When most people think of Great Britain, they immediately think of tea time. London’s most famous tea importer actually started out slinging coffee. In 1706, Thomas Twining opened Tom’s Coffee House, which catered to London’s well-to-do residents. Thomas Twining’s background working at the East India Company inspired him to sell a variety of teas. Tom’s Coffee House soon became known as one of the best places to sample the finest teas in London.
One of the great secrets of Thomas Twining’s success is that he sold dry tea to women, who were excluded from all-male coffee houses like Tom’s. Tea time became a staple of British life once London’s women began to brew tea in their homes. Thomas Twining’s tea trade ultimately became so successful, his small coffee shop evolved into an expansive business that has thrived for over 300 years, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Thomas Twining’s flagship coffee shop turned tea emporium is still in operation today. The Twinings Tea Shop features walls and walls of every type of tea imaginable. If you’re a tea lover, your heart will skip a beat as you peruse shelves full of jasmine, Darjeeling, and rooibos tea. Visitors are encouraged to sample several flavors of tea as they stroll through the store. The Twinings Tea Shop offers tea master classes for connoisseurs who want to learn more about the eclectic world of tea.
Twinings Tea holds the distinction of having the oldest continuously used corporate logo in the world, as well as a royal warrant to provide tea to the British Royal family, If tea time is an indispensable part of your day, a visit to the Twinings Tea Shop in London is a must. Just make sure there is room in your suitcase for several boxes of tea.