Tucked away in Westbourne Park, near Portabello Road, is a gorgeous and modest-sized converted coach house belonging to Teanamu.
The newly opened Chaya Teahouse is perfect for (as cliche as it sounds) relaxing and just as importantly, drinking beautifully infused Chinese artisan teas. There is a ridiculous amount of white, red, black and green tea combinations all designed and made by creator, Pei Wang.
We ordered the Tea of The Week: Organic Snow Bud white tea and the Ba Bao 8 Treasures tea (which had a special 9th ingredient on the day!) The Snow Bud is stunning, refreshing and one to drink at a lower temperature in order to appreciate its flavour; and the 8 Treasures changed each time we topped up the water - from floral and nutty to fruity notes.
Top: 8 Treasures. Bottom: Organic Snow Bud
They looked so lovely in the teapots and the quick demonstration from Pei on how each tea should be poured, was great. I was completely ignorant to the fact that water temperature, distance its poured and technique of swilling as you pour all enhance the flavour of the leaves.
As we were invited to stay and relax Pei made up some extra teas to sample including a white tea with Jasmine and his "mistake tea" which was an accidental stumble across a combination of his Organic Golden Monkey (black tea) and Organic Emperor pu erh 2008 (red tea). Both of which were lovely.
"Mistake Tea" - Organic Golden Monkey &; Organic Emperor pu erh 2008
There is a small selection of food on the menu (all hand-made by Pei) but they are great snacks to eat along side the teas. We had the vegetarian char siu puffs (which are based on pork dim sum) and the berry nutty chocolate fudge as well as a scone with rose petal jam, which was unbelievably tasty!! We were also given some clementine almond cakes on the house.
Vegetarian Char Siu Puff
Berry nutty chocolate fudge & clementine almond cakes
At the weekend Pei held the first Chaya Teahouse MedTEAtation in which a small group of people met up in the Koyoto Garden at Holland Park to perform the Chinese tea ritual...from what I understand the purpose is to forget about trivial everyday things (like Twitter/Facebook/phones) and concentrate solely on the tea; making it and sharing it with the other people in the group. I was unable to go along this time round, but plan to go to the next one on 19th June. (I think the MedTEAtation event happens once a month on a Sunday). To get an idea of what it'd be like check out Teanamu's Facebook photos.
If you're in the area or want to retreat for a bit of quiet time at the weekend, the Chaya Teahouse is open midday till 6 Saturdays and Sundays. It's definitely worth it!