Five Blind Dates: Is Popo’s Tea Time an Actual Tea Shop in Sydney?

In Prime Video’s romantic comedy film ‘Five Blind Dates,’ Lia runs Popo’s Tea Time, a tea shop she opened in the name of her late grandmother, who had given her the money to operate the place. While the trends concerning the consumption of tea undergo several changes, Lia sticks to her traditional values and offers her customers authentic Chinese tea the way her ancestors consumed the drink. Even though the lack of bubble tea costs her customers, Lia doesn’t compromise on her principles and runs the shop as a cultural destination for anyone to learn the history of tea and the ceremonies associated with the beverage!

Popo’s Tea Time is Not a Real Tea Shop

Popo’s Tea Time is a fictional tea shop Shuang Hu, who plays Lia in the film, conceived with her screenwriting partner Nathan Ramos-Park. Hu’s team researched extensively about Asian tea culture and its nuances to design the tea shop that features in the film. “My tea shop was set up by Australians who knew nothing about tea, but then they went and researched the hell out of it — and now they have this huge understanding about tea culture that they didn’t have before,” the actress-writer told Harper’s Bazaar Australia.

Although the tea shop is not real, Hu created the store with enough experience as a tea shop owner. However, the real store was online-based. “I used to have a tea shop in Brisbane — an online tea shop, and then I used to do market stalls,” Hu added. Therefore, she seemingly was able to draw inspiration from her own experiences to conceive the fictitious tea shop in the movie. Hu had a definite intention behind integrating the tea shop into the film’s narrative: to introduce the rich culture of tea to her audiences.

“I think most of Western culture only thinks of tea in the form of tea bags in hot water, but it runs much deeper,” Hu told ABC News. The screenwriter wanted her film to depict Chinese culture and a tea shop turned out to be a perfect backdrop to do it. “Tea is such an important aspect of Chinese culture. It originated in China and, for us, it’s a way of socializing and also greeting people,” Hu added.

In a pivotal scene in the film, Hu’s Lia hosts a tea ceremony at Popo’s Tea Time. The ceremony is an integral part of her culture. “When you go to someone’s house, you offer them tea, and the act of making the tea and pouring it for them, and the energy that is transferred is a really nice way we bond. [But] the whole tea ceremony is something that’s not really publicized or understood in Australian culture. I wanted the world to know more about tea and the ceremony that comes with it and what it means,” she said in the same ABC News interview.

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