The next time you've had a mooch about the museums and are in need of refreshment, say no to Starbuck and pass up Pret in favour of something altogether more exciting.
TEASE is a modern-day tea bar which finally opened its door this summer after something of a covid-dealy, focused on creating fresh blends and health boosting flavour combinations.
Founded by friends Nirbhay Lalvani - with a family history of hospitality and a decade in the industry - and Cosmo Lewis, former mixologist of The Ned, Soho Farmhouse and Annabel's, the duo spent six months creating a diverse menu that focuses on the versatility of tea, covering iced teas, milk teas, adaptogenic milks and health shots, using a variety of fresh and natural ingredients while focusing on creating every drink without any refined sugars.
I paid a visit one recent Saturday morning, where Cosmo talked me through his menu creations whilst I sampled some favourite hits. Despite being open a relatively short space of time, TEASE has already etablished itself in the community; they use fruit and veg exclusively from the greengrocer's next door and Cosmo's rapport with his local customers evident as familiar faces dropped in throughout the morning.
The iced teas are inevitably the hit of summer, with five different flavours including Tropical Sunset with mango, cranberry, kalamansi lime and oolong tea, Pink Paradise with apple, yuzu, hibiscus and lemon verbena and my favourite, Misty green, with pear, yerba mate, green tea and matcha.
Never did I think I'd enjoy a tea made from mushrooms and yet the Longevi-tea, with its reishi cordyceps and chaga mushrooms, maca, oolong tea and hazelnut milk was nothing short of delicious (and apparently good for me which is a bonus). Warming and comforting, it was akin to an Ovaltine in flavour and nothing of the mushroomy taste I had feared. The hot chocolate is also worth a note, freshly made from raw cacao and cacao butter, hazelnut milk, Madagascan vanilla and cacao powder. It certainly tastes like the real deal, while their spiced chai is a proper winter warmer where you can really taste the spices
The menu also features adaptogenic milks focused on ingredients that aid the body in resisting chemical and physical stress; reishi mushroom, bee pollen, maca and lucama are just a few of the adaptogens incorporated into the menu, helping to boost your immune system, relieve tiredness and are even help reduce stress. With a focus on health, the signature immunity booster shots are just what you need for the season, from ginger and honey to fresh beetroot, paired with coconut water and kamalansi lime.
TEASE isn't your standard tea shop, but therein lies its appeal. It's clear a lot of love has gone in to its conception, from the passion behind Cosmo's menu to the vibrant Miami-esque yellow and white interiors, resplendent with green velvet seats and golden palm trees. Just a stone's throw from South Kensington tube station, it's well worth a visit.
19 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ES