Friday, 20 March 2015

A Tea Connoisseur

It’s no secret that I like a good cup of tea. But what do I mean by a good cup of tea?

I’m not just talking about the minefield of how best to make the humble brew, that hallowed beverage that is the backbone of British society. I’m talking about all the different variations of tea that grace the shelves of our supermarket. And don’t get me started on tea shops and their gloriously tempting tins of fragrant leaves, in all manner of flavours.

The thing is though, I tend to turn my nose up at other teas. I like a good mug of PG Tips, with a small helping of skimmed milk, (or a tiny helping of semi skimmed or a splash of full cream milk).

One of these looks a bit like wee – don’t fancy trying that one.

A couple of years ago I started a diet. It was a crazy diet that didn’t allow black tea, but green tea, camomile and Rooibos was fine. I favoured vanilla redbush, green tea with pomegranate and camomile with spiced apple. But as soon as I gave up the crazy diet I went straight back to my beloved PG Tips.

Recently I was at my sister’s house and after having an English breakfast tea in the morning, after lunch she presented me with an other mug of tea. I took a deep gulp and discovered that this was definitely not tea. It had a sort of citrus flavour, but despite my initial horror, I realised it was quite pleasant.

On further digging, I have determined that this odd mug of tea was in fact a Lady Grey. And as I have a bit of a thing for costume dramas and 19th century romance novels, I find myself enjoying the name, perhaps more than the drink itself, but I’ve surprised myself by embracing the alternative tea and it made me wonder about other ranges of black tea.

What I’ve realised is, despite my assertions that I love a good cup of tea and fancy myself to be something of a perfectionist in the brew making department, I actually know very little about tea and am far from being any kind of connoisseur.

So I’ve decided to remedy that. I’ve bought a selection of Twining teas and I’m going to try them all so I can form a fully researched opinion on all things tea.

This afternoon, I’ve eased my way in slowly with another Lady Grey. It was nice. I’m a little nervous about trying the others.

What’s your favourite tea?


A Tea Connoisseur