Loose leaves and good ceramic teapot cover a London tea pub's "old-new" idea

Guest blogger TeaMan2 puts his tea cozy on the teapot and takes a break to talk about a new idea in old Britain. . . .

If Britain is a tea drinking nation, why do they accept a pinch of dust in a sad little bag as the norm? According to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), 96% of British tea drinkers use teabags to brew their tea. And about 68% of those drink only one type of tea: English Breakfast. 

Even though loose tea distributors are reporting a 600% increase in loose tea sales year-over-year, it’s still easier to get a pot of loose-leaf tea in Paris than in London. Here in the United States, growing numbers of tea drinkers face the same fate.

In Britain, Albion Tea is standing up for their national drink by sitting customers down in BREW, the Tea Pub. They’re

  • taking two things that define Britain as a nation – drinking tea and cozy pubs
  • bringing them together with pots of tea instead of pints of beer
  • using only loose-leaf teas from small growers for best quality

Founder Alex Holland collected about $295,000 from 300 investors through Crowdcube in 2015 to help them establish their first Tea Pub. After a bit of work to find the right site, they’ve now opened the first BREW in Tooting Broadway, South London, England.

Founder Alex Holland in his South London BREW Tea Pub (www.brewteapub.com)

Founder Alex Holland in his South London BREW Tea Pub (www.brewteapub.com)

Loose teas create a more flavorful cup

BREW takes pride in tea, which means freely brewing leaves to release all their power and flavor. They believe real tea needs to hit the spot. Like their English Breakfast Superior, chosen and blended strong and dark to go with milk and sugar, but with more flavor because it’s not in a bag. They take the same pride in their Real Bergamot Earl Grey – my own personal favorite tea.

Small tea growers produce finer teas

Taking pride in their national drink, means working with people who take pride in how its grown. Albion Tea works with suppliers who champion small tea growers and better ways of growing tea. By processing their own leaves rather than selling them to the teabag factory, these growers keep more profit for themselves, their families, and their communities.

One of BREW’s small growers: Pranab Nath in Assam (www.brewteapub.com)

One of BREW’s small growers: Pranab Nath in Assam (www.brewteapub.com)

But what if you don't live in South London and want a better tea-drinking experience? In our next blog post about tea, TeaMan2 will talk about weaning yourself from the teabag and buying quality loose teas to enjoy better tea at home--in your cup or teapot. He'll also give you the "formula" for brewing great tea and explain the importance of using the best teapot cover to ensure your tea stays hot and flavorful. 

Perry LuckettComment