MAKING BLACK TEA IN SCOTLAND
On 3rd and 4th June, UK Tea Academy team, Jen Wood, Carri Hecks and Jane Pettigrew joined 4 other enthusiastic tea lovers at Beverly Wainwright’s new Scottish Tea Factory in Perthshire, to learn more about growing tea in Scotland and to make black tea from fresh tea leaves harvested at Susie Walker-Munroe’s Kinnettles Organic Farm in Angus.
The group spent the first day of the course at Kinnettles Farm learning about the tea growing programme there, understanding the challenges of cold and windy weather, the short growing season, and all the hard work that goes into organic farming. We also planted seeds in raised nursery beds and dug baby plants into the sloping field below the Kinnettles farmhouse.
Lunch included a tasting of black tea made by Susie (her small batch of hand-rolled black Kinnettles Gold tea sells each year at Pekoe Teas in Edinburgh) and, before heading back to the Tea Factory, we plucked approximately 900 grams of assamica leaves and 500 grams of sinensis leaves from Susie’s bushes.
The leaves were kept separate and were then carefully withered in the Tea Factory overnight (with regular visits from Beverly to check up on them) and on Day 2, we worked with Beverly to hand roll, oxidise and dry the two batches of assamica black and sinensis black tea before tasting and assessing. Everyone agreed that they were pretty good – sweet, smooth, delicate and, since we made them ourselves, deeply satisfying!