One of my top tips for London is Postcard Teas, tucked away in Dering Street, close to Bond Street and Oxford Circus. The genial and knowledgeable proprieter Timothy D’Offay sources his teas from small family estates using traditional tea growing methods, and the impressive list includes fine teas from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, India, Sri Lanka – and you guessed it, Korea.
The two Korean teas sold are ‘Nokcha’, and sweet biscuity green tea, and ‘Sparrow’s Tongue’ a rare, intense grassy green tea.
The unique thing about Postcard Teas is they tell you the provenance of the tea, down to the estate and the name of the blender or roaster (for oolong teas). Most fine teas, even those sold in Harrods or Fortnum & Masons, only show the country of origin, possibly the region – like finding a bottle of wine simply marked ‘product of France’ or ‘made in the Bordeuax area’.
So in the shop (and the website) you can see beautiful pictures of Korean tea estates that will make you want to jump on the next plane to Korea, or at least get the kettle on. It’s a small and serene place to escape the mayhem of nearby Oxford street. Prices for a cup of tea are mostly £2.50, but can be more for rare teas and aged puer teas. The cost is deducted if you chose to buy the tea to take home – not in tea bags, but loose leaf as the Good Lord intended!
You can have a tutored tasting of Korean green tea, every third Saturday of the month. See here for details.
POSTCARD TEAS | DERING STREET | NEW BOND STREET | LONDON W1S 1AG
MONDAY – SATURDAY 10.30AM – 6.30PM