Bev opened The Scottish Tea Factory in 2018. The tea factory offers processing services and consultancy advice for tea growers worldwide. Bev has worked with Aberdeen University and Tea Gardens of Scotland making teas for a pilot study to prove provenance for Scottish grown tea. She is a licensed trainer for The UK Tea Academy and runs tea courses and tea experiences.
Tea Consultancy and Tea Learning
Drinking good tea is pure joy, a moment in your day just for you. Whether you are up a hill, in your office, on your bike or at home you can travel the world in your teacup! If you want to learn more about this fascinating subject come and join me on a tea course at The Scottish Tea Factory.
Why Loose leaf tea?
‘Tea makes me happy...it's that simple’ - You may have heard that we are starting to plant tea here in the UK? It's true, tea has been planted in Cornwall for several years and is now being planted elsewhere in England, Scotland and Wales although on a relatively small scale. Tea growing in the UK is marginal and our growing season is very short from June to September. This means that home grown tea will always be rare and unique. Most growers have tiny tea gardens of between 500 - 2000 tea plants which is less than half an acre. Tea plants are part of the camellia family and there are some cold-hardy tolerant varieties however unlike ornamental camellias tea plants require a lot of care and attention to grow. As well as advising Tea Gardens of Scotland growers, I have also been working in America and Myanmar to develop new teas.
What's all the fuss about loose leaf?
A lot of work goes into tea production whether it ends up in a bag or not. Tea bags contain either dust or very finely broken or chopped leaves and are designed for a quick dunk in a mug. Loose leaf teas take a few minutes for the leaves to uncurl and release all of their flavour but when they do... oh boy are you in for a treat so FREE THE LEAVES! Good whole leaf teas can also be brewed more than once...just as long as you remove the leaves from the water at the end of the brew and don't let them stew. Essentially it's like orange squash as opposed to fresh orange juice or instant coffee as opposed to freshly ground beans. Does anyone remember smash instant mashed potato...say no more!
What's in a leaf?
All teas are made from different varieties of the same plant ~ the most common being camellia var. sinensis or camellia var. assamica, whether they are black, white green or oolong it's just a different process that produces the different types of tea. Research suggests that drinking as few as four cups a day can have a beneficial effect on your health.
Quality leaf tea for the perfect brew every time!
Most people equate 1 tsp loose leaf per cup, however large leaves need more teaspoons to get to the requisite number of grams for a perfect cup which is 2.5 - 3 grams per 200ml. Good quality loose leaf tea can usually be brewed more than once as long as the leaves are removed from the liquor as soon as your brew is ready and not left standing in water.