Tea aficionados will already know that single origin teas come from one specific area or region. Typically this is a specific sub-region of a country, or, for smaller countries, the country itself. Examples of single origin teas are Assam, which is an origin tea because it’s only grown in the Assam region of India, Yunnan, Keemun and Darjeeling teas are also origin teas because they’re all grown in just one place. One of the main advantages of drinking a single origin tea is that you can experience a specific flavour and enjoy the diversity of aromas that come from tea produced in one region. Also, if you are environmentally conscious, it may be important to you to know how the tea you drink is produced and this can influence your buying decisions.
Single origin teas are not necessarily more expensive than blended teas, in fact, because they are grown and produced in one area, they can work out to be cheaper. However, the other side of the coin is that because they are often seen as ‘premium’ or ‘gourmet’ teas, as befits their single origin status, some teas that come from one region can tend to be more expensive. Typically however, single origin tea will differ in price and quality, as blended teas do. Many tea experts do prefer a single origin tea as blended teas add a further step in the process between the tea being harvested and ending up in your teapot. Here are some good examples of single origin teas:
Assam is a sub region situated in North East India, where the elephants and tigers wander freely, and the sun and rain lash down on leafy green paddy fields. Assam tea is one of the world’s most favourite; it is a rich and strong, deep-amber tea that goes perfectly with brunch or after dinner instead of coffee.
Still in the North East of India but now we arrive at Darjeeling, and the tea could not be any more different. Darjeeling is set high up in the mountains and it is thought that this altitude gives the tea a special light, and delicate taste with a shimmering gold colour. Twinings have been awarded a Gold Star by the Guild of Fine Foods for great taste!
Lapsang Souchong is a large black leave tea from China. Rumour has it that during the Qing dynasty, the drying of the tea was sped up in order to get it the market on time by lighting pine wood fires and it is this that gives the tea its distinctive smoked pine flavour. A strong tea for devotees! Good with lemon.
Yunnan tea hails from the South China Congou. The province of Yunnan produces a moderately strong tea. A bright, full-bodied cup with a strong rich taste. A fine golden liquor with a sweetish and earthy flavour. Good for people who love a strong cuppa.
We are back in China but this time it’s the North China Congous. Keemun tea has a mild sweet flavour which makes it a perfect evening tea. This tea has a unique, velvety taste, which has a light scented flavour and a delicate, almost nutty aroma. Known as the ‘the king of black teas’.