Skip to ContentSkip to Footer

Stay up to date with the latest Harrods news, events and Stories – Subscribe Now


Stay up to date with the latest Harrods news, events and Stories – Subscribe Now


Sign in / Register

The Tea Guide

Feature: Long Read
Words by EMILIE DOCK

Ever since Charles Henry Harrod began his career as a grocer and tea merchant in 1834, it’s been our mission to source the world’s finest brews. In short, we’re experts – so allow us to help you brush up on your tea trivia while discovering your ultimate cup.

The Fab Five

How many types of tea are there? Dozens? Hundreds? Actually, most varieties fall into five main types – white, green, black, oolong and pu-erh – and they all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, a sub-tropical species of evergreen shrub or small tree native to Asia. It’s how the leaves are processed that makes all the difference. Now, of course, among the fab five, there are countless variations, used to make even more blends… but understand these distinct types and you’ll be better placed to: a) navigate our wonderful array of tea; and b) discover your ultimate cup.

  • White Tea

    White

    Deliciously round and delicate in flavour, white tea is the most highly prized of tea types. It’s made either entirely or mostly from buds, which are hand-picked, withered and gently dried just once a year. — Brewing time: 2–3 mins | Temperature: 75–80°C

  • Green Tea

    Green

    Green tea boasts a clean, vegetal flavour. Once harvested, the leaves are quickly steamed or pan-fired to prevent oxidation. They’re then rolled to release their aromatic oils, shaped and dried. — Brewing time: 2–3 mins | Temperature: 70–80°C

  • Black Tea

    Black

    Darjeeling, Assam and Ceylon are the most popular black teas. Once picked, the leaves are gently bruised and allowed to fully oxidise (hence the red-brown colour), before being dried. — Brewing time: 3–4 mins | Temperature: 90–98°C

  • Oolong

    Oolong

    Oolong is the most complex tea to produce. Once picked, the leaves are withered and tumbled to encourage partial oxidisation, then pan-fired, rolled and dried. — Brewing time: 3–5 mins | Temperature: 80–85°C

  • Pu-erh Tea

    Pu-erh

    Prized for its deep, complex flavour, pu-erh is a fermented style of tea. After the leaves are oxidised, they’re aged for a few months to several years. — Brewing time: 30 secs (leaves can be re-steeped) | Temperature: 90–100°C

What’s Your Personali-Tea?

Of the 165 million cups of tea drunk in Britain every day, how many are black, strong and topped with a splash of milk? There’s a time and a place for builder’s brew, but with such a variety of blends to choose from, why not try something new? 

The Tea Tailor Experience

Tea Tailor

With countless types of tea to choose from, as well as a variety of additional ingredients, our Tea Tailor Angelo Tantillo will help you create an entirely bespoke infusion. He’ll even make a note of it in his secret book of recipes, so you can recreate or develop it on your next visit.

At Your Service

Our Tea Tailor Angelo Tantillo can guide you on a journey to blend a tea that you would never have imagined.

Tea Tailor

With countless types of tea to choose from, as well as a variety of additional ingredients, our Tea Tailor Angelo Tantillo will help you create an entirely bespoke infusion. He’ll even make a note of it in his secret book of recipes, so you can recreate or develop it on your next visit.

Image

Teatime at Harrods

Fancy a taste of perfectly brewed Harrods Earl Grey? Or perhaps our exclusive Hawaiian Black? Head to The Harrods Tea Rooms on the Ground Floor for a quintessential afternoon tea, complete with picture-perfect patisserie.

Discover & Book