The art of tea drinking has never been so popular and an art it truly has become.
Though we can lay no claim to producing this fine plant, we are one of the top tea consumers in the world and it is engrained in our history from when we began smuggling tea plants from China in the 1840s. Initially a drink for members of the aristocracy, it is now enjoyed by those from all walks of life. Whether you prefer to curl up on the sofa with a brew or take a trip to a tearoom with friends, Norwich has the answer to all of your tea drinking needs.
Our high streets are teeming with coffee shops but it seems that we are now beginning to favour the leaf over the bean as more and more tearooms are popping up around the country. The most eclectic of Norwich’s tearooms is Biddy’s on Lower Goat Lane. This delightful place boasts an array of locally made pies and cupcakes to accompany the tea of your choice served in traditional pots and cups. Here you can enjoy the full monty of sandwiches, scones, cake and tea in the bustling tearoom upstairs or sit amidst the antique furnishings with a teacup of carrot cake.
The Assembly House on Theatre Street offers perhaps the most traditional of afternoon teas in Norwich. The tea purists among you will be happy to know that all of their teas, from the decaffeinated Roobois to their fruity blends, are served loose leaf with free refills and you can also indulge in extra sandwiches free of charge! Their afternoon tea is a treat at £16 but money well spent for the beautiful setting and excellent attention to detail.
For tea on the go and the lowest price in the city, pop into Norwich market where an energising cuppa will cost you no more than a pound, though if your thirst has still not been quenched, the city has some great shops where you can pick up your favourite blend and try it at home, or take in a flask to university.
There is of course nothing wrong with your supermarket teabag but for flavours of a more exotic nature and your choice of quantity, head to Wilkinson’s tea and coffee merchants on Lobster Lane. The aromas of coffee and tea fill your nostrils the instant the door opens into this dinky shop with barrel upon barrel of tea on display. The owners will point you in the right direction for your preference of blend and there really is something for everyone here. In the interest of balance, it must be noted that the coffee here is very good as well, for those who favour the bean.
Just when you thought there could be nothing more for Norwich to offer the avid tea fan, a must see for anyone interested in the history of the pot is the world’s largest teapot and largest collection of teapots currently housed in the Castle Museum in the centre of town.