February’s meeting of the North Notts Association of National Trust Members welcomed James Pogson, Director of Northern Tea Merchants, to The Crossing. James’ talk on Fairtrade Tea gave a fascinating insight into the backstory of the tea with which most of us start the day. He has visited and studied most of the biggest tea plantations in China, India, Kenya and other countries. His slides showed how our everyday cuppa starts from thousands of leaves picked by hand, processed, pulped, dried, graded, packed and eventually shipped in huge containers across to England, finally arriving in our supermarkets and corner shops in neat little packets.
Members were surprised to learn that the British are not the biggest consumers of tea, being overtaken by Pakistan, Turkey and even Southern Ireland – but the British still get though 165 million cups of tea every day. A couple of other facts shared by James: women make the best pickers and tasters, are more reliable and are also paid more than the men, and tea was known to be drunk as long ago as 3000BC. The group also learned that tea is an infusion and, though it contains caffeine, it doesn’t give the high which can be obtained from drinking too much coffee but, to quote James, gives ‘a relaxed alertness’.
The next meeting will be the AGM on Wednesday 20th April, which will be followed by Ian Morgan talking about Bolsover Castle.
This will be the last meeting at The Crossing until the new programme starts in October, but the outings will begin with the visit to Wentworth Woodhouse and Wentworth Castle on 18th May and information about this will be sent to all members in due course. On 14th June the group will visit Nottingham Castle and enjoy the city walking tour.
Visitors and new members are always welcome. Membership is £30.00 single or £55.00 joint and covers seven talks from October to April and five outside visits from May to September which are priced separately.