As the first flush of this year's tea harvest reaches the Calcutta auctions, a row is brewing among the world's tea community about the infiltration of top-quality branded teas by low-grade foreign leaves and weeds.

At the head of British concern is Will Hobhouse, the former Tie Rack managing director who now runs tea retailer Whittard of Chelsea. Since buying into Whittard, with backing from Granville venture capitalists, he has seen earnings at the tea-shop company rise five times in two years to £1.55m on a turnover of £15m.

London traders, who traditionally demand the highest quality, complain that teas branded as coming from one region are frequently only half-filled with the right leaves, and with many of the leaves coming from weeds.

Mr Hobhouse is calling for a quality-control system similar to the French appellation contrle. "When customers buy a named tea they should be able to expect pure ingredients," he says.

Christopher Heath's planned new venture, which may be staffed by refugees from Barings, is set to be called Caspian. "He has a thing about the seas of the world," a source says.

Dispirited employees at John Govett, the City fund managers recently put up for sale by Arthur Treugar, can take heart from the gung-ho attitude of the new head of its derivatives desk. Ian Morely was formerly the desperately busy director of Shearson Lehman's managed funds. He has also been managing director at Cable House Investment Services and headed the international fund management group at Rudolf Wolff. In his time off he likes to run marathons, support Spurs and organise a theatre group. Is he worried by the impending sale of his new company? "I am encouraged by what I hear," he says, bullishly.

The London Capital Club, the City club headed by Lord Palumbo and Sir Peter Parker, is to open a branch in Vietnam. The Hanoi club will be sited on the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" where captured US fliers were held prisoners of war. Let's hope the food has improved since then.

The increasingly fashionable but stubbornly obscure world of securities lending, which generates over £1bn of fees a year for investment managers, is set to receive two independent advisers. Charles Stopford Sachville and Mark Faulkner, former Lehman Brothers bankers, are setting up their own consultancy, Securities Finance International, to help fund managers to exploit this increasingly lucrative market.

The City's bankers nearly saw their attempt to liven up the tedious milk round presentations to fresh-faced undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge universities come a cropper. In an imaginative break from the usual round of dull recruitment presentations, the banks organised a troupe of actors provided by Harwood Presentations to portray City stereotypes. Among the trainees they portrayed were a Hooray Henry, a patronising American and an over-aggressive barrow boy with wild misconceptions of City life. When the Hooray Henry, who was planted secretly in the audience, started barracking the speakers, the university security guards sprang into action, fearing some sort of demonstration, and tried to wrestle the unfortunate actor out of the hall. Peace was restored by the quick-thinking bankers.

Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
premier league
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam