Coffee is the word that has come over seemingly from America (Seattle if we’re being really specific) and took over our lives. We’re now part of the ‘coffee culture’ world where Starbucks and Costa rule. And one of the things that coffee shops have been attempting over the last few years is to add variety to their menu. Loose tea already has that variety in abundance and doesn’t need a makeover every few months to appeal to the masses. We love loose tea and want to share that love with you – and all of the people you know as well.
My mother and step father lived and worked in Hong Kong and as teenagers we regularly visited and spent long periods of time out there, where we soaked up the energy from a place that made you feel alive with its bustling, busy streets. This is where we first discovered what I would call ‘real tea’. Loose tea in fact. Not strong, dark, steeped bags (which I’m sure have a place) but mild, flavoured, wonderful green and white teas which made you feel fresh, cleansed and invigorated. We drank it out of delightful little cups and glassware and it made us feel relaxed and free. I wept when I left for what I knew would be the last visit for a long time. But my love for the culture, the pure excitement of the place, and of course especially the tea remained. This was how my love for tea began. And it is still here today.
How Love Leaf Tea started and what we love about tea
In my early twenties, I opened a quaint little tea shop called “Melanie’s” in a suburb of Newcastle. It was a wonderfully sociable little place which I sold on the arrival of my first baby. Loose tea was one of the mainstays of the shop as I wanted people to drink something of quality that has been blended with their taste buds in mind.
My love of loose tea (I drank raspberry leaf tea throughout both my pregnancies), the oriental culture and all their wonderful teapots and china remained with me and I knew that at some point I wanted to share them with everyone. The fire was still burning…
Specialised teas started to become more popular in the UK having already established themselves in Europe. We felt perhaps it was time to introduce the tea experience, so people could enjoy specialist teas, fruit and herbal infusions.
In 2006 we opened “Sencha” the first specialist tea shop in Newcastle, against many warnings that Northerners were not ready for such a cosmopolitan venue. We offered 40 different teas, infusions and eight different flowering teas. People loved it, they loved watching the tea flowers unfold and blossom in the glass teapots. The whole experience of drinking loose leaf tea is a relaxing “Me Time” experience where customers could reflect on their lives or maybe just the events of the day.
Unfortunately, due to ill health, I was sadly forced to sell Sencha a year later, although my passion for tea remained.
It was at this time that I actually discovered tea was, in fact, very beneficial to your health and that all those claimed health benefits worked for me. It took me about eighteen months to recover in which time I drank a number of different teas which I am convinced helped me (our website will help you choose the right tea for you or email us for advice).
My passion for tea is now even stronger. It tastes good, it makes me feel good and now I truly believe it helped me get better. I wasn’t about to give up on it now. So, we decided to launch Love Leaf Tea so you can all enjoy it too.
A couple of years ago we opened Chai an amazing little tea shop offering 40 great teas, and now offering Matcha, chai and Rooibos lattes. We intend to open more so you can all drink our Great tea every day. Keep your eye out for our loveleaftea pods popping up.