As part of the Urbancode campaign, we want to explore everything that makes each of these areas unique. Redchurch Street is known for independent stores, as is most of East London. T2 however is something that’s a bit more unique. While there are many tea stores in London, T2’s first ever international store has created an impressive presence with a very friendly, diverse store offering an extremely wide range of tea and the tools to make the tea perfect. We interview these unique Australians, speaking to Jacqueline the Shoreditch store manager on their Redchuch Street knowledge.
Tell us a bit about T2.
T2 is an Australian company, established in Melbourne in 1996. We’re all about creating a culture and a tea generation based on amazing traditions, as well as crazy new ones. As a company, T2 has always strived to source the best teas from around the world, to brew, create and be innovative when it comes to such an age-old beverage. We’re here to make sure that no matter how you take your tea, you can brew the perfect cup!
We understand this is your first UK store. What brings you to England, and more specifically, Redchurch Street?
Tea in England… who’d have thought? But in all good humoured seriousness – where better for our first international store. In saying that, it’s not without a lot of thought, preparation and research that we decided to set up in Redchurch street. It is very, very similar to the area in which T2 first ever opened its first doors: Brunswick Street, in Fitzroy [Australia] – an edgy, versatile, up and coming area with a lot of different cultures and demographics. This is Redchurch Street’s beginnings – and it’ll go down in history here in East London! I’m over the moon to actually be part of something so incredible & to see it go from strength to strength.
What’s your favourite thing about Redchurch Street/East London so far?
What’s not to love – it’s such a vibrant, ever changing area. There is always something going on and the versatility of the shoppers and locals is fantastic. There’s never a dull moment in East London from what I can gather so far.
Being located in Redchurch street must mean you get some very stylish clientèle?
We get many walks of life through our little door. There are a lot of handsome men in suits, lots of European women in beautiful couture, plenty of alternative & funky hipsters and the colour & quirky mixed style of the East Londoners in general. I actually had a huge sale to Magnus Carlssen of Acne Studios in Sweden who bought a LOT of tea (about 20 different types!) for his office back in Stockholm! A very cool guy, and now complete with a very cool tea collection.
Where do you enjoy going locally when the shop closes up?
We can generally be found having an after-work drink at the Owl and Pussycat or the Crown & Shuttle and the Old Blue Last. Eating at Pizza East & Hoi Polloi have also been highlights of my experiences thus far. However, the best part about working in East London is having unlimited opportunities to explore and discover new places. I haven’t been in London too long so the list is currently endless… Callooh Callay and The White Lyon are next!
What’s the most exotic tea you stock at T2?
We have some amazing fruity, florally flavours and crazy blends to contend with – Ayurvedic Vata Boom, Fruitalicious, Riotous Rose, Crazy Chilli Green Chai, Pumping Pomegranate, White White Cocoa, Geisha Getaway… to name but a few! But our most expensive, high-grade, exotic style tea is definitely the Buddha’s Tears. Hand rolled, jasmine scented, highest quality Chinese green tea pearls. They’re absolutely gorgeous!
The people of London love a good cup of tea. Any tips for making the perfect brew?
Once you’ve had some premium quality tea you’ll never go back to the old super-market teabag. Don’t dispute it ‘til you’ve tried it, and we’ll happily brew you up a cup of anything to prove our point. Other than that – we’re here to make sure that not only have you got the right tea, but that you’ve also got the perfect brewing tools and storage for your special blend. And we haven’t even begun to get started on the teapots.
Does T2 plan on expanding across London?
Absolutely! Watch this space.
For more about T2 visit their website.