Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Smell Over Substance?

Rose tea camelia WorldWhy are most fruit and herbal teas so disappointing? They promise so much with their heady aromas and intense colours but when it comes to drinking them they are usually a big let down.



Today, fancying something a bit different for my mid-afternoon cuppa I decided to have a rootle through the cupboard to see if there were any undiscovered gems languishing amongst the tins. And not surprisingly (if you've seen the chaos of my tea zone), there was one small packet I'd completely forgotten. It wasn't actually tea in the proper sense of the word but it was certainly something that I could steep in hot water and drink.

On rediscovering the paper bag it was clear to see why I had been tempted to buy what was inside - a cellophane pouch full of beautiful tiny pink rosebuds; and when I opened the packet - wow! The smell was absolutely gorgeous. Like the kind of roses that your granny used to grow - in fact it smelled more like a perfume than an infusion. But I wasn't going to be fooled that easily. Smell is all very well but what would it taste like?

Camellia World Teas Soho roseWell, it was actually rather lovely. I'm not going to say it tasted like it smelled, but in this case that's probably a good thing as you wouldn't want to be sipping something that reminded you of eau de cologne. It had a delicate flavour which did taste of rose but in a very subtle way. The aroma in the cup was much mellower than it had been in the packet so there wasn't that annoying problem of your sense of smell overpowering your taste buds. And I found an unexpected pleasure in the lovely light green colour it turned the water. I used two rosebuds in my mug, which I topped up with more hot water after drinking half of it, and that gave about the perfect intensity. With a 50g packet costing £8.50 it's not the cheapest infusion I've ever tried but it's certainly up there with the best of them. And even at that price, with only one or two buds needed per cup I would end up getting a fair few drinks for my money.

They had quite a large selection of infusions at the shop I bought this delightful little package from and after this success I may well pop back. Who knows, they may have some other things I could lose at the back of my cupboard for a while...

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