Artistic teas: National Gallery x The East India Company

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The National Gallery has collaborated with The East India Tea Company on a collection of teas inspired by masterpieces by artists including Van Gogh and Monet. Created by tea master Lalith Lenadora, the six bespoke blends of tea, flowers and fruits are designed to evoke the essence of each painting.

The Water-Lily Pond (1899) by Monet is represented by Ceylon FBOP, lotus petals and orange peel. "I imagine this is what it would feel like to be standing on the bridge in the fading autumn sunshine,” Lenadora says.

Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888) are represented by a blend of chamomile, rose buds and orange petals, while A Wheatfield With Cypresses (1889) sees Darjeeling Second Flush TGFOP paired with marigold.

Monet's Thames Below Westminster (c. 1871) combines Assam GFBOP with blue mallow flowers, and Hendrick Avercamp's A Winter Scene with Skaters near a castle (c. 1608-9) uses Ceylon FBOP with cinnamon and orange peel.

"Avercamp’s painting intrigued me," says Lenadora, "as the flavours we generally associate with winter – cinnamon, nutmeg and orange – were all extremely rare at the time and of great value."

Homebuildlife subscribers can read more about tea in our trend report, Tea Culture Goes West, and more about sensorial pairings in our report, The Scent of Colour.