Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Crown Entertainment Complex 8 Whiteman St, Southbank - ph: (03) 9292 6891

I was kindly invited to go along to have tea with Stephen Twining, 10th generation member of the Twinings tea family. While the family doesn't own the brand anymore, he is still employed as a Brand Ambassador and does a great job spreading the word on Twinings' history. 

JJ's at Crown
 The event was held at JJ's (Crown) which and was attended by roughly 60 people. 

It's a tea party, but no one will go home hungry!
There was hardly a shortage of food, I wish I could have high tea like this more often!

The menu for the day

Okay, so i'm not going to blog about all the different types of teas but I do want to point out that they launched 3 new varieties.  Assam Bold is the strongest tea that they currently make, it is rich, thick and comes from the indian jungle.  The other two are fruit infusions.  Vanilla, ginseng and blackberry was a bit fruity for my taste (but I drink green tea) as was the blueberry, hibuscus and apple.

Now to the good stuff!  Stephen got up and gave us an amazing educational talk on tea principles.

1. Tea is like wine, the terroir defines the characteristics of the tea and because it is picked every week, it is very hard to maintain consistency in flavour.  Master tea tasters/blenders have 10+ years experience and it is their job to continually tweak the blends so that they always taste the same.  Tea drinkers, unlike wine drinkers, will not tolerate variation.

2. There are 3 key elements in the 'science' of tea preparation.  [a] use FRESH cold water, do not reboil water as there will be less oxygen to absorb the tea.  [b] different teas need different temperature water.  For example, black tea should be as the water comes to the boil, boiling water should be rested for 3 minutes before pored over green tea (otherwise it will go bitter).  [c] you need to wait 3-4 minutes before drinking.  Even though the colour may wash off quickly, it takes that long to get the flavour out.

3. Jiggling tea bags doesn't make any difference apart from washing off the colour

4. The tea:water ratio is 1 spoonful per person having tea

5. Putting sugar in tea is barbaric

6. Whether you put the milk in first or second makes no difference

Tea tasting
My blend!
 We then blended our own variety of tea, I haven't tasted mine yet but I hope it's good!

Everyone is welcome to come round for tea now, we'll never run out!
Thanks to Joanne Poon at Twinings for the invitation.

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