Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Char, Winchester

My first encounter with Winchester's wonderful tea and coffee shop Char was when I stumbled in by chance in February this year. I was astounded to find such a well-stocked shop in a market town. Their range includes 9 oolongs including Wuyi Great Red Cloak, a good selection of green teas, and a very thorough selection of black teas and single estate Darjeelings, Ceylons and Assams. They also stock Georgian teas. Their range of "connoisseur teas" including Snow Dragon, Dragon Well, Green Curve, Silver Needles, White Pearl, and Wenshan Boazhong.
Each tea is packaged in silver pouches with brief but evocative notes about the tea and brewing information but some more information about the estates the teas are sourced from would be welcome, as would dates on the 1st and 2nd flush Darjeelings.
The shop also stocks a range of tea-making accessories.

Char: Original Teas and Coffees
156 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9BA
Tel: 01962 868 760
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:30

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

we love this shop too! in fact just logging on to order some more from them! very good coffee too in fact.

francofinn said...

Wicked, glad you love it!
What teas are you buying?

Anonymous said...

This is the only shop I have ever found that stocks honeybush tea, and I have been searching for months! I have just discovered the place today, and was delighted to find that Char have also just got in stock Chinese tea bricks, the first form of tea ever known in Europe, and so incredibly handy that they were even used as currency. A large heap of tea is stamped flat under huge pressure and emerges with a design and lots of Chinese characters embossed on it. You just break off a bit of your brick and infuse it. I might well go back and get one. I bought some Temple of Heaven tea as well, and I found that the shop owner was extremely knowledgeable about the best way to brew and appreciate it. They also have little sample bags for £1 and if they haven't got one of the kind of tea you'd like to try they make you one up on the spot.

Timothy said...

I went to this shop on a school trip in April of 2007. Coming from the US, this was the first shop like this I found. Having gone through the tea I bought then, I was wondering if there was a way to order from the states. Any Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

francofinn said...

Hi Timothy,

I would try phoning them since they don't seem to have a website up yet. I'm sure they could post to the US. Otherwise, I've found that Jing tea and Nothing But Tea are excellent sources for tea in the UK.
I'm surprised that you've had trouble finding good tea in the US. My impression from the US tea blogs I read is that when taken seriously, tea is even more passionately revered that in the UK. Try the Simple Leaf (http://www.thesimpleleaf.com/). Otherwise, some google searching should reveal some good sources in the US.
Hope that helps!
Saara

Anonymous said...

I am also a great fan of this shop - they have a fantastic range of teas that one struggles to find elsewhere, and their prices seem pretty reasonable when compared to other tea merchants. The staff always seem friendly and keen to help, and all the labels give instructions on how get the most flavour from your tea.
They do mail order, either by phone 01962 868760, post or, so I'm told, you ought to be able to order from their website as soon as it is up and running:
http://www.charonline.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Hi
They have website - ww.charonline.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I love this shop, I was given some Earl Grey for Christmas which was bliss to drink, & I have just bought some Lady Winchester which feels like such a treat to drink.I will definately be viewing the website & sampling some more of their delights!

Anonymous said...

Yaay their new website is up!
www.charteas.com

Anonymous said...

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