Newly launched Tearoute.co.uk puts a Greek twist on classic teas. We talk to founder Milena Bottero to find out more…
Tea lovers listen up. A new luxury tea shop has just launched in the UK, selling the finest tea with a tasty twist. Tearoute.co.uk offers whole leaf tea inspired by Greece, with over 80 aromatic flavours to tuck into.
Milena Bottero launched the site here in the UK – an entrepreneur that’s as passionate about business as she is about tea.
The teas are inspired by the Mediterranean and feature only natural ingredients, such as oils, dried fruits and flower blossoms. And there’s so much to choose from – including wellness blends and exquisite single origin teas.
Milena has already achieved overwhelming success in Greece and hopes to reach the same level here in the UK and Europe.
Her uncle founded the family company in 2001, and together they have travelled the world in search of the best artisan producers and unusual flavours.
We talked to Milena about her love of tea, how to brew the perfect pot and her favourite flavours from the website.
Where did your love of tea first start?
My mum only drinks tea because she doesn’t like coffee, which is rare for a French person. I remember drinking tea from a very young age; my mum always made tea in the pot, from leaves. In the evening we always had ‘tisane’ before bed – chamomile, verbena, or a blend.
Could you explain more about the ‘Greek twist’ you’ve given to your teas?
Tearoute was started in Greece in 2001. Not many people know that Greece is the country with the highest biodiversity in Europe, and one of the highest in the world. This inspired us to create unique and unusual blends, which combine fine teas from Asia, and natural ingredients from the Mediterranean.
How and where do you source your tea?
We source most of our pure origin teas directly from the producer, in Japan, China, India or Sri Lanka. We source our herbal teas from small farmers in Greece. The herbs and flowers blended in the Wellness teas come from small farmers in Greece or Eastern Europe.
What’s your favourite single origin or blended tea from the website, and why?
I really like Russian Nights for my morning cuppa. In the evening, I love Relax tea, it’s a bit sweet, and really comforting.
What tea blends are best suited for the coming winter months?
Winter Health is so warming – just what you need when your immune system is feeling low – I drink it (all year round!) whenever I’m feeling under the weather.
Black Fragrant Garden is a spiced blend, which reminds you of a spice cake – we also have a Green tea version, Green Fragrant Garden.
What do loose leaf teas offer above a classic bagged tea?
A lot of the time teabags are made from the lowest quality tea leaves, or even dust leftover from different processing methods. Loose leaf teas will release the full flavour of the tea.
Why do you think tea is still one of Britain’s best-loved drinks?
Tea is both comforting, and a social activity. People enjoy making a cup of tea for others, and sharing them with others, whether at work or at home.
What are your three top tips for brewing the perfect cup of tea?
- I would say using a teapot really does make a difference, it tastes a lot better!
- Letting the kettle sit for a minute after it’s boiled
- Not brewing the tea for too long (apart from herbal tea, it can brew for a very long time and not get bitter!)
How does tea consumption differ between Greece and the UK?
Greece is a country of coffee drinkers, and when tearoute started, tea was seen as something your grandmother would force you to drink when you were ill. More and more Greek people see tea as a healthy alternative to coffee, and they really enjoy green tea, fruity tea and flavoured tea that can be drunk hot or cold. They rarely drink their tea with milk.
Do you have any luxury tea-making gadgets that you couldn’t live without?
I use this tiny one-person clay teapot from Japan every day. It’s not luxurious but it has a sieve insert so it’s very convenient, all you have to do is add tea, and add water.
Lastly, having successfully brought your business to the UK, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do something that you’re passionate about, that you love getting up for – you’ll be working on it every minute of every day, so above all, you should enjoy it!
Tearoute – Where and how
Visit www.tearoute.co.uk to find out more
Tel: +44 (0) 2031295994
By Leanne Kelsall