Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cooks Tasting Tea

The hills are alive with the sound of music!

Not as stellar a day as yesterday – car trouble, probably expensive car trouble. It always is. But the sun is shining!

As I mentioned a while ago, I am going through my teabag stash to see what really is fit for my baggy friends and what is not. Today I have some Republic of Tea British Breakfast tea. I love to read their catalogs, I love the hype and find it fun. It may not be intended that way, but I take it so. I also use them for gifts, as I have friends who love their tea, but won't bother with loose tea.
Back to the Brits. The teabag is unbleached paper of some sort, individually enclosed in one of those foil/paper packets. It is a mix of Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and African. All that in one tiny bag! There's not much smell to it, either dry or brewing. I brewed it up for about 2.5 minutes with boiling water. It really is about what I expected – a strong, somewhat tannic black tea, suitable for breakfast for the baggy crowd. Better than average, and while not super, I'll keep it, at least for a while.

As I've mentioned, we are going to move this year and so, we have been downsizing. This excruciating process means getting rid of about half your “stuff”. All those things you thought you'd have forever – stupid, I know, but we all live in la-la land to a degree. But it is amazing the things you find, like a three year old article on tea tasting from Cook's Illustrated magazine.
In their tasting, they compared supermarket teas with ones from Harney's, Upton's, Mariage Freres, Mighty Leaf and Adagio. They used either plain black or English breakfast varieties.

They had 2 categories – with and without milk. Mighty leaf won in the without milk category and Harney's in the with milk . The supermarket winners for plain tea were Twinings loose, PG Tips, Novus by Bigelow, Lipton Black Pearl and Stash loose. The with milk winners were Tazo Awake loose, Tetely Specialty Tea, Red Rose loose, and ordinary Liptons. I was kind of amazed,as my grocery doesn't carry most of those, just the two Liptons and the PG Tips. Then I noticed these were Boston-area supermarkets. I guess big cities do have some advantages.

Speaking of English Breakfast Tea, The Tea Spot has a new one called Shagadelic English Breakfast. Just heard about it today.

1 comment:

parTea lady said...

That supermarket tea comparison was interesting.
Good luck with the downsizing. A friend of mine always says that "you spend the first half of your life accumulating stuff and the second half getting rid of it". :-)