For The World's Greatest Teas

Significant historic tea locations in London

Below we list a number of tea locations scattered around the City of London, some dating back centuries. They are significant in terms or tea sourcing, trading and consumption as well as the expansion of tea growing nations in colonial times.

The George Inn, 57 Borough High Street, a traditional galleried coachong inn dating back to 1542 having London’s last panelled coffee room where tea was served. It featured in Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Oliver Twist’.

The Aereated Bread Comppany (ABC) , railway approach opposite London Bridge opened in 1865 serving tea.

London Docks, north bank below Tower Bridge where the fastest tea clipppers docked on returning from China. These included the Taeping and Aeriel.

Hay’s Wharf opposite London Bridge station received famous tea clippers in the 1860s.

The Pool of London, downstream of London Bridge on the north bank was where ships docked, adjacent to Custom House, itself next to the Tower of London. Custom House, rebuilt in 1272, 1668 and 1825 has been located on this site since Anglo-Saxon times.

Eastcheap, adjacent to the Monument, commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666, had five tea merchants including Thomas Ridgeway.

Lombard Street home of Jardine Matheson, whose ship Sarah carried the first cargo after the ending of thr East India Company’s monoploy on tea trading.

Change Alley towards Birchin Lane, site of Garraway’s Coffee House, supposedly the first coffee house to serve tea and diversified as a tea retailer in 1657.

East India House on current site of the Lloyds Insurance Building was the location for much tea trading, selling 12,000 lots per day 1700. Auctions were held here for 156 years.

Plantation House was located on the corner of Mincing Lane and Fenchurch Street. It was here that tea auctions were held from 1937 until 1972. The building was demolished in 2002.

St Mary’s Axe was the home of many tea companies and is where the Baltic Exchange is based, from where shipping for tea was booked.

Cutler Street was the base for warehouses built by the East India Company between 1770 and 1800. They employed 4000 warehousemen and 400 clerks. Tea was usually stored in warehouse no.6.

Enclosed docks near Blackwall built by the East India Company and completed in 1802 to combat theft of its cargos rife in the Pool of London.

East India Dock Road and Commercial Road were constructed with the assistance if the East India Company to transport tea from its new docks to its Cutler Street warehouses.

Further downstream at Greenwich is the world’s last surviving tea clipper launched in 1869 and amongst the fastest. Read our article on phenominal tea clippers.

Blog article written in gratitude to The Tea and Coffee Walk Around London, Edward Bramah, published by Christian le Comte, 2005.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *