London Tea Exchange
When asked about the trendy new shops and restaurants emerging at the north end of Brick Lane, a former local resident and community worker said:
‘I think they're adapting to current trend. And in fact, if you go further down Brick Lane, you'll find lots of eateries or bars and that are actually owned by young Bengalis who have adapted to the trend.’
One of these new Bangladeshi-owned establishments at the north end of Brick Lane is the London Tea Exchange, which opened in 2018. This modern tea house serves over 300 varieties of premium tea and 50 varieties of coffee from around the world. Many of the shop’s walk-in customers are foreign tourists, but the tea house also counts several high-profile guests, including politicians and international royalty, among its customers.
The owner of the London Tea Exchange has recently secured a lucrative trade deal to export London Tea Exchange teas to retailers and distributors in Sweden. Nevertheless, despite the international connection, he is very mindful of neighbouring businesses on the lane. He welcomes new, successful outlets such as the Dark Sugars chocolate shop because ‘they’ve come up with clever ideas’ but points out that the Bangladeshi-owned curry houses may need more business support so that they can progress and attract new customers. He says:
‘I think what we need to see is how other local businesses can come up with their own trends. Because they can, it’s up to them, but they may not have the support to do that.’