Kappy’s Earl of Oz

Kappy’s Tea and Coffee Merchants sent me a couple of samples, which I was very excited about. The first I tried was their Earl of Oz, which I’m told contains Daintree grown black tea, Lemon Myrtle (bark and flower), Rosella and Cinnamon Myrtle, on top of the base Sri Lankan tea coated in bergamot oil. It’s become a favourite.

It has a strong citrus scent right out of the packet – I thought it might be lemongrass, but I guess it’s the lemon myrtle. It also smells a bit spicy, which was intriguing.

Steeped for 3 minutes, with 1/2 tsp sugar. When steeped it’s still quite citrus-y and spicy.

The taste I would describe as a bit zingy, which is the lemon I think. It’s utterly delightful and I can well imagine this one becoming a staple in my cupboard. I’ve taken it camping a few times and it’s fantastic first thing on a cold day!

Just splendid.

Tea Life: French Earl Grey

This sample came from Tea Life. Their French Earl Grey includes rose, sunflower, blue mallow flowers and the usual bergamot.

Their website recommends steeping for 3-4 min but the sachet said 2 min, so that’s what I did. The website also says you should get 2, maybe 3, cups from the same heaped teaspoon, which I wish I had noticed! Ah well, there’s enough left to have some more. Interestingly, they recommend having the tea with milk, which I think sounds a bit gross, to be honest… but each to their own. And they suggest honey rather than sugar, which I will also have to try. Experiments are fun!

french-earl-grey.jpgThere’s a lot going on in the scent of this tea. It’s super flowery, which is of zero surprise; they definitely dominate the citrus. Which isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s not always what I want in an Earl Grey.

The taste is also quite flowery. Honestly it tastes like a lot of French Earl Greys I’ve tried. It’s nice; I wouldn’t drink it all day (I wouldn’t drink any French Earl Grey I’ve found all day); and it doesn’t especially stand out.

 

Quince

If you’re a support me on Patreon at either the top or second to top level, you get to suggest a recipe for me to try twice a year. My mother has taken me up on this twice. First, she suggested a walnut cake, which I actually made at her house so wasn’t that lucky for her. The second was to make a quince and pistachio cake which she got from a Women’s Weekly cookbook.

Friends, I have never worked with quince before. It will be Some Time before I do so again, because OH MY WORD the peeling and the cutting and the coring! What a pain in the butt! IMG_2027.JPG

You cook the quince first, for this recipe, and then layer it into the cake tin and then make this awesome thick cake batter with just a bit of the quince and pour it over. I’ll admit, this cake was utterly delicious… even if it turned out I hadn’t cored the quince quite well enough. I was sad that the quince didn’t come out on top of the cake; it stuck to the paper when I inverted it. However, it dealt quite well with me scraping the bits out and putting them back on top in spots that looked a bit light on in the quince department.

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We ate quite a lot of it, and then I took it to work so that we didn’t eat all of it. It’s fair to say that it was scoffed very quickly and with many mutterings of appreciation.

 

Harney and Sons: Winter White Earl Grey

Another sample, this time from Harney and Sons. LOOK AT THE TIN IT CAME IN!46477.jpg

I don’t typically go crazy for packaging, but oh my it’s so cute! I love it! This little tin has five silk pyramids inside – each is good for two cups, they say, so I made a small pot of tea when I tried it.

I am not a connoisseur of white tea, so my reflections are those of a black tea drinker. Keep that in mind if you love white tea! The Harney Teas site says this is “Chinese mutan white tea” with bergamot, and I’ve no idea if that’s good quality or not.

I steeped the tea for 5 min (3-8 minutes recommended), and since I don’t know white tea I started with zero sugar.

It definitely doesn’t smell as strong as a black tea might, and the colour is of course paler. There’s some hint of citrus in the scent. Their site declares that “the bold citrus dominates the aroma, but takes a step behind the mild nutty flavours of white tea”… which is basically a contradiction, as far as I’m concerned, but I’ll never have a job describing food.

The best way I can describe the flavour is ‘delicate’. I don’t think I’d be pairing this tea with food – certainly not strong flavours – since it would be completely overwhelmed. It seemed closer to some green teas I’ve had than to black. I didn’t get much lemon in the taste. I added a small amount of sugar and it cut through a slight bitterness. I still didn’t get much lemon – but I also don’t know what a plain white tea tastes like, so maybe that would make a difference.

I liked it, and look forward to drinking it a few more times, but probably won’t rush to buy more.

The Tea Makers: Earl Grey Supreme

Also sent as a sample, along with their Mary Grey Special.

I feel that The Tea Makers should call this their Earl Grey SUPREME because woah that bergamot. This is a cornflowers Earl Grey, for those of you who care. Eary Grey 3.jpg

The dry leaves are super bergamot-y; after 4 min of steeping and 1/2 tsp sugar, the steam was wafting bergamot through the kitchen.

This is a very Earl Grey tea. It’s not overwhelming or overpowering (… to my tastebuds), and there’s no oil like the T2 version, but you definitely have to like Earl Grey to like this tea. So I really, really liked it. Things I am discovering: I like to notice the citrus in my Earl Grey! I don’t want to be thinking about whether it’s there or not! It’s not as strong a tea as the Akbar, but it is more citrus-y. This is a very nice one.