Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Williamson Earl Grey

Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.  Williamson tea caddies are undeniably the most intricately and beautifully designed.  All that beauty aside, I still felt the need to add my stupid little starbursts.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon not one, but two different teas in two different styled elephant caddies at a HomeGoods about a year ago.  I just couldn't pass up possessing them, having them add a little something of refinement to my tea cupboard.  

Let's just talk about the packaging a bit more.  You can't see in the picture, but all the golden accents are metallic.  The paint is designed to roughly patch along the elephants skin to give it more of a textured look of an elephant.  And the elephant itself has more meaning than just to look pretty.  The 'Wandering Elephant' is the symbol of the tea farms.  A time before machinery (Williamson Tea was established in 1869), elephants were trained to help pull the dead tea bushes from the ground with their trunks and rewarded with bananas according to their website.  My hatred of bananas means that I would be a very cantankerous tea elephant.   Williamson Tea used to be farmed in Assam in North-India, and the mascot was an Asian elephant.  When they closed down all those farms and only used farms in Kenya, they changed to a more appropriate African elephant.  

That is almost illegally cute.

Now onto the tea.  Twenty round bags of strong and heavenly blended bliss.  The tea that I have tried the largest variety of is Earl Grey.  A fun fact about me is that the first time I ever tried Earl Grey, I didn't really like it all that much.  Not wanting to waste the four other bags of it I had in my Twinings Black Tea Variety Pack, I drank them anyway.  By the time I finished my second cup, I was an addict.  So it wasn't the most fun of facts out there, but what were you expecting?

Back to Earl Grey.  Everybody makes one.  Most of them taste different.  Some are too heavy on the Bergamot.  Some you can't even taste Bergamot in.   This one in particular has a heavier Bergamot taste than some others, but it is absolutely divine.  It has such a unique flavor that it stands out among the other Earl Grey's in my tea cupboard.  I use this one sparingly since it is such a rare find, but I know that I can order it from their website when the sad day does come when I run out.  

It's one of those thicker teas.  The type of thickness that is palpable in your mouth and mainly accompanies teas that are derived from the northern parts of the UK and in Africa.  It's a sign that this tea will wake you up like a slap in the face, and some days you just know that that is exactly what it will take to make you human and functioning as such.

If you want to build up your tea collection, I fully recommend checking out a Home Goods store if you live in America.  I don't know how many countries have a variation of it, but I do know that there's a similar store called HomeSense in Canada and the United Kingdom.  These places get various shipments of random teas and you just need to check whenever you visit one of them.


1 comment: