Diving for sugar kelp… for the love of Isle of Harris Gin Tea
We’re blending weekly to keep you topped up!
Our Isle of Harris Gin Tea is proving more popular than ever this festive season. We’re struggling to keep it in stock due to the demand. But don’t panic. Due to a real team effort, we’ve got loose leaf currently in stock and we’re beavering away to blend more so we’ll be able to run more of our plastic free leaf tea bags later this week.
I was thinking that you might like to know more about the magic ingredient of this tea-riffic blend… sugar kelp and the man behind it Lewis MacKenzie who’s currently brazing the freezing waters off Harris to allow us to continue to blend.
The herbal blend contains beautiful ingredients like juniper berries and bitter orange peel but it’s the addition of Sugar Sea Kelp which is the key to the subtle coastal notes that mark out our tea and the spirit. Hand-harvested by a local diver, Lewis MacKenzie, from the deep underwater forests of the Outer Hebrides, this natural and sustainable ingredient completes the wider aspects of the gin’s flavour profile.
I was fortunate enough to go on a trip with Lewis during one of my visits to Harris and was amazed to see how huge the Sugar Kelp was. I had thought I had a dream job sourcing tea from all over the world, tasting tea and cake every day. But Lewis actually explores the wonders of the Outer Hebrides (above and below sea level) on a daily basis. He even gets paid to go walking on Luskentyre beach! He taught me all about Sugar Kelp, took me fishing, showed me porpoises, dodged the attacking Skuas (aptly nicknamed the aggressive pirate of the sea) and then fed the great White Tailed Sea Eagle (which he’s licensed to do)… .
If you’re ever visiting that way (once we’re safely allowed to), be sure to drop Lewis a line. His company Hebrides Fish ‘n’ Trips does private boat tours for 1-5 people. More details can be found here.
Mindful Drinking… Tea In Mind
During these crazy times, I think it’s really important to slow down and look after ourselves and our mind. Our Tea In Mind concept, which relates to the ancient Chinese Five Elements, empowers you to calm your mind by doing a 3 minute tea routine while your tea is brewing. However, it can also be applied to tea cocktails. So next time you’re sipping on an Isle of Harris Gin Tea cocktail, take some cleansing breaths and practice some mindful drinking. Simply be fully present using all your senses, breathe fully, mix your cocktail consciously, sip slowly and mindfully and ground yourself.
If you’d like to discover more about how to create your own tea cocktails and how they fit into Tea In Mind sign up for one of our online Tea Cocktail Workshops through Class Bento or get started with our Tea Cocktail Recipe Box.
However you enjoy your gin tea just be sure to raise a glass to Lewis for braving the icy waters of The Minch!