Anniversary Tea

Today’s tea is Harrods’ Anniversary. I bought a canister of this tea at Heathrow before my flight back to Bergen earlier this year. London is a big city and a long weekend is not enough to fully explore the city. As I’ve said in my London post, I travelled with a friend. I had to adjust my personal plans so my friend would also enjoy her stay in London as well. One of my plans is to visit Harrods to experience tea time and buy Harrods’ tea in London, but because of limited time and our joint plans, it didn’t happen. Fortunately there is Harrods at the airport. I went directly to their tea section and got stuck there for a while. I was contemplating what tea I should buy. There are lots of tea to choose from. I wanted to buy 5 different kind of teas but my budget won’t allow me. So one tea it is then!

Behold, Harrolds Anniversary.

Here’s the description (or should I say, their expectation) on the back of the canister:

“An earthy green tea combined with astringent ginger, peppermint and zesty lemon aroma. Part of an imaginative range of infusions, this tea provokes the senses and allows you to enjoy a special moment with every sip.”

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I love the tea canister!

Ingredients: Green tea 63%, Ginger root 19%, Mango cubes, Peppermint 4%, Flavouring (mango, bergamot, lemon).

 

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The sweet scent of mango and lemon welcomed me when I opened the lid. The sweet mango scent is in my opinion a bit too much, but I won’t let it ruin the first impression! After all, this is supposedly a celebration of love. So that’s probably the reason why it smells so sweet, well, because love is sweet! What do you think?

Brewing time for a cup is from 2 to 3 minutes. A bit longer than the usual brewing time for a regular green tea which is max 60 seconds. It is because the fruits in the tea that needs more infusion time.

So, going back to Harrods’ expectation, did it meet mine? I’ve been drinking this quite often after I bought it and I can say that this is one of the teas that I would share with my friends who aren’t into much tea drinking as I am. In my opinion, Harrods Anniversary tea is a good quality tea. If you think green tea alone is boring, then this tea is probably for you. For me, I love the subtle sweetness taste of mango bits, the tingling taste of ginger and the freshness of lemon and bergamot (though it’s just flavoring).

 

 

 

 

 

London Trip 2017- part II

Chinatown

One of the main highlights of my London trip is experiencing the Lunar New Year in Chinatown. This is special to me because it was my very first time to visit a Chinatown in Europe.

My friend and I got there by foot from Primark store at Oxford Street on the western side. I think, we walked for around 15 minutes. When we arrived, the dragon dance just started.

We had a plan of eating at one the restaurants there, but because it was Chinese New Year, all of the restaurants were packed of people! People had to fall in line and wait. We did not wait because we’re starving and running out of energy, luckily we found a small place that sells steamed rice buns. So the main lesson here: “The early bird catches the worm”. However, we’re still grateful though because the steamed buns are good.

 

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Chinese red lanterns everywhere!

 

 

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Roasted duck in the window.

 

 

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Charm vendor and customers.

 

 

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One of the dragon dances.

 

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Moving on, a tour to the Chinatown is not complete without visiting a tea shop or a Chinese pharmacy. As a tea lover, I made sure that I would not miss the chance of getting myself at least a pack Chinese tea.

The tea shop’s name is Beijing Tong Ren Tang and is located at Shaftsbury Avenue. I only found the tea shop accidentally on our way out of the China Town.

So, what to find inside? Well, of course lots of teas and teawares! They got everything, from dragon tea, oolong, pur erh and you name it. I got myself a pack of pu erh, a pack of black tea, a clay teapot and a gaiwan (will write a separate post later).

 

Anyway, I can say that I had fun at Chinatown. I’ll definitely come back here again on my next trip to London.

 

 

To be continued.. 🙂

 

Houjicha

Houjicha is a Japanese roasted green tea. According to Wikipedia, houjicha is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. So that explains the reddish color and the smoked scent of this tea.

Before my Japanese friend head back to Japan, I ordered another bunch of Japanese snacks and teas. I got one pack of sencha, matcha and a 20 pack of houjicha. I didn’t get the tea box because we didn’t want a bulky packet but she put it in a zip locked bag so the freshness is still kept.

I like the color and design of the tea pack but bf has mistaken it for … condoms! >.<! I guess it’s because of the glossy sachet packaging. Hmm..  What do you think?

Anyways, the brand name of this houjicha is Oi Cha Ito En. According to a friend, this is one of the famous beverage brands in Japan.

Steeping time is 30 seconds to 1 minute in 85 degrees C water.

Since this tea has a lower amount of caffeine compared to other teas like sencha and matcha, you can drink this before going to bed. When it comes to taste I find it unique because of the roasted smokey taste. I’m not sure if my description fits but just imagine sitting at a bonfire and smell the scent of burning dried leaves.

 

 

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Cute design. But please this is not condom! 😛

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Hojicha
Reddish brown in color just like autumn

Genmaicha

Another tea has been added to my collection. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice. This type of tea is also known as the popcorn tea because you can hear a popping sound during the steep. I’ve been ordering this type of tea from my Japanese friend every time she travels to her motherland.

I did a bit of a research (Google-ling) about this tea. The brand is Seiyu Acknowledged by Everyone. Sounds a bit weird to me, but at least it is acknowledged not only by the Japanese folks but everyone… Lol. But seriously, that is the brand name. Google does not have enough information about the brand. Maybe the Japanese Google has more?

