We first had the idea for a speciality tea and coffee shop when we went to Vienna about 12 years ago. We loved all the old coffee houses/shops, how they all had their own signature/house coffee and tea, the history and myths behind them and the story of how coffee came to Vienna.
One of the stories we were told was about the Turkish army laying siege to Vienna for the second time in 1683. A young Polish man called Franz who had lived in Istanbul for a while, who also spoke Turkish, offered to help the Viennese people by swapping and exchanging information between the two sides. Based on the information Franz had provided, the Archduke of Lorraine attacked the Turks and sent them packing. As they fled they left all their weapons, provisions and a few hundred sacks of coffee. Franz became a hero was offered and became an Austrian national. He was given the few hundred sacks of coffee and was granted permission to open a coffee house, which was ‘Zur Blauen Flasche’ (The Blue Bottle).
Our idea had brewed for 12 years and finally came to fruition on 1st March 2010 (St. David’s Day) when we opened our speciality tea and coffee shop. We launched Wrexham Tea, an ethically sourced blend of tea, and Wrexham Coffee, a Fairtrade blend of coffee our very own signature tea and coffee.
All our tea and coffee that we sell is either Fairtrade or ethically sourced. It can be traced back to source through our tea merchants, who are members of The Tea Council, and through our coffee roasters, who are members of the Fairtrade Association that ensures that farmers and producers receive a fair deal.
Our bags and most of our packaging are bio-degradable, and we try to use natural products as much as possible such as wicker, wood wool, rafia, hessian etc in our gift packages. You can put your used tea leaves and coffee grinds onto your gardens or into the compost bin. There's no waste....
By sheer coincidence, whilst we were fitting the shop, Mr Gray a local business man and historian informed us the shop used to be Phillips Tea Merchants. He has loaned us a photograph that we have hung on the wall in the shop showing Philips Tea Merchants at 6 High Street back in the 1800’s.
All our fixtures and fittings are of reclaimed wood which - again by sheer coincidence - came from the bonded warehouses at Liverpool Docks where the tea and coffee was stored after being shipped from around the world. So our business and shop has history as well not as long as Vienna’s, but history all the same.