Proper Tea at Manchester Cathedral is from the owners of the popular Teacup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter and their sister chocolate shop BonBon, and I finally got to check it out this week when I was invited to a Tea Workshop.
This tea shop is lovely, with a fantastic location right next to Manchester Cathedral. It’s both central yet hidden away from the shops, so it is a great (quiet) spot for a drink while out shopping in Manchester. The owners say it’s been very popular since it opened last year and I can see why. Thanks to the huge windows and glass front it’s full of natural daylight, and has a quirky yet contemporary vibe with its chequerboard floor and décor made from reclaimed doors. It was a lovely sunny evening when I visited and the few outdoor tables were constantly filled, and it felt very spacious both inside and out.
Anyway, on to the tea workshops, which are being launched this month thanks to Proper Tea’s resident tea expert Kalpa Gosrani who has travelled the world learning about tea. Last night a few of us got to sample the experience, which involved tasting a rainbow of teas whilst learning about the art and culture of tea, the health benefits, how each tea differs from the next, how best to brew it and other tea tips.
As someone who only ever really drinks English Breakfast tea I really enjoyed this chance to experience a whole new world of teas. It became apparent that decent quality loose leaf tea brewed for the right time and at the right temperature really does taste amazing. Even green tea! Who knew? In fact, my favourite tea of the evening was a very and expensive rare green tea (which won’t be available on the regular menu due to its rarity but can be tasted on workshop sessions). We learned some of the secrets behind brewing the perfect cup of tea, which include understanding what temperature water to use (as boiling water affects the leaves and can create a bitter taste) and the brewing time (3 minutes is way too long for these high quality loose leaf teas).
The workshops are a really interesting idea. We’re a nation of tea drinkers but many of us don’t experiment much and are completely unaware of the world of loose leaf teas that exist outside of the supermarket selections. I was so surprised at liking most of the different types of tea I tried, and it was nice to be able to sample so many as now I’ll be able to be a bit more adventurous when ordering tea– and will have some knowledge to back up my choice too!
The workshops will be £30 a session and as the vibe was relaxed yet classy (and interesting too) I think they’d be perfect for small groups of friends looking to celebrate events.
The edible treats that we had alongside the tea…