The Best Places To Drink Tea In London

By Adrienne Wyper Last edited 14 months ago
The Best Places To Drink Tea In London

Enjoy a cuppa in some of London's best spots for a brew, whether your taste for tea is heritage or hipster.

Brewing tea at Good & Proper.

1. Yumchaa, Camden

Its mission statement is 'free your tea' because Yumchaa use loose leaf tea, which allows the flavours to develop more fully. Teabags are banned.

Inside Yumchaa.

On the menu are over 30 black, green, white, rooibos and tisanes, with imaginative iced and frozen options. The name is an (in)fusion of the Cantonese for 'drink tea' and English for 'tasty tea'.

The terrace at Yumchaa.

This is the first of its five branches, evolving from a market stall down the way. Get great views of the market and Regent's Canal from the terrace.

Yumchaa, 91-92 Camden Lock Place, Upper Walkway West Yard, NW1 8AF
Black, green, rooibos or herbal, from £2.75

2. Tea House Theatre, Vauxhall

'While there's tea there's hope,' it says above the door of this former pub just south of Albert Embankment, hosting a dual identity space: tea house by day (until 8pm), theatre by night, hosting poetry, debates, screenings and more.

Tea House Theatre.

Inside it's calmly warm and welcoming, your pot is kept hot by a knitted tea cosy.

Inside Tea House Theatre.

The broad tea menu of more than 30 brews spans black, green, white, oolong and pu'erh, chocolate tea, and healing herbals plus 'builder's': a large mug of Tetley's.

Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL
Tea House Leaf, the house tea (breakfast blend of Assam and Ceylon), £5 per pot for one

3. Postcard Teas

Provenance is paramount: Postcard was the first company to include these details on packaging, as well as the date the leaves were picked.

Postcard Teas.

Taste teas at the communal table in their premises, brewed traditionally just for you, or attend tea school on Saturday mornings to discover more about tea with some of the best-travelled tea specialists.

Inside Postcard Teas.

Perfect for presents: pick a postcard pack, write a message, then the staff will fill it with your chosen tea, and post it. Teas on offer — there are more than 100! — include London Roast, a black tea: 'rich, aromatic, and addictive'.

Postcard Teas, 9 Dering Street, New Bond Street, W1S 1AG
Cup of tea, from £3 to try over multiple infusions, complimentary if you then buy the tea to take home

4. Twinings Tea Shop & Museum

Opened 300 years ago by Thomas Twining, the shop — reputedly the smallest in London — is barely wider than its doorway. (Look up as you enter to see statues of a golden lion, a nod to the name of the first tea shop on this site, and two Chinese men, referring to the origin of tea.)

The famous Twinings sign.

At the Loose Tea Bar, have hot water added to your chosen tea, to sip while you shop.

The bar inside Twinings.

While it brews, browse the museum's artefacts including tea caddies, teapots and old ads. Top up your tea knowledge with a masterclass with a tea ambassador.

Twinings Tea Shop & Museum, 216 The Strand, WC2R 1AP
Tasting, free.
Cup of tea, £2. Masterclass from £30pp

5. Amanzi, Marylebone

There's no tea without water, which is 'amanzi' in Shona, a language in Zimbabwe, where this tea shop was conceived.

The counter at Amanzi.

Beginning as a tea cart, the shop on a side street in Marylebone's inner-city 'village' now serves more than 100 teas from around the world, plus a matcha menu, tea cocktails, bubble teas and chais.

Inside Amanzi.

You'll want to try everything in the display: teas and added ingredients line the walls, with colour-coded caddies behind the counter.

Amanzi, 24 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8TX
Cup of tea, from £1.99

6. Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly

The stacked display of tea — on sale here for more than 300 years — is one of the first things you notice when you enter the shop.

The Gallery at Fortnum & Mason.

One floor up, the Gallery restaurant has light flooding in through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Jermyn Street and Duke Street in St James's on one side, and the shop's bustling ground floor on the other: ideal for people-watching.

The tea selection is short but impeccably bred: Royal Blend, created for King Edward VII, Queen Anne, commemorating the reigning monarch when Fortnum's first opened, and Countess Grey, with orange pekoe teas as well as bergamot oil.

The Gallery, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER  
Pot of tea for one, from £5.75

7. Good & Proper

Specialising in single-origin loose-leaf teas, this tea bar business began as a crowd-funded start-up in a van, born out of a desire to bring the quality and diversity that coffee-drinkers enjoy to those who take tea.

Good & Proper.

It's a great pit-stop for a midweek lunch break, or a laid back Saturday stop-off.

Teas at Good & Proper.

Inside it's calm and bright, with wall-mounted plants, and pendant lamps that resemble the teapots... Every cup — more than 25 teas to choose from — is custom-brewed; let the staff know how you like it.

Good & Proper, 96a Leather Lane, EC1N 7TX
From £2.40 per cup

Did we miss your favourite place to drink tea in London? Let us know in the comments below.

Last Updated 02 June 2017