If you've ever visited the Cape, then you’ve almost certainly been wine-tasting. But far fewer people have tried tea tasting. If you're in Johannesburg then try tea tasting at the Contessa Tea Room in Rivonia, where you can sample different types of tea accompanied by deliciously decadent food.

Did you know?

Every tea has a unique flavour and each tea will appeal to different palates.

Fancy a gourmet experience with a difference? Take yourself off for tea tasting at the Contessa Tea Room in Johannesburg's northern suburb of Rivonia.

Forget about just warming the pot, dumping a few teaspoons of any old tea inside, giving it a minute or two and then just knocking it back. And don’t even think of teabags – any tea connoisseur of consequence would shudder at the thought.

When you drink tea at Contessa you'll become part of a simple, elegant ceremony designed to heighten your sense of smell, sharpen your eyes and stimulate your taste buds.

Take your seat in a lovely old room with black and white tiled floors and evocative pictures on the walls, or choose a table on the open-air verandah. A knowledgeable waitress will bring you an elegant paper place mat marked with six round spaces where you will place six small glass cups.

Follow the instructions on the mat about how to make your tea and the correct way to infuse and drink it. Guidelines are provided as to how much time is required for each infusion.

Your first tasting is of Black Classic Tea followed by Flavoured Black Tea (Ceylon tea flavoured with orange, strawberry, pineapple or yellow mango). Then comes Oolong, made from fragrant magnolia flowers mixed with Oolong tea leaves. Next up is Hyson Sour Sup Green Tea, made from a delicious Mexican fruit – a tangy, fresh, light infusion that's perfect for iced tea.

White Tea, the least oxidised tea with very little caffeine follows and then, finally, a Contessa Fruit Paradise which is a blend of berries, apples, hibiscus, strawberry, current and rosehip.

Then it's time for a slice of freshly baked cheesecake or chocolate cake. Contessa also serves delicious High Teas, but it's best to order a day in advance.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Contessa Tea Room
Tel: +27 (0)11 234 6641
Email: rchurches@telkomsa.net

How to get here

Contessa Tea Room is situated on the corner of Rivonia Boulevard and 11th Avenue in Rivonia, Johannesburg. There is plenty of parking available and the area is well-served by both taxis and buses.

What will it cost

For the full tea tasting experience the cost is R75 per person. One can also opt to order from Contessa's à la carte menu.

What to eat

All the food served at Contessa is freshly baked, freshly cooked and freshly made daily. Try an open sandwich, a sweet chilli and ginger chicken salad or an orange poppy seed cake.

Best buys

The Contessa Tea Room also sells various tea for patrons to take home and brew themselves.

Related articles