Time Out says
A tea-focused café that manages to be calming, charming and chic all at once.
Gingham tablecloths and teapots that look like cottages have no place in the Leather Lane branch of Good & Proper Tea, which is the second permanent outlet for Emilie Holmes’s booze-free-brew-focused business, and the first with indoor tables. She started out peddling her perfect brews from a van at London street food markets, before putting down roots in a dinky Old Street unit, followed by this modern central spot.
It’s a haven of calm compared to the mania of lunchtime Leather Lane just outside. A winning combination of wooden shelving, exposed filaments, spiky houseplants and plush grey cushions make it feel a bit like you’ve ordered tea in a Swedish bookshop; most soothing. Given that it’s competing with dozens of market traders, it’s probably wise that Good & Proper Tea only offers one savoury dish at a time (not counting the excellent homemade sourdough crumpets and hefty sausage rolls), but it was a bit disappointing that the tuna Niçoise salad was no better than something a targeted fridge forage could produce. It’s not really about the food, though.
The tea truly is the star here. Charming staff can guide you through a choice of 25 varieties. It should be obvious from the name of the place, but it took me two visits to twig that there isn’t any coffee here. Bean geeks will nevertheless enjoy the use of the scientific Steampunk Brewer machines, all pre-programmed to know exactly how long each tea blend should be bubbled and soaked for. And flat whites are replaced by the much more tempting likes of coconut matcha lattes and iced chamomile cold brew. This place is all about enjoying something traditional in a modern way, so run with it. A slice of gluten-free cake, a ruby oolong and a podcast is the new Vicky sponge, builder’s brew and paper.
96A Leather Lane
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