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Down to a tea: Why Scotland is home to a surprising new crop

12 June 2019

If asked to name countries where you might find a tea plantation, Scotland would rank pretty low on anyone’s list. But farmer Monica Griesbaum believes differently, and has found rural Perthshire to be the perfect location to grow her own crop of organic tea plants.

Scotland, of course, doesn’t enjoy the warmer climate associated with major tea growing countries such as India or Kenya. In fact, Monica has to coax her plants through bitter Scottish winters, and low overnight temperatures which limits their growth.

But this has its own rewards, as Monica believes the weather helps create a unique flavour “full of intensity and vitality”.

How to make the perfect Scottish cuppa

Tea farmer Monica Griesbaum demonstrates how tea should be prepared – and enjoyed.

On BBC iPlayer

How to enjoy tea

Monica’s golden rules for getting the best from a cuppa:-

  • Smell – “You get a sense of when a tea is ready just by smelling the lid and getting the aroma from the lid.”
  • Decant – To prevent the tea stewing
  • Swill – “I swill it around in my mouth, because I want to really taste it everywhere. But that’s often a bit loud…”
  • Swallow – Time to sit back and enjoy your brew!

The art of picking tea

Simon tries his hand at picking tea

There are 500,000 Kenyan farmers who grow tea, Simon meets one of them.

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