January 30, 2015

afternoon tea › tea pot ›

The perfect tea pot

The enjoyment of tea drinking is shared by many around the world whether as a connoisseur of tea, delighting in delicate infusions, or preferring more humble brews with hug-a-mug comfort. I’ve come across tea lovers who have elevated preparation and imbibing to the point of ritual; all well and good if you have the time for such practices. For others an appreciation of tea exists in the choice of tea bags available on the supermarket shelf.

I indulge in both aspects of tea drinking, the fine and the functional, which I would argue can be enjoyed in equal measure if your expectations are managed in direct proportion to the ingredients you use. Personally, I prefer to drink the stuff rather than enter into debate about the subject. For me, the telling difference between a good cup of tea and a great cup of tea depends on how it’s brewed. There’s no doubt in my mind that the method of brewing contributes to taste, which is why I try, when I have the time, to make tea in a teapot rather than a mug.

In fact I’d go as far as to say that in my experience different teapots can create unique flavours; my excuse for having more than a few, china, pottery and several made of various metals. Such is my teapot collection that I’ve had to steel myself to be hard-hearted towards those that haven’t been favoured in a while. Every now and then I donate one or two teapots to our local charity shop, telling myself they will be probably be better used by a new owner. These charity donations also help free up valuable space in my cupboards. Of course, as you probably know yourself, it’s difficult to drop off unwanted stuff at a charity shop without discovering at least one item you “can’t leave without”. In my case this is especially true if I spot a teapot which looks like it could brew the ultimate tea experience, or, more typically, I just find particularly attractive.

So which teapot is the best teapot? I’ve test-brewed many over the years and for me it’s a metal one, given to me by by husband as an anniversary present (read on before you scoff). Last year, as we wandered around a lovely antique centre near Oxford, hand in hand of course, I turned down the offer of the expensive decorative item my husband wanted to buy me. Instead my present of choice was a teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl and tray with which, when first my eyes fell upon it, I instantly fell in love. (OK, scoff now if you like)

I lovingly brought my anniversary present home, not forgetting husband, and set the kettle to boil before I’d taken off my coat. I proudly arranged my new collection, filled the milk jug and poured the boiling water onto the tea in the pot. I waited with excited anticipation! The long drive home had no doubt sharpened my appreciation of the resulting cuppa. To my taste buds the combination of tea and pot delivered a flavour that was simply ... Mmm, heavenly cup of tea.

Was my experience more fanciful than factual? How much does a particular teapot influence the flavour of the tea? What’s your experience? Tweet us: @chateaurougetea

January 30, 2015

afternoon tea › loose leaf tea ›

Top 5 Speciality Tea Questions everyone asks

Through serving plenty of tea samples over the 2 days, running demonstration workshops and with having the opportunity to meet hundreds tea and coffee lovers alike; I thought it would be good to highlight the main questions asked about Speciality Leaf Tea. Tea popularity is definitely on the rise and a whole tea ‘re-education’ under way – a journey of tea discovery and hopefully discovering something remarkable along the way. After all it is a journey not a destination! View full article →

The Best Organic Rooibos Tea in the World?

Having looked at the now number of rooibos teas available in the market, and having drunk more than my fair share of Rooibos over the last 30 years, I thought it set out what really sets our Rooibos apart. Why all Rooibos was are not made equal... Rooibos or redbush tea from South Africa is gaining such popularity that it might well rival gold and diamonds as one of South Africa’s biggest exports. So having looked at the market again the last few weeks and the number of new Rooibos tea products available, I thought this a good opportunity to take a look at what makes a good Rooibos a good Rooibos. First and foremost is the quality of the leaf – and yes, not all Rooibos teas is created equal and you do get what you pay for. View full article →
January 12, 2015

organic tea ›

Nature Is Speaking – Edward Norton is The Soil

What if nature could speak, what would she say... Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, Robert Redford and Ian Somerhalder all join forces to give nature a voice. Watch the films and take action at: http://natureisspeaking.org

View full article →
January 02, 2015

health › organic green tea ›

Health benefits of Jasmine Green Tea

A weight loss diet using Jasmine green tea not only tastes great but it is proven to be a great health drink too. No wonder the well fed Chinese emperors loved jasmine.According to legend a Chinese emperor in the Song dynasty (960-1279AD) used several hundred pots of jasmine to perfume the palace grounds. It was around the same time that the Chinese began to scent their teas by adding blossoms from jasmine, rose, lotus and lychee. View full article →
December 31, 2014

design › loose leaf tea ›

The old photograph and how we designed the Nepal Fikkal Ilam luxury black tea product packaging

Always fascinated by stories of intrigue, adventure and inspired by history with Chateau Rouge we wanted to create a brand that not only encaptulates a history and heritage, with stories of discovery, but also a personal touch. In looking at aspects to incorporate in the designs, we wanted to include objects or images that may well have a personal connection or tell a real story, rather than just make one up. The Nepal Fikkal Ilam tea packaging is one such product and tells the story of Sean Farrell's great Aunt, from Johannesburg in South Africa. View full article →
December 27, 2014

competition ›

If you had a MAGIC TEA POT

Recently ask the 3 magic questions on Twitter:

  • If you had a MAGIC TEA POT what would you drink in it? What loose leaf tea, or teabag?
  • What colour would you want the teapot to be? Black, Green, Red?
  • And most importantly, if you had 3 Magic WISHES (where anything was possible) what would they be?

What do you think the answers were?

December 23, 2014

Happy holidays from all of us at Chateau Rouge Gourmet Foods

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year - from all of us at Chateau Rouge Gourmet Foods. View full article →

The best tea with Christmas cake

We all know about food and wine pairing...but food and tea...
View full article →
December 11, 2014

health › loose leaf tea › organic tea ›

Start your January Detox early, with a 'herbal tea challenge'

This year we have decided to start our January Detox early, with a 'herbal tea challenge'!  Instead of caffeine fuelled drinks, for the next 2 weeks over Christmas we decided to drink only caffeine free herbal 'tisanes': Honeybush, Rooibos and Peppermint (although Seán still loves his Darjeeling and swears by his green tea after every meal). View full article →