Blending Expertise

Most people don't realise that blending tea is a fine art, similar to blending champagne or whisky. At Tetley, our team of blenders have over 1,000 years combined tea experience, so they know a thing or two about blending!

Did you know?

 - Tetley have been sourcing the highest quality teas for over 175 years

- 165 million cups of tea are drunk in the UK everyday - that's nearly 20 Olympic swimming pools!

- Our professional tea tasters have over 1,000 years' worth of experience and are based in 7 countries around the world

Taster's notes
Page 8 - Dry tea

- 90% of the tea we drink in Britain is actually a tea blend, containing a variety of different sourced teas 


- We have over 60 different Tetley tea blends

- Every blend is taste tested eight times before it can be judged good enough to be called a quality Tetley cuppa!

It takes at least five years to become a qualified Tetley Tea Taster

No one tea crop is ever the same so tea tasting is a continuous learning process

- Blending tea is a fine art just like blending whisky or champagne - each Tetley blend is made to taste exactly the same, cup after cup!

tea bowls

How do blenders blend?

The quality of a blend is graded by assessing the tea leaf and tea liquid, using a unique language called Uhuru

The leaf

Our tasters examine and grade the leaf density, colour and record the shape, form and size of the leaf.

Page 4 - Tea Plant

The liquid

Our tasters assess the following factors of a tea liquid:

1. Sparkle - purity of the colour

2. Record the clarity of the tea brewed without milk

3. Body - the weight of the tea in the mouth

4. Zing - overall liveliness of the tea on the palate

Tested 8 times

Meet the blenders

With a team of 47 across the world, Tetley tea blenders specialise in taking quality characteristics from different tea regions and bringing them together to create a perfect cup of tea. 

Name: Sebastian Michaelis

Specialism: African tea buyer

​Experience: ​Over 10 years

Role: Manages relationship with Rainforest Alliance, our Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing programme and the Tetley Tasting room

What led Seb into the industry?: His love of tea and desire for a unique trade 

Favourite brew: The Blend Collection Extra strong due to its intense flavour and added hint of Assam


Name: Kate Palmer

Specialism: Sri Lankan & African tea buyer

Experience: Over 9 years

What led Kate into the industry? Her love of tea combined with an interest in trying new food and drink was Kate's main reason for becoming a tea buyer

​Favourite brew: Kate is a big fan of the refreshing Tetley Lemon Green Tea

Name: Mark Donovan

Role: Tea Blender (herbs, botanicals, fruits and flavoured tea)

Experience: With over 13 years of speciality tea experience, Mark believes the traits that make a successful tea blender include a good memory, an interest in tastes and flavours & a passion for the product

Favourite brew: Mark's favourite Tetley blend is The Blend Collection Kenyan Gold due to its rich and refreshing flavour


Tetley Tea Blender gets his taste buds insured for £1 million

Watch here to find out why Sebastian Michaelis, Tetley’s very own tea blender, had his taste buds insured for £1 million.

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Seb farmers
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Blended 'til it's lovely
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