Over the years, I am frequently asked which brand of tea is the best to drink, or the best flour, the best jam, butter, clotted cream etc. It is a difficult question to answer as my choice will vary according to budget, availability, the occasion, the quality of water etc. To this end I shall briefly explain why I have made specific choices to recommend. If I cannot recommend a superlative option, I am not listing anything for the sake of it. For example, I cannot find a really good blend of Earl Grey to recommend at present. If you do purchase anything using the links below you will be taken through to the Amazon website, you are contributing a little something towards my continuing research and practice about English tea culture. I am grateful for your support!
Tea leaves and tea bags
I believe that certain teas are more appropriate than others when being served for an afternoon tea party and my selection list is shaped accordingly. I have recommended a number of orthodox Indian teas from Newby Teas of London, as I think they excellent for superior, everyday consumption. I have selected other companies for a selection of black China teas.
Newby Darjeeling Tea
This is a blend of first and second flush high-grown teas from various tea gardens in Darjeeling. This is a very smooth and almost creamy honey-toned tea. There is no bitterness that can occur with the later pickings of the season. I have selected the Newby Teas Darjeeling Classic Caddy 125 g for your initial foray and then you can just use the refill cartons Newby Teas Darjeeling Loose Leaf, 100g. Personally I would not use teabags for this type of delicately flavoured tea. Spend a bit of time preparing this properly. This tea is very good value for money in terms of quality of flavour and consistency season on season. Keep in airtight container.
Newby Assam Tea
Assam is the home of the malty black teas that are synonymous with the idea of a dark Indian tea. This low growing tea has a rich round flavour in the mouth. There is some tannin but not the heavy bitterness of late season teas. Again this is a blend from selected estates in Assam. Newby Teas Assam Classic Caddy 125 g is available along with the refill pack, Newby Teas Assam Loose Leaf, 100g. It is clearly a loose leaf (not CTC) with some tippy leaf endings speckled through.
This type of tea can tolerate being picked smaller for tea bags, Newby Teas Assam, 50 Teabags still maintains the roundness of flavour in the mouth. Store in an airtight caddy.
Newby English Breakfast Tea
This is a really classic English Breakfast tea with a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan black teas. It has some of the depth of the malty Assam but along with that a brightness and lightness provided by the Ceylon and Kenyan leaves. Again this is a loose leaf and also performs well in teabag form. The caddy is available at Newby Teas English Breakfast Classic Caddy 125 g, the loose leaf refill pack Newby Teas English Breakfast Loose Leaf, 100g and the tea bags,
Black China Teas
Recommendations to follow
Other Tea time recommended products
Tiptree Little Scarlet Jam
The premium you pay for Little Scarlett strawberry jam is well worth it! It is very difficult to find in the UK now as it is no longer appears to be available in the supermarkets. A finite amount is produced each year with this variety of strawberry being specifically grown and picked on site in Essex. It has a fresh taste that is just so surprisingly good and I don’t greatly care for jam! The strawberries are tiny and the flavour just bursts through the mouth. On a par with home made jam and I promise once you have tasted you will realise what I am talking about! Tiptree Jams & Preserves (Little Scarlet 2x340g)