After taking a whiff at the tea leaves within the grey caddie, I sensed a light floral scent, along with a more distinct fruity aroma. The container is labeled ‘Thé Blue Mountain’. True enough, I felt like I was transported back to Sydney’s Blue Mountains with the fresh air of spring.
It was my first experience of such deeply scented Perfume Tea. The tea is from Betjeman & Barton, a boutique tea shop at Raffles City that originated from Paris. In fact, it was the first English tea house of its kind over at France which was established way back in 1919, when tea was mainly sold at groceries shops.
Betjeman & Barton is now leading brand in Europe, best known for its exquisite high-quality teas with over 200 varieties. The Singapore branch carries about 100 types, and brings in new flavours regularly.
I know ladies would walk into Betjeman & Barton, with the same feeling you may get as you open up a walk-in wardrobe. The tea shop may be small, but there are so many caddies containing tea, each containing an elegant themed design from colours of the rainbow, a British flag, checked designs to tiger prints.
The star of the shop, is of course tea. And you must request to smell some of the perfumed tea, which you would be so tempted to make your purchase after. There are many types of perfumed teas unique to this brand, enhanced by natural products such as flowers, fruits and essential oils.
My favourite as mentioned is Thé Blue Mountain ($13.00 for 50 grams), essentially China tea leaves scattered with cornflower petals, wild strawberries and rhubarb flavourings. You can choose green or black tea leaves, though the green will be most suitable to go with cakes and biscuits.
Betjeman & Barton’s signature tea is Thé Pouchkine ($13.00 for 50 grams), a green citrusy tea which is contained in a cute Russian doll canister.
According to the service staff, Thé Vert Lundi Light ($13.50 for 50 grams) is one of the popular perfumed tea in Singapore. This tea combines green tea and lemongrass from Mexico, which will be specially full-bodied and delightful when drunk with ice.
One of the co-owners of Betjeman & Barton, Ms Agnès Defontaine was in town to share how tea-drinking can be such a comfortable and exceptional experience, especially when you find that tea which suits the mood.
Here are also 10 tips from Betjeman & Barton on how you can better appreciate your tea.
1. For teapot, one that is made of terra cotta, cast iron or porcelain will be ideal.
2. Have one tea pot for classic teas, smoked teas and scented teas each to prevent conflict between flavours.
3. It may not be necessary to wash your teapot: rinsing it in clean water and drying after can be sufficient.
4. Use a strainer instead of tea balls and to give the tea leaves more room to swell.
5. It is okay to use tap water unless it is highly chlorinated.
6. If you have to, spring water is better than mineral water for teas.
7. Try not to use water filters as they tend to “flatten” the flavour of the tea.
8. The teapot should be warmed with boiling water before hand so that the tea will release its scent more freely.
9. The time to brew depends on the type of tea: 7 minutes for semi-fermented teas, 4 minutes for whole leaf teas, 3 minutes for chopped leaf tea, and 2 minutes for green tea.
10. Remove the tea and stir before serving.
Betjeman & Barton carries more than a hundred green, black, white, oolong, puerh and rooibos teas, sourced from China, Japan, India and Ceylon, including the superior quality Japon Gyokyro.
They make great gifts for the festive season, with tea that represents originality, elegance and history.
Betjeman & Barton Christmas Giveaway
Betjeman & Barton will be giving away 2 Gold Christmas caddies (each retailing at $45) to 2 blessed Daniel’s Food Diary readers.
All you need to do is to
Step 1: LIKES the FaceBook pages of Daniel’s Food Diary
Step 2: Share this post on Facebook
Step 3: Leave a comment below to name any one type of tea Betjeman & Barton is carrying (Ends 17th Dec 2013)
Betjeman & Barton
#B1-33 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Rd. Singapore, 179103 (City Hall MRT)
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm Daily
*This post is brought by to you by Betjeman & Barton. Get a 10% off for products online at www.betjemanandbarton.com.sg when you enter DanielFoodDiary as a coupon code. Valid till 28th Feb 2014.