The New Commoditea
This week, Telegraph columnist, Pip Sloan, commented on the growing awareness of single origin tea on a nation of people used to buying the same big-box brand for decades: “‘Single estate’ has been a buzzword of the last few years, emblazoned on packets of coffee and bars of chocolate. Now, single-estate tea is having its moment in the spotlight.’”
And she’s absolutely right. Tea is surging in our consciousness. For centuries we have enjoyed a narrow range of tea out of habit – without even realising there were so many more varieties to explore. The complexity and diversity exceeds coffee. Coffee has almost been a warm-up act to tea. We are known around the world as the nation of tea drinkers but really only now waking up to the exciting possibilities of tea.
Tregothnan was the first place in the UK to grow tea, producing the first harvest in 2005. Tregothnan’s single origin tea – Single Estate Black and Single Estate Green Teas are prized by smart consumers looking for the rarest teas with the most unique stories.
It is incredible to experience the effect on flavour even between individual gardens at Tregothnan within a single season. Tregothnan Trading MD, Jonathon Jones, compares tea with the alcohol industry: “At Tregothnan we get multiple harvests in the year, so we are finding new flavours to excite us every single week. There are so many similarities with fine wines and whiskeys but we rely on the drinker making our tea perfectly, and not many do! We now run regular single estate tea training sessions so that drinkers can get much more out of their tea. A whole new world of single origin tea is opening up.”
Tregothnan grows over 38 varieties of tea in its unique climate, although continues to experiment with many more. Tregothnan customers choose their tea because for the integrity of provenance, understanding more than ever about the process to get from bush to cup. Tregothnan has helped to educate British people about tea provenance, giving consumers seeking the immersive experience the chance to see and feel the environment of a real tea plantation.
New to Tregothnan’s Christmas gift collection this year, the Single Estate Tea Gift Set is a very special gift comprises both Single Estate Black Tea and Single Estate Green Tea caddies, presented in a stylish, grey gift box. The light and delicate flavours of the most British tea in history are created inland in the warm and wet climate on the banks of the 18 metre deep sea creek of the Fal.
Many of the tea bushes now producing the finest teas made their way from China in the 1840’s via Darjeeling, finally reaching Tregothnan in 1999. The soils and temperatures at Tregothnan have become second home to much of the flora associated with tea in Darjeeling and some aficionados note muscatel notes and even Magnolia florals from the famous Magnolia campbellii. The UK’s first outdoor ornamental Camellias are vibrantly approaching their fourth century and grow all around these tea bushes, testament to the truly unique Tregothnan microclimate.