November 01, 2008

Harrods Organic Darjeeling Loose Leaf Tea

Harrods Darjeeling.jpg This is a simply brilliant (and cheap...) organic second flush Darjeeling that comes from the Fairtrade estates. It makes a quite delicious brew that is suitable for any hour of the day (save night perhaps...). The idea of organic for tea makes a lot of sense. Indeed, if you consider that tea is an infusion of dried leaves, then the idea of having leaves that are not chemically treated and hence don't leave any chemicals in your boiled water makes it almost seem obligatory. I imagine that as time goes on, at least at the premium level, all teas will become organic even if it means reduced yields. But then again, maybe this is just hopeful thinking.

Anyhow, if you are in London, it's definitely worth dropping by Harrods to get this tea. It's a great everyday day tea at a great price (5.95 £ for 125g). You can also buy it online here.

August 25, 2006

Simple Darjeeling for Everyday

Twinings Vintage DarjeelingIf you're like me, you will have mornings where, coming down to breakfast like a zombie, the idea of having to choose and savour a fine tea can be daunting. You just want a simple quality tea that will wake you in a nice way while not giving you any guilt feelings for not paying particular attention to it. In others words, a cheap but reliable and tasty tea. Twinings sells boxes of leaf tea, one of which is called Vintage Darjeeling. This is a blend of Darjeeling teas of undetermined flush but it's predictable, it's good and it's cheap (compared to buying a first flush from some famous garden...). It's way better than lipton yellow label or the usual supermarket teas and it's great value for the price (+/- 10 € for 200 gr.)

December 12, 2005

Yunnan : The Mocha of Tea

Imperial Yunnan TeaA famous tea from China, Yunnan black tea, which in it's different grades (from best to worst) is also known as Golden Yunnan, Imperial Yunnan or simply Yunnan is very much an archetype for Black Tea. The Chinese, to guarantee consistency in taste and aspect every year, blend harvests from different gardens in Yunnan Province and sell it according to grade. This is typical of the policies that China adopts for it's export teas. The Chinese drink green tea but make black tea for export. By guaranteeing consistency from year to year, they keep the price stable and as tea used to be one of China's important sources for foreign currencies, this was sound policy. In the near future, specific gardens and the high prices they commend will probably also appear in China. Meanwhile, the old policy makes this a very dependable tea (there are really no surprises when you buy it) and any serious tea drinker should always have some Imperial or Golden Yunnan in his cupboard. It is a great morning tea and is also known as the Surgeon's Tea because of it's stimulant properties which, though quite present, don't give the "shakes".