2 Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JG. Tel : 01224 624757.
Fax: 01224 637377.
MacBeans is one of the most amazing shops in Aberdeen. I would describe it as a tea and coffee emporium although they describe themselves as coffee roasters and tea specialists. With a description like that, you may have guessed that I am talking about a tea and coffee shop. The shop is truly unique in Aberdeen, as it is the only specialist shop in the city. Therefore it is normally quite busy on a Saturday afternoon! The shop itself is rather small and smells wonderful! The aroma of tea and coffee has permeated the woodwork in the 12 years that the shop has been here. The fact that they roast their coffee beans as required in the basement of the shop, only adds to the wonderful smell! The tea and coffee are stored in large metal jars behind the counter. You simply choose from what you want from the up to date list on the counter (complete with prices and descriptions). Most of the loose teas cost between £1.30 and £1.80 per 100g. You should really buy in small amounts as tealeaves can loose their freshness. The speciality teas (see below) are much more expensive ranging from £3 - £7 per 100g. As I am not a coffee drinker I'll mainly talk about the tea as that is my area. However, my boyfriend is a committed coffee drinker and swears by MacBeans! The tea comes in several different categories and I'll give you some examples complete with the descriptions (which are very good!). BLACK TEAS Indian tea e.g. Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon China tea e.g. Keemun - a mild aromatic tea with a delicate flavour. Suitable for drinking with or without milk and goes well with Chinese food. Formosa (Taiwan) e.g. Formosa oolong - a semi-fermented tea with a light delicate flavour. Drink with or without milk. BLENDED TEAS Earl Grey, Earl Grey-Blue Lady, Breakfast blend, Afternoon tea and (one of my favourites) Russian caravan. This blend was originally brought across Asia to Russia by the camel caravan!
You can drink Russian caravan with milk, black with lemon, hot or iced. Very versatile! GREEN TEAS Japanese tea e.g. Gen-mai cha, Bancha, Ho-ji cha, Ko-kei cha and Japanese cherry. The cherry tea is lovely as an evening drink and is certainly something different! Chinese teas e.g. Pai-mu-tan, Green Yunnan and another of my favourites - gunpowder. This tea got its name from the fact that the tightly rolled leaves look like gunpowder pellets! It is actually a little it smoky as well and tastes delicious! SPECIALITY TEAS Now we enter the realms of the more expensive "first pick" selections. Here we have the best Ceylon, jasmine, China Keemun and first flush Darjeeling. Expensive but we all need a little indulgence now and again! OTHER TEAS Here we have tea from other less well known parts of India, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil and spiced teas. Always something interesting! MacBeans also sell teabags for people who aren't too keen on messy tealeaves. However, the range of these is limited to the more popular loose teas (such as Earl Grey, Assam etc) and herbal. The range of herbal tea bags is quite impressive and is quite good value at £1.30 for 20. They don't just sell tea and coffee. They also sell a wide range of Bodum products such as tea and coffee pots, travelling coffee mugs and filters. They even sell coffee roasting machines if you have a spare £700!! If you were ever in Aberdeen I would highly recommend a visit to MacBeans to stock up especially if you are a committed tea drinker like myself! The shop is easy to find as it is in the middle of the city centre. However, if you fail to spot it just follow your nose!