Tea for you and me

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


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Jam Factory

Hollybush Row, 27 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HU.   (View on map)

My tea at the Jam Factory.

The Jam Factory is a restaurant and bar that has art classes and things as well. The art on the wall near the table where we sat was very familiar as I’d previously seen it at Jelly so the Jam Factory immediately felt like home (maybe the artists only exhibit in places named after food?). Plus they had a selection of indoor trees growing and I have always wanted to grow a tree inside my house.

The Jam Factory was specifically recommended as a place to go where you could get tea or beer, so some of us had tea and some had beer and some went even further and had coffee. I stuck to tea, but though there was a choice of loose leaf (including Rooibos and green tea) there was no Earl Grey. I went for Darjeeling and a slice of banana cake instead. The seven of us placed our orders and a combination of tea, coffee, beer, cake and caramel shortbread arrived at our table. There was banana cake, but not for me. In the end I went and asked for it and they gave me an extra large slice as an apology. The tea was nice, but there wasn’t enough of it (just a cup rather than a pot) but the cake was good.

Tea and my apology sized banana cake.

Teapot? No. The big jars of loose leaf tea behind bar looked promising, but then it went into a large teabag anyway.
Leaf tea? Yes.
Milk jug? Yes, a little one each.
Price? £2 for a cup of tea, £2.50 for a slice of banana cake.
Cake? Yes – and also flapjacks, museli bars and shortbread.
Go again? I’d quite like to try going here for a meal, but maybe not for the tea.


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The Grand Café

84 The High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG

The ceiling of The Grand Café

This café looks as grand as it’s name, with pillars and gold outside and more pillars and gold inside. The Grand Café is on the site of the first coffee house in England and so I was a bit nervous about whether or not the tea would be any good, but I needn’t have worried.

I’m really sorry about the blurred quality of the photos, I hadn’t had any tea since before breakfast and obviously it was getting to me. There was a choice of black teas on the menu, including Earl Grey (which I had) and Lapsang Souchong (which R had). The tea pots came with no strainer but did have a mesh ball inside with the loose leaves in it. It was excellent Earl Grey and R says his Lapsang was also very good.

Tea and cake at The Grand Cafe

R also had a slice of Victoria Sponge cake and then decreed that I wasn’t allowed any, but in the interests of this blog I stole some with my teaspoon. It was good, not the best I’ve ever had, but better than most. It also came with some squiggles on the plate – either fruit coulis or syrup of some sort. Although he ate it, he could not tell me which it was, so this just proves the need for me to eat the cake when we go visiting places.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Yes.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2.50 per pot, £3.50 for the cake.
Cake? Yes, and a whole separate menu for patisserie items. Impressive.
Go again? Yes.