Long ago and far away, in the ancient city of Copenhagen – the land of fairy tales as imagined by Hans Christian Anderson – lived a man named Niels Brock Perch who opened a tiny little tea shop in the very old part of the city called “Christianshavn”, where ships from exotic places like China, Ceylon, India, Japan and Africa would arrive with goods to be traded and sold.
A man with great vision for opportunities that sailed into port, Mr. Perch couldn’t have known when he opened A.C. Perch’s in 1835 at Kronprinsensgade 5 that it would still be a purveyor of tea – from some of the finest plantations and gardens around the world – 180 years later.
Apart from a few fixes along the way, the addition of electric lights and a new family of owners who bought the business in 1894 (the Hincheldey Family, now 7 generations strong), the charming, old-fashioned shop has remained largely the same.
Considered the oldest teashop in Europe, stepping into A.C. Perch’s is like stepping into the long-ago past, with three generations of Hincheldey family members providing “service of the utmost quality and expert advice” on the noble art of tea brewing.
“It is our deepest wish that customers feel welcome here, and politeness and friendliness are some of our major deeds,” reads the website. Indeed, they greet you with a smile and offer a complimentary bonbon to go after carefully weighing, pouring and packaging your tea in a colorful tin of your choice.
That Queen Margrethe of Denmark’s Royal Family, daughter of King Frederik IX, is a loyal customer with her own blend speaks to the superior quality of both its taste and service.
Like a fairy tale with kings, queens and “White Dream Tea”, A.C. Perch’s is a warm and enchanting place that offers everyone who steps through its doors a little bit of happily-ever-after magic. After all, they even offer a “fairytale flavor” blend in honor of Hans Christian Anderson.*
Also, if you’re a lover of shortbread, the perfect compliment to afternoon tea, check out “The Shortbread House of Edinburgh”, a company that “prides itself on doing things properly”, for what is considered some of the world’s best shortbread. Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, it has received 59 “Great Tastes Awards” and is served and sold on ScotRail Trains and Arab Emirates flights.
*Perch’s offers 175 teas from black, green and white to oolong and herbal. The tea is weighed on the same brass scales and placed in a colorful tin of your choice (see below). The white teas seem to be particularly popular, with over 20 varieties and names such as Nepal White, White Dream Tea, White Symphony, White Persian, White Christmas, Pineapple Pai Mu Kin.
Also to note: The health benefits of white tea have been long known to the Chinese since the Ming Dynasty. Having been discovered in recent years in North America, it has become one of the hottest new food trends. Black, green, white and oolong are all plucked from the Camilla Sinensis tea bush, but their differences can be found in the way the leaves are harvested and processed. The leaves for White tea, unlike the other types, are plucked before the buds on the bush bloom and the unwithered leaves are then steamed. It is the least processed of all the other teas, which means that it is closest to its natural state and therefore contains more polyphenols that have powerful antioxidant properties. Of interest is the White Tea “Silver Needles” which is considered the “crème de la crème” of white teas and is picked within a two day period in early spring. (Information taken from here).