It is appropriate that Shoreditch Grind has a name reminiscent of “the daily grind”, as that is what it ultimately seems to be. Just like its apparent sister, London Grind, the place entices you with neon signs and logos such as “sex, coffee and rock n roll”, but it’s questionable how well it delivers.
I am reticent about understanding the popularity of Shoreditch Grind – besides the close proximity to Old St Underground Station. Perhaps it is indeed like one of those mosquito lamps which draws you in with pretty colours and lights. As a tea drinker, however, having a teapot brought to me with a bag put inside (entirely so that not even the string is on the outside, forcing me to use a spoon or fingers to fish the bag out), with no timer or understanding as when it started being brewed, is both poor service and poor management.
What do I expect as a tea drinker? Firstly, loose leaf tea. Teabags are usually made from low tea grades, such as dust and fannings. These have a larger surface area than whole leaves which means more opportunities for the essential oils (what makes tea flavorful and aromatic) to evaporate, leaving the tea dull and stale. Secondly, preferably to have my tea brewed already. I don’t want to pay for the honour of doing it myself. And if I am made to do it myself, a timer would be great (black tea start becoming bitter after 5-10 minutes of being brewed).