London Life Shops

postcard teas – christmas giveaway

November 19, 2012

Greetings people! After nearly 100 posts and approaching my 1st year blogging anniversary, today i’m having my first giveaway! Yay!

I’ve been thinking long and hard about a suitable giveaway. I wanted it to have meaning and so in the spirit of christmas and in the spirit of giving, sharing and thinking about others, i’m going to introduce you to my favourite tea shop, where you’ll have the opportunity to win their famous postcard tea and have it send to anyone of your choice, anywhere in the world!

But first, please indulge me to tell the story of this wonderful place and a bit further down enchant you with a special guest currently residing in the shop.

Meet tim.

Tim d’offay is known as one of the foremost tea experts in the world. What i love most about him is his humble nature, soft spoken voice and absolute passion for tea! I’d known of postcard teas ever since it opened 7 years ago but didn’t check it out for a while.

I remember the first time i visited. I was blown away by tim’s sheer knowledge and passion and by the most charming tea shop, tucked away just off new bond street. A most definite destination, i knew that i still had a lot to learn about this ancient beverage and that i’d found the place to do so. I am guilty of not visiting often enough. This will now change. 

Tim, who lived and studied in kyoto some 20 years ago proceeded working in tea and coffee. He began to visit tea growing places and 13 years ago started importing tea. The shop now sells teas from 8 countries and 40 different producers, all responsibly sourced!

I’m going to digress slightly because it’s a real honour that takahiro yagi (taka) of kaikado is currently holding special events in the shop. Meet taka, the 6th generation handmade tea caddies craftsman from kyoto. Kaikado are the first and last to handmake tea caddies.

Some facts for you: 140 years tradition and family run. It takes 130 steps to make 1 tea caddy. They make 10 caddies a day and 60 a week. There is taka, his dad and 5 guys making caddies. Slightly different to the usual mass market products produced in china and india, right?

Customers bring 100 years old tea caddies for repairs when they’ve been bent or damaged . I saw a tea caddy that was 40 years old and had a rather wonderful leathery feel texture. Incredible! If you think tea caddies are purely to store tea, think again!

Take a look at some of these beauties made out of copper, brass and tin. There are bespoke caddies made in silver but not in gold, for obvious reasons! It would be FAR TOO EXPENSIVE!

Tim has been selling taka’s caddies for a few years and for the first time, in the 140 years history, they are taking orders for bespoke ones. I love these bespoke ones below. I’m told that there is currently a 4-months waiting list in japan for tea caddies and a 3-months waiting list for bespoke orders. What i also found out is that if anyone can get their hands on any caddies it’s tim. I’m not surprised. Except for a shop in los angeles, postcard teas was the first foreign outlet for kaikado. Loyalty pays off every single time!

While taka is in the shop he is engraving these rather gorgeous tea scoops for customers who are purchasing a caddy. Unfortunately i didn’t take a photograph of an engraved scoop as the shop was heaving and i didn’t think it appropriate to disrupt someone’s purchase.

See taka at work. It was truly fascinating to observe such a craftsman do his bit, effortlessly and with such poise.

Here taka was getting rid of a dent in the caddy.

One of the most inspiring parts was to see how the lid perfectly slid down the caddy without any assistance. It just glided down perfectly until it met with it’s counterpart.

You know the most ridiculous thing? The caddies start at a mere £95 and go up to about £200 (not bespoke sizes). This is the retail price for a handmade, labour of love, beautifully crafted and finished tea caddy (by the way, there are coffee caddies too). I know of many mass produced, cheaply finished products that cost more than £95. Would you agree?

I love when new generations take over family run businesses as each generation brings new ideas and processes to take the company into the next phase. For the first time kaikado has collaborated with a designer. Here they worked with thomas ykke of OeO to come up with designs for tea and coffee pots, together with trays and milk and sugar jars. See the first prototypes here below. Aren’t they stunning? These products will be for sale in about 6 months time. Keep eyes peeled!

