Irrefutable evidence that coffee makers CAN do tea when they put their minds to it.
The Old George cafe at the bottom of Bowen House is living proof that coffee people can do good tea.
Old George is a coffee roasting company, named after an old chap in Australia, who (I think) taught the owner to roast perfect coffee (that’s according to the website; I make no claims about judging perfect coffee).
So it is all about coffee, confirmed by the sign describing the cafe as a “roastery and espresso bar”.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t take tea seriously too, as I discover on my first visit. The tea is good. Great, in fact, and I know I’ll be lured back again and again. People take note: if you want to find me in Wellington, try looking in this cafe.
My marks out of 10:
Cup – eclectic collection of old fine-bone china, 10: On my first trip I’m given a charming Salisbury cup with yellow flowers. I fall in love immediately. The next time it’s Royal Doulton. Life just gets better.
Tea Tea Total Wild Cherry black tea 9: Undoubtedly, my judgment is being influenced by the quality of the drinking vessel, but I enjoy every sip of this brew. A pot of hot water on the side so I could get full two cups from the teapot and Old George would be looking at a perfect round (Obviously, I’m still not following the Professor’s advice and asking for a pot of water).
Setting 7: This Old George cafe is in the ground floor of Bowen House, just across the road from Parliament and The Beehive, and handy to lots of government departments, so it’s a popular watering hole for officials and politicos. The first time I visit is to meet ministerial staff. The second time is a disaster (it’s Saturday morning, I’ve walked all the way from Cuba St to have my first cup of the day here, only to find it’s closed) and the third time I make a slight detour during a trip to the Ministry for the Environment. Apparently there’s another Old George just around the corner at 16 The Terrace.
Dog friendly? Probably not, but unconfirmed.
Open after 3pm? Yes.
Old George, 1 Bowan St, Wellington.