The Crazy Teapot Shop – Tealeaves
380 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras
My favourite shops are those that evoke the senses. The ones that are visually appealing. The places where there is a delicious smell and textured items to touch. The ones that are comforting and feel like you are wrapping yourself in a big, fluffy doona. It is no surprise really that Tealeaves at Sassafras is one of my favourite spots to visit and shop.
Tealeaves is a family run business which sells to both retail customers and wholesalers. The owners have travelled to all the great tea growing nations – Japan, India, China and Sri Lanka – to learn and discover all they can about the origins and culture of tea.
The owners want visitors to explore and discover and it starts before you even step inside Be sure to take a moment to stop and admire their ever changing window display. Then walk around the side of the shop to check out their newest addition; a bright and colourful Alice In Wonderland mural. This has fast become a prominent feature on the Instagram feeds of many a tourist.
The Teapots, Cups and Accessories
When you step inside I suggest you turn immediately to your left. If you have little people with them be sure to be holding their hand as you are about to be surrounded by the craziest range of teapots you have ever seen. From sleek, modern chrome models to dainty, old fashioned and floral pots if you can dream it it’s here. The number of kitsch and novelty shaped teapots has to be seen to be believed. A pig shaped teapot? Sure thing. One shaped like a car? You’ve got it.
My favourites are the smaller range of cast iron teapots, many with Oriental designs. In fact, I recently purchased one myself. On cold winter days it lives on my Coonara wood heater so a hot cuppa is always at the ready.
Once you are done with teapots there is an equally impressive array of cups, mugs and other tea making accessories to take in.
Tealeaves stocks over 300 varieties of tea. Yes, that is right 300!!! And samples of each are displayed in small glass bottles so you can see and smell these delicious blends. There is black tea, white tea (yes that is a thing), green tea, rooibos tea, herbal blends and things that don’t even look like tea. With so many choices I am always thankful that someone behind the scenes is super organised with everything arranged in categories then alphabetically by name.
Tea can be purchased in packs as small as 50 grams which is perfect if you want to try lots of options, right through to one kilo bags for those that are die hard fans of one particular variety. Some of my long time favourites are Turkish Delight Black Tea which contains pretty rose petals and has chocolate undertones and Monk’s Pear which has a dainty, delicate flavour and taste. For a caffeine free option I can’t go past the Chocolate Orange Rooibos which has the most amazing aroma.
If you aren’t local and are worried you will fall in love with a blend that you can’t get once back home don’t worry, Tealeaves have an online store and can ship your favourite specialty tea straight to you.
For The Coffee Drinkers
Now I hear you, what if you aren’t a tea drinker? Well the shop is such an experience you should visit anyway and don’t worry they have the coffee drinkers covered too. There is a small range of coffee pots and accessories and flavoured coffee beans on offer. Even if you are a tea lover it is hard to go past the chocolate covered coffee beans. The Irish cream ones are my favs and have gotten me through many a late night photo editing session.
If you are coming to the Dandenongs be sure to stop by Tealeaves. Even if tea isn’t your thing you will be impressed that such a specialty store exists and that there is so much variety available in something so simple as the humble cuppa.
After you are done exploring the little hamlet of Sassafras jump back in the car and drive 5 minutes up the road for a walk through the famous Alfred Nicholas Gardens. If forests and bush are more your thing the Sherbrooke section of Dandenong Ranges National Park is nearby. Once you have worked up an appetite stop by the newly relocated Proserpina Bakehouse for a treat, be it sweet or savoury.
The Important Details
Address: 380 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras
Phone: (03) 9755 2222
Open: 10am-5pm every day
If you would like to nominate a local small business for me to photograph and profile drop their name in the comments below.