The London-based tea company Ahmad Tea has recently opened a flagship store on Duplication Road. The small tea shop exhibits an interesting variety of Sri Lankan teas and packaging at decent prices.
Ceylon Special exclusively showcases Ahmad Tea range of products: black teas from diverse regions, a few green teas and a number of flavoured ones, all coming from Sri Lanka only.
Products are very reasonably priced, even when it comes to gift packs. Prices generally don't exceed Rs. 1,000. 200g of their lose Premium Blend in a basic foil pouch cost about Rs. 250, a cardboard box of 25 flavoured tea bags is priced Rs. 150 and fancier metal boxes containing 200g of Dimbula or Ruhuna BOP are Rs. 400. Basically, pretty much the same prices than at the supermarket.
Ahmad Tea has done a good job on gift packs. Nothing too tacky here, they're keeping the packaging design simple and modern mainly using metal, wood or cane. We're grateful for that. We've spotted a musical tea box but it's actually pretty cute.
You'll be welcomed in Ceylon Special by a pleasant smell of tea, which will make you wonder if you've just entered into their factory. The smell actually comes from the big wooden box full of tea sitting in a corner, serving both as a nice decoration touch and ambiance perfume.
When not covered by shelves stocking tea, huge British Victorian paintings decorate the walls, giving the shop a chic colonial look.
The service is pleasant and cordial, quite discreet. The staff let you browse freely around the shop, giving you 2 - 3 indications on products or packaging from time to time.
However, the staff aren't quite experts. They answered most of our questions but didn't go much into details about origins and grades for instance.
We were offered a seat and a free cup of their Premium Blend with jaggery few minutes after entering the store, which we thought was a nice and welcoming gesture.
Ceylon Special is a refined yet affordable place to buy tea. All in all, it offers a nice shopping experience but if you're looking for recommendations or specific information you may leave disappointed.