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…)
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…)
It’s holiday time at Tea at Three, so I’m off to Southern Turkey with books, watercolours and my little yellow tea-kettle.
I love Turkey, and the Turkish people are great tea drinkers – everywhere you are greeted with courteous offers of tea. Tea in turkey is called çay (pronounced chai; rhymes with ‘eye’) and is made in a wonderful double tea-pot called a çaydanlik; consisting of a small tea-pot sitting on a larger one. Strong tea is made in the top pot, and the one below has hot water, so you can dilute your çay to taste. Çay is usually served in small tulip-shaped glasses without milk, and with two (more…)
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…)
All tea is made from the dried leaves of the same plant – Camellia Sinensis. The way it is processed produces the different types. The main ones are:
Black Tea :
Most of the 165 million cups drunk in Britain every day are black tea, usually taken with milk and sometimes sugar.
The robust flavour and dark colour is due to oxidation, or exposure to air, of the dried leaves. As an apple turns brown when cut, they gradually darken.
Black teas are produced in different regions eg. Assam and Darjeeling in India and in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Most of the tea we drink is a blend of more than one tea eg. English Breakfast. It may have additions – Earl Grey is infused with bergamot, Jasmine Tea with flowers – or even smoked as Lapsang Souchong.
Usually from China and Taiwan, oolong is semi-oxidised, so is between green and black tea.
Green tea is made with leaves dried soon after picking which prevents oxidation, and keeps the green colour. They are then rolled to release flavour.
The least processed of teas is simply the dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis. It has a light, delicate flavour. White tea is rare as it can only be picked for a few weeks in a year.
Tisanes & Infusions:
Not strictly speaking tea, but infusions such as fresh mint, chamomile and redbush are delicious, healthy and caffeine free.
Many places in London offer lovely speciality loose leaf teas, (more…)
**UPDATE MARCH 2014: Salt is sadly, now closed. It was a great little place; I wish the fellas that ran it all good luck and hope they will let Tea at Three know if they open up elsewhere.
Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, is dominated on one side by the massive Art Deco edifice of Freemasons Hall. In its shadow is a row where at no.31, William Blake, London’s great poet and mystic, learned his trade as an engraver. Today it is home to Stephen Jones, hat maker and some intriguing looking Freemason’s outlets.
Salt is nestled in between. This ‘Espresso, Lunch and Tea Bar’ prides itself on bakery, and, as I discover, the tea is pretty special too.
They have an excellent choice of brews with the optimum temperature and steeping time noted on the menu.
Sadly tea, is no longer trading from St Paul’s. However you can still buy a fantastic range of award-winning teas at wearetea. The service is great, and I particularly recommend the monkey-picked oolong.
The following is taken from their website:
Unfortunately, due to a number of contributing factors including, the occupation of St. Paul’s Cathedral and an intractable landlord/City of London we no longer have our tea shop at St. Paul’s Cathedral although it lives on in spirit.
I hope they find a more suitable premises one fine day.
tea. is a lovely teashop in the shadow of St Paul’s cathedral with a great range of award-winning teas.
The simple sign with the one word: tea lure you in. The interior is calm and unfussy, in a way that suggests a lot of care. Soothing sage green, grey painted beams, scrubbed oak tables and green glazed tiles. It is obviously a popular spot, but despite being a smallish space, and quite full when I visit, it didn’t feel cramped, the high windows let in lots of light so it feels quite spacious.
I chose a pot of Monkey Picked Oolong. The name comes from a legend that Monkeys were trained to pick the leaves from inaccessible wild bushes (more…)
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.