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DISCOVERY: THE RARE TEA COMPANY

We are delighted to have discovered the Rare Tea Company with their exceptional full leaf teas. Their focus is on quality, sampling the finest and only selecting the best by travelling the world to seek out tea-gardens and farmers crafting the most delicious leaves they can find. Some of their tea is very rare, with only a few kilos produced each year. All of their tea is crafted by skilled men and women on independent farms, not industrially processed by large agri-businesses. 

The company was founded in 2004, by Henrietta Lovell - aka the Tea Lady. Her aim is to reintroduce us to the joys of real tea: rare, special but not necessarily expensive.‘I spent two years sourcing, travelling, building relationships with tea farmers and learning everything I could about tea', she recalls. From humble beginnings with just a handful of devoted customers, Henrietta now collaborates with many of the world's finest chefs, prestigious hotels and restaurateurs including Noma, Claridges, Chiltern Firehouse and so on.

The founder shares her expertise on how to make a perfect cup of tea using their blends.

How much?..

This depends on how you like your tea but a good rule of thumb is: A good teaspoon of tea and one cup of water per person.

Not Just Once...

These rare teas are of such high quality that the same leaves can be infused several times. Each time you brew the tea different subtleties of the delicate flavours will be released. It Is essential that the tea leaves are not left to stew once they have been brewed to the desired strength. Straining the tea completely between infusions will prevent the leaves from becoming bitter. In China it is widely believed that the second or third brew of fine tea is the best.

Temperature...

The water is best freshly filtered and should not be re-boiled because this diminishes the oxygen content. For good leaf tea the water should be below boiling. This is because the amino acids (which produce the tea’s flavour) dissolve at the lower temperatures then tannin. Tea made with water at 100°c will be more astringent and less sweet. Don’t try this with industrial tea-bags. The delicate, subtle flavours of leaf tea are not there - and it will just produce grey water.
Ideally stop the kettle before it reaches the rolling boil - when the small bubbles form along the sides of the kettle. 

Editor's note: A selection of The Rare Tea Company products is available in store and we are working hard to upload all products on our web shop as soon as possible, please check back in a few days. In the meantime, feel free to request further information via hello@thecollaborativestore.co.uk.

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