and Redfern store are linked to rather than a mini version of the Redfern store.
Speaking of design, we see that Matt Woods designed your space – what do you love about working with him?
Matt and I have the same chronic attention to detail overdrive! He’s also very creative and is happy to take on board my (sometimes odd) requests.
You’ve got so many beautiful teas in your store – what’s your favourite blend?
At the moment, my favourite is Kung Flu Fighter. We created it one day when we were all feeling miserable and coming down with a cold in the office. It hits the spot and is so comforting and healing.
Tea has made a big comeback in recent years, why do you think it’s so popular?
I think people are starting to realise that it’s more delicious than the dust in a teabag that’s previously been on offer. It’s innovative flavour combinations, single origin and hand-crafted and it’s versatile. You can have something different at any given moment of the day depending on your state of mind.
When you’re not having a cuppa, where is your favourite place to grab a bite?
Anywhere that has some outdoor space is always a winner. I have a two-year-old daughter and toddlers aren’t renowned for sitting still for very long. Next on my hit list is The Picnic, Burwood, which I hear is doing some great things.
The Rabbit Hole will be launching at Shop 1, 23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo South in June, and will be open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest updates.