Glass of Herts: Kanuka Tea House, St Albans

PUBLISHED: 09:13 01 August 2017

John Hesler at his Kanuka Tea House in St Albans

John Hesler at his Kanuka Tea House in St Albans


Laura finds a St Albans tea house scouring the world to create unique flavours

Kanuka Tea was dreamt up in 2015 by a former construction worker who had plenty of experience with builder’s tea but preferred his cuppa on the finer side.

St Albans resident John Hesler now travels the globe to find the world’s best loose-leaf tea, from South African rooibos to Brazilian mate and Japanese matcha, which he sells both online and in the popular Kanuka Tea House he opened in Christopher Place Shopping Centre in St Albans last year. Before they go on sale, however, all the teas have to be tasted and given the seal of approval by his entire tea-loving family.

Many of the 40-plus teas on offer are unique Kanuka blends, including Assam Golden Tips, Earl Grey Blue Star, Land of Nod, Elderflower White, Superfood Fix and Mint Mix. Both the teas and the shop have a loyal following, and for John and his team a real highlight is to introduce new flavours to people: ‘It gives us immense pleasure to introduce a customer to a tea they have never tried before and then to hear enthusiastic feedback.’

Asked why he thinks both local and nationwide tea lovers have taken to Kanuka, John says: ‘Our teas are unique because we won’t stop sourcing the best. It’s not about price with us. We go for the best whether it’s inexpensive or expensive – and all of our family has to agree on it.’

There are plans for more tea houses, and St Albans Kanuka Tea House is set to host regular tasting evenings. Find out more and purchase products (prices start at around £3.95 for a 60g pouch) at

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