The English truly embraced tea from the moment it was introduced in the 17th century. The biggest trader of tea, coffee and spices for many years was the British East India Company. After a chequered history and dissolution the company has been reborn. It's flagship store in Mayfair once again offers the finest teas from around the world.
I went to a tea tasting the other night and learnt the correct way to make and drink my cuppa. Lalith Lenadora, a master tea blender personally selects the teas that arrive in the UK for blending. All the teas they sell are the freshest arriving in the UK just 21 days after picking.
A lovely bit of history dates back to 1954 when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip went to Sri Lanka. Prince Phillip asked to see a tea plantation. Not only did he visit a plantation he also planted a tea bush. From that plant cuttings were taken over the years until a small plantation of his trees was created.
For the Queen's diamond jubilee tea was picked solely from these trees and presented to the Queen in a sterling silver container. Her letter of thanks is proudly displayed in the store.
There is a little more of this blend the company put in silver plated containers for the public. What a superb gift for a royal tea drinker.