January 19, 2023

Mademoiselle chats with... John at Shibui Tea

Written by Carolyn Henry
For Mademoiselle Rachel her first bite of a macaron represented a moment of luxury and as such, we strive to ensure that each of our customers experiences a taste of Paris with every bite. That's why we only work with likeminded companies.


Shibui Tea are an Edinburgh based business and Mademoiselle has not only brewed their teas across the city - from Grindlay Street to Waverley! - but we've also included their tea bags with our Subscription boxes since their inception. We sat down for a cup of tea with John to chat about macarons, tea and more...


What do you consider a little moment of luxury?

Ha well we have two young kids so do you know what my guilty pleasure is? Getting an hour of peace and wandering the aisles in a big supermarket without wee people hanging off me. I'm always the first volunteer to do the big weekly shop! Plus the food and drink market is buzzing just now so I love seeing all the new flavours coming on the shelves.

What’s your favourite flavour of macaron?

This is so tricky, you know we love your macarons! I know I probably should say Earl Grey but my real favourite is the Chai Latte, it is a wee bite of perfection.

What Shibui tea goes best with a macaron?

I'd have two recommendations for you. For those lovely sweet chocolate and caramel flavours I would pair with one of our bestsellers, Chocolate & Ginger. With the more fruity options, I'd go with a Berry Hibiscus as the hibiscus flowers balance out all the sweetness from the fruit.

How did Shibui Tea start?

I started off working in food and drink distribution with my brother. After a while we both realised we could do this ourselves and do it better! Being from Yorkshire, it was always going to be a tea business - I cannot get enough of the stuff. Don't ask me how many cups I drink a day.

You are one of the most enthusiastic business owners I’ve met, what keeps you so bubbly?

Well obviously it is the sugar high off your macarons and being highly caffeinated at all times. But in all seriousness, being a small business owner is really tough just now so I do have my wobbles especially when our teas get stuck at Liverpool docks by customs yet again. Recognising the small wins really helps keep me motivated, so focusing on that lovely feedback or a good chat with a potential new customer.

Do you have any top brewing tips to make the perfect cuppa?

Contentious question around here given we are a husband and wife team and have very different tea preferences! But that is the real secret - make it how you want it. There are so many rules and advice but do what works for you and what you enjoy. The only teas to be careful with are black and green teas as the longer you brew them, the more bitter they will become.


Every month, our macaron subscription club will contain tea from Shibui Tea to help create a little moment to sit back, relax and indulge. 

Merci & Bisous! Rachel x

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