A Rare Commodity
In Edinburgh, we are lucky not only to have customers who are seeking the best produce, but our suppliers of said produce are continuously striving to finesse their trade and take it to another level. Scotland’s small entrepreneurs are rising up and taking the hospitality industry by storm and by their charm. According to a government study in 2018, 42.3% of private sector employment is made up of small businesses.
We have been particularly charmed by one small Dunfermline based company who are paving the way for a new approach to tea and its consumption, and much to everyone’s surprise, a new approach to growing tea.
We cannot be modest about our relationship with tea. We all drink it each day, unless you are a traitorous fellow who prefers coffee… but we often drink it with a sense of desperation, a bit too much sugar, and probably far too many tannins after forgetting about the stewing teabag.
At The Chaumer we simply will not allow that - unless you order the ‘builders brew’ and if you do then we will let you off the hook as clearly you know what you like.
Our care is for fine, loose leaf teas, of which we have 19 options.
But, we cannot embellish our relationship with tea either. Tea has come from many a different country, but not this one. The world of tea is complex and meaningful.
Can we say that our stereotyped love for tea is followed by a sense of ceremony and ritual? Can we say that we have a claim to the tea leaf and it’s many meanings and it’s history?
Until now, we could not genuinely say that tea is an important part of British culture, aside from the importation of the leaf from other countries. But in those other countries, the leaf and its character of flavour is admired and connected with. That is not something we have had claim to, at least, not until now.
The Wee Tea Company, have brought their breadth of tea knowledge to Scottish soil. After years of travelling the globe to learn about plantations and the cultural and spiritual connections that some countries have with the tea leaf and it’s fragrant elixir, Derek and his team in Dunfermline set up their business to bring tea to Scotland with an informed understanding of it and its roots. And they planted it here too.
With less than ten tea plantations across Scotland, it is truly a rare commodity. One plantation sits at the base of a mountain, fed by rain water, in a slumber covered in mist and breathing the purest Scottish air. This tea is said to have an authentic Scottish character, shaped by the weathering winds, water and brisk temperatures. A strength.
To learn about tea, as each of our staff members have done at The Chaumer, go to The Wee Tea Company to take part in their ‘teatorials’, online classes in the art of tea.
And keep an eye out for our talks on tea, and our tea ceremonies which we shall be hosting shortly with Tea Master Yupin and her knowledgeable assistants.