Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever

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Delicious… wins ‘My favourite coffee shop’

I’m a bit late in reporting on this, but the excellent Delicious… has won the Reading Retail Awards 2010 ‘My favourite coffee shop’ award, as voted for by customers.

Picnic, which I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t stuck on here though I go all the time, won ‘Independent Store of the Year’.

Congratulations to both!

[Picnic now has it’s very own review! Take a look at it here.]

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Cafe Bebo, Druckers and Delicious…

Yesterday we were in Birmingham after a night out and we set out to have a fry up for breakfast. I haven’t been to Birmingham that often, but we had seen a cafe called Cafe Bebo the night before and thought it looked worth investigating. As we ordered our food and tea I saw a notice that it was owned by the Gormet Sandwich and Coffee Company and that was my first inkling that this was not going to be the best tea in the world. Why can’t someone invent a cafe that does good coffee and good tea?

The tea was terrible, with a nasty metallic aftertaste. I didn’t finish mine, which is most unheard of for me. I know this blog is about tea, but I wouldn’t recommend the fry up either. After we ordered we realised there was no cooker, so the whole thing was constructed with two microwaves and a panini grill. Our poached eggs came ready poached out of little plastic pots with plastic covers. Now we knew why they were poached and not fried. Maybe the coffee here is good, but I wouldn’t bother with the tea or English breakfast.

Cafe Bebo
Teapot? No such luck. Big mug and a saucer.
Leaf tea? No, Drury tea bag. I’ve had these before and they normally taste fine. Not here though.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £10 for two teas and two big English breakfasts.
Cake? Didn’t look.
Go again? Not even if you paid me.

Luckily, we were with someone who did know Birmingham and who led us to a branch of a cafe chain called Druckers. This was inside the Bull Ring shopping centre, so I was sceptical at first, but I needed have worried. My tea came in a pot, and the cake selection was amazing. I have never seen so many varieties that I wanted to eat. I’m as picky about my cake as I am about my tea, but here was a selection that all looked good enough to eat. Black Forest Gateux, carrot cake, Baumkuchen, chocolate eclairs, apple cake, chocolate cake, pain au raisin, more than I can remember. Even cakes that I know I don’t like looked good in this place. And the savoury croissants smelled gorgeous. This cafe more than made up for our earlier trauma, my only problem was that I couldn’t choose which cake to have and ended up having none!

Druckers Vienna Patisserie
Teapot? Yes, little metal one and a cup and saucer.
Leaf tea? No, usual selection of Twinings teabags.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.60 for ‘speciality tea’, £1.50 for English Breakfast.
Cake? So much and it all looked so good. The carrot cake got the thumbs up from my friend.
Go again? Yes, I’m considering going back to Birmingham just for the cake here.

This morning I set out for my favourite cafe and I wasn’t disappointed. Delicious… is a small cafe that has the most relaxed atmosphere I’ve ever experienced when drinking tea outside of a home. The tea is smooth and lovely and the cakes are homemade by the owner every morning, including a gluten free variety. I try to go every week and every time I leave feeling refreshed.

10, Prospect St, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 8JG
0118 947 7411

Teapot? Yes, white china and big enough for 3 and a half cups. Matching cup and saucer.
Leaf tea? No, but fairtrade teabag.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? A lovely £1.50 for a whole pot.
Cake? Yes, tasty and homemade. Scones, salads, sandwiches and afternoon tea available as well.
Go again? At least once a week.