Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tea from Across the Pond

Mark recently returned from a trip to London, with gifts for everyone in the family.  The kids got adorable toys, and he brought British tea for me! I felt like a little kid tearing into my surprise packages with excitement and wonder. So many teas! He had his own tea adventure in London, visiting tea shops and department stores. I am quite jealous but very happy that he brought so many new teas for me to try. The first is in a lovely purple tin fit for royalty. Or perhaps Hyacinth Bucket!

Most people have sampled an English Breakfast blend before, and have an idea of what it tastes like.  Breakfast teas are very important to me. Every morning I look forward to that first cup of tea.  I have high expectations for this cup! It must be strong, and full-bodied.  Something that will open my eyes, and get me ready for the day ahead.  This black tea from Tea Palace in London is a great way to start the morning. Now, don't confuse this with your ordinary English Breakfast blend.  This is for all the Hyacinth's out there, as it is called Palace Breakfast. A tea to make you feel as if you are breakfasting with the Queen.

When I opened the tin, the scent of a quality English Breakfast instantly hit my nose. It has the beautiful aroma of juicy raisins and sweet dried fruit. The leaves are wiry and dark, with a few gold tips throughout. A beautiful tea to look at, as well as drink. The liquor has the dark amber color I'd expect from a breakfast tea. The leaves are a blend of Ceylon and Assam. This tea is different from other English Breakfast teas, as they often contain Keemun or even Darjeeling. I think there is actually much more Ceylon in this mix, as the taste of dried fruit is very strong, with the malty Assam  notes in the background.  This combination makes it a very bright,  flavorful brew. This tea would work perfectly with a drop of milk and a spoon of sugar. Often in my sleepy stupor I will over-steep my tea.  This tea is very forgiving, and usually comes out smooth, with just a little bitterness (which I enjoy).  

Whether I'm drinking this tea in the office or in my kitchen, it does what a good Breakfast tea should.  The rich flavor wakes up the palate, and the strength rouses my sleepy body. It is a great go-to morning tea!  I love a good Breakfast tea, and this one does not disappoint! I cannot wait to try the other British teas that are waiting for me in the cupboard.

1 comment:

  1. The tea palace has surprisingly good teas! I was fairly skeptical at first, but I do not mind them!
    I had a variety pack of mostly Asian teas (not so many blends) but I could figure that they use some of the same teas in the blends!
    Breakfast teas are what got me started drinking tea, so I enjoyed this post very much!
    Keep it up!