? Entries still open for the Tchai Your Best photo competition! Our shop is all nooks and crannies – can you help us bring them to light? The competition is for best photographs taken in and around Tchaiovna – just post them on Instagram using the tag #tchaiyourbest. The entries will be judged by a panel of our in-house experts, with the top three awarded a £10, £20 and £30 voucher ? There is no limit to the number of entries accepted per person, though we do reserve the permission to use and repost all entries – with appropriate crediting, of course. Entries close on 31.01.2019. So come on, Tchai Your Best! ?
This extra-special Japanese sencha combines the freshness of the first harvest with the depth of flavour of the old seeds from the bush variety Yabukita. Grown exclusively in the Kumamoto prefecture in Southern Japan, this tea has only come to grace our shelves for a limited time period. The finest leaves and leaf buds were harvested in mid April, a whole week before the true first flush — one might say you can’t get any closer to tasting the tea tree as it comes. This is directly reflected in the vivid hue of the leaves — it’s our greenest one yet!
On the palate, this tea has all the vegetal seaweedy richness of sencha combined with an almost caramely roundedness which brings to mind an almost whisky-level depth of flavour. The staff verdict on this one is: very aromatic and satisfyingly full-bodied. We don’t imagine we’ll have it for very long so best come down to the shop, try it and tell us what you think it’s like!
While the hot summer days are still with us, why not come down and taste our newest creation?
Delicious, vegan, kulfi-inspired Yogi Chai Ice Cream!!!
Prepared using our favourite blend of spices with a pinch of saffron, ground almond and lashings of coconut cream, it’s available for £2.80 a portion.
We hope you enjoy it!
We’re opening our new series of tea musings with this superior chai that has once upon a time graced the Afghan court. Traditionally served only to royalty, our Zanjafeel recipe comes from the very heart of the trade route that changed the culinary world. In its heyday, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It built and destroyed empires, drew people towards new continents and tipped the world power balance – and all this in pursuit of a more satisfying dinner. For all we know, the Renaissance may have been very much taste bud-driven.
Myths of the Trade
Between 1500 and 1700, merchants travelled thousands of miles to the spice-rich Orient. The journey was initially conducted by camel caravans and a single trip could sometimes take years. When products such as ginger and pepper first appeared on the European markets, they were instantly catapulted to luxury status. The spice traders made up stories in order to create a sense of mystery around their wares. They spoke of battles with ancient gods and birds of prey guarding the spice on top of high cliffs. Soon the value of spice went through the roof. Dock workers in London were paid their bonuses in cloves. Nutmeg was worth seven fattened oxen. What is now an ordinary kitchen staple has once surpassed even gold in value.
Zanjafeel: straight from the Afghan mountains
Shared with us by a friend, our authentic Zanjafeel has been praised by musicians visiting from Afghanistan itself. Although our recipe does not include cloves or nutmeg, the decadent touch lies in the use of fine Spanish saffron. This is a tea that turns the very idea of tchai on its head – the recipe uses green tea rather than black and does not contain any milk. Although Zanjafeel has all the roundedness usually associated with tchai, the depth of flavour comes from the spice itself. The order of the ingredients and the preparation method are also important. Usually a vibrant yellow colour, a cup of Zanjafeel houses a fine mist that arises from the amalgamation of different spices. Tangy lemons, plenty of warming ginger and aromatic cardamom make this an ideal tea to spice up a rainy day.
We are really excited about this tea – this is a high grade organic Japanese green leaf tea blended with Matcha produced on the southern most island of Japan by true tea aficionado’s, the Hayashi’s. Harvested in May 2016 this tea has the depth, complexity and freshness of a fresh Sencha and the intensity and zing of Matcha. This is being launched this weekend at BBC Good Food Show.
Come down to hear this great trio of jazzateers create improvisational magic their musical wands. They will be doing their own individual interpretations of jazz standards, with a few groovy things thrown in. Featuring the lyrical Crawford McCallum on guitar, the acrobat of the double bass Jay Kilbride and Chris “cooking” Whitehouse on drums.
8-10pm. £2 recommended donation.
This is the first of a series of tea talks and workshops which aim to explore the world of tea. Who would have thought that there is so much to know about a drink that is in everybody’s kitchen cupboard; the history, the culture of the people who make it, and all the weird and wonderful varieties?
On 20th July we will be exploring black tea – the most commonly drunk tea in the world. It will involve tasting some of Tchai-Ovna’s range of black teas, interspersed with biscuits and snacks. Co-Owner Martin Fell will share his knowledge built up through over 16 years working in the tea world as well various trip to India, in order to give you a flavour of what black tea really is, it’s history, how to make it and how to discern true quality. All are welcome, from interested beginners to tea officionado’s.
8-9.30pm tickets £8/£5 concessions – (including tasting teas, snacks and some packets to take away).
So this is the deal, if you can make it to the Tchai-Ovna between 12 and 2pm on a week day you can take advantage of our soup and a sandwich lunch offer. Buy one of James’s delicious soups and get a free sandwich – £4.80 all in. What better way to spend your lunch break?!