This year the price of Madagascan vanilla, a key component in Canton Chocolate Noir tea, briefly exceeded the price of silver. This presented us with a dilemma- should we compromise on quality in order to hit our target cost?
In anticipation of 'Afternoon Tea Week' next week (that's an entire week dedicated to all things related to afternoon tea) we've chosen a few of our favourite places to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea around the UK.
Always keen to be open-minded and innovative, we jumped at the chance to collaborate with our good friends Moor Beer, original pioneers of the craft beer in the UK and the 2017 Guild of Beer Writers Brewer of the year.
Markman Ellis is Professor of Eighteenth Century Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is the editor of ‘Tea And The Tea-Table In Eighteenth-Century England', and in this guest blog, shares with us what teas were drunk in 18th Century England.
We receive many queries about tea and its caffeine content. Unfortunately for the curious tea-drinker, there are innumerable myths circulating regarding tea and caffeine, usually propagated in internet forums. Nigel Melican, one of the world’s foremost tea experts, has written the definitive article on tea and caffeine.
Chinese Black Tea, known locally as Red Tea (Hong Cha), is fully-oxidised whole leaf tea. The best whole leaf Black Teas are made by hand, in contrast to the commercial CTC (crush, tear and curl) machine-made Black Teas of India, Sri Lanka and Africa that make up 95% of the world tea market.
Traditionally, when asked to list the main tea producing countries of the world, Nepal doesn’t automatically come to mind. In fact, Nepal has been producing tea for years and you may not have even realised you were drinking it.
The unique flavour of a Darjeeling tea is often described as a ‘Muscatel’ but the flavours vary with the season – and it is the plucking period that defines the season. There are four harvests a year in India: First, Second, Monsoon and Autumn each producing teas with different characteristics.
The story of Obubu starts with its founder and lead farmer, Akihiro Kita, or “Akky”. Akky is the dancing wonder of Obubu. A tiny Japanese man who looks so unassuming but can lift 100kg of tea over his shoulder, and who dances round the tea fields.
This month, I travelled with Edgar to Taiwan to seek out the very best tea for you to enjoy next season. In the first of a special series on Taiwanese tea, I've found out a typical day in the life of a tea picker and how a skill shortage is driving up their wages.
Last year 40 million kilograms of “Darjeeling tea” was sold worldwide. But here is a fact: Darjeeling’s yearly production is 8 to 9 million kilograms of tea. Something is definitely afoot here. We headed to Darjeeling to investigate.
Last Summer, we were invited by The Japan Society and Japan House, to give a Genmaicha tasting at the Tanabata Festival. It was here we discovered the beautiful installation of an open weave tea room designed by a renowned Japanese architect.
Until the late 1970s the Lalehzar Valley in Iran was a difficult place to make a living. Farmers grew subsistence crops and supplemented their income by growing opium poppies illegally for heroin production – the arid climate is suitable for little else.
Just why did we start a specialist tea company 10 years ago? In the teeth of competition from giant corporations, when the profound disinterest of the food service sector meant loose leaf, green tea stood for hassle and health nuts. So why did we do it?
Ultimately, the only rule when brewing tea is: ‘If you like it, it’s very nice’. But if you're serious about tea the following are 'the' critical factors for successfully brewing fine whole leaf Chinese tea.