Melissa Choi is changing the world, one sip at a time. "I've converted hardcore coffee drinkers to this!" she exclaims, gesturing to a pot of amber-hued liquid containing an eruption of thin green leaves she is sharing with me. We're in Melissa's Maida Vale flat where a pile of brownies, cakes, china cups ans saucers, as well as a splash of late afternoon sun indicate that it must be tea time.
For Melissa, however, I soon discover that teatime lasts more or less all day. "I've probably already had a litre and a half," she admits as we sit down at 3pm. "I drink so much!" This considerable daily consumption isn't doing her any harm; she is after all the importer of what is considered some of the finest Chinese tea available in Britain. The jasmine pearls she pours into my cup won three gold stars at the Great Taste Awards the last two years in a row, and the Sunday Times described it as "the Dom Perignon of the tea world".