Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Twinings - the English way of drinking tea

Did you know that Twinings is the oldest and most famous tea company in the whole world?


At this moment Twinings produce more than 115 different blends of tea, and about 1000 people work for them, either at their factory in Andover or the one in Poland. The company exports to more than 1000 countries, including India and China, and their tea is sold worldwide.
Twinings can proud itself with the world's oldest continually-used company logo and being London's
longest-standing rate-payer, having occupied the same premises on the Strand since 1706.

How to make the perfect cup of tea?

Sam and Anne Twining are two of the founders and they've been with the company for more than 50 years now .They are explaining us the secrets of having the best cuppa tea ever in their interview for www.visitislandlife.com.

"When making tea one of the worst things is how
 badly people abuse the system. The pots are very important; they have to be made of silver, good China or earthenware (Brown Betty) provided it is glazed on the inside, but never of aluminium!
The great trick is to keep your tea pot spotless inside, which is so easy to do with two dessert spoons of baking soda and boiling water. leave it for a couple of hours and it takes out all the staining so you have  a perfect tea pot. You draw cold water from the cold tap to maximise the oxygen; and when you heat the water the moment the "fish eyes" start to appear at the bottom off the kettle you put the water in the tea pot. Every second you allow the kettle to boil you are pumping the oxygen out of the water.It is better to under-boil the kettle rather than over-boil it. And there is nothing wrong with  tea bags. They are a convenience, but when you have company loose tea comes into it's own, so you should have both in the house.
Milk is put in first, because when Chinaware was introduced from China it was so translucent that  British potters could not copy it and could only make earthenware. They finally made a tea pot that looked the part, but shattered when boiling water was put in it.So milk was put into the cup first to prevent in shattering.
Importantly, keep tea in a screw-tight tin or jar, whether it is bags or loose as it will keep fresh. Tea is like blotting paper, it will pick up kitchen smells, so you have to keep it in an air-tight container."

So how about the best time to drink certain type of tea? Sam Twining recommends to start your day with a

"builders tea" how some call it or English Breakfast, very strong or if you prefer something more light and delicate and a bit thinner like a Sri Lankan tea on a hot summer day or if outside it's cold you'll be better with a Darjeeling tea. In the afternoon an Earl Grey or Lady Grey will be fantastic with scones and cream and lots of restaurant in London are doing special menus for those who still love and have time to delight themselves with an afternoon tea.

Did you know?
Macaroons and tea

The Seventh Duchess of Bedford has introduced afternoon tea because she would always fancy a snack between lunch and evening meal. And she preferred it with a few delicacies around 4.0 pm. Then other ladies copied her and not long after that when Queen Victoria began drinking afternoon tea regularly everyone follow suit making possible an extraordinary and world renowned tradition to be born.