There’s nothing like a whiff of scandal to ensure popularity in perpetuity. Tea –that innocuous hot drink that reminds me of grandmothers, knitted cosies and scones – has had more than its fair share. Tea has sparked intrigue, attempted bans and even warfare. Tea has been described as dangerous liquid fire and better than sex. Nowadays more tea is drunk worldwide than any other beverage except water.
In my search to find out more about the world’s favourite drink, I have found Sabine Ripoll. This niçoise tea connoisseur knows more about Camellia sinensis infusions than anyone else on the French Riviera. She has sold tea to Alain Ducasse, tea-trained Michelin-starred restaurant teams and served tea to the Chinese government. Today she’s teaching me about tea during an hour-long tea ceremony…
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