Friday, March 04, 2005


I can't stop with the silly teas.. Spring is almost here and I've placed an order with the Tea Spot to deliver to my door, in plain brown wrapping, discreetly labeled, a half pound of good old-fashioned self-drinking tea. (If you're not hip to the lingo, the term "self-drinking tea" is used in tea circles to describe high quality tea that can stand up on its own without blending. That's not to say that teas in blends aren't high quality or anything like that. It's just a thing tea people say while waiting for the kettle to boil). In the meantime I am over the edge, looking down into another cup from France.

In the cup is Les Classiques from Betjeman & Barton. It's a nondescript black tea which has been heavily flavored with caramel and vanilla. In fact, there's so much flavor I can't taste the tea. It is weird to encounter caramel flavor in liquid form because it smells great but tastes like nothing. I suspect this is why you don't see a lot of caramel sodas on the market. I tried sweetening it and adding milk and brewing it really really strong and even rebooted but it was still missing the buttery richness my nose was expecting. It works fine in certain situations, like with sorbet after a big meal, but a nice Darjeeling would fare just as well if not better. Overall, I'm a little disappointed. I suppose I had unrealistically high expectations for caramel tea.