One of Britain’s award-winning tearooms has come up with a surprising ‘first’, in the creation of its new tea menu – it is possibly the first tea-room to offer teas from five continents at once.
“It’s a bold claim,” says owner George Peacock “but I’m confident that we’re unique in this. We have brought together real tea from all around the world from Cornwall to Queensland.”
Peacocks, owned and run by George Peacock and Rachel Lemkov, has been operating for five years in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and in four of those has won awards – it was the Tea Guild’s Top Tea Place in 2007, and received the Guild’s awards of excellence in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
The most unusual items on the 66-tea menu are Brazilian and Australian.
“Everyone knows that Asia is the home of tea, and that there’s plenty of tea grown in Africa,” says George Peacock. “It’s not so well known that Brazil has tea plantations”. His Sao Paolo tea is grown mainly for a North American market.
The most unusual tea at Peacocks is Billy Tea, grown in Queensland. The Australian tea industry is quite new – they first grew tea in the 1800s, with little success, did a little better when the attempts were revived in the 1950s, and plantations were seriously established in the 1970s.
The Billy Tea is blended with lapsang souchong for the smoky tang of the campfire, and flavoured with eucalyptus leaf. The authentic Billy Tea should be brewed in a tin can, and as George Peacock observes, the accepted techniq ue involves swinging the can around the head to allow the leaves to settle… but not in his tea-room.
The most familiar European tea on the menu is of course Tregothnan, from Cornwall.
By Ian Boughton