Just around the corner from the Picadilly Circus, yet secluded from the loud commerce of Regent Street in the newly built trendy Ham Yard, My Cup of Tea is ideally set to offer your calm in the hum of London. More than tea and tisanes boutique, the handpicked dried camellias and other brewing plants set My Cup of Tea apart from most tea purveyors in London. Inside this little dispensary sniff the fragrances from the perfectly lined up army of large jars. No rush, enjoy the purity of nature through your nose and then approach the tea counter, where your selection will be precisely weighed on. Like in a classic pharmacy, this is how once tea was sold. Bringing back this nostalgia in a contemporary design, My Cup of Tea allures your eyes, nose, and palate through clean-cut natural beauty.
Small batch tea and herbs with a story
While mainly distancing itself from the concept of the traditional English tea, the “modern tea specialist sourcing and blending the best teas and tisanes” offers also strong black tea. British classics such as Breakfast, Assam, Ceylon as well as a more subtle first flush Darjeeling from the Steinthal Estate with its characteristic muscatel aroma were introduced. Ever since the business was established in 2008, the tea has arrived from the best estates in China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. Their herbal infusions are assembled also from other destinations that provide the highest calibre for each plant. Travels inspire most of the new creations. The story of each tea from the discovery of the ingredients in far-flung countries, the entwined encounters with its traditions, to the tempting emotions the fragrances induced – that all was edited into shorter blurbs on the packaging accompanied with plant illustrations. The design was thought out into the tiniest niches. I love the indigo ink printed paper wraps. The tisanes are sold by 18 hand-bound muslin bags. You can also buy by six and try up to three different blends this way.
The classic tea blends are packaged in crystal tea bags that “allow the tea to move around and brew perfectly”. Similarly to the well-established Postcard Teas also in London every step, from selecting the growers and visiting the source, blending, through packaging by hand and educating customers at their store is directly overseen by the enthusiastic founders. Each compostable muslin bag for the tisanes is, with an astute Japanese preciseness, carefully wrapped and tied with a cotton thread. Such personal touch together with face-to-face provenance of the raw material sets My Cup of Tea from most tea businesses.
Here, you get the freshest annual crop of Gyokuro from Uji, while the best-selling sencha comes from Mr Takada, a tea master whose family has been based for four generations in the Shizuoka prefecture in Japan. Sweeter than most of the bitter steamed Japanese green teas, yet this sencha provides the distinct seaweed with an added almond taste.
Imagine the globe as a fragrant garden. The golden chamomile comes from Egypt, France supplies the honey-scented blossom of the lime tree, the island cardamom from Guatemala yields sweet and resinous richness, while Uganda enchanted the founders by its caramel scented vanilla. Northern Europe does not stay behind as Lithuania’s smoky dried forest raspberries, jasmine blossoms and wild mint “harvested from the rivers’ edge“ are blended in. Looking for the best, the orange blossom with its notes of toast and almonds is imported from Iran.
A thoughtful accent on slow natural drying procedures assures better expression of the raw material being it tea, mint leaf or marigold. Working with established tea processors whose generations proven experience assures reliable and top quality.
The creative seasonal blends are assembled to address specific health benefits and labeled as such, but at the same time the focus of the house is on sublime taste, that is highly personal. You may love chamomile while other person sighs with pleasure while sniffing verbena. The staff respects it and tries to help. Some tisanes are available only when the raw ingredients are in their natural seasons so freshness is assured, and you will be tantalised all year around with something different.
Tisanes hand blended at My Cup of Tea in London
These plant-based, non-caffeinated brews are made from leaves, flowers, berries, seeds, roots, rhizomes or bark.
The current best-seller is Marrakech Blend was inspired by a visit to gardens outside the old Moroccan city of Marrakech and the local custom for offering mint tea. Verbena, mint, sage, blue cornflower and golden marigold petals were assembled to represent the rich culture of Morocco.
Another popular seasonal blend is Camomile & Lavender soothing both mind and body and induce a serene sleep. English ‘Maillette’ lavender with its distinctive sweet aroma and high content of essential oil was wrapped into the muslin sachets that are packed in embroidered jacquard cotton bags to reminisce of the “dream pillows filled with herbs“. I prefer the Chamomile with ginger and lemongrass in the Uplifting blend. It is a perfect tummy soother and a warming natural remedy when you feel miserable.
Redolent of Provence, the Orange Blossom & Verbena blend is a firm favourite with the regular customers.
Personally, I like the Aromatic Herbal Chai. It is caffeine-free, so you can enjoy its superb spicy sweet flavours even in the evening. The warming, sweet scents of cocoa beans and marigold, a smooth spice of cinnamon complemented by a gentle tingle of peppercorns is grounded in the main two ingredients where the digestive aid of cardamom and lemon balm accentuate the essence of each other.
Lime Blossom, Green and Red Rooibos, Fennel, Quince, Cinnamon and Elderflower in “a sour and sweet, mildly bitter tea with a distinctive licorice-like taste” meet in the Cleansing Fennel & Green Rooibos infusion. A deeply balancing blend of Melissa and mint, peony and violet petals the Flowery Blend brews into a soft emerald green infusion with creamy flower notes.
The organic Nettle and Mint infusion is detoxifying and perfect to help digestion. Sweet mint is harvested during early summer when its mellow violet tinted flowers bloom and is grounded by earthy and iron rich nettle leafs.
Most of the tisanes can be brewed up to three times. Each becoming more subtle with every new pouring of the hot water bath.
To complement the plant-centric goods, tea accessories, ceramics and glassware “by respected artists around the world are chosen, sometimes, for their history and cultural background and, sometimes, simply for their beauty”. If you show interest, drawers are open and another world of hand-made vessels opens up to you. Matcha bowls, Asian-style handle-free cups, Moroccan glass cups and contemporary Australian porcelain by MUD are as diverse as they are beautiful.
Regular tea classes ranging from an initiation into Chinese gongfu tea ceremony with oolong tasting to hands-on workshops like ‘Make your own herbal tisane blend’. Bespoke tasting events are also offered or just learn more about tea in a private setting.
At this moment, expansion of the branded store beyond London is not pondered about, but there are a number of gourmet purveyors stocking some of their teas and tisanes. The packets adorned by the distinctive little red elephant, sample the superb liquid health assembled together from around the world by My Cup of Tea.
✉ 5 Denman Place, London W1D 7AH
🕗 Mon-Fri: 10am-7pm; Sat: 11am-7pm; Sun: 12noon-5pm
Lunch break: 1pm-1:30pm