For over 5 years I've worked just across the road from Yumchaa (literally). In all that time I can't pinpoint why I never once stepped foot in this quaint little tea shop that I would just watch from my window at the office day by day.
5 years is a very long time, and now work has moved studios my view will never be the same again.....unlucky if you thought I disclosed where I worked, we've moved !!
An unexpected return back to the old office for a few hours urges me to take that final vital step into the unknown and walk into the warming confines of Yumchaa on Berwick St, Soho on a freezing winter evening.
Instantly Yumchaa feels like my kind of place. It's rustic with wood lining virtually everything from the tables to the walls and floors in varying colours and textures. The sound of footsteps as you walk on proper wood is one of the most satisfying sounds on this Earth, I would happily just walk around Yumchaa for that feeling alone.
Walking downstairs we have more mismatched furnishings. Dark brown armchairs, dark green cracked leather sofas, lighter wooden tables. It's odd, but it just works.
On the main counter are numerous labelled jars. Each one with a different, unique aroma, some wonderful, some...meh, (hey, it's gona happen). Homemade cakes and muffins stand tall and proud waiting for sweet freaks like me to pick one up and cookie monster them into crumbs...soon.
Yumchaa is of course all about the tea, English Breakfast all the way for me, along with one slice of carrot cake and a second slice of lemon & courgette cake (I've now since had a blueberry muffin too). The tea is simply put, divine. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best cup of tea's I've had for a very long time.
The carrot cake is also insanely good. The carrot is shreded properly, so no huge annoying chunks to chew through. It's super soft and with a nice sweet cream cheese topping to balance but not overpower. Recommended for sure.
Lemon courgette loaf cakes can sometimes be really dry by nature. Luckily Yumchaa's does not dissapoint. Admittedly by the last few bites it does start to feel more chalky (only slightly), but I still have more than enough of that delicious tea to help wash it down. The cake hums of lemon, especially around the crust of the loaf which is seeped in lemony goodness, I just savour every mouthful while it lasts.
Blueberry muffins are wonderfully soft and light. The blueberries are so subtle you could forget it even containted fruit (even though it's packed full of them), a great option for those who don't crave the more indulgent alternatives.
Overall Yumchaa has become one of my happy places in London. I've visited twice in the space of a week and both times it hasn't dissapointed. If I'm in the area anytime soon I doubt I'll resist the urge walking in again for a cuppa and a cake. Let's hope it's not another 5 year wait, something tells me it won't be!
Rating ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)
43 Berwick St, London, Soho, W1F, 8SF
Review of the Soho branch only. Other locations include Brick Lane, Camden, King's Cross and more.