Tea For You…and me
Dubai has for a little while, had a home-grown tea shop brand, by the name of Tea For You – well actually it’s about to celebrate its first birthday next week. Shame on you FooDiva for not reviewing earlier. Now I am a tea freak, having always preferred tea over coffee, but since I stopped drinking coffee nearly nine years ago, I’ve developed an even stronger fascination with all things tea – to the point that wherever I travel I always search out a tea shop. My travels to China, Japan and India further ignited my passion.
Now Tea For You is both a tea shop and tea room, but even though free wi-fi’s on hand, it’s more a place to buy, than spend a leisurely afternoon sipping away. Stocking over 100 teas from Assam and Darjeeling in India, as well as the three Chinese tea producing provinces of Fujian, Guangxi and Yunna, you will find black, green and white teas, as well as fruit and herbal infusions – all sold loosely by weight. Believe FooDiva, once you start brewing your tea using leaves or blossoms, you will never set sight on a tea bag again – as much as you may love good, old builders tea!
FooDiva’s delighted with the stock of a black tea favourite, the smokey Lapsang Souchong, a speciality of the Fujian province and quite a difficult find in Dubai (AED 41 for 100g). The leaves are hung over pine wood fires to dry. White tea, with some types referred to as silver needle – and just to make it even more confusing makes for a golden coloured brew – is the new green tea. It has the same antioxidant benefits that fight the damaging free radicals in our bodies, but without the bitterness that comes with brewing green tea. Try one of three types at Tea For You, and FooDiva guarantees you will never go back to the green stuff.
Tea For You is Russian owned and managed, so given the country’s tremendous tea culture, they would know a thing or two. The friendly shop assistant will gladly proffer advice, whilst also brewing a cuppa to taste. Each tea type has its own brewing process and time, so check when purchasing. Also on hand, are all those tempting tea accessories from teapots and tea cups to strainers and storage tins, but be warned you can end up spending a small fortune.
FooDiva will leave you to brew with a spoonful of tea tips:
- A tea’s flavour is maximised if boiled with bottled mineral water, not tap.
- Most tea leaves can be brewed twice, if not more – so don’t ditch them.
- Loose tea should be stored in sealed, air-tight caddies or tins in cool, dry conditions.
- Oh and just a fussy FooDiva streak – tea tastes better in porcelain tea cups or clear glass mugs. Well I am a tea snob :).
- If you fancy a little more t-education turn to Jane Pettigrew, the tea historian and writer – her book Tea Classified is well worth reading and a great reference for buying and brewing teas.
If you or your friends and family are tea lovers, please spread the word and help Tea For You celebrate its first birthday. Dubai may have Ronnefeldt, Whittard’s, Tchaba and Vivel, but we want more specialty stores like Tea For You, not just because tea always loses out to the ever-growing coffee culture in the UAE, but because it’s a home-grown brand. Tea For You, and me :).
Where do you buy your tea? Do you have a particular favourite brew?
Tea For You is located on the ground floor of Thuraya Telecommunications Tower in Al Barsha (opposite the Layia Oak hotel). Map here. T; +971 4 4572575. E; firstname.lastname@example.org Open from Saturday to Thursday 10am to 10.30pm.