Monday, 2 August 2010
It's almost difficult to imagine that a tea company could be set up by someone who hated tea, but that is how Lahloo came into being. Kate Gover could not abide the stuff until she was introduced to a cup of tea so inspiring that she began her journey in finding some of the best teas in the world and bring them back to Bristol.
I can completely identify with her sentiments, I too hated tea until I'd tasted proper quality leaves.
Through my search for artisan products, to feature on my Tried and Tasted section, I contacted Lahloo through Twitter and a couple of emails later, Kate sent me some samples.
They dropped through my letterbox in a bright and shiny silver bag, all lovingly hand packed into heart shaped tins – just gorgeous. I couldn't wait to try them as they're my two favourite types – Oolong and Green tea.
I carefully opened each of the tins for a quick look and the smell instantly hit my nostrils with a heavenly fresh and sweet aroma, especially the Oolong which was almost caramel-like in character.
Mr Aoki's Green Loose Leaf Tea.
Along with his son, Mr Aoki grows the tea on a tiny farm in Kyushu, Japan using their own bio-natural fertilisers. The plantation is surrounded by satsuma trees and curiously I found the tea to have a citrussy note.
This green tea is actually very green, even in its dried form, it is vibrantly viridescent and when infused the colour is amazingly luminous, but entirely natural.
With the combination of a sweet, lemony and slightly hazelnut flavour the tea is very refreshing.
I really enjoyed the Orchid Oolong Loose Leaf Tea, there were a lot of flavours that burst out on the tongue that started with the lightness of flower blossom and honey sweetness developing into an aftertaste of what I could only describe as elderflowers. Somewhere in the middle there was a peachiness. Quite an amazing mix of flowers and fruit delivered by the humble camellia leaf!
Orchid is grown in Guangdong, China and hand-crafted by Mr Wang. The leaves are picked in March from old tea trees near Red Flower Village.
Lahloo tea is not cheap, and why would you want it to be? As with most things, you get what you pay for, so it's worth every penny. But, did you know that you can get several infusions from the same spoonful of leaves? Quality and value – I love Lahloo.
Lahloo sell a large selection of fine teas, all with provenance and a story.
To find out more, see their complete range and even buy online visit their website: lahlootea.co.uk
Green tea image taken from Lahloo website
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