Teas from China, India and Ceylon – this journey takes you to the main tea-growing areas following some of the teas selected by Betjeman & Barton. A journey through the land of teas: tea is an infinite, rich and complex world - it comes from so many different places, there are so many different flavours and so many different ways of drinking it. Would it be too presumptuous to introduce tea passing through only a mere ten on the first trip? We have done our best and propose a first journey to the most beautiful of tea gardens, a selection that we have kept short to tempt the voyager;

From India to China

Honour to whom honour is due, Darjeeling tea is perhaps an impressive introduction to the world of tea. Margaret's Hope tea garden on the slopes of the Himalayas, produces a rich Darjeeling, full-bodied with a woody, hazelnut flavour that delights tea connoisseurs as well as the uninitiated.

Let us continue our journey to more vigorous regions with a remarkable Assam from a different area of India. Greenwood Estate is famed for its strength with a flavour that is strong but not harsh.

Moving south, let us appreciate the Kenilworth, a Ceylon Orange Pekoe (large leaf), fairly robust, one of the most perfect examples of this tea. Turning towards China, the tea empire, the Breakfast Royal provides all the richness of a blended tea, a combination of robust yet subtle flavours that can be softened by a drop of milk.

Still in China, we find the top classic teas: the Grand Yunnan is one of the best. The leaf makes it similar to the Assam plantations in India but it has a fuller flavour with warm, nourishing notes.

A trip round Asia

Those who like smoked tea will enjoy the Lapsang Souchong, slightly smoked with the smell of spruce, to accompany a savoury meal. China also has splendid green teas such as Lung Ching, a bright, stimulating taste, the colour of jade when brewed, and the magnificent, unique white China Yin Zhen, of which only the best buds are picked and dried immediately.

Let us end our journey with two unusual flavours:

The Grand Formosa Oolong, a semi fermented tea, with large, silver-specked leaves that have a flavour reminiscent of chestnuts.

The Sencha Natural Leaf from Japan, the tea that is an expression of hospitality, a fresh infusion that can be drunk with pleasure throughout the day.