Whether it’s a cup for one or a pot for a party, five tea experts share their favourite blends to immediately upgrade your beverage selection
“Many times, folks just ask us for a ‘normal’ tea, nothing fancy,” says Giles M Othen at Wilkinsons of Norwich. “My recommendation is a good honest Ceylon Dimbula BOP from the Wattegodde Estate. It can be brewed with milk or sugar to suit any taste but it doesn’t have the maltiness of stronger Assams.”
Emilie Holmes, Founder of Good & Proper Tea, recommends China’s Silver Needle. “These juicy, unopened buds are bursting with delicate flavour. The infusion is silky-smooth, combining lightly vegetal notes with honeysuckle and a lingering honey sweetness. Re-infuse up to three times.”
“Infusing tea in cold water – or ice – reveals a new world of soft, sweet grassy flavours with a silky touch to the palate,” explains Jo Davies, founder of The Gilded Teapot. “Our organic Japanese Sencha Superior is wonderfully simple to make: add the Sencha to your teapot, fill it with ice cubes, and once the ice has melted, your tea is ready to enjoy.
“I was amazed at how clean and crisp our Baolam Dalat Top Fancy Oolong was, with a delightful aftertaste,” says James Pogson, director at Northern Tea Merchants. “The dry leaves swell in the pot to show the care taken by the Vietnamese pickers and the excellent technical skills of the tea makers in the factory itself.”
For Rebecca English, owner of the Birdhouse Tea Company, it’s the award-winning Full Monty tea. “A small leaf black tea with malty notes from Assam and a bright and brisk cup produced from Kenyan leaves, it is the perfect tea for that morning oomph. Best to brew 1-2tsps per person for 3-5 minutes, at 95°C.”