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As our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving this week it only seems fitting to take a look back at the first tea to arrive on their shores. Unsurprisingly there is no specific record for the first consumption of tea in America, but it, like Britain, received its first tea from the Dutch East India Company.

We do know that tea had arrived at the settlement of New Amsterdam and was being consumed by residents by the time Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch East India Company Director, arrived as governor in 1647 as he kept notes of life there. Tea quickly became an integral part of life in the Dutch household in the New World, and the tea...

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Given that we are rather partial to a spot of Earl Grey tea, we were delighted to come across some scientific research claiming that a up of that very beverage could help fight heart disease. As keen tea-lovers we probably don't need to tell you that the distinctive and much-loved flavour of Earl Grey comes from bergamot, and it is this key ingredient that scientists believe can help lower cholesterol. In case you aren't aware, bergamots are orange-sized yellow citrus fruits from the Mediterranean and are prized for their distinctive flavour. 

Statins, a group of drugs that are used to control and lower cholesterol, are already widely...

We came to wondering recently, after looking at our huge range of teas on sale, what were the first teas the arrived in Europe? After consulting our tea bible (The Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew), we have found that both green and black teas were included in the earliest shipments, and they had 3 names. Tea, Cha and Bohea.

The name tea was given to the product from the Amoy region of China by the Dutch traders who liaised with the local merchants who called it ‘te’. The traders who bought tea from Macao called the product ‘Cha’ as that is what the Cantonese and Mandarin speaking merchants sellers called it 

Bohea...

You may have seen a recent Panorama programme on the BBC about conditions for tea workers in gardens in India producing tea for big brands sold in the UK. The truth is that many of the organisations that claim to protect tea workers have failed to do so despite their best intentions. Here at Char we don’t want to dwell too much on the actions of large tea brands but we did want to reassure our customers that Char tea is ethically sourced and that we take an active interest in the welfare of those producing our tea.

 

The recent BBC programme highlights the fact that Twinings, Tetley, Yorkshire Tea, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and...

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Have you ever stopped to think about why varieties of black tea taste different, even though they come from the same plant? We certainly have, as we think about tea all day, every day…! It’s all to do with different weather, climate and growing conditions which can affect the tea plant in different ways, and the varying manufacturing process impact the final product too.

Black tea has a 36 hour manufacturing process, starting when the buds and leaves of the tea plant are picked and taken to the factory where they are left to wither for up to 20 hours, eradicating any excess moisture in the leaves.

The leaves are then rolled and...

We have had a fantastic response to our 'free tea' giveaway, where customers received a pack of Himalayan Gold tea with their order. This tea won the North American Tea Championship prize for the best black tea in February of this year, so this really was a great chance for our loyal customers to try a premium tea for free. It is now available to buy here online as well as in our Winchester shop - we hope you all enjoyed it! 

Our premium assam 'Char Mangalam Breakfast' is also now available on our website. This makes the perfect breakfast tea as it only needs ot infuse for a short time - no lurking in the kitchen nodding back off! It...

Learning how to effectively brew each of our loose leaf teas will result in the optimum quality and taste being preserved, allowing the tea to fully engage your senses.

Watch renowned loose leaf tea expert, Jane Pettigrew, explain the best way to brew your next loose leaf tea. Feel free to message us or visit the shop to ask us about the best choice of equipment or top tips for your tea brewing.

We are delighted to announce two news teas are now on sale here at Char Teas - Himalayan Gold and Char Mangalam Breakfast. Here is a little more information about the new teas - please note that at present these teas are not available on our website, so please visit our Winchester shop or call and order over the telephone. 

Himalayan Gold

In February 2015 this tea won the North American Tea Championships for the best black tea. Himalayan Gold and Honey is a masterpiece of the tea craft. This wonderful tea comes from the tea gardens of  Nepal which sit 11000 feet above sea level and was produced before the devastating earthquake that...

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