23 May 2010

A salute to Scottish Breakfast Tea

Despite an ingrained curiosity about things that are new to me, I can also be stubborn when it comes to food and drink. Once I find something I like, I tend to choose it over and over again.

For example, whenever my beloved and I go to our favourite Thai restaurant, Thai Lemongrass in Bruntsfield in Edinburgh, I will spend many minutes pouring over their substantial menu before undoubtedly ordering the monk fish like I always do, at which point JP will mock the sad state of my unadventurous palate.

I am the same way with tea. I have always preferred a more fragrant tea over the standard black tea that many people drink here. I started with Earl Grey, then moved on to the citrus laced tang of Lady Grey. But once I landed on Scottish Breakfast tea, I stuck.

The tea I love best is the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company’s Scottish Breakfast Tea, described on the box as “a traditional blend of the finest teas from Assam, Ceylon and East Africa. This brews a rich golden cup of tea with strength and liveliness to waken the taste buds.” The Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company dates back to 1812, when they started as a small grocery trading in spices and delicacies. Today they ship their blends all over the world.

As to the difference between English Breakfast tea and Scottish Breakfast tea, I am still not entirely sure. I understand it is simply a different mix of black teas to come up with a specific flavour, but then you have different brands of those teas as well, so for the moment I am still confused.
In the spirit of experimentation I went out this morning and bought some Whittard of Chelsea English Breakfast Tea, in order to compare mug-for-mug with my beloved Scottish Breakfast blend.

Imagine me, buttered scone at the ready, sipping alternatively between one mug and another, trying to discern the difference between the two. Two mugs of strong tea later my head feels slightly swollen by caffeine, but I can tell you that yes, there is a difference. The Scottish Breakfast Tea has that fragrance I mentioned early - the light and heady, almost malty flavour. I could not detect this in the English blend, which was strong and bold but seemed more straight forward.

Perhaps I should have sampled them both with a massive big fry up, which is the traditional way to drink breakfast teas. But if I had done that I would be napping now instead of writing this post.

As such, it gives me enormous pleasure to offer a giveaway for tea lovers. I have a procured a special gift box from the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company, entitled The Scottish Selection. This contains a total of 40 tea bags, 10 each of the following varieties: Whisky flavoured, Thistle tea, Heather tea, and my very own favourite, Scottish Breakfast.

I must admit I have not tried the three other flavours. Perhaps if the winner is taken by one of the other teas they can convince me to stray from my beloved morning mug of Scottish Breakfast tea.
To the winner of this prize I will also include a single packet of Whittard of Chelsea English Breakfast Tea, in case you wish to repeat my double-mug tea experiment.

Additionally, in order to spread the tea-love as far as my meagre funds will allow, three runners-up will each receive an envelope containing five individually wrapped bags of Scottish Breakfast Tea from the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company.
To enter this giveaway, please leave a tea-themed comment below before Saturday, 29 May. All names will go into the hat of treats and the winners will be drawn and announced on Sunday.

As usual this giveaway is airmail friendly, and you can also enter if you do not have a blog. Simply email me at scotland4thesenses@googlemail.com and include “Scottish Breakfast Tea” in the subject line. The only person who is not eligible to win this month’s giveaway is last month’s winner (sorry Susan!).

There is no requirement for any reposting or tweeting or facebooking of this giveaway in order to enter, but if you feel inclined to spread the word, please accept this multitude of cyber kisses I am blowing your way.

Right then. Whose turn is it to put the kettle on?

****Update...This giveaway has now finished. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to the lucky winners***************

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