I'm a serial mis-matcher of vintage china, an excuse to break out a few of my favourite patterns or latest additions to my ever growing china family (the boy despairs) is always welcome. My teenage weekends and school holidays were spent serving endless cream teas, hand cut sandwiches and slices of cake in a lakeside tearoom. I've whipped countless bowls of double cream, filled thousands of teapots and could probably pave a tennis court with all the scones I've sliced, so it feels decadent to serve myself now and then; a miniature tea party for two was the order of the day.
I have something of an obsession with floral infused black teas and have tried so many over the past couple of years, they aren't to everyones taste but are definitely worth sampling. I was offered the chance to review a couple of teas from Twinings recently, Lavender Earl Grey was top of my wish list! The scent was divine even before I tore open the box, so the aroma while it steeped was heavenly - I experimented a little and found that three minutes brewing was just right for me. I'm an oddity when it comes to how I take my tea - it depends more than anything on my mood - so I've sipped this black, black with sugar, with a teaspoon of milk, with milk and sugar. Earl Grey in itself I find refreshing, add the lavender and it has a new dimension; the zesty bergamot is still discernible but the lavender lifts it somehow into something a touch more mellow. This has been my mid afternoon staple lately and an instant favourite, perfect to serve as part of an afternoon tea.
My second tea choice was Detox tea from the Benefit range as I'm always on the watch for caffeine free teas to enjoy - it can be a very hit and miss affair finding one that isn't all mouth and no trousers! So many of them smell fantastic but taste disappointing. Detox is a blend of lemon peel, milk thistle and lemon myrtle. This smells like high summer to me - freshly cut grass to begin with, the lemon then becomes more pronounced the longer the tea steeps and is more of a hug-your-mug than high tea sort of brew. I really did not enjoy the first cup, I had flounced off to answer the door for a parcel, left the bag in a little too long and found it was slightly bitter, I was more watchful the second time around! The lemon flavour is strong and citrus and I found it left a pleasant warmth in my throat as well as my mouth though underneath the zest is something slightly medicinal that definitely wasn't an immediate hit with my tastebuds. This blend was a grower for me, I find it very refreshing so great for first thing in the morning but not something I'd reach for purely on a taste basis.