REVIEW: Whittards (In store)

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

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Manchester isn’t graced with a choice of loose tea suppliers and unless I buy from North Tea Power then it leaves Whittards as my next best option. I have made two purchases from the city centre store in the last few months and as such I just found both experiences nothing special. My first visit was met by a friendly member of staff who was pleasant and polite and asked me what sort of tea that I liked and did I have any particular ones in mind (which I did). My second visit I went in with a less clearly defined vision and again was met with a helpful staff member who went through a strong black tea selection suitable for morning drinking.

Silver needle tea

Silver needle tea

Perhaps I have been spoiled by visiting tea shops in London but it just feels that loose tea in this wonderful city is something that is hard to purchase. Whittards was on both occasions suited to my needs but the whole thing just didn’t seem special in any way. Loose tea is to me like a fine wine or a good quality single malt, if you went into a specialist shop that sold those items how attentive would the service be and what would the selection be like?

Price isn’t unreasonable on some teas, on others it is too high but then if there is a particular tea I want and to buy it online adding in delivery costs it may just be cheaper to buy it at a branch of Whittards. There is also the convenience factor of being able to have your tea there and then to take home with you. The other issue I have here is that you are dictated to how much tea you can buy which if as a rookie your not sure what you are buying then that full bag of tea that you have bought and then discovered you don’t then like has then gone to waste. There are scales in the shop to measure from the container to the packet so isn’t a variety of sizes or trial packs a good option?

20131118_133451

The product packaging is pretty sound, a plastic resealable bag with a transparant front and a best before date is written on the back. What isn’t given (and is something of a gripe with me) is any sort of brewing instructions, perhaps this is something that could be looked at or staff could offer this advice.

It’s a real convenience to still have a shop selling loose tea, what would be nice would be larger premises and perhaps a tea tasting bar. One for the future?

Kris

 

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