All of our tea is supplied by The Golden Monkey Tea Company – an independent tea merchant that carries over 50 different types of fine fresh tea and countless lovely tea accessories. The teas are made only from natural products and have been ethically sourced.
The Golden Monkey Tea Company was started in November 2008 and since then has been selling delicious teas and fabulous accessories from all over the world. The idea for the shop stems from a long passion for tea and its history and the realisation that few traditional tea merchants still exist in Britain.
The tea plant is an evergreen that mainly grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates, although tea is now also successfully being cultivated in Cornwall. It is now grown in 51 countries. Good quality tea requires no less than 50 inches of rainfall per year and is grown at altitudes of up to 1500m (5000 feet).
China and India are the biggest tea producers in the world and account for 50% of the total production.
All tea varieties, including Green, White, Oolong, Black and Pu Erh, come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is the production process used after picking and the percentage of oxidation that determines the variety of tea it becomes. For example, green tea is 0% oxidized (remains green) and black tea is 100% oxidized (it becomes black).
In most cases, when picked in an orthodox way (by hand), only the top 1-2 inches are picked, which consists of the bud and one or two leaves. Often, the newer the growth the better the tea. Especially the first picking of the growing season is considered (the highest quality and is) the most priced. This is known as the first flush. It can take up to 10 days for the plant to produce the second flush.