Oh, how I love a good cuppa.
Once, it is true, I was satisfied with a cup of Yorkshire Tea with milk and sugar but these days I have a slightly more discerning palate and never have milk. It often causes confusion but that’s OK, because it prevents against complacency.
Anyway, what am I wittering on about? Tea Palace served a gang of Qypers at the Intercontinental Hotel’s Cookbook Cafe with a selection of Teas from their range.
Call it a Masterclass, tea tasting, excuse to knock off work early, whatever you will but it was a great opportunity to find somewhere new to purchase the wonderful leaf.
Tara took us through the tasting, telling us tantilising titbits about the history and different processes that take place.
I won’t go into too much detail about all the individual teas we tried – Uyen has done a much better job below than I ever could (Tea fanatic that she is) – but we went through a series of Black, green and finally white teas to give us a comparison.
One thing Tea Palace does is allow you to create your own tea, by adding flavourings (all natural be it little pieces of dried pineapple or vanilla or rose buds) and we tried the Number One Park Lane Blend which was created for the Hotel. Now on first tasting I wasn’t convinced – generally I want my tea to taste of, well, tea but the vanilla and marigold flavourings have grown on me as I have made it my breakfast cuppa this week.
Similarly I was a little disappointed that the two white teas we tried were both flavoured varieties, I like the delicate taste that white tea has in its purest form and I would have liked to try a really good quality cup without the addition of rose flavouring.
Still, a wonderful afternoon and I’ll certainly be considering Tea Palace when I run out because they are clearly a company with a dedication and passion for the drink and go the extra distance to make sure their product is up there with the best.
Finally a mention must go to some of the tins of tea on show that we didn’t get to try. The Chamomile with whole chamomile flowers looked incredible, like a magical field or something, would love to see how it tastes. The Lapsang Souchong smelt amazing; a tea for real men, its smoky flavour was overpowering in a good way, I’d like it as an aftershave please. It’s the sort of tea I picture myself drinking as my house burns down around me.