One of the reasons I love London (and Paris) - No matter how many trips I make and how at home I feel in the city (especially London), it always has surprise up its sleeve. An undiscovered spot grabs my heart and makes me fall in love with the city all over. On my last trip to London, that place was Postcard Teas. I spent an entire morning in the store. If you have seen my hour to hour travel itinerary or travelled with me - you know a place has got to be special to take up valuable exploration time. On a cold Christmas eve, eve (yep, thats a thing) - I braved the crowds on Oxford Street/New Bond street in search of the store (located on Dering street just off New Bond street).
As soon as I entered, I was welcomed with warmth, it felt like we we old friends. There were a few customers in the store, I waited my turn and got chatting with a couple sat at the tea table. Both of them were in music, the lady was originally from New Orleans, LA. Being an ex-Louisiana dweller, we chatted about good ole days in Louisiana - the people, the food and we chatted about about tea. Just then, Tim (the owner) delivered freshly brewed pot of tea to the table and they graciously invited me to share. I was reading the book "Quiet" at the time (still reading it) and the guy mentioned he had recently read it; we discussed the merits of the premise of the book over tea. They recommended some of their favorite teas in the store and raved about how much they loved Postcard tea as they headed off. After my time in the store, I completely agree with them and have not stopped recommending Postcard Teas to friends, family (and a few strangers).
Just then Marie (one of attendants) freed up a bit and we spent some time chatting about tea. There were so many offering of tea, I needed recommendations. We talked about my tea preferences and tastes and she recommended the Assam Chai from India. I asked to sample one of their black tea offering - Tim gladly obliged. He brewed me a cup of supernatural black (a Japanese black tea) and It was perfection in a cup. I sat at the tea table, blissfully sipping my tea - I watched as they intereacted with each customer with warmth and kindness; Tim shared stories of some of the local farms where their tea is sourced. One thing I found interesting - tea sourced from small farms (less than 15 acres), so a lot of care goes into growing the tea which means you are getting authentic, high quality tea. That is evident in every cup.
I picked up a few tips on how to brew the perfect cup of tea - including the importance of water quality. Now it was time to make my picks - I wanted everything but decided on four - Supernatural Black, Assam Chia; Beijing breakfast (recommened to me by the couple I met). I asked Tim for a green tea option - he had a few recommendation. I chose the Nokcha from Hwagae Valley in Korea. I had such a lovely morning at Postcard teas, I could have stayed another few hours but was running late for my afternoon appointment at Shoryu.
I have brewed several pots of each and these are the best teas. This is one of my favorite places in London and exploration be barred - I see a lot of mornings spent here on subsequent visits to London town and that is just fine by me. If you are ever in these parts (even if you are not gone hole about tea like I am) - make time to visit, meet the owner and staff. They are some of the warmest people I ever met.