What's it like being in a TWG Tea Institute?
The brain behind it all
You don't have to be a tea connoisseur to enjoy a visit to a TWG Tea Salon. Even a staunch coffee drinker like myself knows this much. Foot through the door, you're greeted with luxurious shades of gold — metallics of the shop front and the brand's trademark yellow-gold hue that we can easily identify from the walls, cannisters, paper bags etc. After which, you'll find yourself in good hands — whether you're meandering through their exhaustive selection of tea leaves and packaged treats, or seated with their moreish plates and of course, tea served from their iconic tea pots. We'll liken the time spent in one of their flagships to one of the most regal experiences you can have in Singapore.
But behind the exquisite façade, lies the back end of it all, where numerous hours of training, preparation and paperwork are covertly stowed away. That is the TWG Tea Institute, which we had the privilege to explore a few days ago.
Granted, this isn't the glamorous setting we're used to seeing at their Ion Orchard and Marina Bay Sands' outposts. This is after all, where everything magical is still a work in progress. Nevertheless, the institute never fails to stays true to its opulent signature shade, while retaining wall shelves decked with a holy grail of tea cannisters. In true TWG Tea fashion, everything is kept immaculately in place. Even the sinks here are rendered spotless.
Over 800 staff members from TWG Tea have sat in the seats here. Copious amounts of TWG Tea have been sipped on. This is all part of an integral immersion programme that the finest luxury tea brand in the world earnestly upkeeps, which is to educate their staff — from the historical origins to the crucial steps in brewing a consistent cup of TWG Tea. During the two hours spent in this prestigious institute, we barely scratched the surface of the TWG Tea legacy; but enough to gain a stronger sense of respect and salutation for their craft. Here's what we learnt specifically to the Darjeeling tea:
and more tea varieties are available in TWG Tea Salons and Boutiques all around the world.
tea-producing regions supply to TWG Tea. The largest country is China, followed by India, Indonesia, Kenya then Sri Lanka.
processes go into the making of the TWG Tea leaves that you purchase at their stores. First, withering — where the green leaves are spread evenly for its moisture to be evaporated. Next, rolling — twisting the leaves, which releases the natural juices. After that, oxidation happens when the leaves are spread again in very thin layers for up to a maxmium of four hours. This allows unique flavour, aroma and colour to develop, which happens to be the most important process in the tea-making. Then, drying takes place via hot dry air to remove almost all remaining moisture in the leaves. Lastly, sorting the dried leaves segregates them into various grades through vibrating sifters and meshes.
degrees is the ideal water temperature for the Darjeeling black tea leaves to be steeped in.
tea leaves are handpicked to produce 1kg of TWG Darjeeling Tea.
grams of loose tea go into a pot of TWG Darjeeling Tea.
minutes is the appropriate amount of time needed to infuse your TWG Darjeeling Tea, before removing it from the hot water.