A fes‘tea’val of delicious blends
We love a cup of tea here at Lincolnshire Life. It fuels our afternoon working, so we shall certainly be raising our cups and mugs on 21st April to join in with National Tea Day.
Despite the boom in coffee sales, tea is still the UK’s favourite brew and whether you are drinking at home, in a café, an elegant tea room, the local pub or a hotel away from home there are so many teas available now, with exciting and delicious blends. We have spoken to local tea experts to hear about trends, flavours and the perfect cuppa.
Anne Dobbs is owner of the Dower House Hotel in Woodhall Spa and serving the perfect cup of tea with their popular Afternoon Tea menus is an essential ingredient of the experience.
“We are just introducing our spring and summer menus and I know that the choice of beverage will change too, to match the lighter flavours of ingredients in our sandwiches and scones. Berries and Pavlovas epitomise this new season so our blueberry scones are always a favourite, as well as macarons and bitesize desserts. English breakfast tea is still our most popular but green teas and peppermint tea offer refreshing palates and customers are becoming more discerning in their choices.”
The popularity of an indulgent Afternoon Tea treat is certainly one of the reasons for the renaissance in tea but there is also the ritual and mystique of producing the perfect brew.
Sophie Barrett, owner of the Old Pottery Tea Room in Wrangle near Boston, uses only loose leaf teas and urges drinkers to be patient. “The leaves need time to infuse, at least 3-4 minutes, for the flavours to be released. Take advantage of these calming few moments to relax and anticipate the experience. The Old Pottery offers a Tea Menu with a dazzling choice. “Kiaka Cherry Sencha is a Chinese green tea with cherry fruit pieces while gunpowder tea is still a favourite for its hearty nose and taste. Jasmine Blossom Tea along with herbal and fruit teas make delicious iced teas for sipping in the warmer weather.”
Susie and John Carlisle, owners of The Lincoln Tea and Coffee Company, are the creators of the county’s own blend. “We launched Lincolnshire Tea just over a year ago and our ambition was to produce a blend which would be delicious regardless of water quality. We work with a number of companies including Doddington Hall whose new menu Afternoon Tea is available from 1st April. Afternoon Tea has been a huge driver in the appreciation of teas but also making sure that every aspect of the experience, from a selection of tempting sandwiches, to fruit scones and fresh cakes and bakes, as well as an excellent pot of tea, is spot on every time.”
Susie and John took their blend of East African and Assam leaves to a taste panel prior to launch, of which 100% chose their blend. “Lincolnshire Tea has a stronger appearance which people like with the fresher palate. Lincolnshire Tea has certainly taken the county’s name worldwide and we continue to source new plantations to broaden our range. We have a new Vietnamese green tea which is very refreshing and a peppermint tea from Malawi. This is our second tea from this plantation which believes in supporting its workers and the environment. We are helping Doddington Hall to develop Tea Tasting Notes and their own blend of coffee which will be on sale in the Farm Shop along with Lincolnshire Tea.”
Whatever your tea tipple we hope you raise a cup to National Tea Day.