Words by Anya Zervudachi
As I approached The Pavilion Tea Company, I was a little shocked I had not stumbled on the tea rooms before, being just outside the Pavilion Gardens and so close to my office.
With the beautiful Pistachio green frontage glinting in the afternoon sunshine being a little on the bijou side, you must keep your eyes peeled to discover this wonderful new addition to Brighton’s ever expanding cafe scene. The first thing you notice on entering is how much the place feels like ‘real old fashioned tea shop’. The back wall and front of the counter being taken up by draws and jars containing the vast selection of teas The Pavilion Tea Company has on offer.
I was greeted warmly by Rachel and offered an incredible tea menu, almost as long as my arm. I asked for her recommendation on a nice herbal blend and settled into my luscious blue banquet with a pot of Ayurvedic ‘Harmony’ to ask her was a few questions about what makes The Pavilion Tea Company so unique.
Are you a tea drinker yourself?
Most definitely – I love tea and this is one of the reasons I was so attracted to the job!
What is your favourite tea?
I like so many teas so it’s impossible to choose just one to call my favourite. I like different teas for different times of the day – Assam Second Flush would be my morning choice – it has a rich flavour with fruity notes and I enjoy this with a dash of milk. However, during the afternoon, I prefer to drink Gardenia or Ayervedic Harmony as they are more refreshing and I love their blossom blends.
I understand you have quite and intense training with The Pavilion Tea Company, what is the most interesting thing you’ve learnt about tea since joining?
I always knew there was more to tea than a mug of ‘British builder’s tea’, but hadn’t realised there was such a wide variety. There are so many different flavours and I found the tea-tasting in training really interesting. Of course, this knowledge benefits me in my own enjoyment of drinking tea as well as our customers who may need a little guidance in choosing something new to try.
Are all teas brewed at the same temperature?
No – not at all. Green, White, Pu’eh and some Oolong teas are brewed at cooler temperature of around 78°c which is important as hotter water would damage the leaves and spoil the flavours. Other teas, such as herbal infusions and black tea are brewed at the higher temperature of around 95°c.
Do you serve any other drinks other than Tea?
Yes – although we are called The Pavilion Tea Company and have a range of 40 different teas, we also offer refreshing cold drinks such as Victorian Lemonade, as well as hot chocolate and speciality coffees, too. It’s also been claimed that we make the best mocha in town! Additionally, we have an alcohol license and so people can have a glass of wine with lunch if they wish.
Which coffee do you use?
Peyton and Byrne work very closely with Mozzo, a small coffee company based in Southampton. They created a unique ‘Brighton Blend’ for us, which has a lovely smooth rich taste, and in addition to our tea training, we’ve all had full barista training from a Mozzo Master.
I have noticed you have a couple of gluten free cakes do you cater for any other intolerances?
Currently, we have amazing gluten-free gooey chocolate cake and delicious citrus and plum cake and we are always able to offer advice on ingredients in our often changing range of sweet treats.