Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Betjeman & Barton @ 1 Utama & The Good Tea Company @ Main Place, USJ Subang

Tired of coffee? Time for tea: Here's a peek at two new mall-based tea traders, starting with Paris-based Betjeman & Barton, which opened its first Malaysian outpost this week inside 1 Utama, less than a year after embarking into Southeast Asia with a branch in Singapore's Raffles City. 

This is the sort of cafe that'll perform well in a mall _ potentially perfect for shoppers who want to rest their feet & replenish their strength with some soothing tea & invigorating sweets. Enthusiastic crowds will likely hang out here on weekend afternoons too, underscoring the likelihood that more tea rooms by various companies will open in the Klang Valley in the months ahead.

Betjeman & Barton serves more than merely a spot of tea _ the store's selection is sweeping (more than 200 varieties), spanning Indian & Chinese origins among others, featuring classic & perfumed blends whose names range from Des Amours to Les Invites. 

Tea can be consumed at the cafe or purchased to take home; for the former, many of the recommended pots of tea on the cafe menu (more than 50 varieties of classic, blended, plus fruit-infused) clock in at RM24 each before taxes, sufficient for four cups.

For folks bringing tea back, it might be worth splurging on these temptingly beautiful tea caddies (canisters) to store the leaves. Many of them, exclusive to Betjeman & Barton, cost between RM49 & RM69.

We opted for the seemingly safer choices of Betjeman & Barton's more popular varieties, such as the Autumn Blend, with a base of Chinese & Ceylon teas that's intended to be reminiscent of figs, grapes, quince, nuts, raisins & sunflower petals. Our tea tasted very light. 

Pouchkine, Betjeman & Barton's oldest & most admired tea, reputedly a closely guarded recipes for decades now. Can be enjoyed as a regular pot of hot tea or an icy-fizzy beverage with citrus overtones. 

No lack of confections; the chocolates comprise flavours such as blueberry milk, mascarpone dark & praline feuilletine.

 Earl Grey gateau (RM14.90), plus vanilla & hazelnut macarons (RM4 each); not bad, but not the stand-out here.

We like the French-style ice cream (RM15), which comes in rich renditions of pistachio, vanilla & dark chocolate, memorably served in beetroot & orange-tinged waffle bowls for extra dimensions of flavour.

All in all, Betjeman & Barton could be a fun stop for folks who want to try out blends of tea unseen elsewhere in Malaysia.

Next up, heading to Subang: The Good Tea Company started out as a Shah Alam retail store, but it recently opened a full-fledged cafe at Subang's new Main Place mall, where customers can also enjoy their tea here or purchase some to bring home.

This is a family-run business that's as serious about its tea as any coffee specialist in KL is about its single-origin beans. It largely tackles tea from Indian gardens in Darjeeling & Assam; the teas include elite single-estate varieties, served at the table with timers to tell us when they're ready to be consumed.

Margaret's Hope Darjeeling tea (RM18) supplies a sad story of an estate on the mountaintop of Himalayas; its name is meant to be in memory of its former owner's daughter, who passed away as a young girl before World War II. The tea itself is supposed to showcase notes of grapes, blackcurrants & a floral resonance.

The single-estate teas carry evocative names like Castleton, Thurbo & Halamari, but The Good Tea Company also offers the classics, from Earl Grey to Irish Breakfast (RM7.90 each).

Chai latte? Check. Flavoured teas such as Alphonse Mango, Apple or Green Mango Darjeelings are available as well. RM6.90.

Iced tea, in forms such as Shibuya (Japanese milk tea, RM8.90), Boston cranberry tea, Georgia raspberry-lemon tea & more.

Baked treats to pair with the tea: Coffee-glazed cinnamon cakes (RM6.90), croissants, scones & lemon poppyseed loaves.

Plenty of hampers & jars are available on The Good Tea Company's retail shelves, seemingly perfect for Hari Raya gifting.

Sniffing certainly allowed: Enjoy complimentary whiffs of Assam, Green Tea, Afternoon Tea & other blends at the front of the cafe. The Good Tea Company's plus point: Seems worth supporting for customers who favour Malaysian-grown businesses.


Betjeman & Barton Tea Room Malaysia
G220, Ground Floor, 1 Utama (Old Wing), Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The Good Tea Company
GF29, The Main Place USJ 21, Jalan USJ 21/10, Persiaran Kewajipan, Subang Jaya, Selangor

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27 comments:

  1. No, thank you. Coffee for me, please, black. I love those canisters though - the Liberty one, in particular.

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    1. Suituapui: i like coffee most of the time and tea some of the time, heh :D and yeah, the liberty canister has a nice floral pattern! :)

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  2. Betjeman & Barton seems an excellent place for tea n cakes...while The Good Tea Company is worth a visit or two =)

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    1. Ulric: ya, i think it's time for the tea lovers out there to get more places to indulge in what they enjoy :)

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  3. Hey, this looks really good! :)

    I am not tired of coffee but I've grown to love tea more and more now. I got a lot of Pickwick while in Sydney and their English Breakfast Tea is fast becoming my morning favorite as it doesn't give you a huge jolt like coffee, but slowly brings you up to where you'll get with coffee if you drink two cups. It's a slower and gentler jolt awake, if that makes sense.

    This place looks nice too, it'll be worth a visit! Cheers! :)

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    1. Huai Bin: i like your explanation of why you like tea! i'm still managing to resist the charms of tea, though i think i should try to learn to appreciate it more. most tea is generally a bit too mild-tasting for me, but maybe that's because i get most of my liquids from liquor :D

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  4. Nice places for tea! I'm a tea (instead of coffee) person so they will be handy when I make my trip back home next!! :)

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    1. Iamthewitch: excellent! i think you'll find a lot of tea houses will be open the next time you're back in KL :)

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  5. I love tea, Sean, as you know. I love the red decor and all the pretty canisters!

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    1. Linda: these tea houses would be ideal for a tea adventure :) the decor is quite eye-catching, and so are the canisters :)

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  6. macam very atas, same concept with TWG? i like the ambiance though

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    1. Ken: these mall-based tea houses could become a booming trend in the next several months :)

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  7. hi sean is there any way i can contact you?
    please let me know thanks!

    Yasnim

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    1. Yasnim: you can reach me at seanyoong at gmail

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  8. It's been so hot lately, a cup of ice tea sounds good! :D

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    1. CK: heheh, yeah, i was happy that iced tea was on the menu at the 1 utama outlet :)

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  9. wow...tea shop also look so high class!
    The arrangement & interior of Betjeman & Barton reminds me of 'Crabtree & Evelyn'. hehe.... ;-)

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    1. Melissa: yeah, these tea houses are definitely aiming to attract an upmarket range of customers :)

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  10. Coffee. Now tea.
    When is hot choc's turn?? :P

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    1. Rebecca: heheh, that would be nice ... it's been quite awhile since i can remember having a really good hot chocolate :D

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  11. oh them pretty tea pots! shall check out this place since it's so near by :D

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    1. Jessy: hope you enjoy your tea outing! :D

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  12. True tea lovers prefer Chinese tea such as Long Jing, Pu Er and Tie Guan Yin... even for Pu Er there are full fermented Pu Er and less fermented Pu Er. There is a lot of knowledge in it.

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    1. Amadeus: yeah, there's a lot about tea to learn and love :)

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    2. maaannn, im been searchin for this tea in malaysia. Freakin hard to find it.

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  13. The best flavour and healthy tea in malaysia...different kinds of taste tea.

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  14. All of drinks and chocolates looking so yummy. I really want to have them right now. Do you know about Green drink recipes? Please share here I will be thankful to you.

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