“ Brand: Butterworth and Son / Type: Leaf Tea „
Grocery shopping in our house usually consists of the internet, making use of excellent home delivery supermarket services, ethical stores, and organic suppliers such as Abel and Cole, and this means we are always well stocked up. So when I go to a supermarket it affords me the opportunity to browse, rather than what I used to do which was to struggle with a full trolley, never noticing some interesting things I do now.
One such item I spotted in Tesco last week was some locally produced tea bags from Suffolk, called Suffolk Maid, produced by a company called Butterworth and Son's. I must admit to being highly delighted to see these, as Tesco and Waitrose, and more recently The Co-op, have certainly moved towards giving local businesses shelf space on which to display their products.
Butterworth and Sons are a family business based in Bury St Edmunds, and their history dates back to the beginning of the nineteenth century when Harry Butterworth was a tea dealer in Manchester. This area is where the name Butterworth originated, so when the company was established in 1976 it was named in honour of this gentleman.
What attracted me to the box of tea bags, apart from the Suffolk origins, was the fancy gold box, and the fact that these bags are designed to enhance the flavour of tea made from hard water. Where I live in Chelmsford we have very hard water, so much so that I now filter it before use, so I thought this tea should be excellent for my daily cuppa.
I paid £1.99 for 40 tea bags, and inside the box these sit without the luxury or waste provided by any sort of fancy wrapping or tags. What they do have though is a little card, just like the tea cards of old, which really took me back to the days when I remember all teas had cards in them. The novelty of these wore off and meant that major producers stopped adding those years ago, but this firm have kept with tradition, and the card in my box has a picture depicting a steam engine from the Suffolk Steam Railways.
So to the tea. I warmed the pot and then added freshly boiled water onto the tea bags and waited for 3 minutes. You can leave it for 5, but I am not a lover of that very dark tea, though my mother is and would certainly leave her bag in longer! I added milk and then sat to enjoy the tea as I sat watching some great tits feeding from my bird table.
The tea was lovely, full bodied and delicious, but it was no more enjoyable than one of the big brand alternatives to be absolutely honest. I think it has that locally produced; traditional feel to it, which will certainly see me making a repeat purchase, one day, but it doesn't stand up taste wise above the others enough to be able to say to you -go out and purchase.
I would certainly buy this to make up a local hamper, which I do at Christmas time for local elderly friends, as I find not only do they love local food, but appreciate the originality of the gift year on year. I think the tea card inside is a lovely touch and the tea is certainly enjoyable. I think anyone of any advancing age would appreciate the card and the memories associated with it.
The tea is a similar price to Twinings and premium brands in this group, but is twice the price of everyday tea bags such as Tetley and Typhoo. For this reason I think it will remain a once in a while purchase, but certainly one I will make as I do love to support local business, whether I am shopping at home or on holiday.
Butterworth and Son / / Type: Leaf Tea