Fine China teas from Suki to savour in the afternoon

Suki Tea, the award winning boutique blender, has launched two new gourmet teas from China as part of its focus on the afternoon market in hotels and cafes.

The company, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is introducing customers in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland to Fair Trade Organic White Monkey Tea and Organic Oolong Oriental Beauty, both sourced from growers in China.

Both are fine teas and being included in Suki's existing Afternoon Tea package launched earlier in the year to meet the growing demand from upmarket outlets for richly flavoured alternatives to coffee.

Suki Tea director Anne Rooney, commenting on the new teas, says: "The Organic White Monkey and Organic Oolong teas offer delicate flavours like fine wines.

"'White Monkey is a very subtle and fruity white tea, like a fine muscadet, while Oolong, a cross between green and black, has a much stronger, robust and nut-like flavour. They are being introduced to meet and encourage the growing demand from customers for quality tea particularly in the afternoons.

"Consumers are becoming much more discerning and knowledgeable about fine teas. This trend has led us to develop and now to extend our package approach for high-end hotels and restaurants throughout the British Isles.

"This is our equivalent of a wine list and we've produced menus for customers detailing the unique characteristics of the gourmet teas that we recommend for a relaxing afternoon."

The company, which sells its products in Japan, Europe and Africa, selects its range of gourmet teas from leading growers in China, India and Tanzania and blends and packages the teas in Belfast.

Formed in 2005 by Oscar Woolley and Anne Rooney, Suki Tea employs 12 people and also has flourishing online sales markets.

Suki Tea clients include Jamie Oliver's 15 Restaurant in Cornwall, Rick Stein's Restaurant in Padstow, Gallery Yumeori in Tokyo, the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw, Patisserie Valerie in London and Bourbon Cafe in Rwanda and the Barbican Centre in London.

Suki Tea currently has a range of more than 40 teas both loose-leaf and packaged in distinctive pyramid-shaped bags.

The company also takes its ethical and environmental responsibilities very seriously, with many of its teas being either or both Fairtrade and organic. It also has a strict no GM policy.

Pic Caption:Oscar Woolley, managing director of Suki Tea, lends a hand in picking leaves for the new teas.