April 21st was National Tea Day. It has been set up to celebrate and promote tea culture in the UK. What better tea to celebrate than tea that's grown right here in Scotland.
I was first introduced to Susie Walker-Munro at the Kinnettles Tea Estate in 2015 by Beverley Wainwright from the Scottish Tea Factory. I was excited to try Kinnettles Gold but after trying the other “Scottish” grown tea that was available at the time, it was important that the tea was more than just a novelty - it had to be good tea and stand up to the quality of hand-made teas sourced from traditional tea growing countries. I was impressed not only by the quality of the tea but by Susie’s passion for what she is doing. Susie has been growing tea in Angus since 2007 - one of, if not the first to do so. There were a few false starts but what she produces now is absolutely exceptional.
There are only 2kg manufactured each year, which accounts for the high price and it was the first commercially available black tea genuinely made in Scotland.
Kinnettles Gold is a labour of love and the resulting tea is something truly special. It’s made completely organically - and although not certified, there are no artificial fertilisers or pesticides used.
Subsequently Susie has gone on to set up Tea Gardens of Scotland, a group of ladies who are growing tea from seed around Scotland.
There are now over 20 tea estates in Scotland growing tea. It will be interesting to see how the Scottish Tea industry progresses over the next couple of years.