Owners Frances Smalley and Sam Birch, Photo: Norwich City Council
A new stall dedicated to the nation’s favourite drink has opened on Norwich Market.
Birchley’s Loose Leaf Tea, as its name suggests, sells a variety of teas including black, green, fruit and herbal.
Its owners Frances Smalley and Sam Bircham offer advice to customers on which teas would suit their needs best and also sell a variety of eco-friendly tea-related accessories.
Mr Birch said: “Our teas are all sourced from Fine Tea Merchants Ltd, owned by Will Battle. The teas he produces are from all around the globe from places such as China, India, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Rwanda, and are blended in house. He also wrote The World Tea Encyclopaedia.
“We believe specialty tea is on the rise of popularity, as with the rise of different types of coffee, we feel that it’s tea’s time to shine and having a specialty tea shop on the Norwich Market would make it more accessible than ever. Almost all our tea can’t be found in supermarkets, they normally only sell blends of English breakfast with their own branding, when English breakfast is only one of many teas out there to try.
“Norwich Market is a ever-growing space housing a wide variety of shops and food stalls, it brings a much more local and community vibe and seemed an excellent place to sell tea.”
Co-owner Mrs Smalley added: “After 10 years of working on the Herb and Spice stall, many people had asked if there was a tea shop. I had to say no, but thought of the idea of opening my own. Then stall 50 became vacant and I went for it.
“The addition of a tea shop to a now busy market completes the range of products that people can buy. Now they can get almost everything in one place at a reasonable price.
“In recent years the market has really grown with thanks to new management. The variety of stalls and eateries have brought so many new customers, it’s like a proper European market.”
Birchley’s Loose Leaf Tea is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.30pm, and can be found at stall 50, row B.
Norwich Market was founded in the latter part of the eleventh-century and hosts around 200 stalls.
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