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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A Teacup full of Paint

17 02 2010

There is no doubt that tea completely redefines what is ‘cool’. We can drink it, put it on our faces, stuff our pillows and spice up our pastries with it and it can even foretell our future. The list goes on and on, but one important activity that should be added to it is – we can paint with it.

Tea as a painting medium is by no means a new concept, but certainly one that’s worth paying attention to. What does this technique involve you ask? It’s as simple as brewing a strong cup of tea and paining with it on watercolor paper. Different strengths of color can be achieved by brewing a stronger or weaker tea, or using a red herbal tea instead of e.g. a black tea.

Tea is the main medium for artist Andy Brown aka. Mr.Brown, who, in a playful fashion, expresses a sense of Britishness in this artwork. He not only uses the tea liquor, but also tea bags and one of his pieces featuring Queen Elizabeth consists of a 1000 used and unused tea bags!

There are also some artworks by Zach Franzen from Portland Studios, that use very strong tea. They are the very proof that one can create beautiful things with tea.





The Tea House Covent Garden | Tea Shop Review

29 12 2008

Products  8
Decor       7
Service     5

The Tea House located on a busy, crowded street in Covent Garden attracts a lot of attention of passerby’s with it’s huge, brightly illuminated window stuffed with all kinds of colorful things and gadgets. People stop to admire and stare because it’s hard to take it all in while just walking by. I have to say this is the most enticing shop window I have seen so far in a tea shop. The first thing I noticed after walking in is the overwhelming amount of products on the shelves, but also the crowd of people which makes it had to walk in there. The store has two levels, but there is little walking space, which adds to the cosy and warm vibe, but is also disadvantage.

The bottom level of The Tea House holds more then 100 kinds of teas, including teas form Japan, China, India and traditional English blends. Their brand teas are packed in simple paper bags with different color stickers (depending on tea type), but also in cellophane bags which was quite a disappointment for me to see. It’s nice to be able to see through the packet, sure, but since tea freshness and quality gets affected by the light I was not too fond of seeing that at a place specializing in tea. As for teas of other brands, they have some, but it’s rather a small selection. The prices here are defiantly a plus – good and adequate, anything from 1,5 GBP (1,5 EUR) upwards. Here is where I bought my first Houjicha. On the upper level you will find a big selection of books, pots, cups, English and Chinese style sets and china and all kinds of teaphernalia.

My experience of the service there was ‘cold’, the woman at the counter did her job, but wasn’t especially kind or smiling. The Tea House is a great place, with a few minor things that need improvement and a must see if you are visiting London (even if you’re not particularly obsessive about tea).

 

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Address – 15a Neal Street, Covent Garden, London

Related productsThe Tea House Houjicha





Whittard of Chelsea Canterbury | Tea Shop Review

27 10 2008

Products  6
Decor      6
Service    8

In cantebury I have found one of the many Whittard of Chelsea shops scattered around England. Whittard of Chelsea is the most known tea company in England, established in 1886 as a tea trade company on London’s Fleet Street. Since then it has been expanding nationwide.

This particular shop is cosy, very appropriate – with it’s small town vibe and it’s cute and colorful wooden shelves packed with nicely laid out and organized products. On the shelves there are samples of the tea and you’re free to smell them and see if you like it, which is nice because not many stores do that. This doesn’t require you to feel annoyed with yourself for ask the seller for every single tea you’d like to smell and look at. Very convenient. It offered pretty much the standard Whittard of Chelsea product range (except for tea, also coffee, teaware, sweets and coffee makers) including classic English teas – earl grey, afternoon blends, English breakfast, specialist and flavored black and green tea.

I like that Whittard of Chelsea sells Teaposy blooming teas – this is where I have purchased my first pack. They also have Teaposy teaware – glass pot with glass infuser, perfect for brewing and observing blooming teas and small tea cups with saucers. Whittard makes excellent instant teas, but unfortunatly they are not offered in this store.

As for the quality of Whittard teas, it’s hard for me to tell at the moment. Of the loose leaf thes I have only tried The Green Peach so far and I thought it was ok. I’ve also had the Dreamtime instant tea and that was really excellent! I’m looking forward to trying more and seeing what I think about it generally.

This store was closed down January 2009

Adress – 23 High Street, Canterbury, Kent

Related productsWhittard of Chelsea Green Peach, Teaposy Medley