I recently was invited to The East India Company to enjoy an evening of tea tasting at their gorgeous shop on Conduit Street. Anyone who hasn’t been there absolutely MUST.
The evening was in conjunction with the Royal Garden Hotel who treated guests to a tasting of five headline teas by the East India Tea Company’s Tea Master Lalith Lenadora. For each he talked us through the provenance, history and flavours. My favourite of the night was definitely the Royal Flush O.P.1, a tea picked solely from a family of plants originally planted by Prince Phillip during his first state visit to Ceylon.
I learnt, to fully appreciate the tea, there’s a certain knack to tasting it. Slurp it up, the louder the better, allowing lots of aeration. The oxygen intensifies the flavours, allowing you to fully taste all of the elements of the tea. This is also why tea should be made with fresh water in the kettle every time.
It is always a fun experience learning how to taste something properly. I’ve had the opportunity to learn wine tasting from Sarah Jane Evans, a master of wine, and coffee tasting from John Thomson, a master blender. So it was great to see the similarities between all of them, namely aerating the liquid in your mouth to release the best flavours.
The East India Company’s shop is also absolutely wonderful to have a mosey around, with intricately designed tea paraphernalia and perfectly partnered chocolates. Have a look at the website here for last minute Christmas present ideas.