I haven’t travelled very far since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted our movements, and then not to places where a variety of tea is sold. My collection of interesting teas is dwindling alarmingly as a result! Every time I purchase groceries I scan the tea shelves in the vain hope that a ‘different from usual’ tea has nestled among the normal offerings. I see that rooibos tea now appears in a wide variety of added flavours … black-based teas remain my favourite brew though and so I was delighted to find the Pick ‘n Pay brand of English Breakfast Tea standing out in its bright red box.

As its name implies, English Breakfast is a full-bodied brew that is just right to pair with breakfast – or in my case, mid-morning tea. It is traditionally a blend of black tea leaves sourced from estates such as those in Kenya, Ceylon or Assam. It is common practice to overlook house brands as being ‘inferior’. Certainly, my eye automatically looks out for labels such as Twinings, Liptons and even Five Roses. I yearned for the robust flavour of English Breakfast tea, however, and wondered if I would be disappointed. Fear not, this house brand of English Breakfast Tea is everything one might wish for.

The strong, more robust flavour of English Breakfast tea goes very well with a light fruit cake – which I happened to bake this week.

In the absence of a variety of teas and brands to choose from, I recommend Pick ‘n Pay’s English Breakfast tea for drinking at any time of the day.


I dug into my box of loose tea bags given to me by friends and family who have travelled more widely than I have for years. Out came this delightful (alas, only one) sachet of Ahmad Royal Breakfast tea.

Alas too that I have not seen this brand for sale in South Africa, well not in the places I have been to: Home of delightful tastes is such a teaser. After this tasting experience I want to have more of it – and try out their other delightful tastes!

Look at the teapot on the sachet: invitingly old-fashioned and unusual – intriguing too. Is it a metal pot? The tea-coloured steam rising from the spout promises a rich and flavoursome tasting experience.

Assam tea is a wonderfully malty tea on its own and I have long been a fan of the robust flavour of tea grown in Kenya. Here they mingle in the best possible way.

This is a tea that is strong, filled with flavour and … I wish I could brew another cup!


It is well known that at whatever time of the day you arrive at my home, you are bound to be offered tea. Equally well known is that I seldom offer the same tea twice in a row and will always tell you what tea you are drinking – most visitors can only tell if it is not ‘ordinary’ tea. If you are not partial to it, there are plenty of other varieties to choose from – I will not be offended.

I have been blessed with gifts of tea and generally spy out the shelves of any supermarket away from home. Residents in most other towns enjoy a wider variety of teas to choose from than we do.Thus, I returned from Cape Town armed with vanilla tea and orange pekoe. My supply of lapsang souchong has been topped up; we have tried Twinings Liquorice Allsorts tea; and B brought round a box of really delicious Dragonmoon tea, which we have enjoyed on several occasions.

Today was as good as any to clear the shelves and fill up the recycling bag for the next collection. The boxes that have accumulated over the past few weeks is a small indication of the teas we have consumed of late.

The powdered ginger teas make pleasant cold-weather drinks. These boxes were dipped into during the winter and finished during the long spell of inclement weather leading up to the New Year.

Twinings Earl Grey tea is a staple offering – alongside the Five Roses and Liptons varieties, with Lady Grey a pleasantly fruity alternative. Earl Grey with blue flower is also a pleasant change.

Breakfast tea is always appreciated for its full-bodied flavour and strong colour.

A rather special tea we have enjoyed is Dilmah’s Italian Almond Tea, a gift from C. While it is delicious on its own, for those who find the almond flavour too strong I mix it with a bag of Ceylon tea – also a very pleasant cuppa indeed!