Piacha is a cute little tea shop on Upper Street in Islington, and you lot know just how much I enjoy exploring Islington! So when Mokuska invited me, as a fellow tea lover, to join her for a complimentary tea tasting evening there was no way I was going to say no. Bring on the tea…
Piacha was founded by Pia, a tea enthusiast and ex-lawyer with a background in technology. Her own quest for a delicious cup of takeaway tea inspired her to create a range of teas and a concept focused on fast service and quality flavours.
And if you haven’t guessed it already, Piacha is a combination of her name and the word cha, which means tea! That’s Pia in the picture above, and she met us on the night to talk through a number of flavours and her story.
Piacha offers a whole heap of teas and blends – just look how many! – for both drink in, takeaway and for sale if you’d like to brew your own at home.
And if you want to give your cuppa a bit of a personal twist, there are flavour boosters near the counter that you can select to add in!
How beautiful do the roses look?
Before we got started, Pia had us smell the teas (there are mason jars with loose leaves for each blend on offer available near the counter for anyone to try before ordering) to make a decision about the flavours we were going to sample.
Mokuska and I got a wee bit excited and ended up smelling nearly (if not all – I lost track!) every blend on that wall.
And where there’s tea, there’s cake!
All sorts of cake, in fact.
As well as macaroons…
… and a whole bunch of muffins, tarts and pastries.
After we’d had a thorough browse of the teas and treats we decided to have a nosey about while the first round of tea brewed – starting with the downstairs!
Just how adorable is this little reading corner?
The first tea we tried was the Apple Green Tea, and I think we spent so much time snapping pics of it that it went room-temperature before we took the first sip! But it was still lovely.
Next we headed back upstairs to a set of cosy red chairs at the back of the shop, where we indulged in the next sampling: Oolong Shui Xian served with both Genmaicha Salmon and Apple Green Tea Brie sandwiches. Aka: sandwiches infused with tea! And they were really yummy – please don’t make me pick a favourite…
After our savoury course we moved on to something sweeter: Black & Cherry tea served with chocolate tiffin. And oh boy, was that tiffin tasty! The Black & Cherry tea had marzipan undernotes, and could be enjoyed with or without milk. We tried it both ways, and found that the milk made it more soothing and brings out the cherry flavour a bit more.
Next up: the colourful Macha Mint with chocolate truffles.
Just look at those truffles! They’re from a Lithuanian chocolate brand, and these flavours were mascarpone & raspberry. mango & basil and almond coconut.
My pictures do not do these truffles any justice – they were divine and looked beautiful, even with a bite taken out.
The Macha Mint could be drunk with or without milk, and I’m undecided about which way I prefer it. I think I’ll just have to try this one again a few more times… 😉
Now it was time for something with a bit of a kick: Ginger & Chilli tea. I wasn’t sure if I would like this one (I’m not always a fan of ginger, and I’m not always a fan of chilli…) but I’ve actually come back since this sampling to purchase a cup of this one! I think it’s a lovely blend of both, and while the chilli isn’t too strong its taste is still obvious.
For our final hot tea we tried the Rooibos Choc Cinnamon. Rooibos is one of my favourite types of tea and, no surprise here, it was delicious! My fellow red bush fans, you’ll want to give this a go.
One of the things that Piacha offers is smoothies and milkshakes, and while I’ve had various types of iced tea drinks before I’ve never had a full on smoothie or milkshake made with proper tea.
We tried a Matcha Blueberry smoothie, which was all sorts of delicious.
Our final tea of the evening was quite indulgent: an Earl Grey Peach Milkshake made with ice cream. Guess what? This is another one I’ve come back to order with my own money as a breakfast smoothie (so that time around it wasn’t made with ice cream) because it was just that good. The Earl Grey flavour isn’t overpowering, and the pieces of peach really compliment it with a natural sweetness.
So while this experience was a gift, I have already been back to Piacha and I know that won’t be the last time! That Ginger & Chilli has my name all over it (I never thought I’d say that about that flavour combo!) and I want another cup of that Black & Cherry. And another round of truffles. Also the tiffin. And there were still some other teas I’ve not yet tried…
Are you a tea fan? What types of tea would you like to try most?
Much love, Katie xo
Please note: while the experience in this blog post was a gift, the views expressed are my own.