Yumchaa Tea Shop @ SOHO

YumchaaYumchaa

SOHOにあるYumchaaは、高品質オリジナルブレンドのリーフティーを供する、小さなティー・ハウス。紅茶の国というイメージと裏腹に、イギリスではカフェや家庭ではティーバッグが主流。しかし紅茶に情熱を注ぐオーナーは、茶葉は大きいほど、美味しい紅茶に必須のエッセンシャルオイルや成分が多く含まれるので、茶葉がみじん切りになったティーバッグには風味がないとして、ティーバッグ断固反対派。ポートベロー・ロードのマーケット・ストール(屋台)から始まって、今ではいくつかのマーケット・ストールでの販売するほか、Camden LockSOHOに店舗兼ティーハウスを持つ。ちなみにイギリスでは紅茶は基本的にミルクティーで、日本でポピュラーなレモンティーは見かけない。ミルクは紅茶とは別に出されることが多いが、注文の際に「black(ミルクなし) or white(ミルクあり)?」と聞くところ、また何も聞かずにミルクが入った紅茶が出てくるところ(特に伝統的な下町系のカフェ)もあるので、紅茶の飲み方にこだわりがある人はご注意を。

明るいレンガ壁とカントリー調の家具や紅茶棚が素敵なインテリアに惹かれて、今まで何度か来ようとしたが、SOHOでOxford Streetに近いという場所柄かいつも一杯で、今日も陽当たりの良い1階にあるテーブルは(地下にも客席あり)、席が空いたと思うとすぐに次の客が座り、常に満席状態だった。カウンターには、小さなミルクポットに入ったティーリーフのサンプルが置かれていて、注文する前に匂いを嗅いで、好きなブレンドを選べる。またカフェでは、イギリスならではのクリームティー(紅茶とスコーンのセット)、サンドイッチや、UP BOXのランチボックスもいただける。紅茶へのこだわりの割には、他のメニューへのこだわりが薄いのか、トマトとモッツァレラのホット・サンドイッチは生焼けで味も今イチ、見た目は美味しそうなブルーベリー・マフィンは、ちょっと甘すぎ。またウィンドーには、悪名高きコカ・コーラがたくさん並んでいる。UP BOXのランチボックス(UP BOXの店で手に入る)は試したことがないけれど、ここではお茶を楽しむだけにとどめるのが良いかも。

Yumchaa in SOHO is a small tea house that blend and serve quality loose leaf tea. On contrary to the image of UK as a “country of tea”, tea is normally served with a tea bag in a cafe and at home. But the “anti tea bag” owners of Yumchaa, who are passionate about tea, believe that the bigger tea leaves contain more essential oils and compounds which provide the basis for a good cup of tea. But the typical tea bag in the supermarket contains only tea particles and its broken leaves release the bitter tannins faster so they give the tea its colour but not its flavour. Yumchaa started as a small stall at Portobello Road Market, and now owns 2 tea shops in Camden Lock and SOHO, as well as stalls at several markets throughout London. By the way, tea in UK equal normally a milk tea, and tea with lemon, like in Japan or Italy, is rarely seen. Usually tea is served with milk in a separate container, and some places ask if you want “black (without milk) or white (with milk)”, or some others give you a cup of tea added with milk without asking your preference (especially in a traditional cafes for working class).

We like their interiors such as light brick walls and country style furniture and shelves, and finally made to sit in this cafe after several trial. The cafe, located in busy SOHO near Oxford Street, is always busy, and the tables on the sunny ground floor were always taken. There are milk jugs with sample tea leaves at the counter, and you can smell them before you choose your favorite blend. Other than their signature teas, you can also have traditional cream tea (tea and scones), sandwiches, and UP BOX lunchbox in the café. However, their passion about teas may not necessarily apply to the other menus. Their sandwich with mozzarella and tomatoes was not toasted enough, and the taste was not the highest standard. Their blueberry muffins looked good, but it was too sweet. Moreover, there are a lot of ‘sinful’ Coca Cola in the drink section! We’ve never tried UP BOX lunchbox (you can have it at UP BOX shop as well), but next time I probably have just ‘cuppa’ (‘cup of tea’ in British slung) , not the lunch…

Yumchaa

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One response to “Yumchaa Tea Shop @ SOHO

  1. Pingback: Yumchaa @ Tottenham Street, Googe Street | everydaylife.style

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