The Arsenal Football Club match plays on a laptop on behind a candy-cluttered counter as longtime Tea & Sympathy employee, Rob Allen, 37, arranges jars of jam and aligns packets of biscuits. A customer enters, her teenage son in tow. “Yes, love,” Rob greets her in his East London accent. “What can we do for you?” She describes the tea she’s after as Arsenal takes a shot on goal and misses. “What’re you doing?!” Allen erupts, hands on his head. “You play football,” he says to the teenage son. “Can you tell me what hell they’re doing?!” The son smiles sheepishly, shrugs. “Not enough,” he says. “Cheeky,” Allen says, mom smiles, and they get back to business. All this neighborhood warmth sounds like a treacly Lipton ad, but it’s a typical transaction at the shop.