For a nation of tea lovers, I am really shocked that most of us only drink one type and almost always the same brand!! Tea comes from only 2 plants – camellia sinensis and camellia assamica and it’s the processing of these that gives you a wide choice of black, white, green, yellow, etc.
Within black tea itself there are so many varieties; smoked, aged and of course the most popular; blended. Most of your breakfast and afternoon teas are likely to have teas from 2 or 3 continents. Green tea maybe steamed, pan roasted or smoked.
Yet most of us stick to type and a brand that our parents or grandparents introduced us to. It’s become custom and a habit; the same type of coffee or ice cream or …tea.
Do you find yourself putting tea on your shopping list and at the supermarket you pick up the same brand and pop it into your trolley? A habit that even the algorithm of your favourite online shop has figured out and reminds you that you may want to purchase the same tea again?
You try new cheeses, wines or even a new colour for an outfit so why not tea?
To learn about teas, you don’t need to open a book or attend a half day course to appreciate really good tea. There are many new independent tea companies and the long established ones as well who sell a huge variety of teas. To expand your taste adventures, all you would have to do is buy a different tea when you next shop.
Some really good online tea shops sell samples at reasonable prices; this is a great way to try before you buy.
If you are an ardent black tea fan, try a single blend from Kenya or Assam, India. For elevenses and your mid-afternoon tea why not try an Asian blend from Sri Lanka, China and India. As you ease into the latter part of your day, buy a different green tea from your usual.
White and yellow teas are very delicate but so full of complex flavours. For those who love their tea with more punch, roasted or aged teas give you all that you want.
If like me, you love teas that have been blended with bold and robust flavours, then the range is unbelievably wide. Here you can satisfy not just your taste in tea but for other flavours as well.
Infusions are the caffeine-free option; from chamomile to mint to rose or a combination!
Discover the diversity in tea at great music, book and food festivals all over the country. This is a great way of tasting different teas and discovering some fantastic flavour combinations.
I have a confession to make; I don’t have a Masters in Tea. I just have a huge love and passion for it. I learnt and will continue to learn from drinking different teas and from talking and listening to people who grow it and from those who enjoy drinking it.
Honestly you don’t have to know everything about tea; you just need to taste as many as you possibly can. The more diverse your selection of teas and the more you drink, you are more likely to know and appreciate really good tea. Step away from your usual supermarket blends!!
Tell me what new tea will you be buying next time?