“I have always had incredible experiences with tea” says Jessica Bonin, the owner of Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour in Cape Town. “I wanted to open a café, and use tea as a tool to provide people with a positive experience and a break from our divided world”.
Instead of starting with a permanent shop in Cape Town, Jessica creatively took her leaves to the road in a 1975 Caravan. She spent two months transforming a vintage caravan into a suitable mobile tea room, outfitted with bohemian accoutrement before launching Lady Bonin in December 2010.
“The caravan initially came about as a solution to financial limitations. I did not have the resources to commit to a permanent location; the risk was too high” says Bonin. From the caravan she serves 17 teas, hot or iced alongside other blended drinks, depending on the day, event or market. “My concept was brand new and I needed a way of getting the idea to the market instead of trying to get the market to me.
Being mobile was the best option.” Today Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour still travels around in a mobile caravan but Jessica has also established a permanent tearoom in the Woodstock Exchange and tea distribution through other outlets.
Lady Bonin’s uniquely blended Spiced Chai. It is my very own recipe inspired by my travels to India and containing. I blend it with Ceylon or Rooibos base and have my decadent option as the Red Spiced Choc Chili Chai, translated to Lady Bonin’s Rooibos Spiced Chai with chocolate and chili.
TEA SERVING MOTTO:
Tea is experienced differently all over the world. Each culture has developed and perfected their way of purveying the “perfect cup”. You will find that these ceremonies, formal or informal, have been established in order to honour a moment or experience. Although guidelines exist around brewing and enhancing specific teas, tea is a personal experience. My best advice is to apply the notion of Kung Fu to preparing tea – “Time, patience and diligence to perfect an art.”
Photo Source: Claire Gunn Photography