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Rich Tea: Expert's Tastebuds Insured For ÂŁ1m

There are more than 1,500 different varieties of tea and Sebastian Michaelis claims he can taste and grade any one of them in just 15 seconds.

He found his vocation after studying philosophy at university and then getting accepted to a graduate training programme.

Mr Michaelis works for Tetley and uses a "slurp and spit" technique to "identify the finer notes" and judge the "zing, colour, sparkle and body".

He said the beverage now dominates his life, adding: "They spent a lot of money and time on me - that's why they've insured my tongue.

"I've had to travel round the world, visit producers, understand everything about tea and we use a special language."

Tetley says its experts can sometime taste anything up to 1,000 different teas in a day as they try to keep a consistent blend.

Despite sampling cuppas day in day out, the tea connoisseur says he never gets tired of putting his palate to the test.

"Tea, like wine, will change depending on the amount of sunshine and rain it gets - so it's always changing taste," he said.

"We know exactly how to blend it together so it tastes the same.

"I'm just thinking about the exact quality and not how I enjoy the tea, so I'll still go back to my desk and have a cup."





© Sky News, 2014