My mental tea queue was interrupted yesterday when my husband returned home from a business trip to Boston bearing gifts from Tealuxe, which is a wholesale and retail tea store in Harvard Square.
He found a nice gift box with a glass mug, an infuser ball, and a 50-gram blue tin (as seen in the photo) of Brattle Street English Breakfast Blend. I don’t think he’s ever bought me tea as a surprise, so I was tickled – and also excited to try it.
When I opened the tin, I was immediately reminded of the smoky overtones of lapsang souchong. It is really the weirdest thing – the site describes Brattle Street as a blend of Ceylon and Assam. I was really apprehensive about brewing a full pot – not that I dislike lapsang, but I didn’t want to expect one thing and get something else so startlingly different – especially something that is such an acquired taste.
Suggested brewing time is 4 minutes, and I followed directions this time and got a dark brown-black liquor, almost like cola. It still smelled smoky to me, but my first taste revealed a full, English breakfast flavor that has a pleasant pine finish. It’s still quite smooth on its own, but I really would like some cream, which is not available to me right now. I’d rather drink it alone than add just sugar, though. I feel that sweetener would just hide its best qualities. The lapsang smell seems to be fading, but it’s still teasing me in the background.
I’m certainly inspired to order more from the Tealuxe web site, which has huge variety of specially-blended teas, great descriptions, photos, and a caffeine scale. I’ve finally found very simple, small cream and sugar sets there as well, and the price is right. My wish list includes the Mint Rooibos blend and Highland Chai (decaf).