tea tasting

Loose Leaf Teas

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Bev stocks a range of good honest loose leaf teas from around the world. I taste all of the teas myself and they are packed into re-sealable foil pouches to ensure freshness and flavour.

Having lived and worked on a plantation in Sri Lanka (Amba Tea Estate) where I set up a small processing factory and created a range of hand made speciality loose leaf teas to sell, I understand only too well how much hard work goes into every cuppa so an important part of the project was ensuring a fair deal for the workers. We set up a share scheme to put money directly back into the pockets of the pluckers and makers. Tea is personal and buying tea is all about trust, and having good relationships with both growers and supplier (expertly sourced). Fairly traded tea is very important to us so we only source and buy blends from people we know personally and whose ethical stance matches ours.


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! Make your own small 'escape' to the streets of India with a cup of our warming chai, to the Himalayas with our Golden Maloom Nepali brew or head to Georgia and the Caucasus mountains with a cup of our fine Georgian tea. If you want to learn more, why not buy our loose leaf taster packs and try some new flavours. Choose from our range of artisan black ~ green ~ Oolong ~ white tea ~ fruit and herbal infusions (and naturally caffeine free tisanes) or rooibos. There are millions of types of tea for sale out there that would take more than one lifetime to try. I have tasted thousands of cups as a tea maker and I'm picky about what I sell. My teas may not be the rarest nor the fanciest but I have tried to find some good honest varieties for my own daily addiction and I hope that you will also find a favourite to enjoy.

Loose leaf tea - no bags!

Serve your own tea - Grow a camellia sinensis plant?

Tea plantation talk

‘Tea makes me happy...it's that simple’ - You may have heard that we are starting to plant bushes 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 and will always be speciality rather than commercially produced leaf for tea bags. I am busy propagating a few plants of my own and we can supply plants to aspiring back garden planters. Tea plants are part the camellia family and are hardy little plants that grow in the Himalayas. As well as advising a group of Scottish growers, I have also been working in America to develop new teas. Teas that I created for The Great Mississippi Tea Company Ltd were entered into the TOTUS (Tea of the United States) awards last year and were awarded a first for green, black and oolong in the non-commercial category.

What's all the fuss about loose leaf?

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 three cups a day can have a beneficial effect on your health. Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties, however black tea actually has the same amount!

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 grammes for a perfect cup. You will see this information displayed with each drink that you explore, before you buy it online....including the number of times you can steep the leaves... in the teapot or cup, a new concept to many novice speciality tea drinkers.
Chinese quote:

'The first brew is for your enemy, the second for the servant, the third for your wife, fourth for your mistress, the fifth for your business partner and the last you keep for yourself.'

When making a pot at home, I use a kettle with variable temperature controls and a timer to get the perfect brew, they are small luxuries in my kitchen. When travelling I take a flask of hot water, and a jam jar or pot..by the time I'm ready for a cup, the water in the flask will have cooled down to a good temperature to brew a decent cup of green tea.

If I'm out camping I use the traditional Chinese method for working out temperature from the bubbles in the water, 'fish eyes' for green teas (the first bubbles forming on the bottom of your pan), 'strings of pearls' for oolong (columns of bubbles, like champagne), and roaring brook (full boil) for black and Pu-erhs. I don't use a watch or timer, I let the leaves unfurl, and when the brew looks right and the aroma starts to build then I know that the steep is perfect.