19 Places You Must Drink Tea Before You Die
Done up like an exotic tea parlour, Opium is a hidden bar in Chinatown that serves both tea and tea cocktails. If you're on the wagon, go for a cup of Iron Goddess of Mercy tea, aka my alter ego (yes I have made that joke before). But if you're off the wagon, you must have a smoking Opium #6 cocktail, done with tequila, cactus, ginger, oolong tea, and MAGIC.
Yauatcha does the best dim sum in London, and I've just realised they have some of the best tea in the city too. They do a ton of beautifully fancy blends from the East, but the one you absolutely must try is the blue tea. It is sweet and light and floral and easily some of the best tea I've ever had, ever.
I always get a bit overwhelmed when I go to Yumchaa because there's just so much tea choice, but that doesn't stop it from being my go-to tea spot. They have all their teas in little jugs by the side of the till, so you can do what I do: Hold up the queue for a good 15 minutes while you smell each tea, get increasingly panicked, then order the same tea you always do (caramel sweetheart).
You can have any tea you choose either hot or iced, and there is also now a new range of frozen tea slushies because ~summer~.
A really lovely little cafe out in Barnes, Orange Pekoe isn't terribly big, but its range of loose-leaf teas is extensive – over 50 different blends, I believe. It's bright yet cosy at the same time, and definitely worth a visit.
This teahouse is just off Regent's Street, so it's close to all the action of central but still far enough away to maintain an air of calm. The tea itself is blended by the shop's founders, and many include homeopathic qualities. You'll find antiviral tea and beautiful skin tea among their wide range of exotic flavours.
These guys used to serve their tea out of a 1974 Citroën-H van at various food festivals. Understandably, they got terribly popular and now have their own permanent space in Old Street. Their blends are lovely and expertly chosen, but there are also a few wilder things on the menu, like their thoroughly exciting iced tea and the matcha coconut latte.
The name of the game here is variety. Not only do they have over 100 different blends of tea, you'll also find tea frappes, tea cocktails, and a variety of chais and bubble teas on the menu. There are also cakes, which always helps.
If you're looking to get into bubble tea, Bubbleology should be your gateway drug. I don't know if it's as ~authentic~ as some of the bubble tea spots you'll find in Chinatown, but it's fun and the menu layout helps make choosing your tea a lot easier. (Forewarning you now, there is a LOT of bubble tea choice. My favourite is taro milk tea if it helps.)
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