My name is Rachel and I don’t like tea.
There, I said it. This has been a point of contention throughout my life. People, particularly British people can’t handle it. I get a lot of “REALLY?”, “What about fruit tea?”, “You’ve not tried MY tea though”, “Go on, just try it once more”. Yes its true, no I don’t like fruit tea, I’m pretty sure your tea uses exactly the same formula as everybody else’s and no thank you because I can guarantee this time, like all the times before, I will take one sip pull an apologetic face back at your oh-so-expectant one and once again confirm that I DON’T LIKE TEA.
So, when my lovely friend Laura, mastermind behind the beautiful blog Loved by Laura and fellow non tea drinker invited me to go along to the Piacha Tea Bar and Shop in Islington I was rather hesitant. Encouraged by the fact however that their menu was rather more varied and exciting than a simple cup of Earl Grey.
We entered the bright and inviting tea room to be greeted by the lovely Pia, founder of Piacha tea. Rather than be deterred by our apologetic mumblings that tea wasn’t really our thing, she explained that their menu included among their wide variety of tea flavours the innovative tea smoothie which may be more up our street and promised us some delights from their food menu if we indulged her attempts to convert us to her tea loving ways.
The first thing to mention is the tea bar itself is stunning. It walks that rare line between hipster and homely – walls lined with tea pots and low hanging lights.
We followed Pia downstairs to find a fabulously cosy space to commence our tea tasting adventure.
One wall is decorated with a huge world map and in the corner you will find a whole host of travel guidebooks so you can sit sipping happily whilst dreaming of places far away.
We settled ourselves in and perused the menu and listened to Pia speak passionately about how she’d given up a life in the corporate world to pursue her own business.
She talked us through how the business had begun and how she’d developed her unique product range and gave us a whistle stop tour of the menu and excited darted off to prepare our first round of tea based treats.
Pia returned with a tray full of mini glasses filled with different coloured concoctions and some of the best looking sandwiches I’d ever seen.
This is not just an average sandwich – this is a tea infused sandwich. Yes you heard right and I’m going to come straight out with it. THEY ARE AMAZING.
On the left is a Herbs and Hummus Sandwich on sour dough bread.
On the right is the Green Tea Honey Brie sandwich. This sandwich was out of this world. It tasted like a cinnamon roll with slightly melted brie oozing out. The combination of the sweetness with the savoury of the cheese was just mouth watering.
So I was sold on the sandwiches, now on to the real stuff. Pia gave us a range to try from green teas to herbals and we in turn slurped graciously (its the best way to bring the most out of the flavours don’t you know) and bracing ourselves … I was pleasantly surprised. I will admit that there were a few that made me screw my face up like a two year old being made to eat cauliflower. I persevered however and actually began enjoying our little game of tea roulette.
Along with the tea sandwiches, Pia also surprised us with another tea based curve ball in the form of tea smoothies. I’m a big smoothie fan so if there was going to be anything that could get me on board with this element of british culture which had apparently been missing from my life, it was likely to be this.
We tried both the Berry “Cosmopolitan” Muesli and the Orange Ginger Chilli varieties. The Chilli in the second gave a cheeky kick to the drinking experience which wasn’t altogether unpleasant. The Berry Muesli Cosmo was delicious. It was thick and smooth and fruity. Ideal for a healthy breakfast on the go.
After filling our boots and saying our thank yous we jumped in a taxi to head to our next blogging appointment of the day.
I want to say another thank you to Pia for inviting us, being such a fantastic host and opening my eyes to the full potential of tea!
280 Upper Street
London N1 2TZ