tea tasting

I really love the idea of tea. Growing up my mother had a great zeal for it, but, since she is such health nut, we only ever had the herbal kind available and, furthermore, the tea always had to come with some sort of medicinal purpose. (Tonics, sleeping aids, stomach relievers, sinus clearers and the list goes on.) It was to my great displeasure that when anyone coughed up any hint of ailment, tea was typically 'the cure'. As a result to my mum's affinity for tea, I took it upon myself as an act of rebellion to hate it, as one does, naturally. Tea was unpleasant to me, although I did on occasion, very quietly, enjoy the lemony sweetness of Throat Coat. The act of taking tea was, I don't think, ever done.

It's now been very nearly a decade since I moved out of the tea brigade's bastion and in the past few years my aversion has seemingly dissipated, thanks to my growing Anglophilia (and my recent trip to Egypt). There's something so regal and fine to they way Brits do it. Consuming the china, the tea tins, the little nibbles and treats, I think, have been a great way to spoil myself and more than anything, sitting down and enjoying tea has transpired to be an act of self-care. 

Since I am a relative newbie to the world of tea I asked a friend, who I regard as a tea connoisseur (purely because he's a Brit), to educate me. I was referred to Murchie's, a very impressive Canadian tea and coffee house. Even though the lady I met at the counter was loath to enlighten me as to what the hell Ceylon tea is (Sri Lankan tea - I didn't know Sri Lanka was called Ceylon up until 1972), she did direct me to the sampler section which was really all I needed. I went with the Royal Selection and a pack of English Breakfast. So here's my tea tasting experience,  turned out to be a competition, logged in pictures.

The participants. 

The Awards: A home in my precious tea tin and a miniature pink ribbon.

Round 1: Queen Victoria actually offensively smoky. English Breakfast too bitter. Decide to add milk and sugar to see if that'd help them out at all. 

Fail. Disqualified. That leaves us with:

Round 2: To my palate, Royal Jubilee lags behind in the class of mediocrity. 

Who will it be?

... And the winner is (it was a close one):

What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Have a good week!

P.S. I should also note that I got some tips on how to make a proper cup of tea from Christopher Hitchens. The first picture is merely hot water warming the cups.
P.P.S. What tea(s) do you like?


  1. Great post! My favourites are Twinings Lady Grey and the chai by Stash... although I must admit I haven't experimented much with artisan high end teas! I do always keep a little mint plant growing in my kitchen, and after dinner I snip a few leaves into hot water - it makes a most soothing digestive aid, and of course it's caffeine free, which is important before bed time!
    - Catherine at The Spring

  2. aww cute post!

  3. I love this post! I'm such a tea fiend! I may have to try your contender. If you ever get a chance to go to Teaopia they have a fantastic Strawberry Green tea...it is seriously mouth watering :)


  4. Cute post. I LOVE the tea tin!



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