Tea, tea, tea. There is absolutely nothing like going home, putting on the kettle, picking out a few rich teas and settling down to watch the latest episode of the program I’m currently obsessed with (at the moment it’s Jane the Virgin and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D). There are times however, when you need a good chin wag with a friend and nice cup of tea with a ridiculously good scone or chocolate velvet cake (usually chocolate velvet cake). The only place in London to do that, in my opinion, is Yumchaa.
Yumchaa is a fairly new, small independent chain of tea shops across London and when I was introduced to them three years ago by a good friend, they were barely unheard of. It only took one sip of one of Yumchaa’s brews and I was hooked and will be a customer for life. As you walk in for the first time, no matter which branch you go to, you are immediately filled with a sense of comfort and calm. The most difficult part is choosing between their amazing selection of over thirty teas and whether to treat yourself to their amazing cakes or pastries.
Unlike a lot of smaller tea shops, Yumchaa makes all of their own tea and tea is never bagged. Yumchaa uses only some of the best ingredients and with such a massive range, you can be sure there will be something you will be in the mood for. The service and tea knowledge of the staff is exceptional. Any of Yumchaa’s teas can come hot or cold and whats best, is you can even buy your favourite tea to take home.
When your tea comes to you, it’s in a little white pot and after a few minutes waiting for the tea to be just right, the simple act of placing the tea strainer over your cup and catching the scent of the tea as you pour is just so special. I have never felt rushed to drink my tea, or I’m taking up too much space, I can just be and do what ever it is I’d like to do. In the corner, you have a little table where you can help yourself to honey, sugar and all the usual things you’d like to add to your tea (although they’re so good, you don’t really need to) to make it just right.
My favourite Yumchaa tea right now has to be the Soho Spice which is a black tea blend with cloves, almonds and orange peel. It is so comforting and warming. At first I was afraid it was going to be a little christmasy for my liking outside of the festive season but the black tea gives it a robust flavour and the almonds and marigold leaves makes it a really nice autumnal drink. Going into spring and summer, I’d recommend the Gentle Giant (hot or cold). A subtle white tea with ginger, ginseng and jasmine not only helps restore balance back into the body, it is also super refreshing and full of the freshness of the season.
Yumchaa’s cakes and pastries are just as good as their teas and baked fresh everyday. Yumchaa also has a selection of sandwiches and wraps you can have hot or cold if you’re looking for something more substantial with your afternoon pick me up.
Yumchaa is just such a nice tea shop everyone must try. While a part of me wants to shout from the roof top and tell everyone about it and have one on every street corner, I kind of want it to stay my little secret.
Have you been to Yumchaa? Let me know your favourite tea on twitter @teatalestravels or on Facebook. Share if you know somebody that is a total tea head and needs to try.
Over and Out!