By Daniella Franzese-Boyett
Sen No Rikyu, the great 16th-century Japanese tea master said “Tea is nothing more than this: Heat the water, prepare the tea and drink it properly. That is all you need to know”.
Tea really is a simple pleasure, loved and written about by so many over the last thousands of years. So I guess that makes me a relative newcomer and if truth be known quite keen to be part of its growing legacy.
My personal journey in tea has lead me to explore a magnificent and diverse array of varieties and flavours. It was the reason for launching Jeeves & Jericho in the first place so that I could work with such an exciting and versatile product. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days drinking copious amounts of tea, all in the name of a hard day’s work?!
I have always felt that tea is something that should be experienced and enjoyed, being open to new flavours and oh my there are plenty. Training as a tea sommelier awoke my senses to a whole range of exceptional oriental varieties.
I do slightly admit I was a tad daunted by the sheer volume of varietals and cultivars of Camellia Sinensis, whose leaves we have become so fond of drinking. Would I get to grips with all the Chinese names and their translations, Anji Bai Cha being a green tea even though Bai Cha means white tea? Did I prefer a Da Hong Pao to a Mi Lan Dan Cong, or a Yixing to a Kyusu teapot? Would I get to grips with oxidation and fermentation and most importantly not drop my Gaiwan?!
It did become clear that faced with all of these complex and fascinating flavours I was no longer afraid to learn and source these extraordinary teas. I also realised that there are a huge amount of tea lovers who were either open to new varieties or were already enjoying specialty teas that are considered as rare outside Asia.
So there we have it, a new brand was born, ever growing and evolving. Recently the decision was made to introduce a new category to our splendid family of teas, a category that incorporates not only ancient and artisanal production techniques at source but naturally amazing flavour profiles.
I am therefore thrilled to present our new Tea Masters Series which features nine fine and rare, handcrafted speciality teas.
Darjeeling 1st Flush Highlands Silver Tip
Light and refreshing with subtle notes of grape.
Yunnan Golden Needles - Dian Hong
Rich and malty with hints of juicy plum and molasses-like sweetness.
Medium-bodied. Subtle spice with sweet notes of caramel and honey.
Big Red Robe - Da Hong Pao
Full-bodied with complex notes of ripe apricot and mild spice with a slight smoky aftertaste.
Oriental Beauty - Dong Fang Mei Ren
Full and velvety. Refreshing with subtle notes of grape and a peachy sweetness.
Shou Puerh King
Full-bodied and earthy with subtle hints of liquorice and cooked wild mushroom.
Jasmine Dragon Pearls Mo Li Zhen Zhu
Light and aromatic. Smooth and sweet with balanced floral notes.
Iron Goddess of Mercy - Tie Guan Yin
Light and refreshing. Balanced notes of honeysuckle and sweet fruit.
Gyokuro Asahi – Jade Dew
Full vibrant flavours, velvety sweet with subtle hints of seaweed.
You can find our more about our Tea Masters Series here.