Fera at Claridge’s launches rare ambient brew tea offering.

Fera at Claridge’s are launching an addition to their dining experience by introducing rare Ambient Brew Teas to the drinks menu.

It seems that not everyone wants to drink alcohol, especially at lunchtime, but it’s a shame to eat food of Fera quality and only have water to match it with. 

So the team wanted to offer an original alternative and tea was the choice but not, of course, PG Tips.The thing is, as was explained to me at Fera’s Chef’s Table by Timothy d’Offay of Postcard Teas,  tea has a complexity similar to wine, with the terroir and different brewing processes creating a real variety in each brew and offering an array of different flavours.

The ambient brewing process he’s brought to Fera is an unique addition to the fine dining restaurant and provides an alternative culinary journey for each diner 

The process of ambient brewing  begins with a short infusion of the leaves with hot water allowing for the leaves to open, and then gently brewing the leaves in ambient-temperature still mineral water.  The length of infusion is dependent on the type of tea, balance and desired taste.

Once the most balanced flavour infusion is achieved, the brew is cooled to its temperature of adequate temperature of service, normally between 16 and 20C depending on the variety of tea. It is then poured in a wine glass for Fera’s guest to enjoy the new experience as they would a fine wine.

Raphaël Rodriguez, Restaurant Director and Wine Buyer who is at the table along with Chef Simon Rogan, has worked in collaboration with Timothy and carefully handpicked a range of ambient brews to compliment the Michelin-star food offering at Fera. Raphaël has ensured Fera’s selection is as full of character as the wine list.

Fera’s Sommeliers and Chefs also worked collaboratively to ensure the experience complements the food perfectly – what the team call’Westernising the Eastern tradition of tea’.

Guests dining at Fera can now opt for the Sommelier to select an ambient brew to be paired with their dishes.  One such example is the pairing of the torched mackerel, Mylor prawn, bergamot, apple and radish dish with a high mountain green oolong from Taiwan.

The high altitude (1500m) and low temperatures slow down growth and lead to fresh yet highly concentrated flavours and textures – with the tea’s freshness working perfectly with the raw element of the fish. The concentrated aromas of ripe fruit and sweet flowers also combine beautifully with the apple andbergamot.

Another pairing is the Copas chicken with sweet turnip, black trumpet and Wiltshire truffle paired with Hijiri black sun tea. This rare black tea is made from ancient trees from the Obayashi Family in Aichi, Japan. Postcard Teas roasts the tea once arrived in London, lending the tea complex tobacco and nutty flavours which complement the mushrooms and sweet turnip, whilst the tannins also grip onto the chicken’s juicy flesh.

In choosing tea leaves sourced from Postcard Teas, Raphaël wanted to work with a tea supplier that shares Simon Rogan’s ethos for sourcing ingredients that are farmed sustainably and made by skilled artisans.

Similar to Rogan’s championing of the produce from his farm in Cumbria, Postcard Teas specialise in working with small-scale producers, with the average farm just five acres and the exact location labelled on each tea. This gives the leaves a strong sense of terroir and is conducive to the process of uniquely matching the brews with the creative flair in Fera’s dishes.

[email protected]

Fera at Claridge’s

Claridge’s, 49 Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR