In the neighborhood of Seminyak is a social gathering spot called Biku Bali. It’s a tea room, bookstore and tarot reading lounge (which was completely booked during my entire visit) all rolled into one.
The complete afternoon tea service is 95,000 Rupiah (about $10 USD) per person.
The loose leaf tea menu is noteworthy. Biku offers a very thoughtful selection of straight teas, blends, and even medicinal infusions. I had my eye on one particular tea: Danu Tamblingan Balinese Tea. The owners of Biku Bali have an experimental tea garden in Bedugul. The garden faces Lake Tamblingan and this is where they grow an organic “jungle tea.” Apparently it is Bali’s very first tea plantation! The leaves are withered, semi-oxidized, and then hand-rolled and finished with wood firing. It’s brews up a rich golden color, and drinks nutty with slight smoky finish…here’s a look at the tea leaves after two infusions.
Next comes a bowl of local strawberries with fresh mint. A side of strawberry jam and whipped cream…
…to pair with warm scones. These were extra fluffy and more akin to biscuits…but still satisfying.
Bottom Tier: salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and butter, ham and mustard, and a spinach quiche in puff pastry (all that lard!)
Top Tier: plain scones, fruit tart, ginger cookies, mini chocolate cupcake, and butter shortbread
Next time I’ll return for a number of the other straight teas (they have an entire page of black, green, and oolong grown in Java) and medicinal infusions like the Jamu Temulawak made with temulawak roots, turmeric and ginger.
P.S. Book in advance. The place fills up quickly, people without reservations were quoted 30-minute waits.