If coffee represents the frenetic rat race, tea is a break from it all."People living in the city are living the coffee-crazed lifestyle, where you are grabbing your coffee and you are on the run and it is giving you that adrenaline, that kick and getting you through the day," says The Berry Tea Shop owner Paulina Collier."People who drink tea are much more calm, level, level-headed, more relaxed."(It is) something you can sit down with and take time with friends."The caffeine doesn't hit you so suddenly, you get a really nice sort of buzz from it, sort of nice and even."Tea brings people together, Collier says."I still see there is an important ritual around it. You are boiling the kettle, putting the leaves in the pot and letting it steep," she says."In our busy lives, it is something that is bringing you back to the present. It is about the moment, that slowing down, even if just for 10 minutes of your day."For Collier, tea reflects a change of pace and a change of address, from the frenzy of the city to the chilled-out vibe of the country."We were living in the city and it is like 100 miles an hour, drinking four double-shot coffees a day, getting burnt out and stressed out," she says."One day we decided that we had had enough and we moved to Berry to try and change our lives, to live simpler and try to slow down.After years of running restaurants and cafes in Sydney, Collier and her husband Cliff still wanted to run their own business but at a reduced speed."We just looked at different ideas and tried to see what Berry needed," Collier says."We love tea, and as we moved to the country we started to drink more tea. So we thought, 'why don't we open a lovely tea shop?'."We felt it reflected the change that we were going through. It was about slowing down and taking time out and being more in the moment."The Berry Tea Shop, which opened last month, is the result of six months of research. The Colliers read books, watched DVDs, sampled bundle loads of tea and travelled to England, exploring the different tea shops there.In the weeks since opening their store, Collier has seen a range of customers walk through the door. Girls come in for a sip and a gossip straight after school, and older ladies natter over their tried-and-tested favourite brews.Tea is back in vogue in Australia, Collier says. It went out of fashion when coffee took over and coffee chains, including Gloria Jeans and Starbucks, started to spring up everywhere.Tea is making a comeback due to the advent of companies such as T2 and small boutique tea houses.Judging by the amount of people who come into her store who say they want to start drinking the beverage, Collier believes tea is a growing consumer market in Australia. Many health-conscious people want to start swigging after much has been reported about the benefits of the antioxidants in tea.In the search for a supplier, the Colliers stumbled across tea master Tjok Gde Kerthyasa. Through his business Tea Craft, Kerthyasa supplies tea to The Observatory Hotel and top-notch restaurants, including Tetsuya in Sydney.To many in Australia, a cup of tea is a quick jiggle of a tea bag and a few minutes of consumption. Kerthyasa believes tea should be better appreciated.He wants people to be more aware of the labour that goes into tea.If tea is made properly, it requires the consumer to slow down and in the process calm down, he says. The philosophy of tea is of peace and friendship."I think (tea) does a lot of good in the world and I would like for that to spread more."Tea is the second-most consumed drink in the world after water, Kerthyasa says. The role it plays in society differs throughout the world - from that of mere survival to rituals steeped in tradition."(In) northern Mongolia and northern Eurasia, they rely on tea simply to survive and get some kind of plant product into their diet, where it is mainly a meat and dairy-type of diet," he says.At the other extreme, there are the esoteric and spiritual Japanese tea ceremonies.Kerthyasa's appreciation of tea started on a thick, humid day in Hong Kong. Escaping a thunderstorm, he ducked into a tea store to seek cover. Since then, tea has become a way of life and a source of inspiration."To be a tea master is to understand tea," Kerthyasa says."There's no formal qualification. It is not something that you learn like a trade."For me, to learn about tea is to learn and to be inspired by tea, to always discover new things about tea."You will never have the same cup of tea as the one you had yesterday. Tea is a product of nature that changes every season. To respect that type of change and the different aspects that go into tea is one of the main jobs of someone that would call themselves a tea master."The experience of a great cup of tea was life changing for Kerthyasa."Tea brings a lift to people's lives, a little bit of inspiration, a little but of light on a dark day, a little bit of warmth on cold afternoon."