‘Tea like my nanna used to drink’

I’ve been drinking Tramtracker tea, by McIver’s Tea and Coffee Merchants, every morning for about 5 months now. I just love it; it’s strong and gutsy and gives me the push out of the door I need.

One morning as I stood staring at the wall waiting for my tea to brew, I thought to myself, ‘just how is this tea so good?’.  I resolved at that moment to find out.

George Orwell’s 11 golden rules for making tea

I recently stumbled across George Orwell’s 1946 gem of an essay, A Nice Cup of Tea.  It’s not surprising that as ‘the 20th century’s best chronicler of English culture’*, Orwell had some strong opinions about this quintessentially English institution.

In his short, humorous essay, George Orwell lists 11 inviolable rules one must follow to create the perfect cup of tea.  For the most part, his dogma stands the test of time.  But, there are a couple of points that are less ‘golden’ and, in my view, quite simply wrong.

George and I go head to head on what does, or does not, create the perfect cuppa.

‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go’: Meeting the tea merchant

This is the first in a series of conversations with modern day tea merchants.  Really, I just want to know why and how people end up in the tea trade – I don’t imagine it’s a choice often offered by careers advisors….

My first chat with a tea entrepreneur is with Andrew Cutcliffe.  As I learn, Andrew’s history as an actor, a hospitality guru and an aficionado of Japan all coalesced to result in the creation of his tea company, Tippity.

OD-ing on tea at the Melbourne Tea Festival

I asked myself a question recently; a question that every human being really ought to ask themselves at least once in their lifetime:  is it possible to drink too much tea? The answer to this essential question is: yes, but only in extenuating circumstances.  An extenuating circumstance might look a little like this.

Recently, I forsook my Sunday morning ritual of porridge and yoga and negotiated weekend public transport to arrive at my very first ever tea festival at 10am, sharp.  At 1.30pm, I staggered from my first ever tea festival, with a belly full of tea and very little else.  My teeth were gritty and coated in tannins, my mouth was dry and I felt strangely jittery. I had spent three and a half hours solidly tasting tea. That is, undoubtedly, an extenuating circumstance. And I loved every minute of it.

For those who’ve never had the pleasure of visiting a tea festival, let me describe it for you.