Tea has been consumed for centuries. Discovered nearly 5,000 years ago, the growing and drinking of tea has spread across the world. Actual tea comes from the Camelia Sinensis Plant which produce the most well known varieties such as Black Teas, Green Teas and Oolong Teas. The leaves of the plant are picked sometimes by hand and processed in different ways to get "Tea" as we know it. Tea Bags are created using finer cut tea whilst the whole leaves make what is commonly called "Loose Tea".
Coffee originated in Ethiopia, harvested from the Coffea Plant. The Plant has two main sub species, Coffea Arabica (Arabica) and Coffea Canephora (Robusta). Arabica Coffees are the higher quality grades and are often found as Single Origin Coffees, ideal for drinking using a Cafetiere. Robusta Coffees are commonly used to make blends and are the basis of Espresso Coffees. The Colour / Darkness of the Roast creates the spectrum of different Coffees. All our Coffees have a Roast Level Indicator from 1. Lightly Roasted up to 5. Dark Roasted.
Black Tea Buying Guide
Is the most popular and common of Teas. The majority of Tea Brands in the supermarkets are Blends of Black Tea. For day to day drinking we recommend our flagship blend "Pluckley Tea", available as Tea Bags and Loose Tea. Large Leaf Teas are of higher quality and here we would suggest trying our unique English Breakfast FOP Blend or one of our many Darjeeling Estate Teas.
Where is Black Tea Grown: Around the world in countries and areas including: China, India, Ceylon, Nepal, East Africa and South East Asia.
What does Black Tea Taste Like: Dark Liquoring Teas that are full and rich in flavour, commonly served with Milk. The high grown teas such as those from Darjeeling have lighter more delicate taste profiles with flavours of Muscatel.
Green Tea Buying Guide
Green Tea is associated with Health, as they say "a cup of Green Tea a Day keeps the doctor away". Also produced from the Camellia Sinensis Plant, the processing of which is much less than Black and Oolong Teas thus retaining more goodness. We pack our own Sencha Green Fannings Tea Bags that are extremely popular. For a top quality Green Tea we would suggest you might try a Chinese Dragon Well Tea or one of our many Japanese Original Teas. Japan is noted for producing some of the very finest Green Teas such as the very top quality Gyokuru Asahi Teas.
Where is Green Tea Grown: Grown around the world in countries including: China, India, Ceylon, Nepal, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kenya, Rwanda, Taiwan and Japan.
What does Green Tea Taste Like: Lovely light and bright green liquors with grassy, sweet notes. When it comes to brewing be careful to use the correct water temperature, just under boiling and don't over brew as this can result in harshness in cup.
Matcha Tea Buying Guide
Amazing Matcha originates from Japan and lies at the heart of the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony. Green Tea Leaves are very finely ground into a vibrant green powder. When brewed you consume both the liquor and the Matcha powder. Traditional Matcha Teas are also produced in China and other Teas are beginning to be ground in the Matcha style like our Organic Yerba Mate Matcha from South America and our Peppermint Green Matcha. If you are new to Matcha we would recommend the Chinese Taishan Matcha and for the connoisseur of course the Japanese Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder which is the highest grade.
Where is Matcha Green Tea Grown: Mainly in Japan and some in China. New Matcha varieties are being produced in South America and East Africa.
What does Matcha Green Tea Taste Like: Complex flavours with grassy, herbaceous notes that create a bitter, sweet taste in cup.
Flavoured Tea Buying Guide
Through history Tea has been flavoured with natural additives from spices, herbs, flowers, natural oils and ingredients. The most famous is Earl Grey Tea which originated in China, having been created to preserve the tea for its long sea journey round the world to London. All the different types of tea can be flavoured and scented. We have a very popular new Peach Green Tea and well worth a try is our Blue Lady Tea, named after the one of the Ghosts that roam our most haunted village of Pluckley.
Where are Flavoured Teas Grown: Teas from every origin tea growing country can be used to create flavoured teas.
What do Flavoured Teas Taste Like: The flavours give you the taste, from Chocolate Tea to Cinnamon and Plum Tea, Cucumber and Orange Marmalade to Scottish Caramel Pu erh Tea.. we have hundreds to choose from!
Oolong Tea Buying Guide
These famous Semi Fermented Teas traditionally come from the Fujian Province of China. Sometimes called Wulong Tea they are widely known for their medicinal properties, containing high levels of antioxidants. A good Oolong to try is our house Wulong Choice Chinese Tea, for something more adventurous our Blue Spring Oolong with Blue Mallow Flowers is a very special brew.
Where are Oolong Teas Grown: Mostly grown in China and Taiwan but some new productions have appeared in recent years from India, Malawi, Thailand, Vietnam and Ceylon.
What do Oolong Teas Taste Like: Fragrant Teas with light liquors, mellow taste and floral notes.
