Working in a specialty coffee industry has introduced me to specialty tea. It made me realise that good tea same as good coffee can taste incredible. Flavor profile in tea is incredible too. The simplest specialty black tea can taste as clean and flavorsome as great wine.
I remember first ever tasting some amazing tea at a coffee shop I was working at. First I saw how amazingly it was prepared. Dry leaves weight to precision. Water boiled to exactly 70 degrees. Exactly 150 milliliters of water then poured on to the tea leaves. Tea brewed for exactly 4 minutes. It was – the delicious Sencha. The first amazing tea and the best tea in general I have ever tasted. It tastes super fresh, green and alive. It seemed that hot water has awakened the tea leaves that have been dried and rolled a long time ago. Incredible care is being taken of growing this delicate Japanese tea. Hence, it tastes so great.
There is a lot of amazing tea, some that I will need to explore more. However, I would love to share my London tea experience. Here are two of the tea producers in London that I have been making and enjoying tea from.
I would like to start with the incredible Postcard Teas.
Apart from knowing that Postcard Teas curate the best tasting teas; provenance and small tea are two great things I have learnt about them.
Provenance and small tea.
First of all what does provenance mean at Postcard teas? So basically, these guys are the first company in the world to have put the tea maker’s name and location on all of their teas. It is a pretty big deal when you think about it. It makes it more transparent of where your tea comes from. All of the Postcard Teas tea comes from small farms. This brings the second point up – small tea.
Postcard Teas guys work with small farms of less than 15 acres. That again is pretty awesome. Small tea benefits all – the farmers, the workers, the producers and us. Small farms produce the most sought after teas which is of a great benefit to us. However, Postcard Teas guys assure that people producing amazing tea benefit too. Buying from small farms, excludes the “middle men”, allowing to buy tea directly. It means more money goes to the actual people producing the tea. Small tea is better for the environment too. Think about it – buy better, use less. Sort of. Great tea can be brewed over and over again on the same day; whereas a conventional tea bag can be used once.
Next is Lalani. Lalani & Co is a fairly new specialist, single and small batch tea company. Nonetheless, it has taken over a London specialist tea scene quite quick.
Lots of speciality coffee shops in London now use Lalani. As well as a lot of great restaurants and hotels. This makes me super happy as it means that great tea is more and more readily available to enjoy everywhere.
First of all what does a small batch or a single batch means to you and me? Small batch means that tea has been carefully selected from all the other teas given its great differentiating qualities. It also means that a tea curator has taken a lot of time and care to choose the best tea possible that is only available in small quantities. This is wat makes the tea so special.
What about the single batch tea? Teas are grown in batches across the world. Most of the teas are then blended and sold. However, Lalani specialises in single unblended tea batches. This once again means extra selection process, care and the end result of incredible flavor.
Their story is pretty cool too. One of the founders Jameel has dropped out of Oxford and started the Lalani and Co. The idea was to bring the best small-batch teas to all. I think this worked pretty well, indeed.