Last week I was lucky enough to have lunch with David from Jing Tea. Jing is a small, premium tea company with a disproportionately impressive customer base – Heston Blumental, The Lanesborough Hotel and Coutts bank, to name just a few. From talking to David it’s clear that part of the reason for the company’s success with such discerning high-flyers, is the sheer passion of its staff for tea. To the Jing crew, tea is not about slurping down a milky PG Tips, it’s an art form. Their most special teas are revered and analysed in the same way wine fanatics treasure their top vintages.
As the name suggests, most of the Jing tea is sourced from China and the company draws inspiration from the traditional, ritualistic approach to tea of the Chinese. I am with them on this – one of my clearest memories of my Chinese grandmother is watching her prepare her daily tea. The careful ritual seemed painfully slow to me as a child but now I can see the pleasure to be gained from such a calm, delicate process. Given that my grandmother has just turned 90 years old, she is obviously doing something right with all that tea drinking!
Jing have recently started producing videos about how they source their tea (it’s all ethical of course) and how to make a perfect cup. Check out this one which shows the labour intensive process involved in producing their Jasmine Pearls tea.
Completely by coincidence, I sampled some more Jing this weekend whilst having afternoon tea at The Botanist restaurant at Sloane Square. I love drinking flowering teas when I’m out as they are so pretty to look at, so I tried the flowering Osmanthus tea. Needless to say, it was delicious!
I’m looking forward to tasting some more Jing at home, with these gorgeous vintage cups I picked up at Columbia Road Flower Market the other day!
p.s. My tea love is obviously getting a bit out of hand. In addition to drinking it, my brother’s girlfriend seems to think I need to wear it too! Look at this cute necklace (apologies for blurry pic) she bought me for Christmas – perfect for Elle Tea!