Jonathan Kelsey of Joekels Tea will do a tea tasting on Wednesday at 11am. Catch it on our Facebook page. Picture: Supplied
Jonathan Kelsey of Joekels Tea will do a tea tasting on Wednesday at 11am. Catch it on our Facebook page. Picture: Supplied

Brush up on your teas and Qs

By Frank Chemaly Time of article published Aug 22, 2020

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Durban - He’s known as the man with the golden tongue because his taste buds are insured for R5million. But for Jonathan Kelsey, co-founder and master blender at Joekels Tea in Pinetown, west of Durban, his tongue’s most important role is to find the best flavoured teas.

In celebration of Women’s Month, the former rugby player and tea aficionado will give us a tea tasting in a webinar on the Independent on Saturday Facebook page this week.

Kelsey has been slurping tea professionally since 1989, and started the company which today boasts some of South Africa’s top brands, Tetley Tea and Laager Rooibos.

“I was trained by a master tea blender, John Paulet, and learnt to differentiate the taste of different teas from around the world. I can pick up tea from a specific estate.”

It’s those tastebuds that ensure the consistency and value of his products. Black tea is the biggest seller in South Africa, although he notes green tea has been the flavour of the month for the past four years.

The difference is that green tea is unfermented.

Rooibos, uniquely grown in South Africa, has been around for centuries, Laager was established in 1935. Rooibos is hardy, ages better and has no caffeine.

Kelsey takes us through a tasting, starting with the importance of the colour of the leaf, and the invitation to “taste with your eyes” through the colour of the brew in your cup.

He also answers age-old questions, like how hot should the water be? And milk first or last?

Catch Kelsey’s tea tasting on the Independent on Saturday Facebook page www.facebook.com/IOSnewsSA on Wednesday at 11am.

One lucky reader who shares the webinar with three others will win a fantastic tea hamper of Joekels products.

The Independent on Saturday

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