Bou Tea, WC2E 7DD
Bou Tea was a reasonably-priced and well-stocked tea shop/cafe in Covent Garden. It closed in September 2010. As of May 2011, the premises were occupied by another tea shop, Teapod, though this has now closed in its turn.
The information below is retained for people who want to know what it used to be like.
The decor is unfussy, with white-painted walls and a pale hardwood floor. Bits and pieces of tea paraphernalia adorn a couple of narrow shelves high up by the ceiling, and the back room has a sort of mural thingy on one wall photo. Tables are small and either round or half-round — the latter being the ones up against the walls. It probably seats around 24 people in all.
Tea is brewed at the counter photo and then brought to your table in a neat little side-handled pot. As noted on the menu, they will save the leaves from your tea so you can have a couple more infusions of them if you want, at no extra charge — this is a particularly good thing, since the type of teas they serve are often better on the second infusion.
They have an extensive tea menu (in addition to the teas listed on the board on the wall) including green, white, black, oolong, and pu'er. A different tea each day is available iced (they don't sweeten these by default, but you can have sugar syrup on the side if you like). According to a note written on the board, all their teas are available to take home in packets.
Kake visited on a Tuesday afternoon in June 2010. When I arrived around 4pm the place was about half full, and it emptied out somewhat during my visit. Music was playing (Lauryn Hill etc), not too loud.
I had a pot of silver monkey paw (£3 or £3.50, I think), which was just fine, brewed correctly and just as good on the second infusion as on the first. I also had a slice of banana bread (£2), chosen from the cakes set out on the counter (I didn't spot any savoury food, though the interweb suggests they do have some). This had plenty of banana in it and was quite moist — possibly slightly on the undercooked side, but in a good way.
Kake's verdict: Really well-priced for the area, and a nice range of teas; I'll definitely come back.
Accessibility: No real step to get in, just a small ridge. It's also step-free through to the toilet (a single relatively large room/cubicle), though there is another ridge on the floor and a slightly tight corner along the way.