Sensory Lab Collins Street opens in ‘Paris end’ of Melbourne

Sensory Lab has expanded its CBD presence and opened a new store in Collins Street, Melbourne on 21 September.

While specialty coffee is always at the forefront of Sensory Lab’s ethos, this new store off Ridgeway Place will have a special focus on Chinese-inspired style teas.

Ayden Graham, winner of the inaugural Australia Tea Brewer’s Cup on 13 September will head up the tea offering at the new Sensory Lab venue.

The tea Graham brewed for the Australian Tea Brewer’s Cup was a hongcha (black tea) from Xigui village, Lincang, in Yunnan province, China. He describes this tea as an “ethereal, clean example of a black tea with a lot of muscatel, perfume, and sweetness present”.

For Ayden’s signature beverage in the competition, the water he brewed the hongcha with was infused with tiny amounts of lemon rind and grapes. “These elements, rather than merely flavouring the tea, served to intensify the already present flavours and tactile elements to the extreme, make something that tasted a little like a wine,” Ayden said.

Ayden will travel to China in May 2017 to compete on the world stage, bringing more experience, and more exciting tea, to Sensory Lab Collins Street.

Tea-lovers are expected to fall head over heels for the up-and-coming tea collection. Sensory Lab presents aromatic herbal blends, single estate teas as well as everyday tea with milk. The specialty teas will be served in a Gaiwan, a Chinese lidded bowl designed to draw out flavour through a larger ratio of tea to water.

Tea lovers can also join Ayden and the Sensory Lab team for a guided walk-through of complex tea subtleties, and the oft-misunderstood world of tea in dedicated tea education classes.

Sensory Lab tea education classes with Ayden are available on Saturday 23 and 30 October from 10am – 12pm.

Participants will experience a spectrum of different teas and how best to brew them in the comfort of the home or cafe environment. Breakfast, bottomless cups of tea and a take home gift pack are all included in the ticket price of $25.00 plus booking fee.

To book, click here.

The new café is the first free standing Sensory Lab, designed by Foolscap Studios.

With an interior described as a “machine for living” by designers, Foolscap Studios Director Adele Winteridge says the store highlights “the ritual of the morning coffee, a deconstructed yet refined experience that diverges from the standard coffee shops of Melbourne”.

“Patrons are greeted by a finely tuned coffee production space reminiscent of a 20th century electronics lab with materials that represented ‘high tech’ in modern times like stainless steel, suspended translucent canopies and linoleum marry 20th century ideas with the new, the low tech with the high tech,” she said.

With a wide ranging toast bar also on offer and a variety of quality spreads to match, Sensory Lab will see the normally quiet Ridgeway Place become a destination thoroughfare for the before work crowd with a window for easy ordering.

For more information visit

Sensory Lab: 30 Collins St, off Ridgeway Place, Melbourne, open 7am – 5pm.

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