teas

At VRAC all teas are carefully chosen for their high quality and story. They come from organic tea gardens practising chemical-free farming, a majority are certified fair trade and some biodynamic. They are also generally handpicked and hand processed in small batches. The seasonal blends are created in our Lewes studio.

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All can be bought in the online shop!

BLACK        

WILD BLACK YUNNAN- CHINA

Delicious wild Dianhong grown and harvested by Master Chun Lin in spring 2015  in the Jing Gu region, Yunnan. Bright, malty with dark chocolate and chestnut notes.

POTONG AND SEEYOK DARJEELING- INDIA

A blend of 2 second flush Darjeeling from stunning gardens: Potong is an organic and fair-trade estate on the slopes of the Himalaya (the 343 workers own 51% of the shares) and Seeyok is at the border of Nepal and counts 500 workers. The estate is certified organic and uses biodynamic techniques with a holistic agricultural and environmental approach. A smooth amber cup with hints of muscatel and sweet finish.

ENGLISH BREAKFAST- KENYA/ SRI LANKA/ INDIA  

A special version of a classic blend produced the orthodox way. The leaves are rolled to release more flavour. Full-body, rich and refreshing.

ANTIQUE EARL GREY – CHINA  

Blends bold flavoured Yunnan Dian Hong harvested from antique tea trees (more than 100 years old) with natural Sicilian bergamot.

CEYLON CHAI- SRI LANKA 

Fine whole leaf Ceylon tea from the Kataboola estate which is in the central province of Sri Lanka, at an elevation of 1021 metres above sea level. In 1972, the island then known as Ceylon reverted to the traditional name of Sri Lanka, but retained the name of Ceylon for the marketing of teas. Blended with cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, star anise, cloves and black peppercorns. Slightly sweet and spicy of course!

GRAND LAPSANG SOUCHONG- CHINA  

A tea grown in a nature reserve in the Fujian region and traditionally smoked. Beautiful big leaves releasing a dark red liquor, woody and lightly spicy taste.

PUTHARJHORA ORANGE PEKOE- INDIA

Putharjhora is a tea estate in Dooars, a lowland region between Darjeeling and Assam. Literally translated, Putharjhora means ‘stone torrent’ like the countless mountain streams that cross the foothills of the Himalayas. Here, tea grows surrounded by green tropical forests through which wild elephants still roam. The landscape has a wild beauty and includes 3 nature reserves and one tiger reserve. Two ethnic groups live in harmony on this estate: Nepali and Adivasis. The Dooars teas are not very well known as they don’t enjoy the same reputation as Assam teas, yet they are very similar in both taste and quality. Established in 1887, Putharjhora is currently the only garden in Dooars to apply organic agricultural principles (certified since 1997) as well as biodynamic ones (certified since 2005).

Large regular leaves which liberate a coppery cupful with a fragrance of roasted hazelnuts. Fruity flavour full-bodied in the mouth, emphasized by a spicy hint similar to Assam teas. Good daytime tea which stands a little milk.

 

PU-ERH (FERMENTED TEA)

CLASSIC SHU PUERH 2007- CHINA  

This cooked Pu-erh is a blend of different estates’s teas from around the city of Puerh and a 2007 vintage. Aged in humidity and temperature controlled conditions, it is meant to soothe both the mind and the body. Distinctive earthiness, autumn leaves aroma and slight sweetness.

CITRUS PEEL- CHINA  

Based on an ancient tonic digestive recipe and aged with citrus peel. A succulent soothing blend combining pu-erh with a crisp and refreshing bite from the citrus.

 

OOLONG (SEMI-OXIDISED TEA)

TIE GUAN YIN OOLONG- CHINA 

Lightly oxidised (12%) hand rolled oolong from the authentic region of An’xi, Jiandou Zhen. Plucked and processed at spring time 2015 by farmer Wang Jin Sheng, 47 years of tea farming over 10 generations on this land! Smooth and lightly creamy with low astringency, delicate vegetal aroma, hints of lily and buttered greens.

RUBY THAI OOLONG- THAILAND

We LOVE this new oolong from Doi Mae Salong in Thailand. This Qingxin oolong has been cultivated at an elevation of 1500m and harvested in October 2015. Highly oxidised and slow baked, the tightly rolled leaves offer a  full-body red cup with toasty, earthy, cacao flavours which develops with each infusion. A must-try!

