GUEST BLOG POST: Christine Collins – the “Art of Tea”

February 13, 2019

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa partners with Ronnefeldt Tea to provide our guests with the optimal afternoon tea experience. In this guest blog, Ronnefeldt’s Director Christine Collins takes you on a journey around the world with the “Art of Tea”…

“Afternoon Tea at The Royal Crescent Hotel is a marvellous experience and one not to be missed while visiting Bath. Whether you enjoy it during the winter months in front of a roaring fire or in glorious sunshine during summer in the beautiful gardens, it is a great way to spend a couple of hours with friends or family.

Ronnefeldt Tea is delighted to supply the loose leaf teas you can enjoy during Afternoon Tea and in fact in any other outlet of the hotel, may it be in the Spa or with your hospitality tray should you be lucky enough to have booked a room for an overnight stay.

Royal Crescent afternoon tea ronnefeldt tea

The loose leaf tea selection includes 12 carefully chosen varieties to cater for all taste preferences. Perhaps you are a lover of Darjeeling or you may prefer a strong, hearty Assam. There are green teas and caffeine-free options and of late we have added Masala Chai to the menu, a real treat especially if you order it as a Chai Latte.

If you are a real tea connoisseur, or are perhaps looking for a little souvenir, you can buy a Royal Crescent branded “Art of Tea” caddy that gives you a selection of eight tea samples and takes you on a journey to different tea origins….

The Art of Tea

Travel the route tea leaves took from ancient China to become the most loved beverage across the globe. Our “Art of Tea” caddy contains a selection of eight tasters that take you on a journey to discover the most important tea growing and producing nations today. We begin our journey in India.

Thanks to the British who brought the highly valued tea plant back from China and established it high in the mountains of Darjeeling, India is today one of the most important tea producing countries in the world.

The first stop on our journey is Darjeeling – located high up in the foothills of the Himalayas. The tea you’ll find is a Darjeeling summer harvest. Picked slightly later in spring and early summer, second flush Darjeelings like this have a more intense taste but still taste delicate whilst showing a gentle note of muscatel and golden-amber cup colour.

Royal Crescent afternoon tea ronnefeldt tea tea pickers

Second, we are visiting Assam, in effect a neighbour to Darjeeling but with a very different landscape and much lower altitude. Fertile land and a hot, moist climate produce teas that are dark in colour with a strong, malty flavour. Assam is perfect with a dash of milk. A lovely morning tea or for later in the afternoon with a slice of cake.

Finally, if you like a little exotic spice and flavour to your cup the Masala Chai might just become your new favourite. Across India you will find countless recipes for Chai and every other family has their own secret blend. Enjoy our choice of Chai based on a hearty Assam tea blended with cinnamon, ginger, fennel, black pepper and clove. With or without milk a delightful taste experience.

Leaving India we stop over on the island of Ceylon. Despite nowadays being called Sri Lanka, with the island’s tea, the name of Ceylon has mostly remained. When tea became more and more popular in Victorian times the British had the advantage of calling Ceylon part of the Empire, and tea growing was successfully established on a large scale.

With a very different climate again the island provides tea yield all year round and the character of the liquor is fragrant and crisp. The tea in your caddy is a true Ceylon tea from the UVA district. The original source of all English Breakfast Teas, Ceylon is still one of the largest black tea producers in the world.

While we’re on the road of tea, one famous flavoured black tea cannot be missed – Earl Grey. There are many myths and stories around the creation of this blend and you may want to explore it a little further by yourselves and find your favourite version of history. Whichever it will be, it will always mention the recognisable flavour of lemony Bergamot that has made this tea a hit around the world. Our choice to represent Earl Grey is a beautifully blended autumnal Darjeeling which makes this cup a delight to be enjoyed without milk.

To visit the birthplace of green tea we turn our focus onto the lush, mist-shrouded hillsides of East Asia: China, where tea is thought to have been discovered as far back as 2700 B.C; Japan, a place green tea is almost the only variety produced; and Formosa (nowadays Taiwan), the island where Chinese emigrants started growing some of the finest green teas and the original home of Oolong.

afternoon tea royal crescentThis part of our tea route includes two tea stops. First is Pi Lo Chun, a fine example of Chinese produced green tea that can be found on mainland China as well as Taiwan. The tea plants are grown amongst fruit trees which pass their fragrance on to the tea leaves, lending them subtle fruity notes.

The second tea stop is on the island of Taiwan, which to this day produces some of the finest Oolong teas in the world. The sample you will taste is a green produced Oolong called Oolong Ti Dung. This tea is close to a green tea and has a very delicate, soft and flowery taste; delicious at any time of the day.

Our trail finishes in South Africa which is home to the famous Rooibos that is seen as the national beverage by the Africans. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and although it is not produced from the actual tea plant it is a very popular substitute for anyone looking for a tasteful, naturally caffeine-free drink. Your “Art of Tea” taster is a Rooibos enhanced with the most tempting flavour of orange and cream. In a short period of time this blend has become a favourite for all Rooibos tea lovers.

We hope you found this tea tour interesting! Our teas are available to enjoy at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.”

Click here for more information about Afternoon Tea at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.

About Ronnefeldt Tea

Ronnefeldt Tea is a highly regarded, privately owned tea purveyor established in 1823. The company has been providing first class teas to its customers for nearly 200 years. Many 4 and 5 star hotels and catering establishments around the world trust this expertise, and feel confident in offering Ronnefeldt Tea to their guests.

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