The first time I visited Libertea, located at Prahran Market, Melbourne, I was intrigued by the myriad of loose leaf teas, teapots, teacups and tea accessories on display. I felt like a kid in a candy store – what tea treasures lurk within the tea caddies, ready to pounce and capture me with its beautiful sensory secrets?
Libertea is the tea realm of Kaishan Wu, the warm, gregarious and knowledgeable Chief Tea Officer. Libertea is a labour of love for her, having been brought up under the influence of her certified tea master father in China to know what is real tea. She is on a mission to bring a quality tea experience to us all here in Melbourne and Australia. And let me say, how lucky are we!
Getting to Know You
I am so excited to have you here today – the kettle is on and it is about to sing! What would you like to brew for us and why did you choose it?
I know you are all about true tea – loose leaf and no flavour enhancers. How has such real tea played a role in your life from day one?
Before I was the “tea lady”, my father played a big role in introducing true-to-origin loose leaf tea to me. I have grown up with nice tea without even knowing what teabags were until I came to Australia to study.
What would be your ultimate personal tea experience?
If someone were to come into your shop today as a novice loose leaf tea drinker, what would you recommend to get him or her started on the tea journey?
You have such a treasure trove in your shop. I love visiting and just looking at everything – the teas, the teapots, the cups. What’s coming next in your tea business?
If there is one person, living or passed, whom you can have tea with right now, who would that be and why?
Green, yellow, white, oolong, red or black?
My preference changes according to the season.
Single or blended?
Hot or cold?
Teapot, gaiwan or infuser?
Sweet or savoury pairing?
Savoury, at the moment I love pairing with cheese!
Coffee – yes or no?
Chocolate – yes or no?
Darkest chocolate you can find, please!