White Tea Buying Guide
The most delicate and least processed of teas, using only the first buds and leaves of the spring growing season. These hand picked teas are some of the most expensive teas in the world. We would highly recommend one of the Chinese Ying Zhen Teas and our favourite which is a Nepalese Silvertip Tea.
Where are White Teas Grown: Traditionally in China and in the Himalayan country of Nepal.
What do White Teas Taste Like: White Teas have a light colour in cup with soft, fresh tastes and grassy sweet notes.
Rooibos Tea Buying Guide
From South Africa this tea is not from the Camellia Sinensis but is from the Fabaceae family of plants, called Aspalathus Linearis. Sometimes called Redbush, this is a herbal tea known for its medicinal properties and being Caffeine Free! We produce our own house Rooibos Tea Bags and Loose Tea. For the intrepid tea drinker why not try a Rooibos Strawberry and Cream or the ever popular Rooibos Gingerbread and Biscuit.
Where does Rooibos Grow: Only in South Africa.
What does Rooibos taste Like: Earthy, woody flavour with a nutty undertone.
Pu erh Tea Buying Guide
This is a special fermented and aged tea from the Yunnan Province of Southern China. Historically Pu erh Teas have been pressed into artisan decorated tea cakes / bricklets. The spectrum of different aged teas creates different tastes and the greater the age the higher the price. We have our standard house Pu erh Tea or for something rare try our Pu erh Special 3 Year Old Vintage Tea!
Where does Pu erh Tea Grow: China.
What does Pu erh taste Like: Different Pu erh Teas have varying tastes with Earthy characteristics, woody notes and nutty undertones. Lovely aromas with sweet, mellow flavours.
Fruit Tisane Buying Guide
Fruit Tisanes are not actually tea as we know it, they are blends of fruits, berries, blossoms, leaves, natural oils and spices. To look at a tisane you might think Potpourri ! beautiful to look at. These infusions are caffeine free so provide a very healthy and tasty alternative to traditional teas. Our most popular tisane is Berry Fruit Cocktail or if you are looking for something unusual you could try our Apple Crumble Fruit Tisane. Always give tisanes a nice long brew to release the fruity flavours!
Where do Fruit Tisanes come from: We have many ingredients for our tisanes and these are sourced from all parts of the globe.
What do Fruit Tisanes taste like: Well, fruity, nutty, spicy, summery or a taste of Winter with our Christmas Tea. Each Tea has its own unique flavour.
Herbal Tea Buying Guide
Herbal Teas are just that, Teas or rather Tisanes made using natural Herbs. For 1,000's of years mankind has always created infusions from herbs and spices locally grown. A very healthy alternative to our traditional Teas packed full of wonderful medicinal properties. From our most popular Camomile Flower Infusions, to Peppermint, Hibiscus, Tumeric or our very rare Mountain Tea sourced from the Mountains of Crete, Malotira!
Where do Herbal Teas Grow: We source our constituents that make our Herbal Teas and Blends from all over the world, Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Americas!
What do Herbal Teas taste like: We stock over 100 different Herbal Teas and each has its own taste, character and medicinal properties.
Flowering Teas Buying Guide
The beautiful Flowering Teas are hand crafted by tying long tea leaves around exotic flowers. When infused with water the leaves unfurl and the flowers petals open to display the creation, a glass teapot is best. Jasmine Lily Tea Flower is a fine example.
Where do Tea Flowers come from: Hand Crafted in China.
What do Tea Flowers taste like: Tea flowers are made using Green and White Tea leaves. The liquors are just like white teas with a delicate scent and soft, refreshing flavours.
Chai Tea Buying Guide
The word Chai means Tea in many parts of the world. In the west it has been adopted to describe Masala Chai in other words Spicy Tea. Chai blends Black and Sometimes Green Teas with Spices. The traditional spices used are: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves and Pepper. Many other spices are used dependent on which country you are in and in which area, it is said that the Indian Grandmother of every family had their own special blend of Spice! We make our own famous Bombay Tea Bags and would also recommend you try a loose leaf tea like Chai Indian Spicy Tea.
Where do Chai Teas come from: Mostly Indian, Ceylon and Kenya Teas are used as the base Teas with Spices from the orient.
What does Chai Tea taste like: Strong Black with an overwhelming aroma and taste of spice. Often made by cooking the infusion on the stove top using milk and sugar.
Organic Tea Buying Guide
Organic Teas are naturally grown without the use of pesticides and fertilisers. The resulting crop is much healthier for both the estate workers and finally the tea drinker.
All organic Teas are certified at source and again upon entering the European Union, the controls are very strong. For a top quality Black Tea we would recommend our Assam Tonganagaon FTGFOP1 Leaf Tea or the very highest grade Green Tea our Japanese Gyokuru Asahi Organic.
Where do Organic Teas come from: Organic Teas are grown in all tea producing countries. Often large tea estates have sections cordoned off for organic production
What does Organic Tea taste like: The Teas still maintain their characteristics be it Green Tea or Black Tea. The Assam Tonganagaon is strong and malty in cup.
