While coffee has taken over the high street in a big way, there is no better time to celebrate tea.

Thousands of people across the country staged street parties for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, where tea and cake was the order of the day, and the warm weather should provide many more opportunities this summer for cream teas.

There aren’t many better places to pick up your supplies than tea specialist Cardews in the Covered Market in Oxford.

Read again: First look at new £40m building in Cornmarket

The family-run business has a loyal following at its shop in the historic market, where it has been situated since 1965.

The company was first established in 1948 in St Michael’s Street, and is the oldest supplier of fine teas fresh roasted coffees in the city.

Oxford Mail:

Cardews actually exports tea and coffee around the globe and staff can put enough pins in the map of the United States to link up the east and west coasts.

The company is named after Tony Cardew, a Polish immigrant who launched the firm.

He retired in 1983 and the company is now run by the Durkin family.

John Durkin is in charge, and he has been running the shop with his wife Sue, a retired school bursar, and their son James.

Read again: Pubs in Oxford where you can drink in the sun

He said earlier: “We get orders from all over the world and we have a big contingent of customers in the States.

“Orders through our website helped to keep us going during the pandemic.

“We used to do more business with Europe but that has slowed down after Brexit as some charges are being passed onto customers and they don’t want to pay them.

“I’m pleased to say we are very busy at the moment and the footfall in the Covered Market is busier than it has been.

Oxford Mail:

“But we have missed out on trade from foreign tourists over the past year or so and I think it will take us another year to get back to pre-Covid levels.”

Mr Durkin said its coffee supplier, Smith’s Coffee Company in Hemel Hempstead, was popular with customers.

Read more: Hot tub owner sues after tub is scratched

He is in charge of sourcing the coffee supplies while son James looks after tea.

Originally coffee roasting was completed in the back of the shop but this practice stopped in 1986.

“Once or twice a week I complete a production schedule for Smith’s for medium, dark, or full,” Mr Durkin added.

The Covered Market website says: “Cardews offer a wide range of pure ‘Arabica’ coffees including all the ‘regulars’ and a selection of rare and exotic origins, teas and other products certified by the fair-trade organisation and the rainforest alliance.

“They are proud to boast that many of their customers have remained loyal, from student days to retirement, even though some now live in the far reaches of the world.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF