XXL: Did Someone Say Tea?

By Jo Phillips

In the .Cent office, we not only love biscuits (just check out our weekly biscuit rota!), but we also love a good cup of tea. Whether it is in the morning, over a long meeting or stressing over the tight deadlines we have, tea has a comforting effect on all of us. That is why we have decided to search for the most special teas on offer.

Marks Spencer Chai Tea
Marks & Spencer chai teabags at .Cent Office

As the weather turns chilly, chai tea has become a winter staple at .Cent. Its sweet, fragrant spiciness gives a satisfying warmth. Marks & Spencers’ chai teabags are inspired by the traditional recipes of street stalls in India. With notes of cinnamon and cardamon, this aromatic blend of spices with black tea is rich and warming, making a uniquely satisfying cuppa.

Image courtesy of east teas
Emperor Jiaqing’s Tribute tea leaves. Image courtesy of East Teas

London-based tea company, East Teas, offers an extra special range of tea from the Orient. One of their highlights is the Emperor Jiaqing’s Tribute tea – an Oolong tea originating in the Ming Dynasty. Emperor Jiaqing ruled over more than two decades from 1796 to 1820. It is said that he suffered the fate of being struck by lightning and died there after. The tea named after him carries the fragrance of boat orchids. A sweet and delicious taste continues in the mouth and into the aftertaste.

The most special tea not to be missed is the masterpiece of tea; Dan Cong. Meaning ‘Single Tree’ in Mandarin Chinese, a Dan Cong tree is a single trunk tree that sprouts tall and straight upwards. Dating back to 900 years ago, this type of Oolong tea is an extremely rare and old tea. Merely a few kilogrammes are produced annually – not to be confused with market claims of Dan Cong produced on a large scale via cloning.

Crowned the Château Lafite of teas, Dan Cong is remarked for its ability to naturally emulate the flavours and fragrances of different flowers and fruits. Examples of which are orange blossom, orchid, almond, ginger flower and grapefruit. East Teas has on offer two types of Dan Cong entirely hand-made by Master Wang in Wu Dong, China: Jhi Lan Xiang is from a tree over 400 years old and Mi Lan Xiang King from an award-winning tree over 100 years old.

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