Category : WHERE TO BUY TEA

To a Tea, Farringdon Street

To a Tea, Farringdon Road
Monkey-picked Oolong
To a Tea
Standing at busy Ludgate Circus, with St Paul’s Cathedral behind you, it would be hard to imagine that you are just steps away from a pot of Monkey-picked Oolong plus a choice of some thirty-odd types of tea.

However behind a somewhat faceless office block facade, a few steps to your right is To A Tea.

Pushing open the doors, one expects to step into the lobby of some faceless company.

It is a pleasant surprise therefore to find this rather nice tea room, with an excellent choice of brews.

The interior is fresh and clean, (more…)

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Kusmi Tea, Marylebone High Street

White Tea Kusmi Tea Marylebone High Street
White Tea
Kusmi Tea
Marylebone High Street
Tea makes a wonderful gift, and Kusmi Teas exotic and colourful packaging means you don’t even need wrapping paper.

With its fashionable Gallic style and visual flair, I had assumed that Kusmi was originally a Parisian company.

But as I discovered on their website, Kusmi was started 140 years ago by a P.M. Kousmichoff, the son of a Russian peasant. There is a London connection as his son came here in 1907 to hone his tea blending skills.

After a long history involving escaping from the Reds and surviving being run by arty-types, Kusmi now have a branch on Marylebone High Street. (more…)

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HR Higgins, Duke Street, Mayfair

HR Higgins Tea Mayfair London
Chamomile Tea
HR Higgins
Mayfair
Someone should make a film about HR Higgins Coffee Man esq.. The tale of how he started his coffee roasting enterprise in wartime London is heroic stuff.

Evading incendiary bombs, showing cunning in getting a licence to trade; featuring characters with one leg, and help along the way from Misses Fox and Jenkins of South Moulton Street – whose cake kitchen saved the day – makes for a fascinating and jaunty read.

I imagine Trevor Howard in the leading role…but I’m getting carried away. (more…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: Whittard of Chelsea

Whittard of Chelsea
Whittard of Chelsea
Walter Whittard started selling tea from his Fleet Street shop in 1886. It became Whittard of Chelsea in the 1940’s when the company relocated after losing premises in the Blitz.

There are branches of Whittard dotted around the West End which I confess, I rarely visit, assuming they mainly sold souvenir tea.

Also, I once looked at a teapot on their website, and it followed me around for days – a bit annoying.

The Piazza at Covent Garden is another place I tend not to venture, so avoiding the fire-eaters and (more…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: Beijing Tong Ren Tang

Tong ren tang, Chinatown London
Flowering Tea
Beijing Tong Ren Tang
Walking along Shaftesbury Avenue, pondering where to get some nice tea, it suddenly occurred to me that I was near Chinatown – surely a good place to hunt down supplies.

At number 124 is Beijing Tong Ren Tang. I have gazed at the orange and gold facade many times from the excellent watch-the-world-go-by-window of the cafe of Curzon cinema on the opposite side of the street.

It never really occurred to me to think what they sold, (more…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: The Tea House

Tea Pots The Tea House, Covent Garden
Cast Iron Tea Pots
The Tea House
Covent Garden
The exterior of The Tea House Covent Garden is reminiscence of a Japanese screen.
Black lacquer window frames form a grid on four levels – each square containing a display of teapots, cups and tea. Vermilion lettering enhances the oriental feel.

The shop has been on the same spot in Neal Street since 1982. It is good to see an independent still trading amongst the larger stores.

What I like best about The Tea House is their range of unusual (more…)

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Where to buy tea in London: East India Company

East India Company Tea Shop
East India Company
Tea
The East India Company’s extraordinary and influential history stretches back to 1600 when it was established by a Royal Charter from Elisabeth I.
Over the years it had its own army, and flag – said to be the inspiration for the U.S. Stars and Stripes.
The Company’s dealings led directly to British rule in India and its system of organisation was precursor to the British civil service. (more…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: Twinings, Strand

Twinings London
Twinings London
Thomas Twining started selling tea from his coffee shop just off Strand in 1706. Tom’s had a library and was ‘…a place renowned for its polite and scholarly interests’.

Twinings is still run by Thomas’s family. Over the years they have sold tea to Jane Austen, Sir Christopher Wren and Winston Churchill.

The distinctive doorway, with its Chinese figures and golden lion, dates from 1797. The Twinings logo, chosen in 1787, is the oldest in continual use.

On entering Twinings London shop, the first thing you notice is the wonderful (more…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: Postcard Teas

Where to buy tea London, Postcard Teas
Postcard Teas
Postcards Teas travel extensively in Asia, working with small-scale producers to find the finest teas which you can buy from 9 Dering Street, a former 18th century grocers shop.
The lovely calm space has tea simply displayed and beautifully packaged in brushed metal canisters; each with a unique postcard and (more…)

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Camellia’s Tea House, Kingley Court

Camellia's Tea Room, Cafe Kingley Court
Camellia’s Tea House
Ceylon Orange Pekoe
Organic Green Tea

Kingley Court is a terraced atrium off Carnaby Street. Three floors of interesting and quirky independent shops include a book exchange, a rockabilly hairdresser and a walk-in back rub (a back massage followed by a tea – now there’s a thought!).

Camellias Tea House is on the top floor in a prime spot overlooking the central courtyard. Named after Camellia Sinensis – the tea bush – they have a huge range of teas artfully displayed in canisters, and lots of teapots and tea paraphernalia. The tea room is an inviting space, with a warm, intimate feel.

(more…)

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