The Tea Makers of London and St Ermin's Hotel
Thursday, 28 November 2019 | The Tea Makers of London
The Tea Makers of London partner with St Ermin's Hotel
Unlock the mysteries of how our trade partnership unfolded with London's distinguished hotel, St Ermin's Hotel.
It is a hotel with no code left unsolved, a secret within its many walls, and a story in every nook and cranny. At The Tea Makers of London, we wanted to be a part of the hotel's story when it came to concocting their ludicrously divine tea menu.
About St Ermin's
Rich in British heritage, St Ermin's Hotel offers a four-star, luxurious stay for guests from all over the world. Located close to London's famous landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Houses of Parliament, this is a prime hotel enriched with the essence of London, from the secretive history embedded in its walls to the china teaware used for its afternoon tea.
In the mid-late 19th century, Westminster underwent expansion and great changes. This resulted in the St Ermin's Mansions, created by E.T Hall in 1899, which forms the basis of St Ermin's Hotel. Ten years later, the mansions blocks were converted into a hotel - behold, St Ermin's Hotel!
It was during this period of the Second World War that the hotel became a meeting place of the British intelligence services and Winston Churchill himself. In 1940, the Prime Minister held the consequential meeting that formed the founding members of the SEO (Special Operations Executive). They were an underground army that specialised in sabotage and subversion in enemy territories. They waged a secret war in enemy-occupied Asia and Europe. It was this time that Churchill ordered them to 'Set Europe ablaze.'
The unit's HQ was an entire second floor of St Ermin's, where the team carried out covert operations during the war. Simultaneously on two floors above were MI6, where they knew the building as The Works Canteen.
SOE agents printed secret coded messages on pieces of silk, where an original sample hangs now in St Ermin's Lobby.
The Caxton Bar is a noted meeting place of London's secret intelligence officers for over 60 years. Some of which include the traitorous Cambridge Five double agents, Philby and Maclean. During the 1950's, they handed over secret papers to their Russian counterparts, right in the Caxton Bar while MI6 agent, George Blake, operated as a Soviet double agent across the road in Artillery Mansions.
St Ermin's Hotel, also known as the House of Spies, continues to play an important part in London's dark history, as it is rumoured that underneath the grand staircase in the Lobby is a tunnel that runs all the way to the Houses of Westminster. It is a hotel with no code left unsolved, a secret within its many walls, and a story in every nook and cranny.
At The Tea Makers, we wanted to be a part of their story when it came to concocting their ludicrously divine tea menu.
How the partnership began
Having partnered with F&B consultancy brand, National Tea Day, we found that St Ermin's Hotel was in need of a new tea supplier who represented the same London prestige and status that they have upheld over the years. We believed we were the perfect candidate, as our loose-leaf tea range does stand out from others on the market due to the exceptional flavour experience and high-quality teas we offer. With decades of experience in the tea industry, and by working closely with the people we source from, we could guarantee the luxury quality of our teas that St Ermin's Hotel was after.
Built on The Tea Maker's rich history and heritage of tea making, our selection of teas are grown, sourced and expertly selected from the most revered tea gardens around the world.
Our Director, alongside representatives at National Tea Day, met with St Ermin's Hotel Director of Food and Beverage and the Tea Lounge Manager to discuss ways passion could be ignited back into their tea menu. Upon discussion, we believed implementing a sensory tea menu would help excite the range of teas on offer, by use of a stylish tea tray and jars. This way, guests are wowed by the beauty and smell of loose-leaf tea that they would not get by browsing a paper menu.
'When we sat down to discuss the tea offering with the F&B team it was clear that providing a great customer experience sits above all else at St Ermins. They were keen to upgrade their selection of teas that work really well for their popular afternoon tea service. This included coming up with a bespoke St Ermin’s tea blend that reflect this iconic venue. Their passion resonated with The Tea Makers of London, where we strive to give our clients a delicious and authentic tea experience with every cup. We got the engagement from the entire team including their Exec Chef to in house tea buffs when selection the tea menu. It was an absolute joy to work with such an enthusiastic team who are passionate about their teas.'
Sam Sameen - Founder of The Tea Makers of London
After months of tea trialling we applied a diverse collection of black teas, green teas, herbal teas and fruit teas to the range, which can be found here.
These include our best-selling Supreme Earl Grey, Organic Dragon Well, Tarry Lapsang Souchong and more!
Accustomed to the season, the menu also features seasonal teas; for the festive period, the tea is our special Authentic Christmas Tea.
The partnership blossomed from here and contracts were eagerly signed. It was only fitting that the award-winning hotel paired with our award-winning tea brand, after all!
'St Ermin's Hotel is luxurious and iconic. We knew from the first meeting with their lovely team that The Tea Makers of London brand and their distinguished tea menu was the perfect fit. Decadently set in the heart of London with a large international tourist guest base, The Tea Makers of London amplify the provenance and British sense of place at St Ermin's Hotel. '
Diaz Ayub - Tea Futurist, National Tea Day
Making of the St Ermin's Blend
We pride ourselves in our attention to detail and achieving our client's vision that incorporates their values and ethos into their tea. St Ermin's Hotel wanted a bespoke blend specially made to represent the long-standing historic essence, and our fine tea services obliged.
We tasted St Ermin's original house blend and from this, we knew that their clientele favoured beverages with a full-bodied flavour and strong briskness. That's how we also enjoy our black loose-leaf teas!
With this in mind, our tea experts took to the drawing board, created and presented sublime blends of the world's finest teas, where one would soon become St Ermin's signature blend.
The staff at the hotel tasted our options and opted for a classic choice of Assam and Ceylon tea.
May we introduce the perfectly revised creation, the St Ermin's Blend.
A distinctly individual blend, designed exclusively for St. Ermin’s Hotel.
During mid-19th century, E.T Hall a renowned British architect started work on St Ermin’s building to develop into Mansions and eventually become an iconic London hotel. At the same time on the other side of the world, tea pioneer, James Taylor, began shipping his unrivalled Ceylon black tea to Britain, from the plush plantations of Sri Lanka. As Britain’s teacups were filling, so were the ships for tea imports. To this day, Britain has grown a thirst for the brisk, Ceylon breakfast teas, and this loose-leaf offers an experience like no other.
This gorgeously strong blend is made of Taylor’s brisk, full-bodied Ceylon leaves and an exceptional malty flavour from the celebrated black tea region, Assam. A luxurious and complementary marriage of nations, this tea is rich in flavour as it is in history.
At The Tea Makers, we do more than simply supply the tea. With our trade partnerships, we strive to embark on a tea journey with our clients, so they can experience the wholesome adventure of loose-leaf and appreciate the craft and story behind each plucked tea leaf.
St Ermin's Hotel staff have since enjoyed our robust tea training service, where we cover the origin of the teas on their menu; how best to brew and serve each tea to fulfil their individual taste potential; and what quantity is better suited, with the use of the hotel's appliances and time. With delivering of this information, we entrust St Ermin's Hotel staff can provide their guests the most authentic loose-leaf tea experience they have ever had.
This partnership has come at a very exciting time for us, as St Ermin's Hotel look to launching their highly-anticipated Festive Afternoon Tea this month!
Festive Afternoon Tea
St Ermin's Festive Afternoon Tea takes the season's signature ingredients and showcases them in a selection of sweet and savoury delicacies, as well as in their premium selection of loose-leaf tea.
Paired with their succulent Turkey with cranberry stuffing and baby spinach dish, and complimenting the richness of their Ginger mousse and mulled berry compote dessert, their afternoon tea offers the sensual indulgence of London's finest quality food and quality tea.