Simon Levelt wants to give people to the next level of drinking tea

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Simon Levelt was a Dutch trader in colonial goods who lived around 200 years ago. In 1826 he opened his first shop in Amsterdam specializing in tea and coffee. Nowadays the Simon Levelt brand has expanded to more than 40 shops in the Netherlands and Belgium. We spoke with Houcine Wahbi, tea sommelier and shop owner in Arnhem, about the message of Simon Levelt.

What is the goal of Simon Levelt with it’s shops?

To bring the Netherlands to a high level of drinking tea. We are changing the tea culture in the Netherlands, we want to bring the most beautiful and tastiest tea from all over the world to the Netherlands and in our shops we only have people who are crazy about tea. So they learn about tea, they want to know more about tea, just to bring people to the next level of drinking tea and how to serve it. Our mission is to reach people and to let them taste the best teas at our shops.

What is your favorite tea?

Let’s say Pouchong from Taiwan or Longjing from China.

Why those two? What does the one from Taiwan have?

Complexity. It’s one of the most important teas in Taiwan. It’s very beautiful, you can drink a cup of tea again and again and each time you’ll discover a new flavor, it’s very complex.

And Longjing?

You have different kinds. What they sell in the Netherlands is not from the high end quality but if you drink a very good one it’s sweet, it’s finely flavored, it’s a beautiful tea. With the background, the place where it grows, how you make the tea, it’s whole process, it means a lot to me.

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