Down it in one. Or don't, you might burn your mouth. I was in the southern part of Soho this weekend and though wonderful, walking around can be awful dehydrating. The conveniently placed Yumchaa tea shop, came to rescue. On the corner of Berwick street, it's in between the cloth and textile shops which line the street.
From the inside out
It has a freshness, unlike a lot of tea shops which tend to veer on the side of twee. Yumchaa is not that sort. Instead it is clean, sophisticated and grown up. The large windows opposite the till floods the room with light and even the downstairs seating area was bright, yet cosy.
The tea shop being in the painfully trendy (expensive) area that is Soho, but it is surprisingly cheap. That could be due to the fact that Yumchaa isn't quite in the centre of Soho (where all the tourists are), but slightly south and about 10 minutes from Oxford Circus tube station. For a teapot of loose leaf oolong tea I paid £2.65. The price was an absolute bargain considering prices are horribly high at £3 - 4.50 or more in other chain-coffee shops. And this is certainly a tea shop. One of it's kind. I've never seen one like it in London. Unspoiled by the scent of coffee or syrupy hot chocolate, Yumchaa is for the tea connoisseurs and I am a true fan.
Buttercream frosted chocolate cake
My tea was superb: clean, fresh and with the unmistakeable oolong tea taste. It was just what I needed after a long day running around central.
Interestingly a customer randomly bought me a slice of chocolate buttercream cake(!). I was flattered, and thankfully the cake was divine; a light sponge with a thick layer of vanilla buttercream slathered on top.
My cousin enjoyed his cup of mango tea too. It was too fruity for my liking, but if you like fruit teas then this one may be right up your street.
Yumchaa has a collection of cafes in Camden Lock, Parkway and Tottenham Street. If you can't make it to a cafe but would like to see what Yumchaa is about you should have a nosey at their stalls at Spitalfields market, Portobello market and Brick Lane. One sip and you'll be hooked.