When I arrived at my office at 8.30 I had a cup of light, bright Ceylon tea, and mid-morning drank a cup of real coffee. I have my teas either black or with a little milk. With Assam, English Breakfast and Darjeeling it's always MIF (milk in first). Delicate teas like jasmine and oolong I have black. I never put sugar in: it numbs the palate and it's bad for you.
Yesterday I visited our offices in London. For lunch: a brown bread sandwich filled with bacon and lettuce, which I ate with a very mild, mellow Darjeeling tea. When I'm tasting I do nothing to disturb the palate. Tea-tasters tend not to smoke, and you don't go out and have garlic for lunch or drink alcohol. I trained as a taster, and still taste from time to time, but I have to run the business as well.
I arrived home at about 5pm, and had some chocolate cake, another sandwich, a home-made bun and chocolate bourbons. I chose a very fine, full-bodied China tea. I choose my teas like wines, according to the weather, my mood and the food. On a hot day I'll have Lapsang Souchong, a lovely smoky tarry tea. If it's cold and miserable, then a malty pungent Assam really brightens me up. On an ordinary English day, I might have an oolong, which has the flavour of ripened peaches.
For supper - cold lamb with fresh peas and potatoes, followed by cheese and biscuits. I washed it down with Jasmine tea which I sipped it until bedtime. Jasmine doesn't keep you awake as it's very light and delicate and low in caffeine, and is a good aid to digestion. If I'm drinking wine, I find an Oolong goes well with white and a Yunnan with red. If I've had one of those classically English, sweet, sticky puddings, then Earl Grey does a superb job of clearing the palate.
As a child, tea was never forced down me, and I didn't have to join the family business. But it's been wonderful to have spent nearly 40 years of my life working with something as clean and good for you as tea.Reuse content