Green tea and my epiphany: three reasons why I’m in love with Gyokuro tea

Me and green tea have had an uneasy relationship.  Brewed properly, green tea can be deliciously refreshing and invigorating.  But so often, a combination of poor quality leaves and bad brewing results in an affront to the senses.  The Lipton Green Tea tea bag is the perfect example of the catastrophe that green tea can be – never again shall a drop pass my lips. Yet it doesn’t have to be a cup of green floor sweepings to make me grimace in pain; even green tea produced by notable tea companies can still be bitter and well, frankly quite gross.

My mistrust of green tea is so deep that for many years now I’ve nursed an unhealthy level of suspicion and hostility towards it.  I therefore assumed that our relationship could never be repaired.

So in this context, when a lovely friend recently gifted me a packet of Japanese green tea, I was hugely grateful on the outside, but on the inside I was nervous and fearful. I assumed this scenario could only end badly.

‘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.