England, London Guide (B): Twinings Tiny Tea Shop in London

Twinings Tiny Tea Shop in London
If, like me, you enjoy history and a good cup of tea, there’s a place in London you shouldn’t miss: Twinings tea shop at 216 Strand has it all – wrapped up in one tidy little rectangle of a retail space.

The Twinings (rhymes with signings) shop at 216 Strand is easy to miss. It’s a pint-sized place squeezed between two ample edifices, and its facade is basically no wider than its double-door entry. Tea has been continuously sold out of this skinny store for 300 years, by ten generations of the Twining family.

Tale of Twinings Tea

But the tale of Twinings tea goes back even more than 300 years, and it actually starts with coffee. By the mid 1600s, coffee shops were all the rage in London. They were a bit like gentlemen’s clubs: men went there to discuss the news and politics while drinking their coffee – no women were allowed. By 1700 there were at least 500 of these coffee houses in London. When a new drink, called tea, arrived from China, the coffee shops began to sell it as well – both by the cup and in dry form.

Tea was new and exotic, and the public had to be educated about the benefits of drinking it. So, the coffee houses published pamphlets explaining tea’s many merits. They included: preserving perfect health until extreme old age, making the body active and lusty, relieving headaches, easing the brain and strengthening the memory… Who wouldn’t want a cup of that?

Thomas Twining Trades in Tea… I Mean Coffee

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Sights Map

Guide Name: Twinings Tiny Tea Shop in London
Guide Location: England » London
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: The Twinings  
Author: Margo Lestz
Read it on author's website: https://curiousrambler.com/2017/02/22/twinings-tiniest-tea-shop-in-london/

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