|"Silken, earthy and smooth. The Irish Blend is not to be passed by. "|
The colonies have some of the most fascinating and delicious shops in the area. The Kitchen Sink, Chocolate Haus, White Cross Wine and the Amana General Store, to name my favourites. In the basement of the General Store there sits the small collection of teas that deserves to be noticed for their impeccable quality and taste. The first two teas that I sampled at home outshone their similars from other companies with flawless craftsmanship; compelling me to a composition. The first two that I purchased were the Irish blend and Sassafras, both black teas.
If I had to choose one type of tea to drink for the rest of my life, I would pick black and be sad about losing oolongs. The Irish blend, which is also known as an Irish breakfast tea, is one of those staples in my weekly diet, and with good reason. Breakfast-type teas have a certain astringency that is good and inherent (when properly brewed) that comes from a couple of compounds, thioflavins and thearubigens, that are released when brewed. The first compound is a flavenoid, and the second a polyphenol; these compounds give flavour and colour to the tea. The polyphenol is a likely binding side for LDL (low density lipoproteins) i.e. "bad cholesterol."
Q: Why does the scientific rambling matter?
A: Well, breakfast style teas topically bind to lipoproteins and escort them through the body to a waste area where the proteins are excreted instead of going to your hips, thighs, blood vessels, belly or butt. In short: they are slimming and directly help your body to lower cholesterol.
So.... when eating a big, Irish/English style breakfast composed of eggs, bacon, sausage ect. this type of black tea acts as a health promoting beverage and a palate cleanser. I also like drinking it with burgers and nearly any fried food.
This Irish blend I brewed with two overstuffed teaspoons in 16 oz. of water at 212˚F - a temperature at which all black teas must be brewed - for three minutes. The second brewing of the leaves retained their dignity and brewed another good cup; be it ever so slightly less pungent than the first. Most breakfast teas are delicious straight from the tea pot and piping hot. The Irish Blend fits my first profiling point of what it really should be. Unfortunately, I had a breakfast smoothie, so there were no lipoproteins for my delicious and nutritious tea to bind. This meant that I didn't drink it as fast as I could have and it got a little chilly. Normally, if you allow breakfast teas to come to room temperature they will develop an overwhelming and nasty metallic flavour. While this Irish blend did change its flavour profile slightly with temperature, it was anything but disgusting. The well contained astringency and delightful hint of creamy texture that complement the black tea are simply divine. To be honest, this is the only breakfast tea that I have ever consumed that did not take on the metallic throat-scraping quality with cooling. The only one. Let me spell it out, I am keeping this tea for life. If I weren't so adventurous I would abandon all other breakfast teas too!
However, for all of this raving, I still didn't bestow a perfect score, and here's why:
the website is letting the store down a little because it is not a complete list of all of their teas, and the descriptions are a bit vague and very short. There's also no option for buying more than three ounces at once. This all may very well be updated soon. I guess it means that I will have to return in person to buy a few pounds of tea for the sweet tea that I am making at a conference in the near future. With sweet tea, it is best to begin with hot brewed tea and add it the sugar until dissolved and then cool. Normally, if you have a tea that changes during the cooling process more sugar is needed to cover up the metallic taste. This blend will be perfect for sweet tea because it has a delightful cold flavour profile, which means I will have to add less sugar to make the perfect sweet tea.
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