Scottish Tea Scandal
Has anyone been keeping up with the recent scandal associated with the “Scottish grown” Dalreoch teas?
I drank the white smoked tea a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The tea did come at quite a premium but with the understanding that it was grown in Scotland. The tea was served at the very posh and expensive Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh and the Fortunum and Mason tea lounge in London. Recently, however, there has been an investigation into the claims that it was Scottish-grown as it appears that there would have been no way for a farm in the Highlands to produce the volume of tea that it did. Perhaps some non-Scottish tea was added to bulk up the supply? Adulteration of tea is one thing, but now it also seems that the owner of the tea plant has lied about the tea winning a first place award at the non-existent “Salon De The”.
I find this to be an interesting case study. I, myself, was quite taken with the idea that I could drink a tea that was produced in the country in which I was living. I had never given it a second thought especially since it was being sold by a reputable tea retailer such as Fortnum and Mason. There were plenty of news reports about the tea (even by the BBC!) and the many awards that it had won internationally. I purchased my own Dalreoch Scottish oolong tea online from the Wee Tea Company. You’ll find that neither the Wee Tea Company nor any other tea retailer is carrying the Dalreoch teas any longer.
You can read about the story here:
I saw a special on tv about this place – it may have been part of another show Escape to the Country or something – but the prices were horrendous. I would be very angry if I paid a high price for his tea and he had lied about it. So glad I didn’t spring for it on impulse.