Fifty shades of tea?

How do you take your tea? A question that must have been asked millions of times over the 300 and more years since Britain first became a nation of tea drinkers, in the mid 17th century.

The infusion of the leaves of Camellia Sinensis has become so ubiquitous that responses like ‘milk and two sugars’ are part of our culture.

Imagine my surprise, then, when a new method of selecting a choice of tea arrived in the office this week.

The novel approach took the form of a colour chart, rather like the ones you see in DIY stores where they offer to mix your chosen colour of paint.

The tea shades were given individual names; such as ‘Golden Oldie’ or ‘Pale & Interesting’ and the Review staff each stated a preference. When it came the time of yours truly making the tea, a lot of stirring and judicious addition of milk had to be done, in order to match the colour choices of my colleagues.

Just between you and me, I deliberately erred on the side of too light a colour, as getting the shade spot on might have left me with permanent tea-making duties.

For those of you curious as to my own selection for the ideal cuppa, I don’t take sugar and prefer the colour to be a rich, sandy hue.

Having worked in Dundee for over 25 years, you will understand that I have named my personal colour ‘The Dighty Burn - three days after rain’!

Craig Ferguson