Well, unfortunately i cannot offer you a tea or coffee caddy as a give away because there aren’t even enough pieces for sale. I hope you enjoyed this slight diversion to the giveaway and got some inspiration on the way! You can come and see taka at postcard teas tomorrow!

Right, back to business, postcard teas also sells teapots, tea cups and of course taka’s caddies.

Hot off the press! These beauties will come into store within a week or two. Imported from russia, don’t they look as if they need to be hung on a christmas tree? They would make the perfect bauble!

I HEART the copper version!!

Ok, we’re getting there. Here are some of the wonderful teas for sale. Tim and his dad have been collecting postcards for years. They then translate these into labels and print them. Genius!

Each tea can be bought as a 50 g refill bag alone or with a caddy. Additionally they sell most teas as POSTCARD TO SEND.

If in the shop, you select the tea you want to send. See here below.

You then fill out the label (by hand) as per this example (typed over by me for data protection reasons) AND…..

post it HERE….

Tea postcards™ have already been sent using their own red postbox from which royal mail collects every weekday to america, canada, france, belgium, spain, germany, italy, sweden, japan, korea, and many more.

For this giveaway, if the chosen winner, select a tea and postcard free of charge of the list below, follow instructions on the website and tim and his staff will send it away for you anywhere in the world! Why not send a tea to someone you love! Maybe as a christmas present? Of course, you can also have the tea addressed to yourself. The choice is entirely yours!

Here are the rules: leave a comment here. Tell us what tea (from our list) you would like us to send to your chosen destination. There will be 3 winners. Each one can choose 1 tea. Deadline is 30th november. I wanted to make sure that all packages will arrive in time for christmas wherever they need to get to. Good luck. Winners will be chosen by random.org

Tim has kindly suggested these 5 very different teas for the winners to choose from. After all he’s the expert. Take a look at the links for descriptions of them. Thank you tim for the generous giveaway!

I will keep this post up till next monday 26th, but entries will stay open until friday 30th november at 6pm uk time. Winners will be announced that same evening! See you back next week!

best breakfast
genmaicha
darjeeling 1st flush
nilgiri frost
big smoke 

FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LOVELY COMMENTS. THEY ARE MUCH APPRECIATED! I LOVE BLOGGING AND AM SO GREATFUL TO YOU ALL FOR TAKING TIME TO READ AND COMMENT!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 3 WINNERS: SUE, LOUISA AND LIMOR!

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31 Comments

  • Reply Nicola November 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Firstly Tina, congratulations on one hundred posts and your first year of blogging. You’ve put in an enormous amount of effort, energy and passion into it and deserve the achievement.

    I love Postcard Teas – the tea, the packaging and the shop with its long table for tastings. At the moment I have a caddy of their English Afternoon to enjoy. And the Kaikado tea caddies displayed there are just exquisite. The new import from Russia that you show is reminiscent of a samovar.

    From the five teas I would choose the Yame Genmaicha if it was for myself as I love green tea and don’t like milk. For your competition giveaway I would choose the Darjeeling First Flush to send to my dear friend Laura who is Mexican by birth and lives in Florida and calls me her tea lady friend.

    xx

    • Reply Laura Floresmeyer S December 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Proud Mexican by birth, British by heart, and would love to try the tea!

  • Reply Jenna Z November 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Oooh, yummy! I’d love some darjeeling 1st flush!

  • Reply Igor November 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Oh fabulous! First of all I love your pics and the story! The copper tea caddies look just stunning! Oh and if I won, I’d choose ‘genmaicha’ cause the person I have in mind loves green tea and this would be a perfect tea postcard:-) Of course, it would travel to Paris…

  • Reply geraldine November 20, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Wonderful images and love the new generation tea set. The genmaicha sounds lovely 🙂 x

  • Reply sue November 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

    i don’t know how the hell you find these places, but i’m so glad you do! that copper pot is divine! i always feel guilty entering competitions (especially one like this as you know i’m sending myself that tea if i win, right!)… in the spirit of ‘go large or go home’, i’d try the big smoke blend as i have absolutely, positively no idea what the heck to expect from that one & a girl needs some surprises in her life! 😉

  • Reply Arianna November 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    oooooooh I love tea and would love some coming my way in Italy 😉 I would choose the Yame Genmaicha as I am a big drinker of Green 😉

    Congrats Tina for your 100 posts & 1 year of blogging – It’s a great achievement xox

  • Reply Deepa November 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Tina!!! These are amazing: the metallic caddies and the concept of postcard teas. Just… wow!

