Meet the West Kirby man who shaped the nation’s tea drinking habits

By Emma Gunby at

Jon Chartrey is one of the worlds most experienced tea tasters and blenders.

The 69-year-old, who lives in West Kirby, has done as much as anyone else in the UK to shape the nations tea drinking habits over the last 50 years.

After tasting more than 2 million different teas during his career with Typhoo Tea, he is now retiring.

Typhoo Tea Jon Chartrey

Typhoo Tea Jon Chartrey

You could say Ive developed a taste for tea!he said. It takes between 5 and 10 years to develop your palate to recognise the tastes and characteristics of individual teas from one of many tea producing regions around the world. You just have to keep tasting, tasting, tasting and thats how you learn to ensure that this weeks blend is the same as last weeks and next weeks.

For me, tea is infectious and the more you work with it, the more you grow to appreciate it.

Colleagues at Typhoo presented Jon with an engraved copper kettle and Mont Blanc pen at a special ‘This is Your Life’ style leaving ceremony, highlighting some of the many noteworthy moments from his time with the company.

Typhoo Tea Limited CEO Des Kingsley described Jons career as truly memorable, adding that he had made an outstanding contribution to Typhoo during his lifetimes service.

Jon recalled visiting some of the worlds finest tea producing regions, including estates in Kenya and North India, confirming that his favourite tea comes from the Kenya Tea Development Authority describing it as golden in appearance, with a fresh and brisk flavour, producing a truly memorable cup of tea.

And has favourite Typhoo Tea? It has to be Typhoo Gold. Its a great cup of tea using the best leaves from Kenya and North India.

In retirement, when hes not making a cup of tea (!), Jon will be maintaining his garden and spending more time with the grandchildren.

Jon’s advice to anyone making a cup of tea: Use freshly-poured water, boil and pour into the cup or pot, leave standing for 3-5 minutes, add milk and sugar to taste.