A Celebration of Tea
I am a tea person. I love the smell of coffee but it make me a bit loopy so I save it for days when I really need a boost. Tea is my drink. I drink about ten cups a day. It’s pathetically predictable and British of me but all roads lead to tea. Something good happens I celebrate with a cup of tea, bad news, I make a cup of tea, I need of a bit of comfort, more tea. I know it sounds a bit trite but its true, for me a cup of tea is where its at. So I thought I’d share some of my favourite spots to drink tea, buy tea and some blends you can make at home.
My Mum doesn’t like afternoon tea, she prefers a night out dancing, so I’m not going to suggest all Mums want tea for Mother’s Day, some might, I know I would.
FAVOURITE PLACES FOR TEA IN LONDON
Harrod’s, the conservatory at the Georgian: for a hidden botanical gem and the best Earl Grey.
The Grand Howl: for their amazing honey and redbush red espresso.
Honey + Co: for their gentle herbal blends
Paul Roth: for English Breakfast tea
Petersham Nurseries: for a proper celebration
Tiosk on Broadway Market: for people watching and amazing roasted buckwheat tea.
TEAS TO DRINK AT HOME
White Tea from The Rare Tea Company
White Silver Tip is picked just 30th March to 10th April- in the high mountains of Fujian, China. This is the first flush of the tea bush after the long cold months of winter.
It’s not processed at all. The tender young leaf buds, on the point of unfurling to the first set of spring leaves, are handpicked and dried. That’s it. No machines. No processing. So pure and clean and delicate. The flavour is wonderful – like cut grass, hay with a fragrant sweetness.
Earl Grey from my Hackney favourite Tiosk
There’s something about Earl Grey that is so uplifting – and Tiosk’s is just the right balance of bright citrus notes. They also add a sprinkling of blue cornflowers to give it a lovely appearance too.
Oolong from Postcard Teas
Nigel Slater’s favourite tea company, and for good reason. A huge assortment of delicious choices, and every tea from them comes with a story. Some of their teas are made from harvests of single, very old trees, resulting in exceptional flavour, for the tea purists in your life.
Great British Tea from Tregothnan
Incredibly, Tregothnan grow a lot of their own tea right here in the UK, which I love.
TEAS TO BLEND AT HOME
Turmeric, Ginger Black Pepper Tea
For each person, add a thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, finely chopped, 5 turns on the pepper mill, and 1/2 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped. Strain into cups and serve with a good slice of lemon and honey to taste.
Rose + Cinnamon Tea
I use a small handful of dried rose petals and a 2 inch piece of crumbled cinnamon stick for a good sized pot. Apart from being very pretty to look at, it’s soothing, aromatic and really lovely after a meal.
The White Tea Martini
If you want to take your tea into the evening, try this sophisticated martini recipe from Henrietta at Rare Tea.
For each cocktail you’ll need around 3g White Silver Tip Tea and 50ml good-quality gin. Infuse the tea in freshly boiled water for several minutes. Strain and stir or shake over ice until bitingly cold and a little diluted. Serve in a chilled martini glass.
With thanks to:
Lunch Lady, the beautiful magazine where the tea images first appeared
Kate Berry, who took the first two photographs
Matt Russell, for the banana bread/ tea photograph
Henrietta Lovell, at Rare Tea, for her expertise and White Tea Martini recipe