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Sample the tastes and aromas from the very best producers and roasters around the world with our exclusive tea and coffee clubs.
A truly excellent tea can be as layered and complex as a fine wine, and with a bit of practice you can learn to discern the exact origin...
We’re all about the art of the roast – the delicate process of balancing the bean’s natural flavours, causing it to change in colour, taste...
Some people count sheep to get to sleep. With 100 different teas to choose from, we’ve found a much better solution. True, our collection is huge. But you can choose to track down your tea by taste, by origin and even by number.
In 1886 our founder Walter Whittard set up his very first shop, filled floor-to-ceiling with the world’s finest tea, coffee and cocoa. Those brave new brews are now time-honoured classics and we’re still following our nose for the new…
Let us introduce you to our world of teas by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Let us introduce you to our world of coffees by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Let us introduce you to our world of Hot Chocolate by tasting from our wide selection. Our Friendly Fanatics will help you discover something new. No booking necessary - just pop in anytime!All Stores Daily
Pink grapefruit, bergamot, lemon – they’re flavours you’re familiar with from tea, but these brilliant botanicals are also the key to some of the world’s most beautiful gins. Our tea expert Bethan Thomas recently chatted to Craft Gin Club about why gin and tea make for a deliciously oriGINal combination (sorry – we couldn’t resist).
“Tea leaves and herbs are all used to balance blends, to ensure they aren’t too sweet or floral, but the aim is that the key flavour comes through,” says Bethan. “It’s an experimental mix that works – like many a craft gin.”
Bethan grew up in Wales, where tea drinking was the order of every day, but it wasn’t until she was working on a graduate scheme in China that she discovered the true wonder of this incredible leaf.
“I was amazed when I saw the bus drivers in Shanghai drinking whole leaf tea from flasks,” she says, “and builders topping up their leaves with hot water from the tap. I fell in love with it there, and knew I wanted to work in the tea trade.”
So, Bethan sacked in her graduate scheme, and got a job with an independent tea company. “Some of my friends thought I was nuts, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she says.
Now our resident tea expert, Bethan sources and blends our world-class collection, making sure that every tea we sell meets our exceptional standards of quality. She’s also behind the creative recipes included with our Tea Tasting Club deliveries – so pairing tea with gin comes naturally to her. The two drinks aren’t as different as they might at first appear: in fact, there’s a lot of comparisons to be made between tea tasting and the work of a craft distiller like Mark Marmont, creator of award-winning 58 Gin.
An important botanical used in making 58 Gin is bergamot – the very same botanical that gives our Earl Grey tea its beguiling fragrance and luminous citrus flavour. And, while they echo one another, there’s just enough difference that the comparison is endlessly fascinating.
“An appreciation of the complex mix of botanicals in gin is really well suited to tasting tea,” says Bethan. “Being able to identify multiple layers of flavour is completely translatable.”
From the camomile in Dreamtime to the lavender in Lavender Yerba Mate, the liquorice in Liquorice Twist and the elderflower in Elderflower Earl Grey, the botanical blends in our teas are as complex a construction as those that make up your favourite tipples.
As Bethan explains, “Botanicals come through more strongly than in comparison to most gins, but in a very similar way.”
Want to taste tea like a professional? We always recommend that you find your own favourite way of brewing at home, since no guideline is a substitute for personal taste; but if you want to recreate the experience of a tea expert like Bethan, just follow these three key pieces of advice.
What better way to explore the similarity between gin and tea than by combining the two? Right on cue, we’ve come up with a rather decadent recipe for an Earl Grey Martini…
1 Earl Grey teabag
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
25ml sugar syrup (1:1 sugar and water)
1 egg white (optional)
Infuse the teabag in the gin for 10 minutes at room temperature. Combine the tea-infused gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Dry-shake without any ice to emulsify the egg. Open and add very cold ice; shake again until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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