If you have been following us on social media, you will know we have just returned from an incredible trip to India. Our Tea Sommelier Course with the Asian School of Tea was probably one of the highlights of my life. Up there with my wedding day and birth of our children. I think I smiled for 7 days straight!
What made it so good? I think being right in the tea gardens and seeing all those beautiful tea leaves up close. Seeing how they are plucked and processed and meeting the people who do this as a job was just so fantastic.
Standing on a mountain side and seeing a vast one metre high green carpet of tea bushes (tea trees, actually!). Hearing nothing but birds and the occasional buzz of an insect – I was truly in my happy place.
We learnt much about the history and processing of tea. We learnt about teas from different terroirs. How tea is graded, the different gradings and the correct terminology. We learnt about packaging and storing of tea. And we had many tea tastings, learning how to tell one tea from another. I think we tasted upward of 100 different teas over the 7 days.
As a passionate tea drinker, one thing that continues to amaze me is that all the teas we drink - Black, White, Green, Oolong and Pu-erh, all come from the humble tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. It is the process that it goes through after it is plucked that gives us the variety or grades, flavours and colours in the liquors. This process all happens within a 17 – 24 hour window after plucking. Seeing this all up close and personal was amazing, not to mention the smells and tastes which were sensational. Being in the factories and seeing the withering troughs full of crisp green leaves. Oh man, I could go on and on, but I won’t!
We have come back with many ideas for making your tea experience the best it can be. Slowly you will see these come into fruition. The one thing that will not change is the beautiful quality of our Brackendale teas because, even with all the tea we tried in India, our teas stood out as exceptional. Even the Tea Masters who were running our course were very taken with the few we had taken to keep us happy on our trip, especially our Fresh Perspective Peppermint and our Cream Earl Grey! We believe we have the best teas around, and we will keep bringing you that quality.
Until next time, happy sipping.