I was recently contacted by The York Coffee Emporium and asked if I would like to try out some teas and coffees. I said yes of course . . . I know, I am a Latter Day Saint . . . and we do not drink tea and coffee for health reasons, but that does not preclude me from using it to cook with . . . nor does it preclude me from drinking caffiene free options. I agreed try out some of their teas, but refused coffees.
About the company: (from their site)
The York Coffee Emporium are committed to providing you with the perfect cup. Their coffee is roasted daily in small batches at their artisan roastery in York and their speciality loose leaf teas are selected from the best estates from around the world to suit all manner of tastes.
Each of their distinctive coffees comes with a recommended brew guide and strength indicator, to help you choose the right coffee for your enjoyment. Their coffees are ethically sourced from green coffee buyers who are committed to excellent coffee, excellent standards and paying their farmers an excellent price. They source, roast, blend and pack the coffee ourselves, to ensure that the coffee makes as few journeys as possible once it has left the farm.
York Coffee Emporium is also a UK distributor for Metropolitan Tea, a large Canadian Tea merchant with direct trade links to tea producing areas. (Go Canada!)
I was sent three different varieties of tea to try out along with a nifty packet of 100 t-sac tea filters. (Note, I did not try out the tea filters as I don't have a full sized teapot. I only have a nifty two cup one, which has it's own built in infuser.)
Their luxury teas are sourced from the Metropolitan Tea Company, whose passion is to provide the finest loose tea, premium tea and accessories the world has to offer. The company stocks a large and varied selection of superb loose leaf tea, including Black and Oolong, Green and White, Fruit and herbal Infusions, Flavoured Tea or Wellness Teas. Most of their teas contain either Fair Trade or Ethical Tea partnership accredited tea.
Ethical Tea Partnership(ETP) - monitor and regulate the living and working conditions on tea estates around the world. Teas showing this sign contain either 50% or 98% ETP content.
Fair Trade (FT) - Promotes increased standards of living for labourers in developing countries. Teas showing this sign contain at least 50% FT content.
Note: I invited a tea-drinking non-mormon neighbour around to help me test these teas out. She didn't want her picture taken, but I will give you her honest opinion, plus my own of that which I tried.
The first tea was the
Yorkshire Harrogate Breakfast Tea (ETP 98% FT 50%)
(I want to apologize ahead of time today for the quality of the pictures . . . my camera seems to be packing in. I've had it for about 5 years now and it's been used every day, so I think it may be time to buy a new one. Sigh . . . )
Said to be a traditional Yorkshire blend of China, Kenya and Indian Tea, and proposed to be a bright and full breakfast tea.
Although it was not first thing in the day Brenda thought that this was a full bodied tea, with a rich flavour that she thought would be the perfect morning cuppa.
Tea Grade: Yumman - Flowery Tippy Orange Pekoe; Kiambu - Broken Pekoe1; Assam - Broken Orange Pekoe
It's all Greek to me, but if Brenda liked it, then that's good enough for me!
The Second Tea was
Rhubarb and Cream (98%ETP)
Said to have an exquisite flavour reminiscent of fresh rhubarb pie. This tea contains luxury black tea, Safflower + Sunflower petals, Jasmine Petals, Blackberry + Lime Leaves and Natural Flavours.
I confess I did taste this one myself, thinking it was an herbal infusion, without knowing that there was black tea in the mix. I thought it was delicious though, with a definite rhubarb flavour that was quite pleasant, and truly not much unlike that of a Rhubarb Pie!! (Except a lot easier on the waistline!) It was almost sweet and most definitely creamy! Refreshing even! I liked! Brenda liked!
Tea Grade: Orange Pekoe
The final tea was
This was a caffeine free tea, said to known to be a great drink during pregnancy, in particular esing discomfort during childbirth! (Who knew!) Archaeologosts discovered evidence that this health benefit was first taken advantage of by native American Indians. Infusions of raspberry leaf tea have also been used for health benefits ranging from the soothing of throat infections to easing leg cramps. Raspberry leaf contains high quantities of Vitamins A, B Comples, C, and E, as well as many essential minerals.
We both found this to be a very robust and full bodied tea, much similar in flavour to traditional black tea. It looked like dried herbs and sticks actually . . . kind of like reeboos tea. Brenda said that she would have a difficult time telling the difference between this tea and her regular cuppa. This would make a great caffeine alternative to regular tea in our opinion, especially if you are looking for a caffeine free choice.
Our Todd has not been feeling well . . . with a sore throat actually. I think I'm going to brew him some of this when he gets up. It might be just the ticket!
Many thanks to Ben and York Coffee Emporium for sending me this lovely mix of teas!
Now, you don't think I'd have someone over for tea and not offer them some sustenance along with their cuppa do you??? Of course not!! I baked some Jam Filled Scones!
These scones are lovely. They can be a bit fiddly to make and they seldom stay together when they are baking . . .
You may even think they're a tiny bit ugly . . . but I can promise you the taste is anything but . . . ugly that is. Perfect for elevensies or afternoon coffee break! (See those bubbles??? There's money in that cup of tea. My mom always says those bubbles meant money, so it must be true!)
*Jam Filled Scones*
A scone with an unusual twist . . . jam in the middle. Perfect with your afternoon cuppa.
300g self raising flour (2 cups)
2 TBS caster sugar
30g of chilled butter, chopped (1 ounce)
200ml of milk, plus extra to glaze (7 fluid ounces)
2 1/2 TBS jam (I used raspberry and blueberry)
Sifted icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or lightly grease.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Drop in the butter and rub it into the flour mixture using your fingertips until you have a mixture which resembles fine dry breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.
Add almost all of the milk and mix to a soft dough, using a fork, and adding remaining milk if necessary. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead briefly to bring it together into a smooth ball. Roll out with a floured rollin gpin to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch rounds with a sharp round cutter, using a direct up and down motion, without twisting the cutter. Pat out a bit and make a hollow indentation in each, about 1/2 inch from the edge along one side. Spoon a little bit of jam into each indentation. Brush the edges with some milk and carefully fold the dough in half to make a semi-circle, covering the jam and pinching the edges to seal. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking tray. Brush the tops with a bit more milk.
Bake for 12 minutes until well risen, golden brown on top and on the bottoms. Serve warm, dusted with some icing sugar.
*How To Brew The Perfect Cup of Tea*
It's not really all that hard if you follow a few rules of thumb . . .
- Use a good quality loose leaf or bagged tea
- This must be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature
- Always use freshly drawn boiling water
- In order to draw the best flavour out of the tea the water must contain oxygen, this is reduced if the water is boiled more than once.
- Measure the tea carefully
- Use 1 tea bag or 1 rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup to be served, plus one for the pot.
- Allow the tea to brew for the recommended time before pouring
- Brewing tea from a bag in a mug? Milk in last is best