The Tea Alchemist
Tell us a bit about The Tea Alchemist.
The Tea Alchemist is principally a loose leaf tea merchant, selling a wide range of the highest quality loose leaf teas from around the world.
To us, quality is paramount. We need to give people a sensory experience powerful and memorable enough to convince them to abandon the convenience of bags, and go loose leaf.
Our uniqueness stems from the bespoke services we offer. Customers are encouraged to tell us of an ailment they wish to cure or a flavour they wish to encapsulate, and we blend them their own special brew; the ultimate personal tea drinking experience!
Do you have any favourite blends?
Vanilla Black is a wonderful black tea blend of Assam, Yunnan Black and real Madagascan vanilla. The aroma is fabulous even before steeping, but once brewed, drinkers seem to love the way the vanilla and caramel flavour subtly builds in the mouth and forms a deliciously sweet aftertaste.
Not many people know, but vanilla is a great mood-lifter too, perfect for that 3 o clock slump we sometimes experience at work! Using your 15 minute break to enjoy a perfectly brewed pot or cup of loose leaf Vanilla Black is definitely time worth spending in our opinion.
What's important to you?
Drinking loose leaf tea is not, or should not, ever be about quickness or convenience. It's about taking time out from your busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the fine taste and experience of tea: brewing the water to the perfect temperature, inhaling the aroma of the dried leaves, steeping the blend for the appropriate time, looking at the leaves expanding and releasing colour, sipping the liqueur, appreciating the different flavours the leaves release, relaxing into your time with tea.
Give us an essential tea making tip.
At The Tea Alchemist, we encourage our tea drinkers to reuse their tea leaves; good quality leaves can be infused more than once. In fact, the leaves of a high quality Oolong can be infused up to eight times, with each infusion providing different notes and flavours for the drinker.
This reuse of leaves has a little history of its own. Tea made its way into British culture in the late 17th century, when the Portuguese princess began drinking a new mysterious drink made from dried plant leaves. Her influence upon the English people was great and immediately everyone wanted to start drinking this exotic new potion.
Because of the high taxation on tea (mainly as it was being imported from China), tea was hugely expensive meaning only the British aristocracy and upper classes could afford to purchase it. However, once the leaves had been infused once, the rich discarded them, and they were dried out and sold as 'used' to allow the middle classes to indulge. And then twice more this process was repeated, until the lower classes in inner city slums were able to purchase four-times-steeped tea leaves!
This is how we British started our tea obsession, and we are so proud of the fact that our love of tea defines us as a nation. It is our culture. And it's so much posher than fish and chips!