Time for a cuppa?

 We all love swigging from a strong mug of builder's brew, 

or pouring a delicate pot of Earl Gray into a milky china cup. 

But at Red Rickshaw, we don't like to rest on our laurels. 

Let us show you how far we go to find you great teas.  

'Chai' is simply the word for tea in South Asia, but it's become synonymous with masala chai, a lip-smacking blend of strong black tea leaves and spices, especially cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. For authenticity, serve it with much more milk and sugar than a typical British cuppa, which began as a way for chai wallahs to defy the British tea plantation owners by selling more tea from 

chai spices

fewer leaves. You can blend the spices yourself, get it in a tea bag, or even put a few concentrated droplets in your mug. And if you'd like to double down on chai, why not balance a few chai spiced nankhatai (Indian shortbread) on your saucer as well?

popcorn tea

The Japanese call it genmaicha, but one sniff and you'll know why it's been nicknamed 'popcorn tea'. This sweet and nutty mix of toasted brown rice and sencha green tea was originally a frugal way to save money on tea, but now it's hugely popular in both China and Japan. It's also the perfect choice for green tea beginners, a warm hug that brings back pleasant memories of cold mornings and breakfast cereals. 

One word in China sums up the cultural importance of leafy brews: cha-yi, 'the art of drinking tea'. Perhaps the most elegant, beguiling expression of that art form is flowering tea, a bundle of dried green tea leaves and flowers in a tight bulb that slowly blooms in intricate patterns when hot water is added. For best results, use a see-through vessel, perhaps a large wine glass or carafe. One small bulb can make several litres, it's sweet enough to drink hot, warm or cold, and you can keep brewing with 

Flowering tea

the same bulb by adding more hot water throughout the day. Another thing to remember about all green tea: unlike black tea, people like to wait after boiling the water, letting it cool to a temperature between 80 and 90 degrees before adding the tea leaves. You'll preserve the flavours and aroma and get a better brew that way.

When it comes to a refreshing, warming, nourishing cup of tea, there are no wrong answers, and so many right ones. But we believe adventure and exploration will always lead you somewhere you'll be glad to end up, so why not brew something new of an afternoon?

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