Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Homegrown Scottish tea served in The Balmoral hotel

Dalreoch White tea Image copyright Balmoral

An Edinburgh five-star hotel is to serve Scotland's first cup of homegrown tea.

The Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street is serving white or smoked tea, grown by The Wee Tea Plantation at the Dalreoch estate in Amulree, Perthshire.

A pot of tea in the hotel's Palm Court will cost £10. It can also be served with a Scottish cream tea.

To qualify as tea, the blend needs to contain leaves from the camellia sinensis plant.

While the plant is normally at home in the humid climes of India, China and Taiwan, the Wee Tea pioneers realised that once plants had matured enough they could thrive even in the relatively cold conditions of central Scotland.

The UK consumes 165 million cups of tea every day.

Scottish flavour

Tam O'Braan, The Wee Tea Plantation owner, said: "Taken from just the first two leaves and the tip, the teas offer a refined and very Scottish flavour of both natural freshness and a rich peaty glen.

"Being the only smoked white tea in the world, it has a very subtle unique flavour similar in nature to a peaty whisky."

Jeff Bland, The Balmoral's executive chef, said: "At The Balmoral, we are always looking to promote Scottish produce to our international guests and local visitors alike.

"I was extremely impressed with the flavours of the Dalreoch white and smoked teas.

"It is even more impressive that the teas are able to grow in our climate.

"As a nation of tea lovers, it is fantastic news that The Wee Tea Plantation has delivered such an impressive product to such a high standard.

"Many tea connoisseurs visit The Balmoral for our wide selection of loose leaf teas, and we are thrilled to be adding these two new local teas to our collection on an exclusive basis."

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