    Congratulations on your bloggy birthday! The blogosphere is certainly a more colorful place because of you!

    • Reply Deepa November 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Oh and a Big Smoke for me please 😉

  • Reply parisbreakfast November 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    In love with the little copper teapots!
    Adorable shop

  • Reply Doris November 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Tina, I have just started reading your blog and I’m absolutely blow away by the places you introduce! This shop is AMAZING! I especially love that the owner is so passionate about what he sells. Then I couldn’t stop reading about Taka and his tea caddies – they are just beautiful and worth so much more than the £95 price. It’s another shop on the list of places to visit for me!

  • Reply Chi@106 November 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    First of all, congratulations on your amazing milestones, Tina! You blog as though you’ve done it all your life and I feel privileged to have been along for the bright, happy and inspiring Colourliving ride! 😀

    Second, I am in absolute raptures over here! You know how much I adore small, perfectly formed niche businesses. Those caddies are absolutely beautiful and worth every penny, if you ask me and I love, love, LOVE the concept of Postcard Teas – too adorable for words.

    Finally, I’m going to go for the Big Smoke for the biggest tea drinker in the family – my Mum. It sounds delish and she does love a bit of spice in her tea.

    Thanks for laying on such a wonderful giveaway! 😀 xo

  • Reply Holly November 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Almost one year of blogging and your fist giveaway! Tina, I’m so proud of you. Your blog is a place I enjoy visiting so very much, a place I am always sure to learn something and be inspired, and that holds so much value to me. Thank you!

    This is a wonderful post. The story, the images! What beautiful products they make…any one of them would be welcome in my home 🙂 And of course, another wonderful place to put on my London to-do list.

    And yay for the give-away! I would choose Big Smoke for a friend in Frankfurt.

    Will be sharing this where I can in the next few days. Good luck to everyone!

    Xx. Holly.

  • Reply Theresa November 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    First and foremost, congratulations on reaching such a wonderful milestone with the blog! You put much care and thought into this blog and I’m happy to be along for the journey.
    What a great post, Tina. I loved reading every bit, and learning about Postcard Tea and Kaikado. The concept of sending tea by mail is so smart and special. I also appreciate anything that’s painstakingly made by hand, and with love like those beautiful caddies.
    I would select the genmaicha and send it to my mom in America. Thank you for this generous gift (fingers crossed).

  • Reply leah of sang the bird November 21, 2012 at 5:00 am

    oh yay honey!! congratulations!! 1 year….
    postcard tea and kaikado are amazing, what an inspiring post. i am an avid tea lover and tea drinker…. and the beauty of this post has touched me.
    the bespoke caddies and the teapots are divine.
    happy blogiversary sweetie xx
    p.s i would choose genmaicha… xx

  • Reply manda November 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I would like to try the best breakfast. Great giveaway and congrats!

  • Reply Tamarisk November 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I will drink a glass of fizz in your honour!

    My choice is Big Smoke even though I only drink tea about once a month, max! I guess I would send it to my friend Bridget in Portland, Oregon!

  • Reply Micki November 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

    First of all_ Congratulations Tina! What a journey.
    I love this whole story all around, your intention, the photos but on top of all: Reading this feels and smells like I´m right beside you. Not in front of my screen, right in the shop.
    I like all the things – really. But I will cut my text right here…:)
    My choice would be “best breakfast” and i´d like to send it to my mum – just to remember&show how grateful I am for our best breakfast in childhood every Sunday (even all day long if necessary) with her, in which we discussed, reflected, analyzed, solved or resolved the problems, troubles, conflicts, the bad and good things of our week.
    Thank you Tina. A really great post and idea!

