6 Lamb Street
Shoreditch, London
E1 6EA
Tel: 020 7247 1333 Aldgate East 0.4 miles

Determined to blow away British misconceptions about tea, John Kennedy and Tomoko Kawase have created TeaSmith - a contemporary teahouse offering a unique environment where people can enjoy exceptional teas first hand. Located in the heart of Spitalfields Market, TeaSmith boasts beautiful Japanese tea ware and carefully selected teas from estates in the Phoenix Mountains in South-East China to Kyoto in Japan. Learn the art of making proper tea at one of the Tea Masterclasses conducted by a qualified tea ceremony instructor.

TeaSmith, London TeaSmith in Spitalfields TeaSmith tea shop in London Jars of exceptional tea at TeaSmith, London « 1 of 4 photos »

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TeaSmith reviews

I think I was one of their first customers back in 2007, belonging to a group of friends living in the area and passionate about oriental teas. A dream made true: amazing teas, a beautiful architectural display and great customer service - a really magical place, maybe a bit expensive but worth every single penny.

Then I left the country for few years but I kept in touch with my friends, receiving more and more upsetting reviews from them. Many of them felt progressively let down by the uber-smart owner who kept promising teas ("coming in few weeks time") which never arrived (in three years!), teaware that never arrived, the 'always coming' newsletter that no one ever received, and so on.

As a consequence, many of my friends now buy teas directly from MingCha in Hong Kong or from Postcard Teas in London, skipping the owner's pretentious chit-chat. But I wanted to see for myself, so as soon I as touched down (last week), I made my way back to TeaSmith with my wife.

We found a charming and knowledgeable Italian girl, who carefully guided us through several infusions of phoenix sung special, oriental beauty and dong ding oolong. I immediately felt at home, exploring the teas while time was passing by without any effort, listening with real pleasure to her talking with other customers and articulating her genuine passion for teas.

The place still looks great, although it is true that there are no teapots (well, apparently the only one left was on display), no strainers and items that one would expect to find in a teashop. I found instead expensive big cups and bowls, some japanese toys(?) and practical (albeit ugly) glass infuser pots.

There are still exceptional teas as it is claimed (which are still enchanting my tasting buds), although is noticeable that the tea selection is wider now but less interesting - lots of green oolongs from Taiwan and very little on the Chinese and darker side.

Clearly the credit crunch hit the place hard. It is not even possible to pay by card any more, obliging sorry customers like us to wait endlessly at the cash machine nearby. This also means that I can't buy teas over the phone either, given that one can't order from the outdated website.

What a pity that such a lovely place (and lovely staff) is let down by incomprehensible business choices, unreliability and, it seems, inconsistent attention to what building solid relationships with customers that care really means.

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 by simon.perry70, 18 Aug 2010
I popped in here on a rainy day and was able to chill out immediately. They gave me and my friend a selection of teas, one of which (the nettle tea) opened up like a flower in the pot. The guys here are so knowledgeable about tea, I think they do tea masterclasses.

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 by susanharri (7 reviews), 26 Jan 2010
Excellent place to have one of those quiet moments, and the staff are nice as well. White teas are my favourite!

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 by ankitforu, 13 Nov 2009

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