DON’T BE FOOLED BY THIS TEA

I enjoy black tea in most of its forms and am always eager to try out a new flavour when one appears on the shelves – a rare occurrence here. Vanilla tea is delicious and I am partial to fruit-flavoured teas, providing they have a black tea base. So, the combination of strawberry and vanilla seemed an interesting flavour to try.

The box looks attractive enough. I looked forward to tasting the tea once the groceries were unpacked. The bags are enclosed in a foil packet which exuded a flavoursome aroma of … something. Strawberry? Vanilla? Perhaps it will become evident once brewed.

Mmm … the bags are smaller than the usual tea bag – and the contents so fine that ‘powder’ or ‘dust’ comes to mind.

I steeped the tea for the requisite minutes – not impressed by the insipid looking drink. Checked the ingredients:

Strawberry pieces? Felt a dry teabag between my fingers: not a lump or bump to indicate even a tea leaf, never mind a dehydrated piece of strawberry! Vanilla and vanilla flavouring? Did someone forget to add it to this batch? It is passable as a warm drink; not unpleasant if you are desperately thirsty; but nothing like the flavour described on the box! BST best tea Strawerry & Vanilla Black Tea. There is something fishy about this.

Product of China … I have tasted excellent teas from China. Oh no – remember the Closemeyer Earl Grey tea that stated the contents as ‘Earl Grey tea’? This is the same lot! Oh dear, I have been hoodwinked and am now convinced to give any tea that bears this name on the box a wide berth. This cannot be real tea – it is thin, barely has a taste, and has no aroma of either strawberry or vanilla! Do not be fooled by this tea – avoid it and rather drink coffee if it is your only choice.

BLACK TEA WITH BERGAMOT AND OAK

Something that has become very obvious since the start of our lockdown period three weeks ago is that we are drinking a lot of tea. It has thus been a pleasure to experience another offering from IKEA that has come my way in the form of their soothing Egentid Black tea with Bergamot and Oak.

The box of 25 tea bags has gone down rapidly and makes a pleasant change from the usual brands of Earl Grey tea available in this country. It must be the addition of the aroma of oak that makes the difference.

The tea itself may be organic and bear the UTZ certification, but thumbs down to them for using the silken-like sachet teabags, made from finely meshed nylon, that I assure you remain intact should you inadvertently add them to your compost! I am perfectly happy with old-fashioned teabags.

That said, the tea has a delightful flavour as well as a satisfactory colour, with the right touch of bergamot not to be overpowering. Even though it is not available in South Africa, if you can get your hands on a box I recommend you give it a try.

Note: Today is the 21st since the Lockdown began: two more weeks to go!