With such a vast amount of independent and chain coffee businesses scattered around Bristol, tea shops are seemingly getting overlooked.
Head to Park Street, however, and you will find Bird & Blend: innovators in tea with a store that oozes character and offers a unique customer experience.
As I enter the shop, I am warmly greeted by a member of staff and almost immediately offered a drink from its menu.
I opt to try the Unicorn Fizz iced tea. Store manager Keight Comerford informs me, with a laugh, that this drink “has gone bonkers on Instagram”.
Having only been open for two years, Keight has managed the store since the beginning (when it was previously called Bluebird).
From talking with her, it quickly becomes evident that she is truly passionate about her trade.
“I think you can do so much more with tea now than you ever could,” she says, indicating towards my psychedelic drink.
“Being able to create something that’s really fun and something for every situation is something that I don’t think you can do with any other beverage.”
In every direction you look in Bird and Blend, your eyes are treated to a smattering of coloured tea tins, mugs or teapots.
Aesthetic appears to be a signature feature of the company – the shop’s drinks menu boasts a choice of iced teas and tea lattes. Keight’s favourite is the Ice Cream Matcha Soda which, in her words, “is amazing and tastes just like an ice cream soda float”.
Each drink has been posted profusely on Instagram by those who have tried them, as well as the loose leaf teas.
What makes the customer experience at Bird and Blend so distinctive is the level of dedication that the staff give in explaining and selling their products.
“We have such a range of tea, from fruit infusions, to rooibos to matcha,” Keight tells me as she pulls down a selection of teas for me to smell and look at.
“We make our own blends. Krisi, one of the co-founders and tea mixologist, is always creating fun and one of a kind teas,” Keight says.
When describing what makes Bird & Blend such a stand-out tea business, Keight says with a smile: “The way we endeavour to give a whole experience to customers as they walk in the door.
“You get to try and smell the teas and we discuss brewing methods and recipe ideas. It’s what makes our business so unique.”
Bird and Blend, 73 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5PB