Tregothnan, the UK's only commercial tea plantation, has extended its range by developing into chocolate - and one of its first products is combined with the unique English tea.
Tregothnan, the Cornwall estate of Lord Falmouth, is one of the leaders in the concept of ‘English Estate' products, and it has up to now sold to an elite customer base of top hotels and restaurants.
However, it has now diversified into a wider catering-trade and deli market, having set up a ‘starter pack' of products for retailers, created a ‘cream tea by post' product, and is known to be working on a foodservice range for airlines.
The new chocolate product is created by award-winning chocolatier Marc Demarquette of Chelsea. The signature flavours consist of Tregothnan Estate Earl Grey tea, the rare Kea plum (which is grown on the estate) and Tregothnan Heather Honey.
The significance of the Earl Grey chocolate is that the Boscawen family, who hold the title of Lord Falmouth and still live on the estate, are descendants of Earl Grey himself.
The chocolates are described as ‘gently infused in fresh cream from Tregothnan Jersey herds, and combined with the 65% Demarquette house blend of dark chocolate, with distinctive yet subtle flavours of Earl Grey tea and its delicate tones of Citrus Bergamia'.
The Tregothnan Kea plum chocolate involves a plum which is only grown in one valley in Cornwall. The plums are described as ‘both rare and exquisite and the taste is truly unique'. Marc Demarquette cooks the fresh plums as a basis for his ganache recipe. The fullness of Tregothnan cream, the distinctive flavour and sweet perfume of the Kea plum together with plum bits for texture, make up the resulting chocolate.
Marc Demarquette has also created a chocolate from the Cornish wild heather honey of Tregothnan.
Trenance Cottage tea rooms of Newquay a few years back. Tregothnan's garden director Jonathan Jones, the man who created the first English tea estate, has said: "With top hotels around the world now keen to stock the authentic cream tea from Tregothnan, using our teas, kea plum jam and of course our Cornish clotted cream, we think this idea has a long way to go."
As well as servicing the catering trade with the ingredients for a Tregothnan cream tea, it is now possible to sell a 'cream tea by post' as a retail item.
By Ian Boughton