Brewing Hints: Infuse for three to four minutes in freshly boiled water
Leaf: Pekoe Fannings (Small Leaf)
Origin: Rwanda, Assam, Ceylon, East of the rift Kenya
Characteristics: Selected teas from the above sources, plucked at the height of the season produce this product of exceptional quality
Serving Suggestions: Drink with milk at any time of day. Particularly good at breakfast or afternoon tea.
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£3.42 – £21.82
Our finest quality small leaf ‘breakfast tea’, Gourmet Classic is easy to drink. Due to its excellent quality constituent teas, our Gourmet Classic has a delicious aroma, a bright and coppery liquor and excellent flavour .
This Gourmet Classic Tea blend is designed to compete with (and beat!) other premium quality black teas available on the UK market.
A tea-tasters job is always varied and in order to produce teas for the UK market, it is necessary to be able to understand which combination of teas appeals to the British pallet the most, effectively ticking all of the boxes as to what Brits look for in their tea-pot and this tea does it!
Historically, the origins that produce teas we have favoured have been India and Sri Lanka however in the 1950s Africa, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi, increased their tea production to the degree where they were able to produce and export vast quantities. I often think of this huge growth in African production and export as being along the same lines as the period in time when ‘the new world’ started to export its fine quality wines and modern practices to the rest of the world. Many of the teas produced in Africa are very appealing and possess bright, brisk flavours and liquors that the British public have really come to enjoy.
Producing a good quality tea blend is a question of balance, and bright, brisk flavours alone do not tick every box. Small leaf Assam teas are well known for their pungency and strength and balanced with softer flavoured teas, make up an indispensable and utterly necessary part of the blend. We have had 50-year trading relationships with many of our Indian Tea partners and our Gourmet Classic blend gives us a chance to showcase exactly what high quality Indian tea will bring to a blend. With tea bushes in India becoming increasing clonal, finding real character can sometimes take a little doing, but we buy the majority of our Assam teas from the June/July growing seasons, which are known in the trade to produce the finest quality teas.
For the African part of this blend we chose teas from recently re-privatised estates in Rwanda, in particular Gisovu. Gisovu is known amongst traders as producing some of the finest small leaf teas to leave Rwanda and have found Gisovu to be most useful, in bringing a high-class African flavour and colour to this blend.
Finally, and producing tea for export to the UK since 1872, (with the first tea sent to the London tea auctions in 1875) Sri Lanka (Ceylon) started its long and prosperous tea relationship with the British. Today pure, unblended Ceylon teas are appreciated by many tea connoisseurs in Britain. Having visited Sri Lanka and toured and inspected many tea estates in its seven main growing areas, we select only the finest for our Gourmet Classic blend. The Stockholm Estate in Nuwara Eliya has consistently produced fine quality teas and this year it has produced the tea that we have selected for our Classic Blend.