The Founder

My story: "Born in the UK to parents from Kenya and Pakistan, my affinity for tea began early in life. My father was born in the famous tea town Kericho in Kenya, and so I inherited culture with a deep reverence for tea, not merely as a beverage but as a common foundation through which the essence of life flowed. From the age of 9, I served tea to the many guests who visited our bustling social home.

During one of these frequent large gatherings, my uncle lovingly nick-named me the 'Tea-maker of Leicester'. Little did I know that this seemingly small duty would someday evolve to become a central part of my life. 

Founder of Pink Tea Cafe in a white cape and sky blue trousers and Dior heels on grey steps outside a Wisteria covered house in Notting Hill

It didn't stop at traditional English breakfast tea; my palate and passion for tea grew further when I discovered green tea on trips to the Northwest frontier in Pakistan. Wholesome, regal, loose green tea leaves became an obsession for me when I heard the stories of their benefits to skin, memory and longevity. And, of course, this tea was outside of the confines of a teabag, making it even more alluring. I would bring back a kilo's worth to last until my next trip. I sipped on this tea religiously during those teenage years of study, straining every last drop and reusing the leaves more than twice over. These leaves became synonymous with my existence and infamous when my best friend's mum came to drop her off at our halls and, while unloading, discovered what she thought was a jar of something else in my section of the cupboard!

For many years my life took a very different path; a Mathematics degree, over a decade in finance, then a Masters at Harvard. I had a constant desire for more and the feeling of not enough! I struggled to find the quiet satisfaction I so craved. Upon realizing that the insatiable thirst for achievements and goals would never truly be quenched, I began the pursuit of more profound, more enriched living. 

I first discovered Pink Tea on a trip to the Himalayas. Surrounded by enchanting mountains, moved by the simplicity of the local way of life and stimulated by the fresh fragrant air, I sipped on this sweet yet delicate, blush coloured liquid. Upon my return to London and corporate life, I was struck by the contrast and couldn't help but reflect on that moment. I set about searching for Pink Tea in London, but it was nowhere to be found, and so I knew I needed to bring it here myself. Pink Tea Café began to emerge: to bring joy, inspiration and a moment of magic. 

It took some time (years) for me to let go of the corporate world, but amid the pandemic, the moment finally came when I let go of my fears and my attachment to the status and glamour of a career in high finance. In the great adventure of life, such a drastic change matters little, and I realize that it's all about the journey after all.

Lots of love, Tabassum."