Exciting things are going on at Tea Studio. This month Whittington’s Tea Emporium (WTE) merged with Tea Studio. Founder of WTE, Kyle Whittington, will continue to run his very successful tea and food tasting events organised through Eventbrite, and he will be running matcha courses (one with Vivid Drinks), brewing classes, tea tastings, and tea and cake tastings. Whilst some of the planned tea and cheese tastings will be held at La Cave a Fromage locations around London and Brighton, Tea Studio has recently moved into a new studio that will allow it to hold most courses and tastings onsite.
Do keep an eye open as Tea Studio will launch a new website in July, as well as expand its tea line. One blend Tea Studio will start selling on its new website is Trinity Blend – a tea consisting of Keemun, Assam and Lapsang, which pays tribute to its new studio location near East India Dock, and to the change British tea went through in the 18th century as the Indian tea market opened up and became more prominent. I will review this tea when it is available on the website.
Today I’m reviewing four teas currently available for purchase on Tea Studio’s website: Ceylon Kenilworth, Green Tea (from Nepal), Oolong (from Vietnam) and Match Genmaicha.
I first tried this tea at one of Kyle’s tea and cheese tasting events and was extremely impressed. Tea Studio’s Ceylon Kenilworth is smooth, floral and bright. Infused lightly, the tannnins are extremely mild, and I think this tea is best drunk without milk. This tea can also be infused harder to give it more body and be drunk with milk. Taken this way, it is a refreshing breakfast tea. Lastly, this tea is ideal to be made into a cold-brewed treat.
Infusion method: Without milk, 1m 30s for first infusion and 2m for second infusion with 90 to 95C water. With milk, infuse 4 to 5m with 95 to 98C water. For cold brew, infuse in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours
Retail price: 50 gram pouch for £3.50 / 100 gram pouch for £6.50
Green Tea comes from the Antu Valley Estate in Himalayan Range in Nepal. Compared to many other green teas I recently tried from Nepal, this one cups out plummy sweet notes in the first infusion – not orange blossom notes that are in many Nepalese green and oolong teas. The second infusion is more vegetal and has some seaweed notes.
Infusion method: First infusion: 1m to 1m 30s. Second infusion: 1m to 1m 30s. 80 to 85C water
Retail price: 50 gram pouch for £5.00 / 100 gram pouch for £9.50
Tea Studio’s Oolong comes from Lam Dong province in the highlands of South Vietnam. It is an oolong that is very comparable to numerous high- to mid-level grown Taiwanese oolongs. The tea cups out a liquor that has floral, sweet and creamy notes. It is smooth and holds up to numerous infusions if prepared gong fu style. It can also be a made into a very refreshing cold-brewed tea.
Infusion method: Give the tea a 15s wash and discard liquor. Infusion times: 20s, 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m 30s. 85 to 90C water. For cold brew, infuse in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours
Retail price: 50 gram pouch for £6 / 100 gram pouch for £11.50
Matcha Genmaicha is a blend of Japanese green tea, popped rice and matach. It cups out a emerald green liquor that has a popped rice aroma. The flavour of the tea and popped rice is well-balanced in the liquor: i.e. the green tea and matcha give the liquor layers of flavour and the rice doesn’t completely dominate.
Infusion method: First infusion: 1m 15. Second infusion: 15s to 20s. 80 to 85C water.
Retail price: 50 gram pouch for £9.50 / 100 gram pouch for £18.50
The teas reviewed here today, I think, are a good representation of the high quality and diverse line of teas that Tea Studio already carries, and it is exciting to know that new teas will be added in the coming months.
Tasting all these teas was a real pleasure. For me, the Ceylon Kenilworth and the Oolong hit the right spot for summer time. They are refreshing and diverse teas that can be made hot or cold. Having genmaicha covered in matcha is always a treat, as I think it is great morning tea. It is packed with flavour and refreshing. And Green Tea from Nepal offers a very nice everyday green tea. It cups out different flavours in each infusion and doesn’t have orange blossom notes that might put some off.