GAIA Tea and Cakes is a small shop in Kemang Raya street, which provides the very best tea products of Indonesia.
I am more a tea person rather than coffee person, and when I heard about this place few months ago, I had always wanted to visit but only could do so few weeks ago.
In Greek mythology, Gaia was the great mother of all, was the uber creator and the one who gave birth to Earth and the entire universe. GAIA believes that many of tea selections produced in Indonesia has excellent qualities – their flavor, aroma and efficacy for health are among the top in the world. GAIA collection is originated from best tea plantations all over Indonesia.
All of GAIA teas are curated by Ratna Somantri, who is known as the author of “Kisah & Khasiat Teh” and “The Story in A Cup of Tea”. Ratna is a tea specialist which has served as an active speaker in various tea events for the last 8 years. She has traveled many countries to visit and learn from experts and plantations owners to deepen her knowledge about this vast and exciting subject.
Located on the first floor of a small office house unit, sharing the spot with Alleira Batik (who also manages this shop) on the second floor.
GAIA is dominated with black and golden colors with hints of red and green. It’s typical Alleira boutique style, modern contemporary interior design combined with ethnicity, which creates elegant and luxurious ambience. I love the comfortable sofas and the inviting atmosphere in the shop despite all the glamorous surrounding.
We can enjoy the tea here or bring them back home by buying the products which are packaged in beautiful, colorful elegant tin cans.
Or cakes in jars.
GAIA offers many selection of Indonesian tea, served with unique tea pots and definitely brings different sensation for your tea drinking experience. Prices for tea menu range from IDR 28,000 to 45,000, including one-time hot water refill.
During our visit, the menu has 9 selections of tea but some were not available. However, it wasn’t something I needed to frown about because I was busy sniffing the 8 tea samples in small bottles near the counter. Yes, in GAIA, before you order your tea, feel free to sniff the samples and decide later! To be honest, I am not experienced in this kind of tea session but I really appreciated the way they introduce the tea to every guests, even a newbie like me. 😉
West Java Silver Needles IDR 45,000
Made from highest quality of young tea buds which represents only about 2% in production quantity. The leaves are uniquely beautiful and silver-tipped, exuding royalty and an exceptional soft, smooth, sweet-silky luxury. The lingering fragrance is delicately floral, with a freshness and sweetness of a ripped pear. Refreshing texture that is soft and airy on the palate. One of a kind and highly prized by connoisseurs, has the least amount of process than any other tea, and is full of antioxidants.
Strength: 1 (from 1-5)
This was my choice after trying to decide for more than 10 minutes. The waiter really recommended this as he said that it is one of the signature teas from GAIA. The tea has a very faint light color when it was poured into the cup after 7 minutes brewing. Each tea has different brewing time so each set comes with its own timer, awesome. The teapot is so pretty, I love the wooden handle on top!
Taste-wise, this tea was very light and smooth. As I was told earlier, the strength is just 1 (out of 5) and yes, it was indeed very mild. I didn’t find it too aromatic, which was good because I was looking for something soft and easy.
West Java Gunpowder Green Tea IDR 34,000
Green tea from a tea plantation in West Java, made only from tea buds and 2 young leaves. This tea is exported to Morocco and European countries as the main ingredients to make the famous Moroccan Mint Tea.
Truth be told, Mr. K chose this one because of the word “gunpowder” and it was a smart decision ever. This tea needed only 3 minutes brewing before it could be served, and the result was a beautiful, brave, reddish brown color that was so inviting!
The strength is 4 (out of 5) and it was a bit surprising at the first sip. It was fragrant, bold, bitter, and kicking at the same time. But I found myself wanting it more and more.
Beside the specialty tea menu, for beverages, GAIA also provides selections like Tea Latte and other mixed tea drinks, Italian Soda, Chocolate and Coffee, also Fruit Juices, and Soft Drinks.
For the cakes, there are many items in the menu but not everything was available. It seems that there is no exact menu for the cakes, but the only available ones are shown on the counter. I was interested in their Red Velvet, Lemon Earl Grey Cake, and Macarons, but unfortunately, I could only try Carrot Cake, the only available cake that time. Other than sliced cakes, there are also options of cakes on cups like the photos below.
Carrot Cake IDR 39,000
A cake made from grated carrot, chopped walnut, and spices, then layered with rich and creamy mixture of mascarpone and cream cheese. Beautiful appearance and delicious taste, but texture was a bit too wet. But I still enjoyed it until the last bite.
Matcha Fries IDR 29,000
Tried this as light bites and as much as I enjoyed the fries, I was quite disappointed in the so-called “matcha seasoning”. Not a favorite.
GAIA is really a nice place in term of the place, the tea drinking experience, and the service. However, I must state here that despite all the great ambience we felt there, we were so turned off by the annoying MTV music from the television. I mean, we were enjoying some luxurious kind of experience here, and there was hip hop music on the background? That totally killed the mood, at least to us.
In the end, GAIA gave me another pleasure of enjoying my tea and I am so glad to visit this place. Hopefully there will be more selections in the future, and the availability of the products are guaranteed as to keep the guests more satisfied. Hope to be back soon!
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
GAIA TEA AND CAKES
Jl. Kemang Raya No.27
Ph.: +62 21 718 1355