“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James
I happen to agree with Henry James here – this quintessential practice is a delightful moment in the day when life slows down, breaths are recaptured, and quietude centers the mind and body before the final push in a workday.
Of course, I don’t often have time to sit down to a true afternoon tea, so I’m daydreaming a bit here when I claim that this moment of the day settles my soul. I suppose I should say it would be a balm to my busy spirit were I to take the time to rest, relax, and drink in the magnificence of a cuppa.
When I happened across a Twinings Tea blend called “English Afternoon Tea” while looking for a tea to review for February, I knew the choice was made for me already. I’m working towards a healthier work and social balance in my life, so a blend called the very thing I’d like to incorporate into my day seemed the perfect match.
I purchased the tea blend on Amazon and awaited its arrival. The first day of February, I opened the seal and brewed my first cup.
That first cup told me one important matter had been resolved: this brew is absolutely, one-hundred percent suited to a quiet afternoon cuppa, whether paired with dainty tea sandwiches or a window gazing out on snowy parking lots and dangling icicles.
I have found my new favorite black tea blend.
In one regard, the English Afternoon Tea from Twinings really isn’t that special. It’s a simple black tea blend with few notes to distinguish it from other tea blends I’d tried, like English Breakfast and Scottish Breakfast.
What makes this tea – harvested in Sri Lanka and the Anhui province of China – distinctive is the subtlety of the blend.
I can drink this tea on its own or with a meal, be the food sweet or savory, heavy or light. It doesn’t have to cut through like the Scottish Breakfast blend or dance around the edges of flavors like a fruit tea must.
Instead, this simple, straightforward blend is basically the lite version of every standard English, Irish, or Scottish tea I’ve tried. The rich tones aren’t outweighed by fruity notes. The flavor isn’t biting like the stronger breakfast blends. Instead, the equally caffeinated blend gives the tongue a soft wash of warmth without the bite of bitterness that so many of its predecessors offer.
In short, it is the perfect afternoon cup of tea.