Earl Grey Bravo
I am something of a tea addict. It goes beyond being British, because although I know that, along with complaining, sipping the hot stuff is one of our national pastimes, few people I know have a whole cupboard dedicated to tea. Admittedly, I keep a few other dry goods in there, but it's mostly loose leaf teas. I should actually keep the rice elsewhere, because recently when I cooked some for a friend, it had bergamot topnotes. I kept quiet about it, and I don't think he noticed, but I suspect I have too many Earls hanging round in there.
Must act soon.
It had never occurred to me to buy tea online until I was contacted by someone from Adagio Teas who asked if I'd like to try some of their range. I suspect that's because I tend to buy speciality teas by weight, from tea shops, where I can see, smell and touch the tea leaves before deciding which ones to buy. My colleagues will attest to this: I have bored countless many of them to tears doing so. What can I say? I am picky.
As a result, my first instinct was to turn down the offer, but having had a snoop around the company website, I quickly realised that Adagio take tea even more seriously than I do. So I did the right thing and agreed to try some. The good news is that you are going to get to as well. I asked if Adagio would allow me to give some tea away to readers of Delicious Delicious Delicious, and they've only gone and given me 5 (5! Count them!) sets to offer you. We'll get to how you can win one later. For now, let's check out the tea!
Choosing which ones to try was quite difficult. Adagio carry a huge range, and each tea has its own story, descriptions and a cool review feature which gives feedback from people who have bought and drunk the variety in question. I asked to try out three teas - the Earl Grey Bravo is what we'll be brewing up today. Check back later in the week to find out about the rest.
I have to say up front, before we even put the kettle on, how much I am impressed by the way these teas are packaged. People of the Internet: how annoying are those traditional, paper lined cellophane packets you find most loose leaf teas in? I cannot stand them! Fortunately, help is here: the heavy duty bags that Adagio use are resealable, which means that I can use my clothes pegs for hanging out wet laundry and keep my tea super-fresh as well. It might sound odd to talk about packaging, but as a tea drinker, this was one of the first things I noticed. The people who run this company obviously care about the products they sell and have thought about the end user.
Each packet of tea is also printed with recommended brewing times and temperatures for the contents, though so much of that is about personal preference anyway that, ever the rebel, I didn't pay much attention.
Earl Grey always reminds me of my friend Rish and Lucy. They drink it like it's going out of fashion, and they have a preferred brand. I can't wait to see what they make of the Earl Grey Bravo you see here. Because, honestly, if you'll forgive the pun, this is truly a stand-up-and-clap-worthy cup of tea. It's not just that it tastes wonderful (fresh, light and with a real zing; I really wouldn't add milk) and smells great (you get a real aroma of tea as well as bergamot, which is the whole point after all), but it's beautiful too. The tea is littered with blue cornflowers and pieces of orange peel. This is why I love loose leaf - it's so much more exciting than dumping a bag into a mug and adding hot water is.
I know a lot of people will say that loose leaf tea is fiddly and time consuming to prepare, and I can't really argue with that if you only have delicate chinaware. But Adagio also sent me one of their award winning ingenuiTEA teapots (and will be giving 5 of them away as well!), and it has changed my perspective entirely.
Full disclosure: I expected this to be gimicky and ineffective. But honestly, I know people who are now going to get one for Christmas. I like it that much.
Hopefully my dreadful pictures will illustrate why. You simply take the tea pot and add tea. Then pour over boiling water and wait until the tea is brewed to your taste; the pot is transparent so the tea's strength can be judged easily. Next, and here's the magic, place the pot onto your mug of choice and watch the tea filter through the fine mesh bottom. The leaves are left behind, can be emptied quickly and easily, and then you just pop the pot into the dishwasher.
Honestly, this pot is amazing. I use it at home and I've even brought it with me to work in my suitcase. I never thought I'd be brewing leaf tea in hotel rooms, but that's what I've been doing. It would be ideal for the office too. Or for camping. Or anywhere.
I'm sensing you might also want one. Well, as I said, Adagio are kindly giving away 5 starter sets comprising of 4 teas (details below), a glass mug and an ingenuiTEA teapot. The teas that are up for grabs are:
(Yes, they have a tea called Ooooh Darjeeling!)
If you do the maths, you can see this is a serious haul. For your chance to win a set, here's what you need to do:
- Leave a comment on this post letting me know which tea you'd most like to try and why. Don't think you need to write an essay. This is just fun! I like silly answers just as much as serious ones.
- If you prefer, leave the comment on the Delicious Delicious Delicious Facebook Page. You can like us as well! That's fine too.
- Comments will close at midnight on Monday 5 November 2012. Winners will be selected at random shortly after.
- Email entries not accepted.