Our range of tea is chosen from thousands of samples sent to us each year from the producing countries around the world. No speciality worthy of the name passes us by and often we are the exclusive stockists in this country, if not Europe, of the world's finest and most rare varieties. We now have a special relationship with growers and their agents in the country of origin and this gives us access to teas picked on as little as one morning of the year in the greatest tea gardens of the world and even teas that are grown only for us by special order. This also enables us to keep a good supply as demand for unusual teas has grown over the past ten years and there is fiercer competition for the limited stock. These rare teas are part of our range of over four hundred types. In offering so many, teas that standing on their own would seem like one of the most precious things in the world can slip by unnoticed. We urge you to be as experimental as possible and to take time to discover and enjoy the little gems gracing our shelves.
Tea cultivation is as complex, if not more so than wine producing, so it should not be a surprise to see so many varieties on offer. Great variation in quality and flavour exist, even from the same bush in the same garden! These variations are a result of many things such as climatic conditions, soil type, time of year, how the leaves are picked and as importantly, how they are processed. It is a perfect balance of nature and nurture. Despite this almost boundless choice, most of the tea drunk in this country is blended to remove these unique characteristics and provide a homogenised product where choice is limited to which shape of teabag you prefer! Although as a nation we are one of the largest tea consumers it is widely acknowledged that nearly all of the tea imported into Britain is of the poorest quality imaginable. For the past 22 years we are pleased, with your support and enthusiasm, to have played a small part in changing this.