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Sample the tastes and aromas from the very best producers and roasters around the world with our exclusive tea and coffee clubs.
A truly excellent tea can be as layered and complex as a fine wine, and with a bit of practice you can learn to discern the exact origin...
We’re all about the art of the roast – the delicate process of balancing the bean’s natural flavours, causing it to change in colour, taste...
Some people count sheep to get to sleep. With 100 different teas to choose from, we’ve found a much better solution. True, our collection is huge. But you can choose to track down your tea by taste, by origin and even by number.
In 1886 our founder Walter Whittard set up his very first shop, filled floor-to-ceiling with the world’s finest tea, coffee and cocoa. Those brave new brews are now time-honoured classics and we’re still following our nose for the new…
Let us introduce you to our world of teas by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Let us introduce you to our world of coffees by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Let us introduce you to our world of Hot Chocolate by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Accepting a cup of tea is one of the most globally recognised ways of forging friendships, old and new. Tea with friends has been a part of daily life in Britain for centuries, but now, more than ever before; we have a world of new cultures on our doorstep.
From Afternoon Tea in Britain to the tea ceremonies of Japan; camels in Russia to the sweet mint of Morocco… we could not be more excited about how accessible the world of tea has become.
Here’s our guide to tea rituals across the globe, now available in a kitchen near you:
Japanese green tea is among the finest in the world and is enjoyed daily by millions. Try the luminescent green Gyokuro or Genmaicha ‘popcorn’ tea, and brew with water from a traditional Japanese cast iron teapot to bring the true taste of Japan to your kitchen.
To create more of an event, pass around a green tea powder called matcha and perform your own Japanese Tea Ceremony with friends! The ritual - known as chadō or ‘the way of tea’ – is a spiritual demonstration that plays an important social and spiritual role in Japanese culture. First brewed by monks as a medicinal drink due to its reputed health benefits, today the etiquette attached to the preparation of matcha is just as important. To create your own Japanese tea ceremony, use a traditional bamboo spoon to add two scoops of our matcha powder to a handmade Japanese bowl. Add warm (not boiling) water, mix into a fine froth using a bamboo whisk and enjoy.
Spicy food and spicy tea – in India, the preferred style is chai: strong black tea spiced with cardamom, fennel and cloves, then sweetened with sugar. Milk is often added; creating a drink that has influenced our western notion of the chai latte. Street vendors sell their chai in small clay cups that are only used once and then smashed after use, but that’s not something we’d recommend at home! Brew our Spice Imperial tea for 3-5 minutes and serve black, or top with frothy almond milk for a sweeter experience. You’ll find yourself transported to the sun-drenched, spice-filled streets of Mumbai, if only for an afternoon.
If you’ve ever tried our Russian Caravan tea, you’ll know it’s a unique and delicious blend. It takes its name from the caravans of traders on camels who would make the journey from China to Russia in the 17th century. The tea took almost a year to reach its destination, and rumoured folklore says that the tea leaves would collect a smoky flavour from the exposure to nightly campfires. In truth, this blend contains Assam, Lapsang Souchong and Nepalese teas for a lightly smoked flavour. Russian tea culture is unique in that, traditionally, it is brewed as a concentrate. Tea leaves are added to a pot with only a small amount of water, and this concentrated liquid is added in small quantities to each cup. Using a heated metal container called a samovar, water is boiled and guests can top up their tea to the desired strength. Tea in Russia is typically enjoyed black, though the smoky flavour is balanced with the addition of a little sugar, lemon, honey or even jam. We can almost picture the domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral as we sip our Russian Caravan and dream of a plateful of fresh pelemi!
Tea was a medicinal staple in China long before it became a pick-me-up drink, but today it is enjoyed during (and in-between) all meals.
Back in 350AD, tea was sold in ‘brick’ or ‘cake’ form – a Chinese custom dating back to when Tibetan tradesmen accepted tea as a currency. The process of compressing tea leaves to make a block kept the leaves fresh for longer periods of time. We still love the flavour of these traditional Chinese tea cakes, so we offer two varieties of our own:
Our Tuo Cha derives from Hunan Province in China, and is a light yet smoky black tea with sweet, fruity notes. These tea cakes are individually wrapped, so pop into your teapot with boiled water and mix until the tea becomes fully separated. For a speciality from the Fujian Province, try our Jasmine Orchid Teacake, which tastes as good as it looks. Shaped into an orchid and stamped with the Chinese symbol for prosperity, this sweet and fragrant mix of green tea and jasmine offers a true taste of China.
As anyone who’s visited a souk will know, the business of making a cup of tea in Morocco is serious. Green tea is mixed with mint leaves and sugar cubes in a tall, elegant teapot. Hot water is added and left to steep for a few moments before it is poured – from a standing height – into small glasses. It’s not easy, but it fills the room with a refreshing minty scent and looks pretty impressive at a family gathering… just make sure you’ve practiced!
Our Marrakech Mint is a blend of smoky Gunpowder Green and pure peppermint leaves – it’s the perfect after-dinner drink. Once brewed lightly you can enjoy it in the traditional manner by adding sugar or honey. We think it also tastes delicious without, as the fresh and fragrant flavours are more than enough to satisfy our senses. Emerge from your cup feeling refreshed, revitalised… and ready to haggle!
Last but not least, our very own Afternoon Tea. We have Anna, Duchess of Bedford, to thank for introducing afternoon tea into British culture. Often peckish between meals, the Duchess would request a selection of sweets and a cup of tea to stave off her hunger. We’ll never get bored with this quirky British ritual… try a cup of our Afternoon blend, Earl Grey, or Darjeeling and serve in your favourite tea set alongside cucumber sandwiches and a selection of homemade cakes. Exquisitely British.
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