A tea grown in the Scottish Highlands has been named as the world’s best cuppa.
Dalreoch Estate white smoked tea, produced by the Wee Tea Plantation in Perthshire, has scooped the gold award at the Salon du The awards in Paris.
The award ceremony took place on Friday afternoon (13 March) when Tam O’Braan, managing director of the Wee Tea Company, picked up the accolade.
See also: Growers needed to boost UK tea industry
Mr O’Braan told the BBC: “Taken from just the first two leaves and the tip, the teas offer a refined and very Scottish flavour of both natural freshness and a rich peaty glen.
“Being the only smoked white tea in the world, it has a very subtle unique flavour similar in nature to a peaty whisky.”
Five incredible tea facts
- The Chinese created tea more than 5,000 years ago
- Camellia sinesis is the evergreen plant from which tea is made
- Tea contains roughly half the amount of caffeine found in coffee
- The UK consumes about 130,000t/year, of which 96% is sold in tea bags
- British people drink 165m cups a day
Mr O’Braan, Jamie Russell and Derek Walker set up the The Wee Tea Company in 2011 on the Dalreoch Farm Estate in Amulree, Perthshire.
Initially, the business was started as a specialist tea blender, but the plantation has grown to more than 2,000 (Camelina sinenseis) plants across 14ha of the estate’s total 60ha.
Despite popular belief, tea plants can survive in -11C weather for sustained periods of time. Therefore, with good soil, water and the altitude of the Scottish Highlands, growing tea there is easier than some would believe.
The Wee Tea Company is also celebrating the news that The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, will serve some of its teas on its iconic afternoon tea menu.
Guests and visitors to the five-star hotel will be able to enjoy the teas by the pot for £10.
Jeff Bland, executive chef at The Balmoral Hotel, said: “We are always looking to promote Scottish produce to our international guests and local visitors alike.
“I was extremely impressed with the flavours of the Dalreoch white and smoked teas. It is even more impressive that the teas are able to grow in our climate.”
Mr O’Braan has recently set up the Tea Growers Association to create a support network for existing tea growers and others who want to try growing tea. For further details telephone 01350 725 745.