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March 27, 2017

Seán Farrell, founder of Chateau Rouge, is passionate about sourcing and making the perfect cup of tea. Here are his top tips for making the perfect brew and some suggestions of what top treats to serve your favourite organic loose leaf tea with.

Green tea

You should leave the boiling water to stand for a few minutes to cool down a little before adding your fresh tea leaves or loose leaf tea. No need to add milk or dairy alternative. The green tea should taste light and refreshing – if it’s bitter, you’ve either brewed it for too long or used water that was too hot and has scalded the tea leaves.

Top Tip: if you want to brew up some more green tea, you can add some warmer water and re-infuse the tea leaves. 

Black tea

Most black teas need to brew for 2-5 minutes. English Breakfast blends usually take a little bit longer – around 5 minutes in very hot water is just about right. Brew to taste, but leave enough time for the stronger flavours too infuse. Can be enjoyed as it is or with a splash of milk/dairy alternative.

Top Tip: make sure you use freshly boiled water.

Oolong tea

This is essentially a cross between black and green teas, so needs cooler water – leave for a few minutes after boiling, as you would with green tea. Like green tea, you can re-infuse the tea leaves with fresh water.

Top tip: always make sure it has been off the boil for a few minutes before you use it.

Rooibos and Honeybush teas

These herbal teas, known for their soothing and medicinal properties, are naturally tannin-free, so you can brew the teas for as long as suits your taste buds. Sean recommends using boiling water and brewing according to taste.

Top Tip: bear in mind that Honeybush is a more delicate leaf and blend than Rooibos, so it is best enjoyed black and not left to steep for too long, especially for the first brew.

How much loose leaf tea should I add?

Teapots with a built-in tea infuser are ideal, as you can remove the used leaves when you need to and don’t end up with overly brewed or bitter tea. If you are using a tea steeper or loose leaf tea infuser, measure out enough tea for all the cups of tea you want to make.

Whether you are using green or black tea, make sure don’t brew it for too long, or you will end up with bitter tasting tea. This especially important for green teas. For black tea blends, the tea should taste of the right strength and level of acidity without milk or a dairy alternative added – you should never just add milk to counteract the taste of the tea!

Organic tea and food...for the real gourmet!

Like wine, there are a range of different tasting notes associated with teas, depending on their country of origin, type of tea leaf, and how they are brewed. Each different tea goes well with different foods. It’s fun to try out different tea and food taste pairings and see what works. Much of it depends on your own tea and food preferences, but there are some definite matches made in heaven here:

  • Smokier teas, such as a nice Oolong, Lapsang Souchong, or even some of the stronger black teas, go well with smoked cheeses, ham or smoked salmon.
  • Lighter teas, such as a Darjeeling, go well with more savoury dishes, particularly cheesy treats – think cream cheese or cheese and ham sandwiches, quiche, or even Welsh Rarebit.
  • The full-bodied, stronger black teas, such as Assam, complement rich, sweet treats such as chocolate or fruit cakes.
  • Floral teas, such as Earl Grey, or Jasmine Green tea, are a perfect match for soft, light, sweet treats, such as sponge cake, fruit tarts and fruit mousses.

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Sizes - Every Purchase Makes a Difference
Every 2 products sold = 1 Tree planted (costing £0.40 - 0.70 per tree over a 5 year period). Proceeds from the sale of each product directly help improve the environment and combat climate change by planting trees in Zambia with WeForest and 1% for the Planet. These are sustainable long term projects that not only focus on planting trees but on supporting the communities affected to help alleviate poverty.
Weights of loose leaf tea tins may vary slightly per product. We pack all our tea tins full and volumes are dependent on the type of tea and tea leaf size.
Tea bags tin sizes: 17 tea bags tin, 60 tea bags tin or 50 tea bags refill pouches. We pack our tea bags with larger quantities of loose leaf tea. This ensures a full flavour cup and is possible to use 2x per tea bag - for a large mug or small teapot.  View actual tin and pouches sizes here
Our tea tins (2 sizes) come in Chateau Rouge gift cartons. Our jams, honey and preserves are packed in similar boxes of two jars - perfect for gifting. All our packaging is made from FSC recycled or recyclable card and we only print using 100% environmentally inks.