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News and Updates from the Tea Warehouse

11 April 2020 by Matt Lawrence

Slavery

On a general note we know 80% of our suppliers personally, most are artisanal producers, family businesses.

For example, Assam grower (English Breakfast and Assam Gold) is a family business Manoj and Anisha(5th Generation). Anisha has just returned from University and has come into to take the business forward. They have 7 plantations growing ctc teas for the likes of the larger tea companies, but of the 7 plantations, 4 have moved away to grow orthodox and organic teas that Novus Tea would purchase.

Such is the quality of these teas, we now buy all our Assam from them. They have medical programme for all their workers, who are out in the sunshine during picking season for long periods of time, which makes them susceptible to high blood pressure, due to the persistent loss of salt keynotes through sweat. The plantation ensures they are looked after and workers are fit and well. The plantation provides all local facilities including schools of which they run 6 for workers families. A family approach is taken to workers and their well being and this can be seen in their product consistency.

Packaging

Plastic is a hot topic currently as you will be aware. Currently, our requirement for tea is a high oxygen and moisture barrier, which is not provided by either industrial compostable and home compostable packaging. Currently it appears that our only option is to provide a recyclable pack made from multi layer pe. There appears to be some serious fibbing by companies alleging to have compostable packaging. If this were the cases, shelf life of the product and its integrity would be severely reduced to levels of approx. 3 months shelf, without severe product distortion. Alternative, options is to recover pouches/packaging and have them recycled, more of a PR stunt than anything else with very few manufacturers being able to provide this service. Currently we are reviewing packaging and assessing the options, the only possibility is massive simplification of the pack outer, and an uplift in current cost, which we feel the market would not bear. There seems to be a lack of appreciation that bio packaging is some 3.5 times more expensive than current options.

New Pyramid Bag Coming

For some time we have been working and campaigning our current supply base for a GMO free pyramid bag. We are working on this currently. Not only is the new bag GMO free, it is also more sustainable and made from sugar cane. This means we can guarantee the source origin and traceability is improved. We hope to be first to the market with a sugar cane bag. There will be a small adjustment to the string length as a result, it will be reduced by 10mm, which is nothing.

Teas

New teas, we have found two new teas amongst the many we source in a year.

Oriental beauty (Loose Leaf Only, Coming soon)

This is a 60% fermented oolong, first flush, so top rung tea of the finest tippy quality.

The tea is grown in Taiwan, and is very aromatic with apple notes and woody notes.

Like all Oolong, it is a green tea but is brewed at 100 degrees

Oriental Beauty – Loose Tea

Assam Gold (FTGFOP1) (in product guide, in stock)

This is a very tippy premium Assam, single origin and top grade.

Mangalam plantation in India produces some of the finest orthodox Assam’s, rich spicy flavour and and abundance of golden tips, synonymous with high quality Assam’s.

Image attached.

Puttabong First Flush Darjeeling (in product guide, in stock)

An exceptional small lot of tea from a very famous Darjeeling plantation. This micro lot is the premier cru, and is only stocked in loose leaf form for those who want the best teas on their afternoon tea menu. Top Grade, FTGFOP1

It is silky smooth, elegant, floral and notes of muscatel.

Jasmine Pearls (in product guide, in stock)

Recent winner of 3 gold stars at the great taste awards. This jasmine tea is off the hook. Super smooth, elegant and floral notes of jasmine linger on the palette. This Jasmine is scented 5 times, in a labour of love process that sees the two leaf and tip plucking standard, hand rolled in cotton muslin into tiny balls, and then naturally scented in freshly picked jasmine blossoms. This process is repeated over and over until the tea absorbs naturally the beautiful scent and taste of jasmine flowers.



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