We sat down with Camilla Brown, over a cuppa of course, to find out about the Timbarra T House in Esk, Queensland.
I’ve never been to a tea house before so didn’t quite know what to expect. I have however, visited a coffee shop or two in my time and anticipated a similar routine: Open the door and merge into the sea of black business coats. In the background, phones are ringing and the clock is ticking. The line of coffee junkies itch for their morning fix, all while the caffeine charged air adds to the sense of urgency. Sound familiar? Now, try to think of the complete opposite. Think of the Timbarra T House in Esk, Queensland. It’s tranquil. It’s peaceful. It’s like the day spa of the cafe world. As I relax into one of the homely chairs, I’m instantly calmed by the warm and soothing smells of vanilla, cinnamon, or is it citrus? I look through the menu and realise it could be any of the three or one of many more delicious flavours on offer, and I can’t wait to try them all…
DESCRIBE THE TIMBARRA T HOUSE
Timbarra T is a range of boutique teas blended on the premises at my tea house which is attached to the Esk Wivenhoe Motor Inn. We also sell hand crafted timber products, gifts and art created in Esk and the greater Somerset region. We are open at morning and afternoon tea times so it’s always the perfect time for visitors to stop by and experience my beautiful teas as well as a delicious snack from my “Peckish Menu”.
WHAT MAKES THE TIMBARRA T HOUSE UNIQUE?
The tea itself of course, and it’s all in the ingredients! I make ten different tea blends using tea from far north Queensland and many other ingredients all produced in Somerset and in other parts of Queensland. I use actual vanilla beans, citrus peels, real dried fruits, not just imitation flavours and essences. I source these from around Queensland so I guess you could say Timbarra T is a uniquely Queensland and Australian product. I really believe in the importance of supporting our Aussie farmers and love that all of our ingredients are sourced here in Australia and not imported from overseas like so many others.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME TIMBARRA T HOUSE?
The name has a double meaning. Firstly, Timbarra is an indigenous word for grass tree which we have growing on our property at Mount Hallen, just outside Esk. Secondly, it’s a tea house, but decided to call it a T house because it just so happened that most of the things I sell all start with the letter T! As well as selling tea, I also sell tea-light holders, timber salt and pepper holders, timber coasters, tea cosies and textiles. Another important T, is the experience the tea house offers the customers, and that’s ‘taking time out’ to sit back, relax, take in the art and enjoy beautiful aromatic tea with delightful flavours.
WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE DECOR IN THE TEA HOUSE?
I’m an artist, so obviously have a real appreciation for artwork and arts and crafts. I myself have created many of the pieces on display in the tea house, so not only is the artwork produced by an Esk local, many of the pieces depict the beautiful landscape of Somerset. I love the natural, picturesque scenery in Somerset and the native creatures found here, so this inspires many of my pieces. I like to keep the place fresh by changing the art around and it’s always a good excuse to go home and create new pieces. The artwork brings so much colour and life to the tea house and it wouldn’t be the same without it.
IS THE TIMBARRA T HOUSE JUST FOR TEA CONNOISSEURS?
Not at all! As well as all the teas on offer, I also serve delicious morning tea and afternoon tea snacks and Yowie Coffee which is roasted in Kilcoy, just a short 45 minute drive from Esk. Visitors can also enjoy the relaxing experience of sitting in a tranquil environment and looking at all of the art on display.
WHAT’S THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
I have a young couple who are frequent visitors to the teahouse. I presumed they lived in Esk, but one day they told me, “We come all the way from Ipswich just to de-stress here and drink your tea”. I was so honoured and continue to really enjoy their visits.
WHAT’S THE MOST MEMORABLE THING THAT HAS HAPPEND AT THE TIMBARRA T HOUSE?
It’s actually the people that I meet that form my best memories of running the teahouse. I just love looking around at the people who are sitting down, enjoying their time here. I quite often have customers tell me “we’ll be back” which is really heart warming. One lovely couple that comes to mind bought some of my painted pots and they liked them so much, they placed an order for more. They even paid in advance for art work that I hadn’t yet created. This couple have since returned and I look forward to welcoming them again.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT RUNNING THE TIMBARRA T HOUSE?
The best part for me is being able to deliver a tea drinking experience that customers want to relive. It is so rewarding to have customers return to enjoy the teahouse time and time again.
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TIMBARRA T HOUSE
5 Highland Street, Esk
07 5424 1677
Timbarra T House website