09 March, 2021

“A Tea Revolution Is Coming”

An interview with Tam O’Braan whose Wee Tea Company makes the best tea in the world.

“A Tea Revolution Is Coming”

There is a revolution afoot in Scotland, not a political one but an agricultural one—with the stress on cultural. The Scots, and not the Sri Lankans, Indians or the Chinese, now make the best tea in the world, acco­rding to the keepers of the Salon du The Gold award, which to be fair is literally the gold standard for chai.

The Wee Tea Company, part of the Dal­re­och estate and the brainchild of Tam O’Braan, originally from Northern Ireland but who stuck around after studying in Scotland, walked off with the award for his company’s White Smoke strain—the finest leaf the judges had sampled this year, and with the price around £1,150 (Rs 1.15 lakh) per lb, also the second most expensive in the world. O’Braan and partners, Jamie Russell and Derek Walker, have 14,000 plants growing at 700 ft above sea level—enough to keep them in tea for the next 70 years. Their belief that tea plants benefit from altitude, fresh Highlands air and the pure spring waters that are the pride of the glens of Scotland—one...

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