Monday, 31 May 2010

A Brew by any other name

All aspiring Warlords should know their beverage of choice.

I like a nice cup of tea. And the cup of tea I just had was very nice indeed. But it's not the flavour that was the best thing about this cuppa.

I drink a lot of tea, and a couple of years ago decided it would be a good idea to know what the hell I was drinking. So I sampled some different varieties and It was during this experimental phase that I discovered Rose Pouchong. This is a black tea from South East China, dried between layers of rose petals so that the volatile rose oils (and therefore the flavour), is absorbed. It's a bit like drinking high quality Turkish Delight without the sticky fingers.
Well, back in November 2008, I was coming to the end of my box, and went to look for some more. All the other flavours were available but not the rose. After a fruitless search of supermarkets between London and Birmingham, I sent off an email to their customer services department. I received a very prompt reply explaining that Twinings was having some difficulty obtaining ingredients which, given the tea's origin was easy to understand . I savoured my last teabag, and then switched to Darjeeling.
Then, four months later, and quite out of the blue a package arrived. The Twinings blenders had been experimenting. They had perfected their rose blend, and had sent me a sample packet of loose leaf rose tea!
I was frankly amazed that they had remembered my enquiry at all, and impressed that they would send out a sample on the strength of a 4 month old email enquiry. So I sent an email of thanks. It was the least I could do.

Well, it appears that they kept that email on file, too, because last week,
a full 18 months after my initial email, the Twinings team did it again. Out of the blue, a box of (now rebranded) "Rose Garden" arrived on my doorstep with a personal letter from Pete Rowe their Customer Services Manager.

You don't often see customer services this good, and when you do I think attention should be drawn to the people getting it right. So Laura H, Lindsey and Pete, Thank you, please keep up the good work!

The Twinings website is well worth a visit especially the section on tea production, which is short enough to read while your cup is brewing.

At the time of writing, Twinings have a special offer on. You can sample two of their speciality teas for free, and I suggest you do, the Tea is lovely, and the people are even more so.

- Blogged from my kitchen, while the kettle boils.

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