1: Single Estate Tea
As a business one of our main focuses in on providing single estate teas. These are teas that are grown on one tea garden, at one time of year. They are not blended with the leaves of other gardens or other batches. This means that they will be subject to seasonal fluctuations in quality and flavour, depending on a dozen factors during the plant's growing season. It is these fluctuations and changes in the flavour that makes these teas fascinating, as we can compare them from one year to the next.
2: Single Origin Tea
These are the teas that come from the same region in a country, but whose leaves might be from a number of gardens owned by the same individual or company. Many producers will own multiple gardens / estates, but process the various tea leaves in one centralised factory. It is impossible in many of these cases to distinguish exactly which garden the leaves come from. While not best described as a blended tea, these teas should provide a little more consistency than single estate varieties.
3: Blended Tea
The aim of blended teas is to provide consistency. As the seasons change in the tea gardens throughout the year, so will the quality and flavours of the tea being produced. To counteract this, teas grown on different gardens, regions, or entirely different countries, are blended together to ensure exactly the same flavours. You don’t want your tea tasting different one month to the next! We can blend some of our teas in house, but it is dependent on both the complexity and quantity of that particular blend. If we sell smaller amounts of a certain tea, it is not economically viable for us to blend it in house. If we are selling in a much larger bulk, then it suddenly becomes a lot more cost effective! The problem with some blends is that more often than not, many of the larger companies producing commodity teabags will use blending as an opportunity to bulk out their teabags with a much cheaper (and poorer quality…) tea. We don't make that compromise.
4: Flavoured Tea
Flavoured teas are where it becomes a little trickier. Some of them we can flavour in house, but it really does depend on scale and complexity. Currently we only have the capability of flavouring less complex teas, and rely more on blending than using flavouring oils. We purchase some flavoured teas from specialist wholesalers, who blend the teas themselves in much larger volumes. We use these specialist blenders and wholesalers when it is just not economically viable to blend smaller quantities of these teas. It is important to distinguish these teas from those blended in house. As our business grows, we hope to bring more of these flavoured teas in house.
An example of one of these teas is our Spring Garden tea.