It’s no secret that us Brits love a good cup of tea. So much so, in fact, that a cuppa is seen as a solution to all the problems life could possibly throw our way. Feeling under the weather? Have a cup of tea! Going through a bad break-up? A cup of tea will sort you out! Just been savagely mauled by rabid wolves? Get a cuppa down your neck and walk it off, pet!
We love tea so much that we’ve even got a whole day – Sunday 21 April aka National Tea Day – dedicated to celebrating our nation’s most beloved beverage. And here in the North East, we have an extra-special relationship with tea too. Charles Grey, of Grey’s Monument and the Great Reform Act fame, was born in Northumberland and just so happens to be the namesake of one of the most famous types of tea in the world – Earl Grey.
We’ve also got a tonne of amazing tearooms and teahouses in and around Newcastle offering all kinds of tea, so why not stop by for a cuppa to mark National Tea Day?
Quilliam Brothers’ Teahouse
The Quilliam Brothers opened their Budapest-style tearoom in Newcastle in 2013 but they’ve actually been trading in tea since 2009, so when they call themselves the ‘purveyors of finest tea’ they aren’t exaggerating.
From their location on the edge of Newcastle University’s campus they sell a huge range of loose leaf teas, from black and green to fruity and herbal varieties alongside loads of delicious grub, both sweet and savoury. They also host regular film screenings and they’re open until midnight most evenings. What more could you want from a teahouse?
Mrs Pumphreys Curious Leaves
A charming little tea shop nestled in Grainger Market, Mrs Pumphreys Curious Leaves is the sister business of the popular neighbouring coffee bar of the same name.
With a massive selection of specialty loose leaf teas from across the globe, there’s a tea for pretty much everyone at Curious Leaves. You can buy some to take home and brew yourself or grab a cuppa and a slice of cake or a scone and indulge in some good old Grainger Market people watching.
Olive & Bean
Although it’s probably best known for its coffees and delicious breakfasts and lunches, Olive & Bean does a mean range of teas too. Their official stockist is Teapigs and there’s plenty of flavours to choose from including chai tea latte, Darjeeling Earl Grey, chamomile and a good old everyday brew.
The café-deli also has a few iced tea options if you’re on the lookout for something cold and refreshing and their afternoon teas – a smorgasbord of homemade sandwiches, scones and cakes – are legendary.
Estate Tea Co
Founded in 2014, Estate Tea Co started out selling their wares online but recently opened their first retail shop and café in Gateshead last year.
Though the focus is one single estate teas – single batch teas grown on one estate and known for their unique flavour – the company also offer a number of blended teas too. Alongside its huge range of teas, Estate Tea Co also sell sweet and savoury snacks provided by other local businesses including Les Petits Choux and Yard Food.
Tea Sutra Teahouse
Tea Sutra Teahouse describes itself as ‘an island of calm floating above the bustle of the city’ and they’re not wrong. Cosy and laidback, it’s a lovely spot to while away an hour or so with a cup or two of tea. There’s plenty of cuppas to choose from too with a global tea menu that features varieties from as far and wide as Japan, Kenya, China, India and Brazil.
Vegan tea lovers are in luck as well. Tea Sutra also offer a range of cakes and desserts, soups and daily specials that are all vegan-friendly.
Tea purists may recoil in horror at the very thought, but bubble tea is all the rage at the moment. Invented in 1980s Taiwan, the drink consists of flavoured milk or fruit teas available hot or cold and traditionally finished with a topping of tapioca pearls.
One of the best places to get your bubble tea fix in Newcastle is Bubble Cha. It’s got two cafes and a massive menu featuring tonnes of tea flavours to choose from and toppings ranging from traditional tapioca to fig jelly and basil seeds.
Head to Valerie’s Tearoom at the newly renovated Spanish City in Whitley Bay where you can enjoy a lovely cup of tea whilst taking in the coastal views.
Their tea menu features a range of traditional, herbal and fruit teas including English breakfast tea, peppermint and Darjeeling and all are available loose leaf or bagged. There’s plenty of delicious food to pair with a cuppa too like teacakes, pastries, scones and muffins.
Ever wished there was somewhere you could get a great cup of tea and be in the company of a dozen or so cute kitties? Well, you’re in luck. At Quayside cat café CatPawCino, you can sip on some of the finest tea in Toon while being graced by the presence of its many feline residents.
Alongside a number of traditional teas, the café also offers bowl tea – a fruity, traditional tea made with jujube, goji berries and longan fruit that hails from owner Sarah Zong’s northwest China hometown. Did we mention they have cats too?
Tucked under the Tyne Bridge, Quay Ingredient serves some of the most delicious homemade grub in town from hearty breakfasts and sandwiches to soups, salads, cakes and pastries. What better to wash all that down with than a cup of tea?
The café exclusively stocks local brand Ringtons and has tonnes of types to choose from including traditional blends like Earl Grey and English breakfast to fancy flavours like samovar orange spice or strawberries and cream.
A hotspot for foodies with a sweet tooth, Cake Stories in Jesmond sells homemade cakes so delicious they’ll have you drooling at the mouth alongside an ever-changing line-up of sweet scones.
And what goes lovely with a slice of cake or a scone? A cup of tea, of course! Cake Stories’ huge tea menu has a cup to suit everybody from black, green and white teas to caffeine-free infusions and a few iced tea varieties too.
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