Doretta Lau tastes sixteen teas in the days leading up to Christmas (spoilers ahead)
One of my colleagues knows I’m not supposed to have sugar, so he bought me a Fortnum & Mason Christmas Tea Lover’s Advent Calendar. What a delight! Yes, I know this is bougie AF. Plus I add almond or cashew milk because I have an allergy to the protein in milk and an intolerance to soy, so I know this post may also read Goop AF. (Note that I am very anti-diet for personal and political reasons.) Judge all you want. I’d give myself side eye if that was possible because my fridge is filled with filtered water, dried legumes, and woo.
What really matters is I’m all about finding what is most delicious and reporting the facts to you.
1. Rose Pouchong (Day One and Thirteen)
I don’t know if it was the pleasure of the opening up the door on the very first day, but the Rose Pouchong is so dreamy that I looked to see if I could purchase it to drink every day. I had it black and it made my morning glorious. Once, I ate sugared rose petals in a restaurant in the English countryside and I still remember that it was delicious; this tea brings me back to that moment. Anyhow, even the description of the Rose Pouchong is a thing of beauty:
Fine grade, large-leaf Maofeng Keemum is naturally scented with fresh-picked rose petals, creating a delicate tea redolent of Turkish Delight.
Give that copywriter a raise. Though as M. Paramita Lin points out, Turkish Delight is the most disappointing thing from Narnia, but that’s another story.
2. Assam Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (Day Two)
I had this tea black with Medjool dates and an avocado because the copy informed me that it is “an ideal companion to a really special breakfast.” (My usual morning meal is a smoothie. Yes, I know dates are very high in sugar, I made a judgement error and bought a box and now my skin hates me.) Perhaps a more savoury breakfast would have been a better pairing, but I was still really pleased.
3. Countess Grey (Day Seven)
This is Earl Grey with an orangey kick. I had it with almond milk and stevia and enjoyed it.
4. Earl Grey (Day Four and Seventeen)
I have a tin of this and the loose tea is better than the tea bag. Fortnum & Mason produces best Earl Grey I’ve had, so this was a good tea day. The Countess Grey is more memorable, but this has the comfortable flavour of habit and routine.
5. Gunpowder (Day Eighteen)
This green tea is delicate and flavourful. (Meaning it tastes expensive.) I love the copy for it:
Resembling gunpowder pellets before they’re brewed, watch as they uncurl in the pot and produce an unexpectedly peaceful and delicate tea.
6. Moroccan Mint (Day Six and Sixteen)
7. Royal Blend (Day Nine and Twelve)
8. Breakfast Blend (Day Fifteen)
9. Apricot, Honey, and Lavender Infusion (Day Fourteen)
10. Darjeeling Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Tea (Day Five and Twenty-Two)
The champagne of teas, our Darjeeling Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Tea – an incredibly high tea grade – is harvested from Himalayan bushes more than a century old. Smooth and drinkable, it is a perfect partner to sweet desserts like cheesecake or trifle.