We're happy to hear that Leaf Bar has been featured on Chayudao.wordpress.com - a wonderful tea blog written by a leading Italian tea teacher and contemporary artist Chiara Mu. You can read the full article (in Italian) here or see the translation kindly provided by the blog owner below:
"On my birthday (3rd July) I received a beautiful, moving gift: one of my ex-colleagues of Teasmith – the exclusive tea bar that defined gong-fu cha aficionados’life in London for almost 8 years and that I contributed to for 5 – Kristine Bebre, bravely managed to open her tea shop online based on fine teas, without granting any concession to lower quality teas and pay homage to our shared tea roots which defined us expert tea brewers of oriental teas (today we would be called ‘tea sommelier’).
So, this is my birthday gift that I like to share with everyone: leafbar.co.uk
…and it corresponds to my intense, direct and proud suggestion of buying these teas because they are outstanding choices.
Don’t expect here the usual tea selling website that has to show you a full list of all the teas in the world…when I evaluate Italian tea shops the first thing I do, even before reading the full history of tea and brewing suggestions of any kind (90% of the times I feel daunted by so many inaccuracies and pure “inventions” I find), I check the oolong section and there I get the nature of the place (being the oolongs category the most neglected in the continental tea culture).
In the Leaf Bar case, the key of understanding the quality is…exactly the opposite of what I find usually online in Italian and foreigner tea websites, in here you will find no more than 30 teas, maybe less, in which 13 are oolongs…not surprisingly! Each tea have been chosen personally, some directly in China (the Phoenix teas have a history to tell…as well as the white), some from the best tea suppliers I know (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong).
The quantity of leaves per bag – 50 grams maximum – might seem little but is tied to the concept of the multiple infusions: 5 grams can be infused for an afternoon, one morning or all through the day. In my opinion exceptional teas define exceptional time…which can be shared with others or dedicated to oneself.
But If you are tired or you don’t have time to dedicate to yourself…I suggest you to simply throw some leaves of the aged tieguanyin proposed by Kris in a cap to go, fill it with hot water and take a walk…the continuous infusion of the leaves, sitting at the bottom of the cup, will allow to drink a great tea while moving, appreciating the great aroma and the natural sweetness, enhanced by the characteristic roasting.
One final thing: as usual Chayudao doesn’t get any compensation of any kind regarding tips for buying teas. This writing of mine is motivated by my desire to support the kind of teawork I believe in (quality, passion and knowledge) and is based on honoring my personal tea history which I have been lucky enough to share with passionate and competent friends and colleagues."