Talk about timing! Less than a week after sampling Fortnum & Mason Famous Teas Royal Blend tea for the very first time, I had the opportunity to catch some (virtual) glimpses inside the Fortnum & Mason store. Tea: A Revolution Brewing follows music journalist and tea expert Behzad Bolour to tea shops, tea houses, and tea gardens around the world, including a visit to Fortnum & Mason in London. Tea specialist Margot Cooper discusses the difference between green, white, and black tea, with examples from Fortnum & Mason’s collection that I am very eager to try:
- Assam Hattiali (black)- a “full- bodied cup full of aromatic maltiness.”
- Anji Baicha (green)- a “fresh and sweet” tea with “bright green needles.”
- Jinggu Old Tree Moonlight (white)- a “very special” white tea that has been “dried in moonlight.”
Bolour continues his journey into tea, learning about the proper way to pick (two leaves and a bud are perfect for one cup of tea!), wither, roll, and dry tea leaves. He delves into afternoon tea, and even gets an explanation for why people extend their pinky fingers when drinking. I really love his engaging style as he explores all the different facets of tea. (Also, the music in this documentary is wonderful.)
For me, one of the biggest surprises in Tea: A Revolution Brewing was the visit to the tea garden in Cornwall. I had no idea that tea could grow in the UK! Apparently that region has mild winters, a good microclimate, proper soil pH, and it is also protected from salt from the sea, so tea plants grow very well there. The camellia sinensis plant never ceases to amaze me!
Tea: A Revolution Brewing definitely makes the case that we “could be at the beginning of a new age of tea.”