Thursday, 8 October 2015

Birchall tea

When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?
Muriel Barbery, The elegance of the hedgehog

If tea was a religion, I'd worship at its altar. I start my day with a cup of tea, and I have the last cup before bedtime. This year, when my Mum visited us in summer, she was appalled impressed by the amount of tea boxes and tins stashed in our kitchen. I have tried many brands and kinds of tea, but I'm always happy to discover new (to me) brands and flavours. Birchall Tea has an impressive background, its history goes back to 1872, through five generations of tea devotees.
The company is based in London and has extensive interests in East Africa.
As they announce on their site: "By not compromising on quality at any stage of the creation process, we are confident that every single cup of Birchall tea is absolutely perfect every time. Birchall's signature black teas are all sourced exclusively from estates across East Africa, from Rwanda through to the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, where the very best teas are to be found".

Pfunda Earl Grey was the first tea from Birchall that I have tried. Earl Grey is my top favourite tea, and I'm always curious to test and discover how different brands interpret this classic brew. Pfunda Earl Grey is a single estate tea. The Pfunda Tea Estate is acknowledged as one of the most inspired and innovative tea gardens in East Africa. Black tea is blended with a classic oil of Bergamot to create a distinctive unique flavour of Earl Grey tea. It has mild floral citrussy notes. I prefer to have my Earl Grey with a slice of lemon. A beautifully refreshing cuppa, well-rounded and delicately scented.

Pfunda Earl Grey/Birchall Tea
Great Rift is a breakfast blend. It is robust, strong and invigorating. It has recently won the highest accolade at the 2015 Great Taste Awards. It is delicious with milk, or just as it is, with perhaps half a teaspoon of sugar or honey for a touch of sweetness. While Pfunda Earl Grey is amber in colour, Great Rift is darker and stronger.

Green tea is a pure green tea sourced from China. Green tea is renowned for its therapeutic properties, as it is a great source of anti-oxidants. I prefer a flavoured green tea, but I enjoyed a cup of Mao Feng from Birchall tea. The colour is green straw, the flavours are smooth and fragrant.

Peppermint tea is a lovely after-dinner infusion, great for digestion and vibrant. We often have peppermint tea in the evening, usually with a little bit of honey. It cleanses the palate and helps with digestion. It is also naturally caffeine-free, so perfect for the evening.

Red Berry & Flower is a fruity brew made with hibiscus flowers, currants, elderberries, flavour and strawberries. Colourful and rich in anti-oxidants. Ruby red in colour, it is very summery and refreshing.

Lemongrass & Ginger is a spicy herbal tea, made with lemongrass, liquorice root, ginger and orange peel. It is a bit too sweet to my taste, and alas, I'm generally not fond of liquorice. Unlike me, my husband loves it, so it's truly a matter of personal taste.

That's just a glimpse of what treats you can find in the range.
To see the whole range visit Birchall Tea.

Disclosure: I received some samples of Birchall tea for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.