All About Tea
We stock a large range of traditional tea blends and just like quality coffee, artesian cheese or boutique wines quality tea is greatly affected by the environment it is grown in and the manner in which it is processed. Factors including soil, water and weather play a large part in the final products quality and flavour.
By purchasing our tea blends allows you to develop more knowledge about your tea, and where and how it is grown. This is especially important when considering sustainability and the social impact the production of the tea has on the region and its people. Also from time to time we will have speciality ‘Single origin tea” which can be found on the shopping cart site.
How to Store Tea
Tea should be stored in an air tight container in a cool dry place. Tea will easily absorb other flavours and aromas so be sure to keep away from items that are highly fragrant or flavoured.
Making the perfect cup
Making your perfect cup will vary on your tastes and personal preference, but here is some tea making tips: Always put fresh water into the kettle before boiling. Good tea needs oxygen, re boiling the water reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. Black tea is best brewed with freshly boiled water (100⁰c). To reduce the amount of bitterness and experience the full flavour when preparing Green tea water should be a little cooler (80⁰c). Roughly a rounded teaspoon of tea per cup is used if using loose leaf tea.
If using milk, it is best put in last to allow for better extraction of the tea. Traditionally milk was put in first; this was done to protect the delicate bone china tea cups of the time. If using a pot swirl a little boiled water in first to heat the pot, discard this water before continuing to brew your tea.
The length of time you brew your tea is up to your personal preference. As a guide black tea is usually brewed a little longer up to 7 minutes but on average the usual is 5. Green tea is usually brewed for less time. 1-3 minutes is recommended depending on your taste preference and the leaf size. Smaller leafed tea will brew quicker than larger leafed tea.
Although most people tend to think of the English when considering tea, tea actually originated in China (as a medicine) over 4000 years ago, possibly in the era of the Shang Dynasty. It then travelled to Portugal in the 16th century and didn’t arrive in Brittan until the 17th century. It was the British that then introduced tea to India.
Whether the tea you drink is black, green, white or oolong, it all comes from the same plant camellia sinensis. It is the processing method that defines the flavour. The first three leaves including the bud a picked for the processing and production of tea.
Black – Black tea is rolled first and then left to oxidize/ferment before heating the leaves to dry them.
Green – Green tea is first heated before leaving to oxidize before drying, green tea is said to have a grassier flavour.