Yumchaa – Goodge Street

Reviewed on August 16th, 2015 by Dina

For those of you who enjoy tea, you will be spoilt for choice at Yumchaa. At Yumchaa, it is all about the loose tea with signs saying “No tea bags, no tea baggage and no tea bagging” and “Drink loose leaf tea”.

The variety of teas are displayed in little labelled milk jugs. Take your pick from the black, green, red and white teas. All the teas are listed with the ingredients, the type of tea, the caffeine level and also whether it is available hot or iced.

As there is so much choice, be warned it may take a while to decide. After narrowing it down to have a caffeine free tea, the Raspberry Vanilla Rooibos tea was chosen. The components of this red tea were raspberry, vanilla pods, rose petals and rooibos. The tea was fragrant and fruity with a hint of vanilla. It was pleasant together with some hot soya milk.

The counter is adorned with sweet and savoury scones, thick slices of cake and a tower of brownies. It is a shame that it is an open display of the food and items are not covered. But Yumchaa did inform us that this is going to change by September and all of the food will be displayed behind a glass counter. If you want something for lunch, then there are also wraps, sandwiches and salads.

The cheese and chive scone was of a good size. It came toasted with butter on the side. The scone was dense with cheesy pieces and was filling.

The staff at Yumchaa are friendly and don’t rush you to order your tea. They make sure that the tables remain clean and come round frequently to clear up anything that you have finished with. It’s great that they also don’t mind refilling your teapot with more hot water.

Different wallpapers with different themes decorate the walls. There is a cuteness about Yumchaa with its displays. A big wooden table and chairs make up the window seating. The rest of the cafe is brought together by cosy sofas and smaller tables. It feels fairly spacious.

Even though Yumchaa is a popular cafe and tearoom, it is not overly noisy. Maybe this has something to do with the calming effect that tea has on people! There is a nice buzz about the place.

Yumchaa sure has got things right with going back to serving loose teas in a relaxed environment. It is easy for the hours to pass by at this wonderful cafe. All of the loose teas are available to buy so once you discover your favourite, you can enjoy it at home.

Yumchaa, 9/11 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 2AQ

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Andronicas World of Coffee – Covent Garden

Reviewed on August 20th, 2014 by Dina

If you are looking for this coffee shop, then do not expect to see a sign saying Andronicas outside of it. Instead look for a neon lit Espresso Bar sign in the window.

After a lot of time walking up and down Floral Street several times and getting blank responses from neighbouring shops when asked if they knew where Andronicas was, we began to believe that Andronicas did not exist. So, we gave up and picked the closest coffee shop which had several signs outside of it displaying Espresso Bar.

It is not until we entered the cafe that there was a picture of a map and in the corner, the magical words of Andronicas World of Coffee appeared. The name Andronicas was everywhere inside the cafe: by the counter, on the coffee cups, on the menu but just nowhere on the outside. Not displaying the name of the coffee shop on the outside is a big mistake in our eyes.

Andronicas CounterAndronicasAndronicas Seating AreaAndronicas SandwichesAndronicas TeaAndronicas SconeAndronicas Map SignAndronicas Hot ChocolateAndronicas Counter DisplayAndronicas DisplayAndronicas DecorAndronicas Menu

To calm ourselves down from the frustration and feeling like we deserved a treat, we chose to have the Afternoon Tea. Luckily once we were in the cafe, things did improve. The staff gave us good efficient service. They were friendly apart from one member of staff. For the whole time that we were in Andronicas, this staff member made us feel like we should quickly have our food and drink and then leave.

The Afternoon Tea did not come with the traditional finger sandwiches. Instead, two little white rolls were served with the warm fillings. A sesame topped white roll had gammon ham, melted cheese and cucumber. Mozzarella, tomato and pesto made up the poppy seeded roll. Both of the sandwiches tasted delicious with the fresh fillings.

A big warm fruit scone came with an individual jar of strawberry jam, butter and a small bowl of clotted cream. It was served after we had finished our sandwiches.

The Earl Grey came in a small white teapot with a milk jug on the side. The hot chocolate was perfect. It was not too heavy. When we told the staff that the hot chocolate was slightly cold, they quickly replaced it was a hot one without any fuss.

Andronicas only has a couple of tables and a breakfast bar like area running through the middle of the cafe. Fresh flowers brightened the place. There were pastries on display at the counter. Shelves around the shop displayed various coffee makers and equipment.

The main reason we chose to come to Andronicas was that we thought that it would be quieter due to its location down the side street, even though it was in Covent Garden. The cafe was not too busy on this weekday but it is likely to be a lot more popular on the weekends.

In the end, Afternoon Tea at Andronicas was lovely; it was just a shame about our struggling quest to hunt its location out!

Andronicas World of Coffee, 28A Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DP

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Kaffeine – Fitzrovia

Reviewed on July 20th, 2014 by Dina

Glorious blue sky summer days means the pleasure of making the most of the great outdoors but also taking the chance for a relaxed lunch. Kaffeine is a very popular cafe with queues coming out the door at busy times. Wooden panels and crate like tables make up the small seating area with some high stools near to the counter. There is a bench outdoors too.

Kaffeine serves up one of the best smoothest coffees and one that I would return for. The Americano decaf was served in a matching black cup and saucer with soy milk. The food is displayed in the counter fridge and includes toasted foccacia sandwiches, baguettes, tarts and salads. As the food is seasonal, Kaffeine has a menu that changes each week.

KaffeineKaffeine Vegetarian TartKaffeine Chocolate and Hyssop FriandKaffeine InteriorKaffeine CoffeeKaffeine Interior 2

The vegetarian tart on offer on this particular visit was roasted vegetables in a Gruyere pastry with saffron cream. The pastry was thin, light and crispy. Parsnips, aubergine, red pepper, onion and courgette made up the chunky filling. It could have done with slightly less saffron cream. The tart was garnished with wood sorrel.

For something sweet, the chocolate and hyssop friand was chosen. The cake was almond based and was not too dense. The chocolate and almond made a wonderful combination with the hyssop icing. In Kaffeine’s own words, this is what hyssop is:

“Hyssop is a foraged plant that is quite resilient and best picked in early spring or early autumn when it’s in blossoms. The leaves and stems have a menthol aroma and taste of a combination of peppermint and lavender.”


There are lots of other sweet treats on offer such as cookies, brownies, Portuguese tarts and muffins. It is a shame that the cakes are not covered and are just on display on the counter top. The staff gave service with a smile and were efficient.

Kaffeine is a great cafe with fresh tasting food and undeniably fantastic coffee! It makes for a lovely place for just coffee or for lunch.

Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7QJ

Rating: ★★★★½

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