I love tea! Although most of the time I prefer taking latte macchiato at work as my “breakfast” and take herbal teas for the rest of the day, I love collecting teas. I still have a lot of teas which I didn’t open and I won’t allow myself to buy a new one before I get rid of the tea bags.
When abroad, if I spot a tea shop, I tend to visit it. Even if I rarely buy anything cause of my temporary tea-buying-ban. Seeing people interested in teas at my friends shops like Soap Cafe’ in Sliema and Shanti in Mosta, made me wonder how we don’t have a tea shop like abroad, till I found out that I was wrong about not having a tea shop in Malta.
About two weeks ago I went to help my friend Sarah from Blends of Nature with her stall at the GX-1 Open Weekend at Le Meridien Hotel. The stall area was warm and I was getting very thirsty. Since I forgot to bring lunch or a bottle of water with me and I didn’t know whether there was a shop near the hotel where I can get a bottle of water at an affordable price, I decided to go and buy it from the hotel bar even if it costs €5 per litre.
On my way to the bar, the shop window of a boutique got my attention. It had some kitchenware. Since I thought it was one of those expensive boutiques you find in hotels, I decided to stay out and just look at the items in the window. However, I was approached and was offered some tea by one of the ladies in the shop, whom later I got to know that her name is Svetlana, a tea expert. Gladly, I accepted, one because I was thirsty and two because I like tasting new teas. I followed Svetlana inside the shop and tasted the freshly brewed teas that were on display. Suddenly, I realised that I was in a tea boutique, the kind I wished to find in Malta.
While tasting the teas, I enjoyed talking to Svetlana about the tea that I tasted and the benefits of each herb it consists of. I was already filling up my tea wishlist in my head. I also spent time going around the shop, it was heaven! Seemed like my wish of having a tea boutique in Malta came true.
There was also a small selection of high quality chocolate. Tea and chocolate, my favourite combination and I seem not to be the only one liking that combination as there was tea flavored chocolates!
Since I felt bad going out empty handed, I decided to buy at least a tea strainer as using my own teapot whenever I felt like tea, sometimes it caused problems at home. At first I was going to buy the box of 100 sheets which I thought I could use as tea bags. However, Svetlana suggested a tea basket. She pointed out that with this basket, which costs around the same as the box of 100 sheets, I am not limited to 100 times of tea brewing and this tea basket is made to fit every mug diameter. It was convincing enough and so I bought it.
I had forgotten to buy the bottle of water from the bar, as I wasn’t feeling thirsty anymore. Went straight back to the stall happy with my purchase and a sample of the Shanteo Baker Street tea.
So my rating of the tea boutique:
The Boutique: 4/5
- Since its not in a location I would visit regularly, I reduced 1 from 5. However Svetlana said that Arkadia in St Julians stocks their teas, so I have to check it when I find some time.
The Staff: 5/5
- Svetlana and her colleague Daria are very friendly.
- Also Svetlana has a deep knowledge of the products she was selling.
The Product: 5/5
- I’ve used the tea basket and I am happy with the purchase.
The Price: 5/5
- Their products are in the same price range as tea shops abroad. If you happen to find the same tea for much cheaper, most probably it won’t be as pure.