Established by Thomas Twining in 1706, the brand just celebrated its 310th anniversary – with what else but an afternoon tea session at The Majestic Hotel’s Orchid Conservatory!
Twinings of London, often called just Twinings (pronounced TWYN-ings), is one of the world’s most popular brands of tea. Recently, FEMALE had an exclusive interview with its Director of Corporate Relations and Global Ambassador, Stephen Twining (a 10th-generation Twining), for the latest tea-tails on what inspires him and the brand’s biggest successes.
Stephen Twining: The man behind the tea
The Orchid Conservatory’s stunning, intimate setting
F: Which countries or places have been your most recent inspirations for tea flavours?
S: “Everywhere is different; everywhere has something special and unusual about it. So, I always try to look for the local inspiration, particularly when I’m eating. I look at good local food; I also like to try good local beer. You go for what is special to that location. Everywhere is a great place to be. I very much live in the ‘now’. I won’t be here for long, therefore I’m going to enjoy every opportunity I find here.”
F: Have you found any tastes you like in Malaysia?
S: “We had a very nice dinner, the fish I had last night was barramundi!”
F: What are your most popular teas?
S: “Earl Grey is certainly one of our most popular. It is, in my humble opinion, a few notches above the rest!”
F: And your most unique blends?
S: “Our English Breakfast. Everyone has their own take on it, but I hear so many people say, ‘Oh, I tried somebody else’s English Breakfast and it really wasn’t the same, so I’ll come back to yours, thank you very much!’ Then there’s our Rooibos with Caramel. The hint of extra taste there makes it more sophisticated.”
F: If you could make a flavoured tea out of anything, what would you make?
S: “I think there are some great fruits in this part of the world that we haven’t explored yet. We recently put mango into tea, which tasted terrific! I think we need to explore more exotic fruits. Dragonfruit would actually go very nicely into a tea.”
F: What sets Twinings apart from other tea brands?
S: “Our philosophy. We want to do everything really well. We have master tea-tasters who we train ourselves, knowledge that we’ve passed down for generations and absolute skills in being able to take different ingredients and blend them together. And then, we have a magic ingredient that runs not just through me and our tea-tasters but even our accountants: a passion for what we do! And with the passion for doing everything well, the willingness to go the extra mile to satisfy customers, that helps set us apart. And we certainly have that.”
Twinings’s latest offerings are guaranteed to tantalise the palate
Twinings’s latest, the Large Leaf Discovery Collection, comprises eight blends, which are all available at major supermarkets including Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer, Ben’s Independent Grocer and Hock Choon on Jalan Ampang. They retail for RM50 per blend. Check out the collection and more here!
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