It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been to London with the hubby. And since it’s also been a little year since my blog took a break, I never got to tell you guys about my incredible Tea Masterclass at Whittard! But that’s about to change today 😉
How it all happend, in a nutshell
Let’s begin this story right. One day, I was invited to a Tea & Chocolate pairing with Whittard and Pierre Marcolini in Antwerp. The lovely Katy from Whittard taught us all about what chocolates go best with what kind of tea. It was there that I discovered my absolute favorite tea of all times: Caramel Glitter Tea. Whittard had released this limited edition tea for the holidays. I do hope it comes back one day cuz it is to die for!
I’m getting off track here… So Katy told me that if I ever was in London, I should let her know and she would arrange a Tea Masterclass. A few months later, I actually did go to London and Katy did arrange the Masterclass! I was already stoked before it began.
The Tea Masterclass
Okay, this might sound a bit silly but I’m actually getting as excited as I was back then whilst writing this post.
Katy, who’s by the way an absolute Tea Expert, had set up a large table at the Whittard store. Everywhere I looked: tea caddies. Behind the register even more caddies. ‘You’re at a tea store, what else would you have expected?’ I know. But this wasn’t just like being at a tea store. This was tea heaven. Not kidding.
We were gonna try 6 different teas. I didn’t know any single one of them before. Confession: I’m a black tea kinda girl. English Breakfast or Early Grey. Nothing more. Except for that Caramel Glitter Tea I spoke off earlier of course 😉
I was excited to try these unknown teas. And we didn’t just taste them. We discovered their histories as well. It was such a fun couple of hours. I’m not going to spill all the tea (see what I did there) because if you’re into tea, I highly recommend trying a Masterclass one day ^^
These are the teas we tried:
- Silver Needle – white tea
- Jasmine Dragon Pearls – scented green tea (my absolute favorite of them all)
- Yellow Sun – yellow tea
- Milk Oolong – oolong tea with flavouring
- surprise… I forgot to take notes and I can’t remember
Fun fact: did you know that loudly sipping from your cup of tea is very much allowed? I know most people hate these loud sipping noises but I’m sure those are all coffee people… Drinking tea and a fan of sipping with noise? You’ve got a wild card to sip as loudly as you wish! Because sipping makes the aromas of the tea come to life.
During the Masterclass, we first saw and smelled the dried teas. Then, Katy made us some tea and presented the wet tea leaves on a plate. This way, we could really see how the structure of the leaves changes. The Jasmine Dragon Pearls were no longer pearls… They had almost completely unrolled themselves which I thought was very interesting to see. It also kinda explained to me why you don’t need that much tea per cup. Cuz the leaves expand like crazy. Yes yes, it soaks up the water and therefore becomes larger than its dried sibblings. It does make a lot of sense but I just never really thought about that when scooping loose tea in my infuser.
I believe it is about 1 teaspoon per cup you’ll need. So, if you’re not overdoing it, your tea (caddy) should go a long way.
Let’s get back to that Caramel Glitter Tea cuz the most amazing thing happened in London. I remember telling Katy how much I loved that tea. And that it was very unfortunate that it was a limited edition cuz mine was almost empty… She looked at me and said ‘I think you’re in luck cuz I believe there’s a very small stock left in here’. So she goes to one of the ladies at the store and asks them if they still have Glitter Tea. One of them goes to back and not much after she comes back with 2 refill packages. I bought them both. Obviously. 😉
Don’t ask me why but I am obsessed with those tea caddies. I love the way they look and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever buy Whittard tea in a regular package. It has to be a caddy. You know, for the collection. Nothing wrong with that, right?
The term “caddy” originates from the Malaysian word “kati”, a weight equivalent to just over a pound, which was the measurement by which tea used to be sold. I like the fact that they still use that word today.
Fun fact about the caddies: their colours stand for specific types of tea. This makes it much more easy to find the tea you’re looking for:
- Blue caddies: black tea
- Green caddies: green tea
- Purple caddies: fruit & herbal tea
- Bronze caddies: white tea
Many people use boiling hot water to make their tea. That’s actually not the proper way to be doing it. Most teas need water that’s around 80 – 90°C. The only teas that do need boiling water are Puerh, Yellow tea and fruit & herbal teas.
Also: set a timer! Tea can be overbrewed if you leave it in too long. I hate it when I order tea at a restaurant and they bring me the cup with the infuser already in. I usually take it out the second the waiter leaves our table. Because often, they put the bag or infuser in the cup, make the other drinks and then serve it to you. Which means the tea will be in way too long if you leave it another few minutes. And yes, that’s when your tea tasted so bitter.
Each type of tea requires a different brewing time. If you try something between 2 – 3 minutes, you should be just fine. Black teas can go for max. 3 – 4 minutes. The fruit & herbal teas are – again – the exception cuz they need at least 3 minutes, depending on your own taste.
If you’re looking for tips & tricks on how to brew the perfect cup of tea or for example how to host afternoon tea parties, check out the Whittard website! They have lots of articles to bring out the inner tea expert in yourself 😉
Oh and of course I had to take a selfie with the Tea expert 😁
What’s your favorite type of tea?