56 Tasting Notes
We discovered All About Tea in Portsmouth this Bank Holiday weekend, when we made an excursion to Portsmouth after having had lunch in an original concept place called Pie&Vinyl. The place is a combination of tea blender, tea shop and café. Quite a few blends (realized in house) are optimised for the local tap water in different places of Hampshire. As a fan of Earl Grey teas, I wanted to try the Southsea Grey I had already liked from its aroma´s in All About Tea. Very aromatic and surprisingly soft tasting, without turning bitter too soon…just the way an afternoon tea should be! Wonderful packaging as well, to ensure best storage conditions.
English breakfast teas are not necessarily very fragrant nor distinctively tasty, but tend to be easy to enjoy in the morning, and especially combine well with a hearty breakfast. Delhaize´s English Breakfast is a tea that doesn´t turn bitter with (steeping) time, but it doesn´t thrill me either…I tried it a few times, changing steeping time and water temperature, but the resulting cup was always a rather neutrally tasting brew. I guess I will finish the box and find another English breakfast tea to enjoy!
I only opened this tea this week, as I was eager for a nice cup of Earl Grey, and I thought this loose tea would make a nice pot. Well, I must say the first observation was really positive : the tea is indeed very fragrant…as is indicated on the box, I now notice. But the fragrance doesn´t translate in a tasty cup, which is a shame. As a matter of fact, the tea when served in a mug could be any easy going cup of tea, and not necessarily you will taste it´s an Earl Grey either. What a disappointment!
Almost thought I had lost this tea when moving houses last time. Getting to the end of the tin though. The loose tea had already lost a bit of its aroma, but fortunately, that isn´t the case for the steeping tea. Made a pot to have a real afternoon tea, including Devon scones! The floral aspect of the tea accompanies the scones (filled with some “endrina” jam -> “endrinas” are the berries used in northern Spain to prepare an anisette licor called patxarán, and after having given colour and taste to the patxarán, I make a jam with them) very well. The tea doesn´t turn too bitter either when finishing the pot.
Not too keen about green teas as in general they don´t seem to give me the necessary full flavour I get from black teas, but I like jasmine tea : not only how it smells, but also the rich taste of it. Delhaize offers a very decent jasmine/green tea in high quality tea pyramids, and I really enjoyed drinking it. Maybe not as good as the jasmine tea I once had in a tea house in one of the gardens of Suzhou, but when you just want to make yourself a quick cup, this is a sure pick!
Flavors: Green, Jasmine
Herbal infusions are by far in the minority in my tea cupboard, probably because during my childhood my mother used to prepare me all sorts of herbal teas she put together with herbs she had previously picked and dried, and I have already had enough for an entire lifetime ;-) But ginger is very useful when you´re suffering from a sore throat, so I decided to give this infusion a try. Very often, whenever ginger is added to a dish or a drink, it overwhelms it completely; therefore, I prefer to be careful using it. The tea makers of Taylors of Harrogate seem to have had the same care, as the ginger is balanced very well by the lemongrass. As far as I am concerned, the resulting herbal tea is rich, tasty and perfectly alright to please people who not normally drink herbal teas. it managed to convince me!
Flavors: Ginger, Lemongrass
Loose tea from Delhaize´s “So Dessert” collection. The spiced tea addition (cinnamon, orange peel etc) to this rooibos infusion makes it tastier than standard rooibos tea, as far as I am concerned. Cinnamon is not overwhelming, which is a good point. More than a dessert tea (indicated on tin) a winter tea, but it can also be used to add a taste to boiled milk or cream when making ice cream or a pudding (didn´t try this). Better than I had predicted.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest, Rooibos
I´m one of Delhaize´s tea ambassadors and got sent a few different teas from Delhaize´s new tea collection. This “White tea” is part of the “100% for tea lovers” subdivision.
As stated on the label, the tea has a wooden, soft character with subtle presence of licorice.
Flavors: Licorice, Wood
I´m not a huge Chai tea fan, to say the least : every single time I drink a Chai tea I seem to get fed up with the cinnamon taste after 2 sips, because I rather like cinnamon…in very small doses! I received these tea bags as a surprise gift over Christmas and although this Chai is quite “weak”, I think it might be enjoyable with a piece of chocolate cake, but that´s about it.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Tea