Fond afternoon memories recreated in organic tea bar

Diana George has started an organic tea bar.
Diana George has started an organic tea bar.

Ka Pa Tee is an exclusive tea bar in the heart of Cape Town.

Diana George and her partner Bruno Rabaca's business opened last year.

George comes from a fashion background while Rabaca comes from film and modelling. But they yearned to start an organic tea bar.

George says her grandmother was British and she has many fond memories of afternoon tea at 4pm. "I was more interested in the cakes at the time!"

George says she and Rabaca "both started to enjoy tea about four years ago trying different teas that I would bring back from my trips. At first it was a novelty but the more teas we tried the more we fell in love."

That's how Ka Pa Tee was born.

"Our brother-in-law came up with the name - a play on cuppa tee as the British would say. We changed the spelling, not realising that it worked perfectly because we are often asked if Kapa relates to Cape Town. We wanted somewhere people could escape for a moment of bliss. We wanted to create a space that people could come to 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," says George.

And if you are expecting to dip a bag in and out of your cup - forget it! Here they only specialise in tea leaves.

"We believe people should know exactly what they are drinking. Our customers can see exactly what ingredients are used. If you had to open a tea bag more often than not you would find what we would call tea dust. It's hard to even know if it's really tea and whether it's a good quality or not."

Their leaves come from all over the world, including China, Japan, India, Rwanda and South Africa.

"We are working on sourcing more African tea as we have quite a large assortment from Asia. We also source from ethical tea farms, one that looks at the wellbeing of employees, the environment and use manufacturing methods that are kind to humans and our planet."

She says there is no correct way to enjoy the beverage.

"Tea is drunk so differently across so many cultures across the world. I guess the correct way is the way that each person likes it. Personally we prefer to drink tea without milk or sugar, in its purest form so that we can taste the full flavour."

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