Treat dad with coffee gifts this Father’s Day

 

With Father’s Day only around the corner we have the perfect selection of gifts to treat your dad. Coffee accessories, coffee subscriptions and more.

Our Aeropress is available to order online or in a hamper here.

We are now stockists of Hario V60s, these along with other accessories such the Gooseneck pouring kettle are exclusive to our SD Bell’s Emporium at Knock. Call in to view our full range of products or to order a bespoke hamper.

We also have over 30 coffees from around the world to choose from, and if you can’t decide what is best why not try a subscription and enjoy 6 different coffees over the next 6 months?!

 

Countdown to the First Flush – 4

So what makes Darjeeling so special?

There are many factors, but here are a few.

  1. The climate and terroir in Darjeeling is perfect for the cultivation of the Chinese variety ofcamellia sinensis. In fact “Darjeeling Tea” can only carry that name if it was grown from these plants, and solely in that region. Such controls have continued to ensure that these teas remain of the very highest quality and demand the very highest prices.

  1. More than half of all Darjeeling teas are sold at auction, the buying fraternity having had ample opportunity to taste the samples before the hammer falls. This ensures that the standard remains high, and that the market price for the tea is appropriately set.

  1. The soil, mildly acidic, is rich in minerals, sufficiently sandy to allow drainage, while dense enough to hold an appropriate volume of water. Rainfall is perfect. The right quantity falls for each of the four harvesting periods, with massive monsoon rains, hitting the Himalayas, deposit 75% of the region’s rain between June & September.

  1. Most teas across the world are manufactured using a heavily automated process of ‘crushing, tearing and curling’ the broken leaf. This encourages a fast fermentation, and optimises the dry leaf particles for fast infusion. All Darjeeling teas are processed for export using the time-honoured Orthodox process of rolling and twisting the whole leaf before selective cutting, drying and firing. These produce a much wider spectrum of flavours, subtle, floral and elegant.

As I travel to India this week, stay tuned for more updates. I plan to visit 9 estates across the region, tasting the ‘First Flush’ harvest as I go.

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Countdown to the First Flush – 3

In the 1840’s, the steady trade in tea from China faltered. China, a somewhat reluctant trading partner, had been bullied into accepting opium from the British East India Company, in exchange for tea, and violent exchanges (the “Opium Wars”) ensued. It became clear to the British that an alternative source needed to be found to satisfy our growing demand for tea.

As it happened, Camellia sinensis plants of the assamica variety were to be found growing naturally in India. However cultivating it in commercial volume proved less easy to achieve, so a strategy of planting both seeds and young plants from China was urgently pursued.

In fact, so desperate were the British to commercialise Indian production, that they even resorted to theft of thousands of Chinese tea plants, masterminded by Kew horticulturalist Robert Fortune. Fortune had identified that the region of Darjeeling had a climate and terroir perfectly suited to the growing of these Chinese plants, and so it was that this region was selected.

What makes Darjeeling so special? Find out in the next instalment….

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Countdown to the First Flush – 2

Darjeeling is a district in the far north east of India, and was the first region of the Subcontinent to be cultivated with tea on a commercial scale. Bordering Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, it lies south the Indian region of Sikkim, an odd-shaped ‘thumb’ of land that stretches north into the majestic and sacred Himalayas, the Sanskrit “house of snow” and Hindu holy source of life-giving water. 
Climactically, the region is fed by the moist monsoon winds of the Bay of Bengal which quickly condense as they hit the Himalayas to the north west, to produce natural irrigation on a vast scale. Temperatures in the region range from the sub-tropical as low as 500m above sea level, to the arctic, as it rises quickly to a height of over 6000 metres, to include India’s highest, and the World’s third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga.

Home to about 80 tea estates, the highest of which are about 2,300m above sea level, the Darjeeling tea-growing region covers an area of only 50,000 acres, about as large as Queen Elizabeth’s Balmoral estate.While it only produces about 1% of India’s total volume, it remains the flag bearer of all India’s teas, and sets the standard for all teas worldwide. In this blog I hope to share why this is, as I journey to Darjeeling to experience the First Flush harvest.

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Countdown to the First Flush – 1

Robert Bell, Managing Director and fourth generation of the Bell family firm, visits Darjeeling next month for the early First Flush tea pickings.

“The Champagne of Teas”, is a Product of Denominated Origin. Such protected status means that it can only be cultivated, grown, produced, manufactured and processed in tea gardens in the District of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal, India, grown on picturesque steep slopes up to 4000 m.

Robert will be visiting the tea gardens of Darjeeling, in the Himalayan foothills, in the second week of April and will be holding an exclusive Tasting Evening on his return. Avid tea aficionados may sample and learn more about the 2018 First Flush. Spaces will be limited so early booking is recommended.

In the countdown between now and Robert’s trip we will be running a series of blogs about the history and botany of First Flush. Stay tuned for these weekly instalments and to find out more about booking in to our exclusive Tasting Evening.

 

Make your coffee an espresso this week!

A classic Bell’s blend, the espresso strength Barista Number Six is on offer this week for only £4 per 250g. A blend of dark roast Arabica, dark roast Robusta and a medium roast Ethiopian. This strong brew will certainly set you for the day! Click here to buy Barista No 6 Espresso Roast

Perhaps you’ve had your quota of caffeine and would prefer an alternative? This week our caffeine-free Rooibos is on offer, naturally caffeine free and low in tannins. Normally £4 per 100g carton but only £3 this week. Order here Rooibos Loose Leaf Tea

Newsflash! Decaf Capsules in stock!

Your wish is our command!

Decaffeinated Nespresso Compatible Capsules are now in stock!

A South American, Swiss-Washed Mellow Medium Roast Coffee to suit those who wish to limit their caffeine intake!

20 capsules £8!

Tea & Coffee of the Week!

The cold mornings are here and the evenings are definitely getting darker, why not relax with a cup of the tea mulled wine equivalent, Jaipur Winter Warmer? This week you can enjoy this delicious tea for £4! Jaipur Winter Warmer Tea

Alternatively, if this week you wish to try a new coffee, why not give our Mexican Finca Alamo a go? This fine Mexican medium roast has floral and honey flavour notes, with a characteristic sweetness. Enjoy for £9 per 250g! Mexican “Finca Alamo” Single Estate

San Agustin Coffee of the Week £1 off!

A delicious light-medium roast, sweet and smooth Great Taste winning coffee now only £6 per 250g bag. Sealed in an air-tight sealed bag and ground to your required method or left as whole bean. Enjoy this wonderful coffee this week while it is on offer!

San Agustin Colombian Coffee

This light black tea from Yunnan Province in China is known for aiding digestion after a heavy meal and lowering cholesterol, try it now for £3 per packet.

Yunnan Pu-Erh Tea

 

Finally, the wait is over!

Our Baby Geisha coffee has landed! Freshly roasted, this outstanding medium roast is suitable for Cafetiere and filter alike. Enjoying citrus and honey flavours, Baby Geisha is among the worlds finest. Sourced from the Berlina Estate, coffee from this estate regularly wins competitions both at the national and the international level. We have a very small batch of this delightful bean therefore supply will be limited. Order quickly to avoid disappointment!

Panama ‘Baby Geisha’

Special offers?