The beauty of a single Estate tea 3 Dec 2019

In recent years, there’s been a growing trend for single estate products meaning high-quality harvests from a single farm to create flavour-filled chocolate or coffee for example.

Not a blend is in sight and in just the same way, the very best tea and tea leaves are single estate too.

The flavour of tea varies depending on where it is grown, the year it was harvested, the age of the trees, the quality of the leaves and the altitude among other factors. The same variety of leaf will taste different from different places, dependent on weather and the location. August Moon Tea, located on the upper walkway of Montpellier Courtyard, offer the very best in single estate tea leaves, sourcing all of the teas themselves from farmers and producers in the region close to their home in China. Often, the farm only produces a few kilos each year which are bought and sold through August Moon exclusively – the very best the region has to offer.

Every tea for sale in August Moon is from a mountainous plantation, as high mountain teas are higher quality and the altitude improves the flavour. Everything that they source is tested for quality, which is passed on to the customer. As owner Estelle says “Quality tea shouldn’t be bitter or stringent. If it is a good tea it should ‘melt’ producing a quality flavour-filled tea, with a clear and bright clarity to the colour. Altitude is important for the quality we source and we select farmers who don’t use harsh chemicals, ensuring that the flavour is not negatively impaired. We even opt for farms which still harvest by hand and not machine, as these less-handled leaves offer a better quality product.”

Most tea brands source tea based on volume and not quality and so multiple grades of leaves will be used and combined together to create a consistent palette flavour that is cheap to produce and sell. The problem is that the leaves offer an inferior tea experience and usually have to be thrown away after one or two uses. August Moon’s tea isn’t like that – the quality and low-processed nature of the leaves mean that they can be reused 7 or 8 times without losing flavour or clarity and can even be ‘aged’ in appropriate tins to develop or change the flavour. To reuse the leaves, empty the water and take off the lid to leave it to cool down and dry. Then you can come back to the tea and use the leaves again.

For the tea novice and aficionado alike, we recommend a visit to August Moon Tea – you don’t know what you’re missing, and even better they let you try before you buy!