20 December, 2022
Last cuppa for tea room
AFTER two decades of serving up some of the freshest tea on the Tablelands, dwindling tourist numbers, a rise of cost and a lack of staff have forced the Nerada Tea Estates Malanda Tea Rooms to shut its doors for good.
For the past 20 years local tea enthusiasts and smoko lovers have been able to enjoy a cup of fresh locally grown tea right next to the estate where their tea leaves were grown.
The Malanda Tea Rooms has proved a popular spot for locals and visitors alike however Nerada Tea chairman John Russell said due to a decline in international tourism, rising supplier costs and difficulty in finding staff, the difficult decision was made to shut the tea rooms for the foreseeable future.
“It was a hard decision to make and having been part of the business for so long it was not a decision that we made lightly,” he said.
“However, it’s been a challenging few years and factors including, a decline in international tourism, rising supplier costs and difficulty in finding staff, have all contributed to the forthcoming closure.”
The tea rooms typically close over the wet season each year up until March, however next year when March rolls around the doors will remain shut.
When asked if the tea rooms would remain closed forever, Mr Russell responded “never say never”, saying he hopes to bring a visitor experience back to the tea estate at some point in the future.
“For now, we will be focusing on our tea estate,” he said.
“We are currently converting some of the tea fields including the Taraqwet tea field to organic certification, which is a big undertaking but very rewarding.
“The tea rooms closure doesn’t affect our tea production, so we will continue producing the high quality, Australian-grown tea that we’re known for.”
Mr Russell has expressed his thanks on behalf of the staff at the tea rooms and asks locals to continue their support.
“A huge thank you to all the locals who have supported us over the years, we’ve got a great community,” he said,
“We hope you’ll keep on supporting local by drinking our tea at home.”