A nice man called Giles (strong no sugar) from Tetley got in touch with us to see if we were interested in meeting up to talk about tasting tea. You see, we taste a lot of fruit and they taste a lot of tea - we thought we'd see if there was anything we could learn from each other.
So we went over there for a visit.
The method of tea tasting hasn't really changed over the years. What you do is make a strong cup of tea (double normal strength) with a dash of milk.
You then taste with a big slurp and then spit the tea into a spittoon. The people at Tetley are very accurate with their spitting technique.
Apprentice tasters spend a lot of time in the sourcing regions (3 months to a year), helping them to learn all about the tea. The chief taster said that when he tastes a tea he can picture the garden it came from.
We heard about the ethical tea partnership that Tetley are involved in and we learned a couple of new things. Call us dumb, but we didn't know that Earl Grey isn't a special variety; it's actually black tea with bergamot oil. Most importantly, we all agreed on our favourite tea - Oolong, which is delicate, fragrant and well balanced. A bit like our ladies of the kitchen.