Saturday, 20 September 2014

Ahmad tea

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Have you been counting the days till the most stylish drama in the world is back on Sunday? As my Sunday evening will be too busy to enjoy my guilty pleasure, I am going to record it, and watch in peaceful solitude on Monday morning after the school run. I already plan to plump the cushions on the sofa, snuggle in with a little cozy rug, and have a small pot of freshly brewed tea ready. Maybe a box of chocolate will finish a perfect arrangement. I will brew a pot of Earl Grey (2 teabags for a small pot), switch on the Freeview box and will be in heaven. There will be more convoluted plots, with a new romance story in the pipeline. Splendid hats and fashions, scenery, marvellous china and breath-taking vistas. Sipping my favourite Earl Grey, I plan to enjoy my "me-time" to the full (especially that I don't often have a chance to do it).

There were lots of tea scenes in the past series, and I wonder which tea did they favour? Were I to entertain the imaginary company from Downton Abbey, I believe I would be prepared to cater for any tea preference or variety. Whenever I buy more tea or get for reviewing, my family laughs "Not more tea surely?" Well, there is never enough tea.

Ahmad Tea, renowned for the quality of its teas, is a UK-based family business. It has a lot of fans throughout the world and is available in 68 countries. How impressive is that?! Whenever I visit one of the Oxford stores, frequented by tourists from all over the world, I see just how popular it is as a brand. Incidentally, Ahmad Tea is very popular in Russia, and I do sincerely hope that all the current embargoes and sanctions won't last very long.

I love tea caddies and tins, and have quite a collection. Ahmad Tea tins are varied in style and design. Earl Grey tea caddy is decorated with a painting "Sunday best" by Peter Szumovski. It is a nostalgic vintage image, in the style of the primitivists, very colourful and absolutely charming. Open the tin, and smell the beautiful unmistakable aroma of bergamot. It is a brisk invigorating brew, not overly strong, very smooth and pleasant. I enjoy my Earl Grey with a slice of lemon and a spoon of sugar (or one sweetener tablet). I know many shops serve it with milk, but I truly don't like how milk disguises the taste of bergamot.

Moving even higher in social structure, from Earl Grey to Royal Blend. This black tea (loose) is a combination of finest Darjeeling and Assam teas from Northern India, scented with bergamot flavouring. This is another aromatic tea, energetic and refreshing. Wonderful with a toast and marmalade.

Only a Royal mug would do for Royal Blend
English Breakfast (teabags) is a "classic blend of teas which characterises the traditional English cup of tea". This trio of tins is an absolute delight for any souvenir hunter. Each tin is a hymn to Britishness. The tea itself is smooth, not overly strong, more of a gentle awakening moment than a kick-you-to-wake-up brew. Easy to drink, with a dash of milk or without. I liked it with a spoonful of honey best.

English Afternoon (loose tea) comes in another adorable tea caddy decorated with Peter Szumowski artwork called "Teachers Outing". This is a combination of Darjeeling and Assam, with a bergamot flavouring. The bergamot here is not as pronounced as in Earl Grey. It is a full-flavoured brew, with more emphasis on Assam than bergamot so it is not a substitute for Earl Grey, but a variation. Nicely balanced, and goes well with a slice of cake.

As I was testing the teas, and styling the props to make the photos a bit different, my younger son couldn't resist a tempting slice of cake. I told him: "Don't touch anything with your hands until I take a photo". And genius that he is, he thought the mouth doesn't count.

For a full range of teas, visit Ahmad Tea.

Disclosure: I received a selection of Ahmad Tea for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.


  1. Ooh I love my tea, favourite is Assam, I adore Earl Grey when I do drink it, but for me the tins add to the occasion, I love the giftset, so British and an ideal gift for Christmas or to buy for family and friends overseas. Haha your son is genius!!!

  2. I love black tea, especially from India. I do really enjoy Chinese teas as well. Those caddies are lovely, I especially love the photo of your son - now that's some good thinking!

  3. I'm strictly an English breakfast girl, although I do love black tea. I loved all the caddies on display here - they are gorgeous!