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London cafés need to start taking tea seriously, okay?

Tea at the Timberyard, London
Photograph: Timberyard

London's brilliant coffee bars get all the respect, but what about tea? Here, self-confessed coffee hater Isabelle Aron explains why the best cafés cater for all.

‘Do you want to go for a coffee?’. It’s a simple enough question for most people. But not for me. I don’t want to go for a coffee because, well... I hate coffee. Love the smell, hate the taste.

Tea, on the other hand, is the best. But no one ever asks if you want to go for a tea, do they? It’s an offer reserved for grandmas and boring hen parties. Tea is often in the shadow of its more sophisticated, more caffeinated sibling.

And I can see why. You want an English breakfast tea? Great, that’ll be £3.50 for some hot water and a bag, thanks very much. It’ll be a bog-standard PG Tips one too.

But I’m here to push the tea agenda. There are some London cafés that don’t treat tea as an afterthought.

At Soho’s Yumchaa you’ll find 50 varieties of loose-leaf black, green, white and herbal, while Prufrock and Timberyard in Seven Dials have extensive lists too.

It’s time everywhere else followed suit. I’m talking fancy teapots (ideally with a minimalist Scandi aesthetic), loose-leaf (or posh teabags, at least) and different varieties.

Show tea some respect.

Get a good brew at London's best afternoon tea spots

Find more fab tea and cakes at one of London's tea specialists

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