Tea is very much a part of everyday life for most Brits. This unique plant from China is now the nation’s favourite drink, and I for one can’t get through a day without at least one cup. For many of us, tea is made using tea bags, however to really appreciate the taste I love to brew a pot of loose leaf tea. With loose leaf tea you get the full flavour of the tea leaves, and you won’t get a more flavourful tea than Quinteassential’s award-winning range.
Quinteassential is based in Cheshire and produces a range of exclusive designer tea blends. The founder and designer is Bernadine Tay, who has travelled the world in search of the perfect ingredients to create her unique blends. Having started off trading at farmers’ markets and food festivals Quinteassential soon grew in popularity and you can now find the their premium teas being served in many fine restaurants and top hotels.
I was kindly sent a box of Quinteassential Imperial Earl Grey* to try. It has been hand-crafted with the finest of oolong tea leaves, a traditional Chinese tea which means “black dragon tea”. It is produced through a unique process of withering the plant in the strong sun, oxidisation and curling and twisting the leaves to finish. To this base the scent of Italian bergamot is added which, as Quinteassential say, creates a tale of East meets West, and a hint of vanilla gives this British classic tea a unique twist. Added to this bright blue cornflowers mingle amongst the black leaves.
Quinteassential is brewed by adding hot water to a cup or teapot containing 1 teaspoon of the tea. It is left to infuse for 3 minutes, and during this time you can enjoy a specially selected piece of music by scanning the QR code on the box. The duration of the track is equal to the brewing time which is a lovely idea. I own a very sweet china teapot, but Quinteassential include travel filters so you can enjoy the tea even if you don’t have a teapot, or perhaps are on your travels.
Quinteassential Imperial Earl Grey is like no other tea I have ever tried. For a start the combination of the floral and citrus aromas hit me before I had even got it out of the box. It smells incredible! It is beautiful to look at; the brightness of the blue cornflowers contrasting against the black curled tea leaves. Once brewed, the rich tones of the tea are released, swirling with heady floral notes and a soft citrus scent. The taste of the tea is out of this world. It is earthy and thick, creamy and floral, sweet and citrus all at once. The flavours literally exploded against my taste buds. It is divine! Ian is very fond of Earl Grey and he agreed that there is nothing else quite like this tea.
It’s easy to see why Quinteassential have won so many awards for their exquisite tea blends after having tried their Imperial Earl Grey. I am now intrigued to try some of their other blends, such as the British Mint & Caramel and the Garden of Eden. These teas are wonderful to enjoy at home every day, but the beautiful packaging makes them a perfect gift idea too.
To see the full range of teas go to: http://www.quinteassential.co.uk/
Do you love tea? What is your favourite hot drink?