Situated on a very long street in the southern district of Stockholm, Esters Tea and Coffee Shop is hardly noticeable. Folgungagatan is one of the bigger streets in that part of town and the shop simply blends in with the large amount of other small shops. Esters was established in 1899 and is said to be Sweden’s oldest tea and coffee shop. Inside the shop the atmosphere is created by various items from past decades, especially old teapots and a large collection of caddies. A very notable thing is that every chair and table is from a different set, making the place look quite chaotic. There are many elements of a traditional, English/antique tea shop here, but overall the shop doesn’t give off a specific feeling or style.
Esters mainly offers their own loose leaf tea (120 kinds). There is a whole wall, reaching the ceiling filled with those typical Chinese tea caddies. The only tea I have tried from here is the Swedish Soderblandning and I have to say I was disappointed. Their blend was very different from any Soderblanding I’ve had before, it didn’t have a fresh or floral aroma and some different ingredients were added to it. The dominant note was vanillaish, but the aroma was strange altogether. The tea is packed into a brown paper bag with handwritten name – not too exciting. Apart from tea Esters offers coffee , their own candy (mainly hard candy), some tea accessories and homebaked items. You can sit down and have tea and on fridays, saturdays and sundays they even serve Afternoon Tea, which is a big plus for this tea room. Another great thing is tea tasting sessions which take place here every now and then and they cost about 25 EUR (275 SEK). You can check dates for the upcoming sessions in a PDF file they have on their website.
When it comes to the service I could say it was ‘typical Swedish’. Generally in Sweden service in shops is rather impersonal with the occasional smile. Foreigners may interpret this behavior as rudeness, but it’s more of a cultural thing. The woman behind the ‘historical’ counter was quite nice, she climbed the latter and let us smell some teas.
In conclusion, Esters is not a place where I would want to spend hours sipping my tea, but I would like to find out more about the teas they have to offer and their quality. I think serves well as a local tea shop, where you can stock up if you suddenly run out.
Address – Folkungagatan 95, Stockholm, Sweden
Website – http://www.esters.se/