Susie Walker-Munro, owner of Kinnettles Gold, gives us a glimpse into what a typical day in her life as a tea grower entails

5:30am

My day is dictated by the seasons, so in the summer when the tea is growing fast and daylight hours are long I will be up before the rest of the household. In winter it’s different, as I get up at 7am.

Ironically for someone so involved in artisanal tea, that essential first cup of the day must be strong – Tetley’s with milk, sugar and preferably the spoon standing up in it. Breakfast is porridge and a banana.

6:30am

During the summer we pick tea every other week until July when it drops to one week a month. Jobs after breakfast in summer tend to be a blitz on the computer, then I will be down in the tunnels either applying a liquid manure (nettle or comfrey) monthly, cutting weeds to mulch, or doing an early pick so the tea can be left to wither overnight.

In the winter, jobs include clearing out the chamomile, cutting back the vegetation, tightening up the tunnel bolts and partly fleecing the side-holes.

Noon

Lunch is always tomato soup and a cheese and salad bap followed by a cup of Darjeeling. Drinking our own Kinnettles Gold on a daily basis is out of the question as there is so little of it – I only get to taste it when checking a batch, otherwise it would be like a publican drinking the profits.

1:30pm

Afternoons can be spent rolling a batch after withering, or I might be up in the walled garden picking clover for tisanes. Clover is ideal as a nitrogen fixer and preparing the ground for tea growing.

5pm

I will either taste the previous day’s tea pluck, or get back on the computer and catch up with any messages. This tends to take us through to supper, which is a huge meal, normally very filling. The perfect evening, when it happens, allows for relaxation time –getting the news while having supper, reading a book/newspaper, then a soak in the tub, with a cup of our chamomile tea before bed.

• Kinnettles Gold was released last month and has been packaged in numbered limited-edition 20g tins, exclusively  available in-store and online at Pekoe Tea (0131-477 1838, www.pekoetea.co.uk).

For a perfectly-brewed cup of Kinnettles Gold, visit PekoeTea in Edinburgh (55 Raeburn Place) where a limited number of cups will be available. 

Like this? See also: 

• A day in the life: Chris Molyneaux, Daffy’s Gin

A day in the life: Hamish Martin, The Secret Herb Garden

About The Author

Gaby Soutar

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

Let us know what you think

comments