Saturday, 13 March 2010

Camellias tea shop - Carnaby street

I recently discovered Camellia's tea shop while wandering around Carnaby street on a chilly March afternoon. Tucked away on the top floor of Kingly court, this beautiful little shop is surrounded by quirky boutiques and vintage clothes shops. Inside there are a few tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy tea and homemade cakes. The walls are lined with rows upon rows of bags filled with exotic looking tea leaves and flowers, which gives the whole shop an amazing perfumed scent. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me take any photos which is a real shame. I've been getting more and more into tea lately, and have been on a bit of a quest to fine some good quality ones after having been served some amazing jasmine tea at a Chinese restaurant recently. I decided to buy a bag of Jasmine pearls - where jasmine flowers and white tea leaves are individually hand-rolled together into delicate little pearls. They unravel when you infuse them, releasing their fragrant Jasmine flavour. This is a high-quality tea from the Fuji province of Japan and comes with quite a hefty price tag - £21.50 for 100g! But a little goes a long way so you should only need a small bag. I've been hearing a lot about the health benefits of white tea recently - apparently they have the highest concentration of antioxidants out of any variety of tea. White tea is made by harvesting only the youngest buds of the tea plant, and then gently steaming them, so they are subject to very little processing which helps to retain all their nutrients. Camellias have a good selection of white teas, including some blended with rose buds or apricots. I chose the Orange Fusion, white tea leaves mixes with sweet orange peel. At £4.25 it doesn't hurt the pocket as much as the jasmine pearls so I might pick up a different flavour next time I visit. I think I will take this one to work for my relaxing afternoon break time!

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