Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar – A Must Visit for Tea Lovers in Cape Town
Drinking a cup of tea is like receiving a warm embrace from a trusted friend. It can calm the soul, lift the spirits and put even the most difficult of situations into perspective.
At Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar this is what it’s all about and owners, Bruno and Diana, have created a stunning space that honours exactly that. If you appreciate the intricacies of tea, then you’ll love the selection on offer, as well as the lengths they go to in order to brew it just right. Diana tells us more about what has inspired this tea-volution.
Tell us a bit about who is behind Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar?
We are partners in life and now in our new business, Ka Pa Tée. Bruno comes from a career in modelling, photography and property and I have worked within the design industry for the last 16 years.
What is the concept of Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar?
The idea was to create an organic tea bar in the heart of the city, in a sense a refuge for anyone trying to escape the stress of city life.
Drinking tea has a very calming effect and has the ability to turn 15 minutes into complete bliss. The ritual of drinking tea is enjoyed by every nation around the world.
We wanted to create a space that people could come to and drink tea, catch up with friends, or spend a moment alone and feel comfortable doing it. We also wanted to give people the chance to try different teas from around the world and to also learn more about them.
Did you have a specific interest in tea that led to opening a specialty tea store?
Well, I am British and drinking tea is a very British thing to do, but we were both not particularly interested in tea until we started exploring and trying out teas that I brought back from trips to the UK and Europe. The more we explored the more we became fascinated about the history of tea and all the health benefits of drinking it.
We soon fell in love with tea and the initial idea was to just have an online store selling tea. But then this space became available and it was an opportunity we just couldn’t say no to.
Who designed the interior of Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar? It’s so beautiful.
Thank you 🙂 We did the design of the store and it really was exciting seeing our concept turn into a reality, we couldn’t be happier. I have a qualification in interior design, and, with a tight budget, we wanted to put as much as we could into quality yet clean and simple finishes.
We both have similar taste so it was very easy to make décor decisions together. We wanted to create a space that felt homely and peaceful. We wanted people to walk in and instantly feel calm and relaxed.
The space itself is simply gorgeous. The high ceilings make the space feel light and airy and so many people have said the space has a good aura. It makes our hearts happy to see our customers enjoying the space and making it their own.
What makes Ka Pa Tée’s teas unique?
Because of the ways that teas are cultivated they can be very heavily sprayed with harmful chemicals. Also, most people don’t know about the shocking conditions that people are forced to work in, from being terribly underpaid, to living in dreadful conditions.
So, we worked very hard to find certified organic tea suppliers who work with sustainable tea farms around the world.
All the teas we have in our store have been sourced from ethical farms that ensure that their workers live in good conditions and are paid fairly.
There is still a long way for the tea industry to go but we hope that by educating drinkers we can change the world one sip at a time. We have a wide selection of teas from all around the world and we plan to expand over offering continuously as we grow.
All our teas are loose tea leaves, so no tea bags to be seen – they are literally naked so you can see exactly what you are drinking. All of the ingredients are 100% organic and are all of a very high grade, so the flavour of the teas are really quite exquisite – if we don’t mind saying so ourselves 🙂
Can you tell us about some of your more popular teas?
There is definitely a huge craze over Matcha tea at the moment and we serve a ceremonial Matcha tea, which is of a very high grade. Bruno really makes a mean Matcha and has been told by some of the customers that he makes the best Matcha in town. 😉
Some other customer favourites are Lapsang Souchong, which has a smoked woody taste, Chocochino, which is a black tea and literally smells of chocolate heaven. If you are into floral teas then Temple Garden is a firm favourite and smells like you are walking through a field of flowers.
One that took us quite by surprise is one of our Ayurvedic teas called Vatwala. It’s a herbal tea with ginger, cinnamon and anise and it helps promote calmness, and great to drink when you are feeling ungrounded, restless or have mild insomnia.
You have quite a serious digital brewing system; can you tell us about that and how it works?
Yes, it’s our beloved Alpa Dominche Steam Punk – it’s the only one on the continent, so we are very lucky to have it. Making the perfect cup of tea is all about the brewing time and temperature, and the Steam Punk allows us to do exactly that. Every recipe is already loaded onto the system, and at the click of a button, we can brew any of our teas to absolute perfection.
It’s also great to watch, and as the tea brews, it can be quite mesmerising. People love watching the tea leaves unfurl and expand during the brewing process. It really is quite a marvel.
Is any of the tea (other than the rooibos) locally sourced/grown?
For now, Rooibos is the only locally sourced tea that we currently have, but the next phase to look at a selection of organic teas from South Africa and the rest of the continent. We are currently on the mission to find the right suppliers as we want to launch a range of African teas early next year.
You have a lovely selection of food at Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar – can you tell us about that?
So, we’ve tried to keep our menu simple. We’re not in the business of food, we are in the business of tea, so we thought let’s leave the actual food to the experts in their respective fields.
We wanted to find suppliers that really produce outstanding products and also had a similar ethos to us. So we did a lot of feasting out on various brands and we settled on a few that we loved.
We carry croissants from Woodstock Bakery and all our bread is from them too. Our amazing cakes and muffins are from Thank Goodness Foods and all of their treats are gluten and refined sugar-free. We also carry the most amazing gluten-free brownies from Yummi Chef. Besides tea, we also serve organic hot chocolate, delicious nutmilk shakes from the Almond Creamery and juices from One Juice.
We are about to launch our iced teas for summer and some exciting tea smoothies, so watch this space.
We’re assuming the name Ka Pa Tée is a play on cuppa tea – is there a story behind it?
Well, all the credit has to go to our brother-in-law Mark. We were bouncing some ideas off my sister and her partner, and the ideas we had were all along an Asian look and feel. And being very British he jokingly said what about cuppa tea, but to spell it a little differently. So after playing around, we settled with Ka Pa Tée.
People don’t instantly realise that the name is a play on cuppa tea until they actually say it and then they instantly get it. Funnily enough, people think it’s a play on Kapa for Cape Town, which is quite fitting since the brand was born here in the Mother City.
Trust us when we say, Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar is an absolute must visit for tea lovers. Even if you aren’t a tea fanatic, you’ll love the stunning and serene space that offers respite from the busy CBD. (FYI: They serve coffee too if you need your fix but the tea is where it’s really at!).
Ka Pa Tée Tea Bar is open weekdays from 07h00 in the morning for all early birds and closes at 16h30. On Saturdays, they are open from 09h00 to 14h00 and are closed on Sundays.
Add a sweet treat to your afternoon tea break with this round-up of our most delicious cookie and biscuit recipes.
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