The Gilded Teapot in Dorchester

The Gilded Teapot – Dorset-based tea hunters

The Gilded Teapot in Dorchester, Dorset, is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading loose leaf tea specialists and coffee merchants, sourcing from independent tea gardens and coffee plantations from all over the world.

Jo Davies founded The Gilded Teapot ( in 2010 at the age of 25. She was disillusioned with the bland supermarket brands and wanted to help people make the connection between what they drink and where it comes from. Since opening her popular tea shop in an old tobacconist’s and creating her online shop, sales have soared.  Jo now posts a wide variety of teas and coffees to customers across the UK, as far away as Canada, Estonia and San Francisco.

The Gilded Teapot sources the best leaves through global tea hunting trips and by working in close collaboration with small independent tea gardens.  Its range of teas includes Japanese stone-milled Matcha from Kyushu, Nepalese Oolong from a Himalayan hill station, Indian Meghalaya Cloud Tea and hand-picked Oolong from Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan. Watch Jo’s video on how tea is picked and processed using traditional methods in Wazuka, Japan.

The Gilded Teapot also sells a variety of coffee beans and grounds which are expertly hand-roasted just ten minutes’ away from the shop and include Cafe Femenino from Peru, Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia’s famous Sidamo region, known as the birthplace of coffee, and Sumatran Mandheling, known as the “world’s heaviest coffee”.

Jo says: “Most people stick to buying the same brands of tea bags for most of their life and give no thought to where it comes from. But there are over 52,000 exciting varieties of teas. I want to help people explore different tastes, types and blends of tea from far-flung corners of the globe and make a unique connection with the plant, the process and the farmers.

“The most memorable and truly great parts of my job have to be meeting the growers, sampling the harvests from the new seasons, and tasting something I have never experienced before that takes my breath away. I’ve been a tea specialist for ten years but there is always something new to learn, it never stops.”


About The Gilded Teapot

Jo Davies completed her Masters in Cultural Studies at Winchester University. On returning to Dorchester she felt that Dorset was “a desert” in terms of high-quality tea, and wanted to introduce different tastes and experiences to her home town. Jo has travelled the globe to source different tea leaves direct with the plantations. She prides herself on paying what the growers ask and ensuring the tea is ethically sourced. As Dorset is a particularly hard-water area, she set about testing and experimenting with different blends until she produced a fine tea which brews to perfection, without the need for filtering, in hard water. It’s now her best seller.


TW: @TheGildedTeapot




Jo’s Tips for making the perfect tea and coffee with The Fine Life Ideal Loose Tea Infuser/ Coffee Brewer

Put the kettle on, and switch it off just before it reaches a rolling boil. While the water is heating, pop your tea leaves into the brewer. Once the water is ready, fill the cup or mug you’ll be using with the hot water. Then gently tip the hot water from the mug into the brewer over the tea leaves, close the lid, and let the tea infuse. This way, when you sit the brewer over your cup, you’ll have the perfect amount of tea (and a lovely warm mug).

The same applies to coffee – always use water that is off the boil at around 90-95 degrees C. The Japanese teas can be a little feisty, so let the water cool in the cup for a couple of minutes before pouring into the brewer. (If you have a temperature variable kettle, then all the better – I can’t recommend them enough!).

There are certain teas that are suitable for re-infusing, such as the Sencha Superior and Kukicha. For these kinds of teas, the Fine Life Brewer is ideal; after infusing the first time, the leaves can stay in the brewer, then simply be re-infused again and again through the day (up to eight times in the case of the Sencha Superior). This is a wonderful way to explore the different flavours and complexities that the tea has to offer.

Watch Jo’s video on how to make Sencha Ice Brew Tea.