The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Blends

11 09 2012

We had a fair share of Royal Wedding Tea blends available but knowing that the Brits are crazy about their Royals it is inevitable we will have a flooding of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tea as well. So let’s go and drink in honour of the Queen! Starting with the most expensive of course

1. Harrods Diamond Jubilee Silver Plated Caddy

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At only £150 you can have you limited edition, sterling silver Diamond Jubilee Caddy from Harrods! And it is indeed very limited as there are only 60 available. The caddy features a Queen engraving and harrods logo, it is a lovely classic yet modern, stylish design. You will also get another caddy with the Queen’s Blend Tea infused with rose buds. Personally I love it if I had £150 to spare, a brilliant collectors item. Unfortunately there is no details about the tea itself, but one can safely assume that it’s a blend of black teas – very English.

2. East India Company Jubilee Tea

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Our next candidate is also a silver plated caddy but at a slightly more affordable £75 from The East India Company. This offering is very interesting because the tea comes from a Sri Lankan tea bush planted in 1954 by Prince Philip, which means drinking true Royal goods. The caddy is handcrafted in a more more classic and ornamental style then the previous Harrods one. This is a black tea from Pedro Estate, something you can typically enjoy in the afternoon. Also a limited edition – 500 available, and you also get a spoon with it.

3. Harney and Sons Diamond Jubliee

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Harney and Sons always comes up with blends with a twist and so they have succeeded this time as well. The special blend to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee is a black Earl Grey with silver tips, but as well as bergamot is also has grapefruit essence. Not crazy about the caddy personally, but it is good value for money. You can get the caddy with 30 sachets for $12, but the blend is also available as a loose leaf.

4. Twinings Diamond Jubilee Blend

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This is the only blend I have tried from all the Jubilee teas. It is a black tea blend of Indian Assam and Chinese Yunnan, a typical robust English tea, a bit coarse in flavor. The caddy is a more playful take on the whole Jubilee thing, nevertheless it’s cute. Available as loose leaf in three caddy colors – blue, green and pink for £6 at Twinings, also as tea bags.

5. Royal Collection Diamond Jubilee Tea Caddy

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If you crave some official Royal Family merch this is it. From the Royal Collection Shop you can get this Diamond Jubilee Caddy for £8.95. It is a beautiful, embossed tin containing 50 tea back with, presuming, black tea.

6. Fortnum & Mason Jubilee Blend

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Fortnum & Mason is also offering a Jubilee range, including a black tea blend from India, Ceylon and China. Caddy in classic Fortnum & Mason colors with design specially commissioned for the occasion. It can be yours for £15.

Having covered the (I think) majority of the Diamond Jubilee teas out there, there is one last item, although it is not a tea, it is worth a mention. At a hefty £150 Royal Worcester is offering a fine bone china tea caddy that celebrates the Jubilee. As the website points out it is a must have for serious collectors, available in a limited number of 1000.

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Soderblandning – a tea from Sweden

9 02 2009

If you have ever been to cafes in Stockholm it’s very likely that you have come across Soderblandning or Soder Te which can be also called Blend of South Stockholm in english. This blend, as the name indicates comes from the southern part of Stockholm and is generally very popular in Sweden. 

Soderblandning was first created by mistake in 1979 when a tea shop owner, Vernon Mauris was trying to make a new blend. While mixing, an extra ingredient fell into the tea accidentally and Mauris not willing to just throw the spoiled blend tried it and concluded that it tasted interesting. After improving the taste a bit, he marketed this new blend in his shop under the name “Mistake Blend”. Later used at a street celebration it was renamed Soderblandning in honor of the part of Stockholm where the store was located.

The ingredients of this blend are not officially stated and can also vary slightly between brands. The base is a blend of Chinese and Ceylon black teas with addition of flowers and fruits. Blue petals of cornflower and yellow petals of marigold as well as orange rind are very characteristic for this tea. I have tasted an alternative version of this blend with some small red berries, but it didn’t taste as good as the classic, most common Soderblandning. I have also seen variations with green tea instead of black. Generally the liquor has a dark color and a dominant floral note, but mixed with the fruit aroma it produces a unique and sweet combination. 

Soderblandning tastes best as loose leaf tea, but it’s even available in tea bags produced by Twinings. It is also popular in Japan, probably due to the fact that Mauris would export about 4000 kg of this blend each year to Japan. It’s hard to believe that such an exotic and vivid tea could come from a cold place like Sweden, but if you ever have the chance, don’t hesitate to try it.