  • Reply Catherine Bedson November 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Congratulations Tina on 100 wonderful blog posts and your nearly 1 year anniversary. So exciting for you and I am so happy to have been along for the ride. You reach out to people in a way other people don’t and that makes you and your blog very special.

    The Postcard Teas packaging is so beautiful, the quality and workmanship of the teapots and caddies are exquisite. I also love the copper versions. I’d choose the best breakfast and send it to my friend Lyn who has just had a hard time with some tradesmen! Thank you for the lovely giveaway. Catherine xx

  • Reply Louisa Blackmore November 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Hi Tina,

    Fantastic blog post, amazing find & brilliant giveaway! No wonder your blog is so flipping amazing!

    Congratulations on your 1st blog birthday!

    If I won I’d choose to send the best breakfast to my friend & colleague Lucy (she designs all the soft furnishings at west egg).

    She stops what she’s doing for tea everyday around 4pm and has done since she was little. Her parents and grandparents do the same. It’s so quaint and wonderful that this one little tradition has kept going in her family – I love that!

    See you soon
    Louisa x x

  • Reply Vanessa November 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    So impressed by this blog and delighted by the chance to send a fabulous tea to someone special. I’d select my friend Carolyn to receive some genmaicha tea as she opens her home once a week to friends for an exercise class that has changed the lives of everyone there. Her generosity of spirit and kindness does not stop –after and before the class she offers tea, coffee and conversation. What a wonderful person and very deserving of some postcard tea.

  • Reply Anya Jensen November 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Congrats sweet Tina on your 1st blog birthday -love coming here so keep up the good work:)
    I am loving this amazing giveaway – I would adore the best breakfast tea, so I have my fingers firmly crossed xxx
    Happy weekend,
    Ax

  • Reply Ingrid November 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Hi TIna,

    What a beautiful shop. I would love to send darjeeling first flush to my dear friend Annemarie who has relocated to London & whose company I miss. We have a tea connection – she gave me a copy of the wonderful “Book of Tea”.
    Congratulations on your blog anniversary & creating a sense of community in the blogosphere! x Ingrid

  • Reply Kate November 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Another wonderfully enlightening blog post Tina. Can’t believe I havent been to Postcard Tea yet even though it’s been on my list for ages!

    I would love to send Big Smoke to my friend Sophie in Berlin. She would love the cinnamon flavour especially at this time of year and it will hopefully remind her of all the cups of tea we shared in my cafe in Thailand (and the cinnamon topped porridge!)

    Hope to see you soon 🙂

    xKx

  • Reply Sam Lennie November 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Beautiful and a labour of love for Taka, and for Tim and his fab shop!

    I heart the copper Teapot too, although it would be lovely to display all three teapots together too. I’m loving the sound of the nilgiri frost tea, if I win please send it this way 🙂 what a great giveaway.

    Plus, I must pay Tim’s shop a visit sometime.

    Anyhow, happy blog birthday Tina and here’s to many many more posts and birthdays x

  • Reply Kelly November 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Wow 100 fabulous posts and a one year aniversary, congratulations!

    It’s so inspiring to hear to story behind lovely shops like this. I would love one of the copper tea caddies, must have been amazing to watch him work. x

  • Reply Helene November 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Congratulation on the first year of your blog.
    You always have beautiful pictures and interesting topics, I have discovered so many hidden little gems in London thanks to you.

    I will definitely have a look at Tim’s shop next time I am around New Bond Street.
    Brilliant give away idea: would love to send the darjeeling 1st Flush to my grandmother in France.

    Happy blogday xx

  • Reply limor November 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    hey
    i loved Darjeeling First Flush..
    the caddies are so perfect.
    i will love to try one.
    when i read your blog you amaze me how london is so beautiful in it’s little and hidden places.

    love

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