30 July 2014

The Scottish Collection -Tea [By @SpectreUK]





Cinabar brought me back this box of unusual tea blends from a trip to Edinburgh. These teas were traditionally blended by the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company for a true taste of Scotland, as if you were standing there on top of a rain swept mountain stood next to a fairly damp red bearded bloke who is wearing a wet tartan kilt blowing steam out of his bagpipes. Much of the sporting news is focussed on Scotland at the moment, so I thought I'd enjoy some tea whilst flicking through the Commonwealth Games on the box. There were ten tea bags of each of the four flavours in the collection box. After first enjoying a fresh dark rich cup of Scottish Breakfast Tea, I thought it was high time I moved on to the more unusual sounding flavours...

Heather Tea
I love Heather Beer so I was looking forward to this tea. There was a light floral smell to the tea bag (yes, I am a bit weird and smelt the tea bag) and a mild floral aroma to the tea once I’d added a little milk. I always infuse for probably a little too long as I like my tea as strong as possible. There was a sweet floral taste to the tea. I didn’t add sugar, and those that have at least one sugar probably wouldn’t need it. This tea had a rich dark and smooth floral flavour which made for a pleasant, slightly sweet and relaxing drink, which is what tea should be, rather than a drink with a hoppy floral bitterness that you would expect from a Heather Beer. I really enjoyed this drink and will savour the other nine teabags in the box.

Ingredients on the box; tea, Heather Blossom (4.5%)

Thistle Tea
This tea bag had a stronger sweeter floral smell than the Heather Tea. Whereas the Heather tea had a more delicate flavour, the Thistle Tea had a stronger more wholesome and slightly syrupy floral taste to it. I wouldn’t recommend adding any sugar to this tea also. It tasted almost like it had a dash of Thistle flavoured honey added to it, this complemented the strong sharpened (prickly, if you'll excuse the pun) floral flavour making for a sweet smacked backside waker-upper that would be good for a sleepy start to the day.

Ingredients on the box; tea, Thistle Blossom (4.5%)

Whisky Flavoured Tea
Starting the morning with kick I guess could involve a dram of whisky in your tea or coffee. Here it could be for the malty flavour rather than the medicinal value. There was a light malty smell to the tea bag, but I couldn’t tell that this could be whisky. Once infused the odour of malt whisky did shine through albeit mildly from the dark lightly milked tea. Of course this drink didn’t have the spirit kick of tea that had an added dram of Scottish fire water, but there was a decent malty flavour with hints of smokiness. This tea had the feel of a premium lightly smoked blend such as Keemun, with a strong maltiness that reminded me of whisky or a strong malty brown ale without the hoppy bitterness. Those who like a sweeter blend could either stick with the more floral varieties from the collection box or add a sugar cube or two, although there is always a place for a good hearty builder’s tea to keep you going throughout the day.

Ingredients on the box; tea, Whisky flavouring (2.8%)
By Spectre

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