Anyways, personally I find this tea mild in taste compared to sencha and matcha. It has also a sweet and nutty taste. I think genmaicha would be the perfect tea for the first time green tea drinkers because of the subtle taste of tea.

This pack of tea comes in 20 teabags perfect for people like me who are always on the go or for those who does not have teapots. Brewing time is just 30 seconds in 84 degrees C water. You can find this on Ebay too, I think. If not ask the store owners who sells Japanese products. If you are living in Norway, you can find genmaicha in the tea shops.

 

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The box.

 

Instructions in Japanese. Of course.

 

Not much waiting. Only half a minute!

Coffee, Tea and More!

As my relationship with tea gets stronger, my interest for tea shops and cafe grow as well.

Most of the tea lovers in Bergen that I chatted to, online, suggested that I check out Herskap & Tjenere. I have been here before, but I did not pay attention to the teas because I was not interested in teas yet. However, I did already find the place cosy and kind of unique. It is not fancy, nor classy but the ambiance is perfect.

Herskap & Tjenere is not your ordinary tea/coffee shop because they do not only sell tea and coffee and (brownies) but also candies, vintage women’s clothes and gift articles such as mugs, stickers and many more!

I went here after going to the job fair last Friday. It took me at least 15 minutes before I ordered something because I could not decide what tea to order. The woman who was working there that time asked me what teas I drink, I told her, green tea but I told her that I wanted to try something new. So she suggested some teas, like the red teas and she added that she drinks it everyday to relax her nerves. I still could not decide what to order so I told her I need more time. I looked up to one of the shelves and found the Chinese teas, then I suddenly remembered the tea blogs that I stumbled upon to, almost all of them recommended Pu erh tea.

So yes, I ordered a cup of Pu erh and I loved it! One cup is 33 NOK. Not bad!

When it comes to the service, I can say that they are one of the best. I cannot say that they are very knowledgeable about Chinese teas they are selling but the woman was really helpful and answered my questions nicely and politely.

I recommend this tea shop to all tea enthusiasts and curious cats like me. 🙂

 

H & T

H & T

H & T

H & T

Spearmint Green Tea

Last week I went to an interview for one of the companies that I have applied for. The deal was to meet the interviewer at a restaurant at 6:15 pm but then suddenly she sent me a message that she would be an hour late. I said it is alright I can wait. I was there 5.45 pm and to take the bus home was not an option. I hate coming late to interviews, meetings and dates. I just chose to wait an hour at Starbucks Bergen (at Torget).

As usual, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. I always order chocolate flavored drinks whenever I go to Starbucks. I finished it fast and yet I did not want to order another cup because I was already full. So I took my phone out and started reading the news. I got bored, so I stood up and checked what they are selling. They got mugs, tumblers, coffee, thermoses and teas.

They got around 5 types of teas. The one that catches my curiosity is their Spearmint Full-leaf Green Tea. So I stood there for a couple of minutes pondering whether or not I should buy it. I was also thinking that I already have green teas at home. I should finish them first. But I thought also that it is a good idea to have different kind of teas at home because I get visitors once in a while and my bf and I drink lots of tea.

I bought one pack/ canister of green tea with spearmint and lemongrass for 84 NOK (Norwegian kroner). I think it is a bit pricey for a 45 gram tea but with this cute canister I think the price is reasonable.The teabag is bigger compared to the other tea brands like Lipton and Earl Grey.

For one cup of Starbucks green tea, I used 80 degrees C water and steeped the tea for 2 minutes.

When it comes to taste, I find it really good and fresh. I never thought that I am going to like this because I am a bit skeptical to blended green teas because some of the blended green teas I have tasted before has a sour taste.

After the interview I went home right away and showed my bf my newly purchased tea. Upon seeing the label that it is from Starbucks he said why would I buy tea when I can buy coffee from Starbucks! He also added that I should have bought coffee instead because we already have lots of tea at home. He loves tea like I do but when it comes to Starbucks he is only interested in coffee.

Starbucks Tea
For 15 teabags, this canister is quite big.


Starbucks Tea

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The teabags inside a plastic bag.


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The leaves.
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Matchy matchy! My bf’s Starbucks mug from the Philippines.

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Looks like a pillow after the steep.

Rooibos Tea

Redbush tea or rooibos tea is a good alternative to green tea because it is caffeine free and its benefits are similar to green tea. Rooibos tea comes from South Africa, from a rooibos bush. It is no way a relative of green tea, since green tea is made from Camelia Sinensis plant.

A week ago, I was at the mall looking for some kitchen tools and home decors. So I went into a shop that sells both, then I found the tea section. I feel like a dog who found a bone or someone who has found treasure in the woods. I stood there staring at the different kind of teas, figuring out what to buy. They got fruit teas, herbal teas, green teas, white teas and black teas.

I bought a pack of rooibos tea with rhubarb, vanilla, rose petals, honey, raspberry and aroma. It costs 39 NOK. Not bad for a 100 gram tea.

When I got home, I immediately brewed a pot of my new tea. The kitchen got filled with vanilla scent and I enjoyed every single brewing minute.

When it comes to taste, it is sweet but not sugar sweet. I think this kind of tea is great for making iced teas.