TIME FOR TEA
An afternoon seminar and tea tasting (including Jersey tea) is being led by ‘tea sommelier’ Eunice Pallot on 12 June. Eunice is an advisor to Jersey tea growers
We British like to think that we are experts on tea. We are the third largest consumers of tea in the world, after all, after the Turks and Irish. Yet, we’ve been drinking a just passable commodity brew for many years now. Costing tuppence per tea bag, brewed strong and made palatable by the addition of milk and sugar, it’s a comforting and sustaining cup.
Yet, there is so much more to tea than the fannings (tiny bits and pieces of leaf) in a tea bag that offer up their unsubtle flavours in a ten-second steep, and with no indication of provenance.
Would you, for example, be happy to drink a wine of the world: a blend from countries reaching across continents with a mix of unknown grape varieties? Thirty years ago you might not have had a choice, but with consumer education and vastly improved vinification, wine growers like to share their story on the bottle and consumers like to know what they are drinking – it’s the only way to develop a more discerning palate.
Similarly, there is a world of real tea out there from the traditional tea heartlands of Asia to a growing number of tea producers across Europe (including Jersey), the Americas and Australasia: the New World of tea, so to speak. ‘English Breakfast’ might be a popular blend from various continents, but when you start drinking tea from named regions and specific gardens, you amp up the taste experience and whet your imagination for more.
If you’re ready for a taste adventure, sign up for the newly created tea class at Highlands College Jersey. During this two-hour ‘Introduction to Tea’, you’ll taste quality whole-leaf teas from around the world – including home-grown Jersey tea. Learn more about the camellia sinensis tea plant and how the leaves are transformed into the main tea categories: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and dark (or fermented). Finally, leave prepared to up your tea-drinking game.
For more information and to book, visit www.highlands.ac.uk and search course code 2081GA3T02, or call 015345 608655. The class is held at the Philip Mourant Centre runs on Saturday 12 June, 2-4pm, and costs £60.
Eunice Pallot is a tea specialist and writer. Her first career was in wine marketing and journalism, and after moving to Jersey in 2013 she set up her own tea import business and tasting room. She managed Jersey Fine Tea’s brand development and online launch, and now advises them on an ad hoc basis.