i love tea of all types – i discovered just around the corner from me, mei leaf, which has a huge variety of black and green teas, plus lots of great tea pots and one pot filter systems. after lazily buying tea bags i have now decided that i like the old fashioned loose tea, so all those one pot cafetieres especially for tea are ideal. also at chinalife you can get a 20 min massage or find lots of books about health and advice on chinese medicine. teasmith in spitalfields is a much more refined and designed oriental style tea house, beautifully presented the packs of tea makes a wonderful gift, a couple of beautiful japanese ceramic beakers plus beautifully packaged tea. postcard teas is definitely for you tea conossieurs and has teas from all over the world – definitely more selective and pricy, but exquisitively packaged and presented.
my favourite shops in Beijing were the tea shops, not only selling tea, but china, teapots, table mats, everything to make your tea time a beautiful experience. we all now buy bags of tea as its easier to clean, but the ritual of leaves and a teapot makes it all the more special. here are a few of the pots that I brought home. the pu’er tea was a gift from my daughter last year and they are cherished like good old wines, the maturity and process of fermentation dictates the price, some we saw went up to thousands of pounds. I loved the simple packaging.
I will always remember when alice treated me for mothers day to afternoon tea at the teanamu chaya teahouse – it truly is a memorable experience to savour, especially if you are into the rituals of perfect chinese tea. its definitely a girly treat, attention to detail with water temperature, beautiful oriental teapots and tableware. the choice of teas is vast and beguiling, but Pei – the proprietor gracefully advises you what best suits your palate. its definitely something to learn about, and coincidentally you can book onto a 2 hour masterclass to understand the making of tea and its ceremony.
there is a tea shop in aldeburgh that sells pu’er tea and a great selection of other teas plus its nice for lunch – the Cragg Sisters tea room.