Nothin’ like a Leeds cuppa
Words by Lauren Entwistle
There’s something about a cup of tea that lifts the mood and warms the soul. Perfect for all weathers and moods, a brew is a unifying experience – even if you’re just having a minute to yourself. Whether you take it strong or milky, with one lump or two, we’ve got a tip-top list of tea spots to treat yourself with a cup of the good stuff in and around Leeds. So move over, coffee.
The Bowery – Headingley
Situated in Headingley, there’s something about sitting in the window seat of The Bowery and having a nice cup of tea while watching the world go by – especially when you get to nosy at your blend of tea doing its work through their snazzy glass teapots. Perfect for when one needs an an escape from the weather, order one of the café’s blends of tea from the Brew Tea Company, about which the Bowery proudly states: “we serve a proper cup of tea.”
Sit and peruse the various wares from artists and local creatives as you wait for your cuppa to brew, and listen to the café’s very own Spotify playlist (which you can listen to here.) It’s a good’un.
Wapentake – Leeds
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you were to look up the word “Yorkshire” in the dictionary, you’d find Wapentake firmly stamped below. The artisan bakery, café and bar is all about celebrating the produce and food from our glorious county (rightly so) – and cuts no corners when serving and sourcing the best brews around. All their teas come from Taylors of Harrogate, with the Yorkshire Gold Blend being the standard choice, of course. So serious gold stars and pats on the back all round, there.
Le Chalet – Leeds
Now jumping to Europe, Le Chalet offers a brew with a Parisian twist. Situated in the middle of the financial district in Leeds, Le Chalet is a welcoming addition to any tea-lovers roster who want a great afternoon tea experience – without too much chintz. Offering a wide range of loose leaf teas, you can sample from from traditional English Breakfast to Assam to Rose Tisane. The only thing needed to complement your hot beverage is a selection of delicious cakes, which Le Chalet does with serious French flair. If you want your tea in style, this is the place to be.
Tandem – Meanwood
Warm and welcoming, Tandem does Meanwood proud with a proper cuppa. Come in, sit down and have a nosy at the newest exhibitions that line the walls from local artists while waiting for your order. There’s nothing too frilly about this establishment, which is just how the locals like it. Bring your dog, kick back, relax and have a nosy at a great selection of tea and coffee while browsing the list of upcoming gigs. Tandem does the simple things really, really well – with the chocolate orange brownie being a must-have brew companion.
Hessian Cafe – Oakwood
Oakwood’s Hessian Café is big on brunch, so an early-morning cuppa isn’t too far behind. Order one of many all-day breakfast dishes such as Corn Fritters with Halloumi, Flattered Steak and Eggs Benedict while perusing the teas. They serve Yorkshire Tea (gold star from us) but also a variety of other loose-leaf flavours such as: Earl Grey, Berry Berry, Peppermint and even Rhubarb Cream. Taking a trip to Hessian is probably one of the best ways to start your day.
Stories – Oakwood
Inspired by Scandinavian design and Nordic cuisine, Stories is the ultimate chill-café. Child friendly, dog friendly, vegetarian friendly, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-intolerance friendly – we get the feeling that they’re just an all-round welcoming bunch. Offering freshly brewed mint tea and a range of “organic tea infusions” as long as your arm, Stories is a great little place to settle in when the wind is blowing sideways and nothing can solve your problems but a brew.
Sift – Otley
Sift is housed in a Grade Two listed former bank, complete with its own vault in the heart of Otley. You’d be hard-pressed to miss its gorgeous turquoise painted-front, and would find it even more difficult to see something not hand-baked or locally-sourced inside. It’s a newly-opened bakery, café and gallery space with a great atmosphere and delicious T2 loose-leaf teas (give the festive Turkish Apple and Cinnamon a try.) Basically, we think Sift is going to do Great Big Things.
Teapot Tea or Coffee – Kirkgate Market
Arguably one of the staple names in tea in Leeds, Teapot are serious about their blends. Selling a whopping number of teas both online and in-store, everyone and anyone can find a brew they love here. From iced teas, herbal and sweet or strong black blends, Teapot is a one-stop-shop for everything loose-leaf – the clever lot also frequently invent tea blends too! Pop along to Kirkgate Market and find it near Jenni’s Jerk Chicken and The Yorkshire Wrap Company for unbeatable local produce.
The Commute Cycle Cafe – Ilkley
You don’t necessarily have to bring your bike to get in (although they do offer cycle repairs!) – but it should be noted that the Commute Café is still a great spot to hang out and relax. Grab a slice of their much-celebrated avocado toast and hunker down with a pot of Earl Grey, Yorkshire Tea (brownie points won once more) and a selection of flavoured teas. Want to settle somewhere cosy and learn more about Yorkshire’s cycling culture? The Commute is the place to be.
Want a pot of something hot but want to stick to the leaf rather than the bean? Get to one of these great cafe’s in and around Leeds – and make sure to tell us about it!