It’s Saturday morning! Which means that if I haven’t lost the battle of fatigue, laziness or simply waking up, I’ll be in Good and Proper Tea writing these blog posts for you foodventurers! As the name suggests, coming here will most definitely earn you a good and proper cuppa, thanks to the vision and passion of Emilie, the founder. Based on Leather Lane, the food row of Chancery Lane, this cafe brings something different to the tea and coffee world, unlike the typical chains of Costa and Starbucks.
When first entering, you may feel like you’ve walked into the home of a middle class housewife, who lives in Finchley with her wealthy husband and two perfect children. Hints point to the furniture and appliances that seem to come from those overpriced designer stores that no-one has ever heard of (yet still boom in business!). Seating involves expert contortionism since the tables are pretty cramped while the plug sockets are so low and difficult to reach, you would think they were made for Mr. Fantastic!
HOWEVER, low blows aside, this place deserves an award for their comforting and domestic ambience of soft cushions, kempt decor, trendy vibes and the good music provided. The same can be said for their toilets!
Head to the menu, two large and nifty sliding blackboards, and I’m baffled yet excited by the fascinating options of worldwide teas I’m free to choose from – the Kenya, Hojicha and Iron Buddha to name a few! Thankfully, the baristas here are not only lovely, but very knowledgeable in their trade. I can’t tell you the amount of things I’ve learned and experienced from the times I’ve visited here. Let me share some of my discoveries below!
My first order was a normal coffee with an orange and almond slice. Sounds dry… but the coffee taste was noticeably different to the standard roast containing a fruity and nutty aroma. This partnered well with the divine thickness and zesty sweetness that was my cake, all well presented on a hip wooden tray (bought from a store that I’m curious to know the name of).
Then things get adventurous after a smart endorsement of the chai latte. Thickened beautifully with oat milk, the chai may as well have been a liquescent Indian pudding with ten or so flavours dancing on my palate. This turned out quite true when the waitress explained the list of spices involved.
The homemade sourdough crumpets are the top recommendation in this café because they’re AMAZING! So far I’ve tried the salmon with avocado and the cheese with onion jam. I’m not an avocado fan and the onion jam sounded frightening, but both were gorgeous! The savoury flavours balancing beautifully on the golden crumpet base.
The hot chocolate with recommended coconut milk was a somewhat creamy delight with its subtle chocolatey taste, while the vitamin fuelled coconut cut through the cocoa flavour smoothly. On a random note, the not so healthy brownies here are seriously chocolatey and smooth to the point of perfection!
The chocolatte sounded revolutionary so when drank with high expectation, it drooped when the lack of sweetness hit the taste buds (resolved with sugar). But this led to my next lesson when I learned that the chocolate used in this drink involved coco husks (the shell of the cocoa bean), a bitter ingredient rich in antioxidants, lifting the mood while settling the stomach. With new wisdom intact, I whisked off home to my lab (the kitchen) to make tea with these husks (after the waitress told me how) and holy cocoa it was good!
Good and Proper Tea is a place I would suggest to those who seek a coffee shop experience different from the norm. If you wish to feel at home (away from home) with a desire to try new and delicious brews served by wise and wonderful staff, then please come here! Otherwise stick with the mainstream and go Starbucks.
And remember, since they are a tea shop, almost anything here that tickles your fancy can be bought from them fresh in the packet!