The Tea Taste Test Project

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Following Nabokov’s example (see earlier blog), Book and Kitchen have been a bit heavy handed with the coffee of late. Luckily, a timely arrival in the form of a sampler selection of Adagio’s teas provided us with the perfect reason to switch our beverage.

Tea is a remarkable thing as illustrated by a few anecdotes:

1. It’s old. A 5000 year old rumour has it that a single leaf of tea blew into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s pot of boiling water. Much to his delight he found that, not only did his frankly bland daily dose of hot water now have some flavour, it also put a spring in his royal step.

2. All teas (white, green, oolong, black and pu’erh) come from the same plant with the fancy name of Camellia Sinensis. In Asia, the tea of choice is white or bai hua (also known as Pekoe and made from the new buds of the tea plant). Our UK national favourite – builder’s tea – is made from the dust left over at the end and, in terms of tea vintage, it’s bottom of the pile.

3. Wars have been fought over it. The Opium Wars of the 19th Century arguably originated from the British not having enough dosh (silver) to fund their tea habit (the tea plant being closely guarded by the Chinese since Emperor Shen Nung’s light bulb moment). The decision by British traders to resort to drug dealing to get what they wanted went some way to souring relations.

If that’s not enough to grab your interest, check out Adagio’s website www.adagio.uk.com for all things tea.

We’ve only just started working our way through their fantastic range (which includes lots of fruity and herbal flavours) but we’ve already fallen in love with White Peach and White Peony…