Ayurveda Tea Buying Guide
The ancient Indian art and philosophy of Ayurveda dates back 1,000's of years. Ayurveda calms and soothes the different energies that flow through the body, known as Doshas in Sanskrit. There are three Doshas and we have a special tea for each: "Kapha" Stimulating Tea, "Pitta" Balance Tea and "Vata" Anti Strain Tea.
Where do Ayurveda Teas come from: Ayurveda Teas are blends of Spices, Roots, Leaves and Seeds from Asia.
What do Ayurveda Tea taste like: Light liquored, flavoursome and Spicy infusions with great medicinal qualities.
Coffee Buying Guide
Our beloved Coffee comes from the berries of the Coffea plant which grows across the world, from Asia and India to Africa and the America's. Once they are harvested and processed they are shipped to Roasters. Here the green beans are roasted until they take on the brown colour that we know. Coffee contains Caffeine and has become the favourite pick me up drink throughout the UK with the growth of Coffee Bars.
Are you looking for which Coffee to Buy ? We are here to help. Strong or not so strong and what coffees are nicest at different times of day.
What is strong Coffee?
Strength of Coffee can mean the taste and the amount of Caffeine per cup. A strong cup of coffee can either refer to the darkness of the Roast. We have five grades to our Coffees: light, light medium, Medium, Medium Dark and Dark.
Our lightest and most popular is Ethiopian Mocha and Guatemala is another favourite. our Darkest Roasts are the Italian and Continental Coffees, dark oily coffees with a lot of kick.
The amount of Coffee you use in relation to how much water you are using will also affect the taste. Too little and the cup will be light and watery, too much and you will get rocket fuel, dark, muddy and strong.
Coffee for different Times of Day
Early Morning Coffees: We would recommend a medium roasted blend of coffees such as our Breakfast Coffee, Wingham Blend and our House Kentish Roast Coffee. Full of flavour coffees to awake the senses.
Midday Coffees: In the middle of the day we suggest coffees with a bit more oomph! Like our Italian Dark Roast or our high grown Mountain Blend.
Evening Coffees: it is time for a lovely After Dinner Coffee. Traditionally this was always thought to be a dark roasted Kenya AA (After Dinner Coffee) but we like the classic tastes and character of Peruvian Coffees and our Old Brown Java Roasts. There is a case to be made of choosing coffees to suit certain foods and desserts, after all the cup of coffee is the last taste you have at end of a meal.
Different Types of Coffee Grind
Different Coffees are needed to suit the differing array of coffee machines. Firstly, of course if you have a coffee grinder or a bean to cup machine you must choose Whole Coffee Beans when making your selection. We also have a choice of: Ground Espresso Fine, Ground Medium Fine, or Ground Cafetiere Coarse.
Cafetiere: Making coffee in a Cafetiere is a great way to taste both single origin coffees with one dimensional taste profiles or more complicated blends. Colombian is a great favourite with its medium nutty character and also the gamey notes of the Ethiopian Mocha Coffees are our personal favourites. Also for Cafetieres some of the more complex blends make great drinking, like our Dark Mountain Coffee and our special Garden of England Roast. If you drink Decaffeinated Coffee or Flavoured Coffees the Cafetiere is the best solution. Choose: Ground Cafetiere Coarse when ordering.
Filter Coffee Machine: The traditional pour over filter coffee machine has probably been the most common and popular of home coffee makers. The coffee is finer ground and is brewed through a filter paper or mesh / sieve. Medium Roasted Coffees work very well with Filter Machines, with the most popular being South American Brazilian Original Coffees and the South Asian Java Roasts. Also the Central American Countries produce great filter coffees, like: El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Choose: Ground Medium Fine when ordering.
Espresso Coffee Maker: With the onset of Coffee Shops over the last two decades there has been a surge in small espresso machines and bean to cup machines for the home. We have several Espresso Roasts to experiment with. Espresso Coffees are complex blends of Coffee because firstly they need to produce a single shot of Espresso and secondly work well with Milk when producing Latte's and Cappuccino's. Our most popular Kentish Roast Espresso is a unique blend of Ethiopoian Mocha and Indian Mysore Original Coffees, a secret recipe that we have been roasting for over 30 years! Other Espresso Roasts worth a try are our Pure Arabica Espresso Roast and Rain Forest Alliance Espresso Blend. The joy of drinking coffee is to work your way through all until you find your favourite. Choose Coffee Beans when ordering.
Briki (Greek Coffee) / Jesvah (Turkish Coffee): If you have been to Greece or Turkey you will have encountered Greek or Turkish Coffee. Brewed in small metal pots called a Briki or a Jesvah. The coffee used is very, very fine, in fact pulverised to a dust. The coffee is put in the pot with sugar if needed and brought up to the boil three times before pouring all (coffee and water) into your cup. We have both a Greek Coffee and a Turkish Coffee ground specially and packed in 100 gram bags!