Cafe Review; Tea Monkey

6 Apr

A few weeks ago I saw a new name sign appear over a long unused unit in the Milton Keynes shopping centre. I was excited to see a branding I was unfamiliar with ‘Tea Monkey’. After a little homework I discovered they were a new brand with the Milton Keynes store being the launch pad.

Tea monkey are a new shop that is launching themselves toward the coffee shop faithful and offering a huge range of teas. From english breakfast to Oolong mystere (a delicious blooming White tea).

They are located in Midsummer Place, from the outside there is a covered seating area and stands out boldly from the bank’s which are on either side of it and the high street chain clothing stores opposite.

Upon entering you are surrounded by earthy brown, lime green walls and crisp white surfaces, which is very refreshing compared to a lot of places which try to go for the homey feel by using only warm colours and also makes the shop feel very vibrant. A truly extensive menu of tea is made less intimidating by very friendly staff who seem really passionate about their tea.  The view out through the huge glass frontage is of the rest of the shopping centre but between them is a old and majestic acorn tree which makes it seem much more picturesque.

On the three visits I’ve made so far i have tried three different teas and they are all delicious. All the tea is served in beautiful glass ‘la cafetiere’ tea pots which let you watch the tea brew and in the case of the blooming teas then it really is a treat. A very nice touch is the white and green teas are served in double walled glasses and the black teas are served in porcelain cups.

Tea at Tea Monkey
Silver Needle white tea with a Malteaser Cup cake

The other thing to check out is the cakes. All the cakes are made fresh and in house. I’ve sampled their blueberry and malteaser cupcakes aswell as the house cupcake. All were light and fluffy, the chocolate ones were balanced perfectly in flavour without being so light in flavour as to be wanting but so much as to be over powering. The butter cream on them were all different but absolutely perfect. It would be a huge shame to miss out on these.

I haven’t sampled the coffee and feel it would be unfair to judge them on it as it’s not their speciality.

A few other things to point out, the shop is very spacious and not over-furnished, a nice touch compared to some places which try to cram in as much seating as possible. The staff are friendly, helpful and seem to care about what they’re doing and check to make sure everyone is happy.  I over-heard that the weekend was very busy and the service slowed down while they found their feet but lessons were learned, after all it was their first weekend, but if you are to visit on the weekend perhaps it would be worth preparing to wait for a little while.  On the far wall are a row of iPads with internet connection which are free to use, this is a lovely touch!

All in all it’s a very refreshing shop to visit.  Gorgeous teas with beautiful cup cakes and friendly staff.  It’s very nice to have something unique in Milton Keynes Centre and gives me a reason to go there.


3 Responses to “Cafe Review; Tea Monkey”

  1. Anna 11 May, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Alex, great blog, I found it while looking for a good coffee shop in Milton Keynes (please let me know if you find any!) and gave Tea Monkey a go on your recommendation. I tried their coffee (rather than one of the many teas) and was pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely better than the chains and other offerings in the area that I’ve tried, but it’s not somewhere I’d make a special trip just for the coffee. I’ll have to go back to try some of their teas. I really liked the design and layout of the shop and the iPads are a great idea. Personally, I found the colour scheme a little bit too bright though, maybe I’ll take a pair of sunglasses for the lime green walls next time 😉

    Are you still running the monthly coffee evenings? I’d be interested in attending if you still are, let me know if you are 🙂

    • Alex Redgate 11 May, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      After writing the review I actually spoke to the owner and gave them a few tips on pulling espresso, glad it seems to have been taken on board.

      It definitely steps above the chain shops in MK in terms of coffee and I can’t express how happy I am just to see an independent shop opening up in Milton Keynes being as there’s very little to draw anyone without something unique.

      As for coffee evenings, yes I am still running them, next one is on Friday 27th at 7pm.

      • Anna 16 May, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

        Sadly, I won’t be able to make that one due to prior commitments, hopefully June’s 🙂

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