Tea IQ is a series that explores how to be a smarter tea drinker. Today, Lizzie from Bedford Cottage Tea House (who is a tea and baking aficionado and also studied abroad in Oxford with me) is back to share some tea wisdom.
Hello again, think fruitful readers! I’m back to tell you all about some of my favourite teas. I chose six to feature, and for each one I’ll tell you a little bit about the tea and how I most like to enjoy them. I went with the basics plus a few curveballs, so old hats and greenhorns alike will find something to interest them. I’ve stayed away from mentioning any brands or suppliers, but please feel free to reach out to me directly for recommendations (contact info at the end of the post)!
And as always, personal taste is everything, as long as it’s a taste for tea!
I love a good English Breakfast because sometimes you just can’t beat a classic. This tea is lush, faintly sweet, and has a good dose of astringency. I usually like to add a bit of sugar and milk to my English Breakfast to help round out that tannic bitterness. It creates a cup that is full-bodied and comforting. Meant as a stalwart breakfast beverage, but fantastic for an afternoon pick-me-up, especially when accompanied by a biscuit (cookie) or two.
Earl Grey is one of the most popular teas on the planet and for good reason. Made with a blend of black teas and bergamot oil, this tea is bold, bright, and bracing. However, unlike a lot of citrus flavours, bergamot is slightly sweeter and less acidic, resulting in a balanced tea perfect for any time of day. And while some citrus additions like pieces of orange or lemon peel can curdle milk when added, Earl Grey resists and remains homogenous and smooth. I take mine with milk only, no sugar. For an occasional treat I will add a small amount of dried lavender to the brew. Like English Breakfast, Earl Grey is a great tea for beginners or people looking to supplement other beverages.