Sunday, 15 July 2007

Tea, 1 Paternoster Square

Tea is the only place in London serving brewed tea for takeaway. Situated in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, its customer base is mostly city workers who shun a morning latte in favour of a cup of Silver Needles.
They have only been open two months but having heard lots of interesting things already, Tammy and I made a pilgrimage last week to check it out. I was expecting a busy counter café churning out rushed brews. In fact it is a very roomy restaurant with an outside area populated by City traders elegantly sipping oolongs. They use magic filters and lots of timers to brew their tea, which seems to me a brilliant way of making good tea as available as coffee is.
The staff were relaxed and helpful and their cake selection was wonderful (always a plus for me). I had some Keemun Gong Fu that was well prepared and tasted fresh and sweet.
This is from the website:

"We have created an environment for our customers to take time out to sit, enjoy, relax, reflect, chat, don’t chat, read the papers, drink tea, and eat cake. However, we are also realists and understand that life in the 21st century is not always as time friendly as we would like; mobile phones, Blackberry, a hectic work schedule all conspire to put huge pressure on our valuable time. That is why all of our teas are available to takeaway with the emphasis on convenience as well as quality.
Our secret is simple and boils down to basic physics; we use more tea leaves to reduce the time that it takes to infuse the leaves thus providing you with a perfect cup of tea while ensuring that you still make your 8.30 meeting."

Apparently they are looking at opening more tea stores and my fingers are crossed it’ll be in Portobello Road.

Friday, 6 July 2007


As I've been telling friends and colleagues about this blog the most common reaction has been one of bemusement.
So, I felt I should demonstrate the difference between what is found in a teabag, and what i've been brewing lately. On the left are leaves of a Taiwanese oolong called Wenshan Baozhong (clear, fruity and delicious) and on the right is the contents of a teabag of English Breakfast tea(muddy and astringent) made up of the crumbs of leaves.