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A Perfect Tea Day with Bill Gorman

Bill Gorman is the Chair of the UK Tea Council (UKTC), an independent body that promotes tea and its unique story for the benefit of those who produce, sell and enjoy tea. He’s a true tea expert and advocate - and we thought we’d put him in the spotlight with a few questions:

Bill Gorman UK Tea Council

1 When did you first become a tea fan?

 Always been a tea drinker, but before UKTC, in the morning, now, rarely take coffee.

2 What is your favourite variety of tea and how do you like to take it?

 I thoroughly enjoy all types of tea.  Earl Grey at breakfast, main brand tea in the morning, something loose and special in the afternoon and green tea at 10pm before bed – a perfect tea day

3 Do you think the British palate for tea has changed and if so, how?

Perhaps the palate is not changing but our willingness to explore more specialised teas and broaden our repertoire of teas is definitely advancing.  10% of all the tea we now drink is speciality.

4 Why do you think we should drink more tea?

The answer is because you enjoy the product and want to expand your tea experience.  More tea consumed means a greater intake of healthy antioxidants and improved hydration, but it must start because you enjoy the product and have a desire to perhaps broaden your range.

5 Loose or teabag?

There is a bit of snobbery about tea styles, but the overwhelming number of tea drinkers enjoy the variety and styles irrespective of whether it is loose or bag.  Loose, wonderfully nostalgic but a pain in the morning if you are running to catch a bus; Bag, great quality but oh so convenient at home, in the office or on the train.    

6 Is there a particular tea-pairing or tea recipe you would like to share?

The best tea pairing I have ever experienced is having afternoon tea with my daughters.  I am less particular about tea and food parings although I do concede that Lapsang Suchong goes particularly with a chocolate cake and green tea with lemon cake.

Milky Oolong

7  You are a mine of tea trivia, what’s your favourite tea fact?

The origins of Earl Grey: A British diplomat saved the life of the son of a high ranking Chinese official and in gratitude, a black tea, scented with bergamot oil was offered as a token of thanks and sent back to the prime minister Viscount Howick, the 2nd Earl Grey (about 1832), also partially responsible for the abolition of slavery.

8 Is there a variety of tea that you think is an unsung hero and deserves more attention?

Difficult question; I would encourage tea drinkers to explore a wider range of tea and perhaps find something that surprises them, in a good way.  Like wine drinking, most of us don’t stick to the one variety, and with tea the range is much greater that wine.

7 If you could share a cup of tea with anyone, anywhere in the world, who and where would you choose?

 Second impossible question: Dead; Elizabeth 1 for a chat with one of the most successful British monarchs.  Alive; Tony Blair on why he made war instead of making tea. 

Thank you Bill!

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