For the vast majority, a nice cup of tea brings to mind a bag, milk, a kettle of boiling water, a mug and perhaps a builder! In recent years however, the ritual of a daily cup of tea has become a far more involved affair with the options available to us expanding rapidly as interest grows and greater variety is demanded.
We are delighted to announce that we are now stocking a variety of Canton Tea in our Kitchen and Farmshop. Canton Tea was founded by copywriter and tea enthusiast Jennifer Wood in 2007. Jennifer was inspired to bring the joy of the best handmade tea to the UK by the pure quality of a gift of Pouchong tea, a light Oolong, sent to her each spring by a tea-farmer friend in Taiwan.
Jennifer was later joined by Edgar Thoemmes who brought his vast knowledge of technology along with his taste for fine tea with him to the business. The pair work carefully to source the very best tea directly from artisan producers who utilise generations of experience when picking the tea at just the right time, hand rolling and processing the precious leaves.
Where once the British public were satisfied with a cup of breakfast tea, we are now branching out and discovering the full range of teas that the Camelia sinensis plant has to offer. Traditionally in the UK we drink a blended black tea, commonly known as English breakfast. Strong in flavour, black tea gets its distinctive colour and depth of flavour as it is rolled or bruised then allowed to partially or fully oxidise before being dried to stop the oxidisation process and preserve the leaves before being brewed.
In contrast the less common white tea is made from very young leaves, picked just before the buds have opened. White tea is far more common in China than the UK but it is slowly gaining in popularity. The tea does not go through the same oxidisation process as black tea. The process is simple; the leaves are picked and allowed to wither and dry slowly. The simple process creates a tea that is sweeter and more subtle in flavour than black tea.
Tea lovers are increasingly adopting an approach to tea similar to that of wine. This makes perfect sense considering that the flavour of tea changes dramatically depending on the plant variety, the area and climate in which it is grown, the season it is harvested in, the processing and the brewing technique used.
Discover a range of Canton Tea in Tebay Services, Gloucester Services and our Hotel Lounge now.