The adventure began in Hungary, 2006 when founders, Spence and Suze were on holiday. Suze fell ill early on, we’re not talking life or death poorly, more like ‘full of cold'. Stumbling upon a tea room, they sought respite in a cup of Moroccan Mint tea. This simple daily pleasure inspired a bigger idea - to democratize great tea.
Our tea shop opened its doors in 2007 just outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The business took off, life was good.
5 years on just as we were looking to open up a second tea shop, Occupy London hit and as a result of vandalism and theft, the shop sadly closed. But all was not lost, from this experience and our customer’s requests for great whole-leaf tea in their homes, our retail business was born. Yay!
Today there’s 6 of us working to get you a great cuppa wherever you are. So whether you wanna get loose or bag it up, get the kettle on, we have a whole leaf tea perfect for you.
We source and hand-pick the finest tea leaves, we never grind them down. This makes our tea fuller and tastier and you can re-steep it. Tea that is a whole lot better.
Crush Tear Curl (CTC) teabags use the “dust and fanning” from the leaves. The larger surface area encourages the essential oils to evaporate and get “lost”, leaving the tea stale. We believe that every cup of tea should be special.
Our "orthodox", whole leaf approach retains essential oils. Loose leaf ensures the leaves absorb water and expand as they infuse, allowing the water to flow through the leaves and extract vital vitamins, minerals and flavours. This results in a richer flavour- tea as it should be.
Black tea tends to contain higher caffeine and have more depth of flavour than other types of tea. The leafs are withered in warm air, rolled lengthwise to release the essential oils, which adds to its distinctive flavour and finally, fermented to transform the tea leaves into black tea.
Mainly grown in China and Taiwan, Oolong tea leaves are withered in the sun to begin the fermentation process before being shaken to break cells and activate the oxidation process. The leaves are then fired when they’ve reached semi-fermentation. Oolong or blue tea is said to sit between green and black- having the flavour of a green tea and some of the strength of a black tea.
Revered in the Far East for millennia, green tea leaves are unoxidised as they’re exposed to heat (either roasted in wok-like pans or steamed) soon after picking to avoid the oxidation process. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, the tea is known for its health benefits.
The purest of them all, white tea is the closest tea comes to its natural state. White teas are de-oxidised and tend to be naturally-dried, making them deliciously delicate.
‘Infusion’ refers to the process of infusing plants or fruits in hot water, although an infusion tea is not derived from the traditional tea plant (camellia sinensis). With a zesty flavour to suit every taste, they’re a delicious plant-powered way to boost a healthy lifestyle.
Ethical Tea Partnership
Facilitating strategic sustainability projects, rigorous health and safety standards and increasing farmer’s resilience to climate change, this partnership makes us who we are.
We use 100% biodegradable corn starch whole-leaf teabags. Additionally, we supply our B2B customers with compostable takeaway cups from London Bio Packaging. Our tea is also totally free of genetically modified (GM) organisms.
Along with a warming tea, sometimes a chat good chat is all you need. Supported by a network of volunteers since 1965, Contact The Elderly organises monthly afternoon tea parties for small groups, offering a regular and vital friendship link every month. Discover our bespoke Darjeeling afternoon blend, all profits go to Contact The Elderly.