Okay, so I’m aware that I haven’t updated this with any sort of regularity and also that that’s a massive understatement. The thing is, I went to Tea Tree Tea with the best intentions of doing a review and found it impossible. It’s been my regular tea-based haunt since I moved to Edinburgh nearly four years ago and was to all intents and purposes the perfect tea shop. How could I pretend to try to find fault in a place I’ve come to love so much? I just couldn’t, and so the whole project stalled, until now. Last week I found out that it was closing forever, so I finally have the impetus to restart my quest to find the best tea shop in Edinburgh.
But first, if I may, a brief eulogy for Tea Tree Tea. I’m really going to miss it. The staff were incredible; friendly, knowledgeable and even ecclesiastically patient towards a big group of rowdy types that used to meet there in the basement once a month. Even when I hadn’t been there for a few weeks they would still greet me like a friend. Friendly staff make a friendly atmosphere, and it was the relaxed minimalist ambience of TTT that made it so perfect to work in, or just to hang out.
Not to mention the tea itself; like a fine restaurant, TTT didn’t have an exhaustive selection of teas, but everything on their menu was delicious. The fiery red Assam almost oozed rich caramel, Earl Gray was light and balanced with floral and citrus notes, and their example of my green tea of choice, Ti Quan Yin, was grassy and bright without any bitter edge. Hot chocolate with chilli was a surprisingly complex delight in winter, and in summer, their range of unique coconut milk-based blended iced drinks, called Fricetea were something I’d happily travel across town for. What’s more, the pot of tea would arrive ready to drink with the leaves removed and a friendly suggestion to stick them back in if it’s too weak.
I have no idea why a business like TTT would fail, with its loyal customer base and winning formula, but I can’t pretend to know much about that sort of thing. All I know is that the best place to get tea in Edinburgh is gone, and I will have to find somewhere else to go on a Saturday afternoon.