 

WHITE

WILD WHITE PEONY- NEPAL 

This vibrant Himalayan tea hails from the Sandakphu Estate, which rests at the foothills of Sandakphu Peak, the highest in Illam, Nepal. This unique bio-diversified region produces distinctive teas because wild mountain herbs and fragrant flowers surround the tea fields.  The tea fields are glacier fed and rest at 2000m enhancing the rarity of character and purity of the tea. The estate is a co-operative, which is owned and operated by its farmers who established in the early 1990s.  Spring 2015 harvest, a delicately sweet cup with notes of melon & peas.

 

GREEN

KUKICHA- SOUTH KOREA

Kukicha has an emerald green infusion, with the classic bitter-sweet notes and mouthfeel associated with fine Japanese teas. Cultivated and processed according to Japanese tradition, this tea from Jeju-Do island in South Korea blends thin leaves with carefully selected stems. Bright and luminous green in colour, it is well-balanced, fresh with an herbal fragrance. As delicious as it is digestible, this tea is low in theine any has low astringency.

JASMINE GREEN- CHINA 

Jasmine flowers are wonderfully flavoursome and are beautifully used to scent the tealeaves (they are spread on top of them and left overnight for several nights so that the tea can absorb the flavour). Here they are a delicious addition to the small dark twisted leaves with white tips. The golden cup reveals a mellow astringency from the Mao Jian Hunan green tea and develops a sweet aroma.

SEETHAVALLEY GREEN-  SRI LANKA

A beautiful biodynamic handmade tea by SOFA (Small Organic Farmers Association), a Sri Lankan cooperative located in the mountains near Kandy. The tea gardens enjoy a tropical climate, tempered by the coolness of altitude. Thanks to the alternating cycle of the dry season followed by monsoon rains, the conditions are ideal for the production of very fine teas. Founded in 1997, this cooperative comprises almost 2000 small producers of black and green teas as well as herbs and spices (http://sofasl.org), all of them certified organic. The high-grown black teas are produced at an elevation of 4000 ft and above while spices and mid-grown green teas come from areas of 2000 – 4000 feet elevation.

CALL OF THE WILD- SOUTH KOREA

Full of minerals this vitalising fair trade green tea blend mixes a handpicked green tea from Jeju-do (island off South Korea, spring-summer harvest), seaweed, lime & ginseng. It releases a very pleasant seaweed flavour with a lemony taste. A tasty cup for a moment of well-being and vitality that boosts body and mind.

 

ROOIBOS                                     

WILD ROOIBOS- SOUTH AFRICA 

  • Wupperthal cooperative, Western Cape region
  • certified organic, fair trade and support to small farmers
  • hand picked (January to April)

South Africa’s national drink, with its red infusion and gentle sun-kissed flavor Rooibos transports you to the golden soil of the tip of Africa. Wupperthal is a peaceful community of small rooibos producers located in the arid Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape Province. Founded in 1830 by German missionaries, it is better known today for its various rooibos associations. Previously, countless South Africans have been dispossessed of their land. In a handful of small communities of so-called coloureds (people of mixed ethnic origin) such as Wupperthal, plots of land had been allocated to families for small-scale farming. The sandy, acidic soil gives rooibos a strong and sunny flavor. Very easy to digest, caffeine-free and with a low tannin content, rooibos can be served hot or iced at any time of the day.

VANILLA AND CINNAMON ROOIBOS- SOUTH AFRICA 

A delicious seasonal blend of our organic/ fair trade wild rooibos from the Wupperthal cooperative blended with pieces of cinnamon & vanilla pods. Sweet and warming.

 

HERBAL TEAS

LEMON VERBENA- SPAIN  

Grown on an organic land amongst ancient olive trees in Andalucian by Lilian and her family practising biodynamic farming and harvested during full moon 2016. Amazingly refreshing, sweet and flavoursome. Like no other verbena you’ve had before.

SWEET CHERRY- ENGLAND

A delicious and indulgent fruity blend of cherries, cranberries, hibiscus, carrot and apple pieces. Kids love it!

MOROCCAN MINT- MOROCCO

Sweet variety of mint also called “nanah mint” giving a naturally refreshing and powerful infusion. Proven to be calming and soothing to the digestive system.

DODO BLEND- UK + SPAIN

A sleepy tea with digestive properties: apple peel, lemon verbena and chamomile.