Friday, 7 December 2007
For all the tea in Spittalfield
Cowie and I did a solid morning's Christmas shopping in and around Spittalfield market buying all sort of goodies and trying to forget about Cowie's disappointing breakfast experience at Leon and Canteen!
I'm fed up of coffee bars and have been looking for an authenic tea shop for ages. Something that lives up to some of the places I went to in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Tea Smith is next door to Spittalfield market but is nearer culturally to Peking. We sat at a stylish, long bar and were given a tour de force in the world of tea by the charming girl behind the bar. She guided us with great confidence through their extensive tea menu. Talking us through the different ways that Camelia Synensis is treated. She turned up her nose at my question about lapsang suchong because it is an inferior tea composed of off cuts and is generally low grade stuff. Fascinating.
She went through an elaborate ritual for each tea we tried. Repeatedly rinsing and heating our cups. We got 3 infusions for our money and a wealth of interesting knowledge.
My tea was smooth and oaky. Slightly charred and very refreshing. Apparently it would do wonders for my cholesterol and metabolism. Cowie's was slighly less impressed with hers. A bit odd tasting but not as strange as the one that smelled like smoked trout that we were treated to as an added extra later.
They have been open for about a year now but it was a shame to see the place empty. I'm keen to do one of their Tea Masterclasses. I quite fancy myself as a "Tea Master"!