Advertisement

Tea company insures blender's taste buds for $1.5M

Sebastian Michaelis, master blender for Tetley, says he can identify and grade a cup of tea in just 15 seconds.

By Ben Hooper
A cup of tea being poured. Photo by Wiro Klyngz/Shutterstock
A cup of tea being poured. Photo by Wiro Klyngz/Shutterstock

GREENFORD, England, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- British tea company Tetley revealed it took out a $1.58 million insurance policy on the taste buds of one of the company's master blenders.

The company said it purchased the policy to protect the delicate palate of Sebastian Michaelis, a master blender who spent nine years studying at tea gardens in Africa and India.

Advertisement

"Our master blenders have over 900 years of tea-tasting experience between them and taste 40,000 cups of tea every week," said Alex Snowden, senior brand manager at Tetley. "This is essential to achieving the best blends. So, their taste buds are extremely important to our business."

Michaelis said he can identify and grade a blend of tea within 15 seconds of tasting it.

"Blending tea, like blending whisky or champagne, is a fine art. First I examine and grade the colour, size and density of the leaf," he said. "Then I assess the brew's purity of color, the weight of the tea in the mouth and the overall liveliness of the tea on the palate or its zing. This is how we ensure each Tetley blend is made to deliver the same quality taste, cup after cup."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement