Everything you wanted to know about different teas… but were afraid to ask. Anja Muhlenbeck, Tea Sommelier at the Montague on the Gardens, is happy to oblige.
Traditional English. A blend of the finest Assam and Ceylon varieties. The taste is smooth and well-rounded, strong and robust. It takes milk well, sugar can be added, and it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It pairs well with traditional British food or a hearty English breakfast.
Earl Grey. Made from a blend of teas, including dark Keemun tea. It has a light aromatic and floral character created by the addition of oil of bergamot orange. This light and delicately flavoured tea is best drunk without milk; a slice of lemon is great to bring out the bergamot flavor. Especially good with cake and chocolates.
Black Teas – 2nd Flush Assam. Grown high in the hills of Assam, in India. The altitude, combined with high temperatures and high humidity, gives this tea its strong malty flavours and bright colour.
The 2nd flush is harvested later and produces the more prized “tippy tea” – named for the gold tips that appear on the leaves. The second flush is sweeter and more full-bodied and is generally considered superior to the first flush tea.
Black tea – 2nd Flush Darjeeling. Grown at altitudes of up to 2000 metres on the hills in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal in India. The climate is cool and rainy, producing a tea regarded as one of the finest in the world.
The second flush is harvested in June and produces a full-bodied tea with a delicate muscatel and fragrant honey character which boats a golden green color.
It should be drunk black, or with just with a dash of milk.
Tisanes and Infusions. Made from infusions of herbs, roots, plant extracts and flowers. They are caffeine-free and are popular for their refreshing qualities and perceived health benefits. Can be enjoyed at any time of the day but never with milk.
A very popular infusion is made from sweet dried blackcurrant and loose lavender leaves. Peppermint is another much loved flavor that’s reputed to aid digestion, making it perfect for drinking after dinner.
Green Teas – Long Jing Green. Green teas are made from freshly plucked leaves and leaf buds and Long Jin Green is probably the finest green tea from China. It is a cleansing, pale yellow and full-bodied tea. Initially it tastes sweet but there are also savory notes of popcorn. Goes well with oriental food. Do not add milk or sugar.
Oolong teas – Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong. Oolong teas, like green tea, are made from freshly plucked leaves and leaf buds, but are partially oxidized and their leaves are not dried in the sun but in an oven.
High Mountain Oolong, enjoyed without milk or sugar, has an exquisite, intense, velvet smooth flavor, and a fresh fragrant blossom character.
It goes well with light meals, but is also an excellent elixir for health and longevity. There is scientific proof that it has detoxifying properties, aids digestion and contains powerful cleansing and protective properties for the lungs!
Tell us in the comments below what your favourite tea is.