Yes we have over 80 sustainably-sourced leaf teas on the menu with many exclusive blends, organic and seasonal teas on offer too. Yes all our teas are loose and lovely and they will flood your life with happiness. And yes there’s delicious coffee too! There’s homemade cake and scones of course. Despite diminutive kitchens, fresh, tasty lunches which complement the teas are served every day 12 – 2. There are killer playlists. There’s smiley, knowledgeable and helpful staff. So do visit your friendly neigbourhood Tea Inc, come with your family or friends, with your dog or just come alone for some solitude or a chat, we know your name and your drink! If we cannot tempt you to visit us in person please visit our online Tea House and check out our teas, coffees and beautiful teaware.
Appropriately enough, it all began over tea, in a dark, snow-bound eastern European capital... Opening a tea house was the craziest ideas we ever had but also one of the best decisions we've ever made. Who's we?!
Well, there's me, Ramona and I come from Deva, Romania. Somebody had to ;-) In that part of the continent you only drink "tea" if you're ill. And "tea" was sort of "twig soup" of leaves, flowers, roots, stems or anything that could be foraged, then dried on newspapers on our sunny balcony. Then this botanical debris was boiled and mixed with ungodly amounts of sugar to resemble a hot, sweet liquid in which chunks of crusty bread are dipped and thus one had a light meal! So different.
Then there's Alan, my husband who is indeed British and introduced me to the world of "real tea". Together, we decided to create "homes from home" for tea lovers (but not exclusively), doily-free, non-stuffy, quirky environments where traditional meets contemporary and people can enjoy this traditional beverage in a more modern, different way...
We love what we do and we hope you'll love it too. Stay loose.
Alan & Ramona Richards
P.S. If you browse our eShoppe you'll notice we have added means to easily donate to a charity which is close to our hearts, the "Wild at Heart Foundation". The donations start at 25p but you could add as many as you want to your shopping basket - your generosity will help them put an end to the suffering of stray dogs all over the world. Please click here if you want to know more about their amazing work and their fight to end the rising tide of cruelty, abuse and neglect. Believe in dog, and because dogs don't have a voice, you will never stop hearing ours. Thank you!
Do you want to know more about us and our TEAm? Read below...
Meet the team
Alan is a food technologist and used to travel a lot for business (this is how he met Ramona but that's a story for another time). The dream of owning a quirky tea place was born in freezing cold, snowy Bratislava in 2006 while stumbling by chance upon a warm, cosy place serving unusual, delicious loose leaf teas and herbal blends... 8 years later, slowly dreaming and brewing this idea, and after a particularly ghastly cup of tea served in a high street chain (luke warm water, teabag and milk together in a cardboard cup was not and never will be a great experience!) he decided that everybody deserves better and it's "Now or Never" time. Fortunately a neglected barbershop tucked away in Devizes' Ginnel was up for sale and, although its diminutive size and sorry state was a little worrying, he decided to make it work. Thus Tea Inc. was born in 2014, and the rest is history as they say... Factoid: Alan is responsible for eating all the Tunnocks teacakes and wafers used to wrap up the famous Tunnocks chair in the Devizes Shoppe and "paving" some of floor in the Marlborough Shoppe. Favourite tea: any good oolong.
Ramona (the other co-founder) is at home in the tiny kitchen of the Devizes Shoppe which is her happy place. She is allowed outside from time to time though. The “BEWARE OF THE CHEF” sign on the kitchen door was made especially for her, although she's fine as long as you feed her cake. She's a Chemical Engineer, having studied Organic Chemistry hence she drew the huge chemical formula for “caffeine” behind the coffee machine to make her feel at home. She's partial to more niche tea brewing methods (Matcha, Kombucha) but she can't tell us her favourite tea as "they're all like children to me, you can't just choose one!"
Meet Alex. Or Scottie. Or you probably know him as the guy that's permanently polite, smiling, saying something clever about tea, or suggesting new and daring tea blends. We know him as the guy that's turning up for work an hour early when he's working and turning up for tea as a customer when he's not :-) He is a huge fan of Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons. He is probably the only person on the planet to have tried all the teas on our menu. Twice. He makes our happy little TEAm complete, he is our very own tea geek and we can only hope he'll never ever change! Favourite tea? Earl Grey, of course. Hot. Make it so ;-)
As part of our Marlborough TEAm, Isabelle (zzy to you and me) is helping us make the second Tea Inc. location a little pocket of happiness for our customers. We know her to be a keen boardgame player and she enjoys taking beautiful photos. Izzy is very happy creating beautiful lunches in the kitchen, cool under pressure, and creates the most delicious soups. Her cute doggo Flo sometimes waits outside the shop for Izzy's shift to finish so they could go for a walkie, which is super sweet. Favourite tea? The mighty Marzipan! Favourite scone? Goats cheese and caramelized red onion of course...
This is Tom. What can we say about our Tom? Long time Blue Cross volunteer, he is, to recycle that old campaign slogan, "strong and stable", only this time in a good way! Tom always has our back, lending a hand in the front of house role or preparing meals in the kitchen. He may spill the odd coffee or forgets a teaspoon but he's always helpful, always smiling, always cheerful. We are so happy he's part of our little TEAm, and we raise a glass of Formosa Oolong, his favourite tea, to him!
This friendly face is Nikki, returning from maternity leave, yay! The TEAm is happy to get her back and she has resumed her hard work like she was never away. Nikki is keen to learn more about tea and is currently reading books about tea in her precious spare time. When she isn't looking after the customers at the Shoppe, or reading the tea books Alex lent her, she enjoys life with her three children. Also Alex introduced her to her favourite tea at the moment, Yerba Mate, as it gives her the boost of energy she needs in the morning without the crash you'd expect afterwards!
You'll sometimes see our Sarah in Marlborough and sometimes in Devizes as she shares her time between the two shops. Haven't asked her which one she likes most :-) She has embraced enthusiastically the task of getting to know all the teas on the menu but she also makes a mean macchiato so you know you are in great hands whether you order tea or coffee. Fave tea of the moment...the emerald hued matcha!
Turns out that the majority of the articles compare matcha vs. coffee but not many offer an explanation on why the same molecule behaves so differently.