Portsmouth tea is a black tea blend of Assam and Zimbabwe Tea. Its name derives from its immense popularity in Portsmouth, Hampshire, though now, many enjoy it around the world. For those who enjoy a “hearty brew”, one would be hard-pressed to find a better beverage than Portsmouth tea. Among its many excellent qualities, it is described as malty, smooth, sweet and wholeheartedly refreshing.
Like all black teas, Portsmouth tea can improve one’s everyday way of life in a multitude of ways. Studies suggest that black tea can enhance cognitive function, potentially reducing the risks of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, it can lower “bad” LDL Cholesterol, thus improving cardiovascular health. And if that wasn’t enough, it can also support the immune system, reduce blood pressure and even boost the metabolism, thus enabling the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.
Every tea used in the making of Portsmouth loose tea, in particular, is a Broken Pekoe (BP) tea, which refers to the literal breaking of the tea leaf, which in turn promotes an enhanced strength of flavour in the cup. Suffice to say, Portsmouth loose tea is a notably “bold” choice.
It’s also worth noting the historical significance of both Assam and Zimbabwe in the world of tea. Assam, a state in India, is the home of Indian Tea. It was here that, in 1823, a Scottish explorer and merchant named Robert Bruce first discovered a variety of the Tea plant growing near Rangpur (present-day Sivasagar). This variety later became known as Camellia sinensis var assamica, named after the state in which it was found. Today, Assam tea is one of the most popular teas in the world.
Zimbabwean tea, meanwhile, dates back to only 1924. Interestingly, most of the plants originate from Assam. The vast majority of Zimbabwean tea is exported to Britain, at which point most is used in the making of Tea blends such as Portsmouth tea.