Jersey Fine Tea: 100% grown and made in Jersey!
Jersey Fine Tea is a local producer of premium quality, single-estate teas on the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey.
The Camellia sinensis tea bushes were first planted in 2017. Three years later, the plants were mature enough to pluck and Jersey Fine Tea started selling its white, green and black Jersey teas on www.jerseyfinetea.com.
Production is small, and the focus is on very high quality, whole-leaf tea that is sustainability cultivated. The ‘quality first’ mission is made possible by the climate and the promising terroir of the sheltered tea gardens, which have proven perfect for healthy leaf growth and interesting flavour development.
Jersey’s gentle marine climate, which is relatively cool for the tea bush, enhances quality by slowing the growth of the plant and encouraging its roots to reach deeply for the natural nutrients that enhance the finished tea.
To maintain the natural potential of the leaves, only the tender and nutritious new leaves and buds are plucked by hand, which avoids unnecessary bruising of the leaves and deterioration of quality. The leaves are then carefully processed in small batches and packed on site in St Saviour, close to the gardens.
The result: very special finished teas, with fine aromatics and complex flavour profiles that evoke the unique island terroir and add a mindful moment to your days.
At present, Jersey Fine Tea makes black, green and white tea. People are often surprised to learn that the type of tea made is determined by the way the raw leaves are processed. For example, leaves for green tea are hand fired in a wok to stop oxidation, whereas leaves for black tea are allowed to fully oxidise and develop a different, fuller flavour profile.
The finished teas are sold loose in foil-lined, re-sealable pouches to maintain the leaves tea in perfectly fresh condition. All the teas are characterised by charming fruit flavours, low bitterness, a smooth mouthfeel and good length.
Here’s what tea expert Will Battle had to say about Jersey Fine Tea in the second edition of the much revered The World Tea Encyclopaedia:
“The teas are beautifully-made and stand up very well to their peers from traditional origins. The sublime Pai Mu Tan style white tea carries seductive violet perfumed notes, a wok-fired green is full of sappy sweetness recalling the green Mao Jian teas of Hunan, whilst the black balances elements of Keemun perfume with a malty note.”
A Note on Brewing
Careful processing maintains the whole shape of the Jersey Fine Tea leaves, unlike leaves for tea bags which are deliberately chopped up for a faster brew.
Hence, when brewing the whole-leaf teas that make Jersey Fine Tea, bide your time for the pure flavours to release – slow down and enjoy! While teabag teas only give one good infusion, Jersey Fine Tea’s whole-leaf teas give three satisfying infusions, giving good value for money for a luxury beverage. Once spent, the leaves can be composted at home, in contrast to teabag tea that often contains plastic.
For a more in-depth, geeky guide on how to brew whole-leaf tea, check out www.jerseyfinetea.com/perfect-brew/
The tea gardens & sustainability
Jersey Fine Tea has three sheltered tea gardens – named Gorey Hill, Simpson and Mrs Pipon – specially chosen to suit the growth of the Camellia sinensis tea bush. In total there are around six acres at present, which makes the estate the largest in Europe!
Done well, tea cultivation is a very sustainable form of agriculture. A long-term crop, the tea bush will be productive for 60-plus years. This means the soil remains relatively undisturbed, giving it the chance to build organic matter and natural fertility. This combination of long-term plants with untilled soil acts as a carbon sink, sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Jersey Fine Tea uses minimal inputs, with organic pesticides where necessary. Mixed grasses and clover grow between the rows of tea, attracting bees and other pollinators, reducing weeds and naturally fixing nitrogen in the soil to helps to sustain the tea plants.
The picturesque tea gardens are all surrounded by hedges of native tree species, all of which provide habitat for wildlife. They are generally just a lovely place to be!
Tea production has a very low carbon footprint, especially compared to other beverages and food. In fact, boiling the kettle to make a cup of tea produces more emissions than growing, processing and packing the tea!
Where to buy
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Jersey Fine Tea
Jersey Fine Tea - Jersey
Tea Grower and Merchant