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Nice flavour, but ...
Nov 29, 2005 04:47 AM 13303 Views
(Updated Nov 29, 2005 04:47 AM)

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... not quite my cuppa! Those who know me well, know that I enjoy a good cuppa tea in much the same way as one might enjoy a fine wine. They also know that I enjoy distinctive and unique products, so seeing a product from another country in my kitchen doesn't come as a surprise to them.

Anyway, one day while I was out shopping I wandered in to a small store specializing in goods from India. As I lumbered up and down the aisles, taking in the various sights and smells coming my way, I noticed that they had a large selection of teas from India. Being the brave person that I am when it comes to trying new things, I looked over their offerings and chose one to try in my home: Society Tea.

I was impressed by the design of the jar, its easy-open lid, and -- when I got it home and opened it -- the fresh, pleasing smell of the blend of teas that comprised it. Everything was fine about it ... until I made the first pot.

Normally, when I make tea from loose leaves, I do it in the British manner: place a measure of tea into a warmed pot, add water just off the boil, and allow the tea to mash for about 3-5 minutes. (By the way: in case you aren't familiar with the phrase, ''mash'' means the same as ''steep'' when applied to the preparation of tea.) After the tea's mashed, I pour it through a tea strainer into my cup and serve it with milk, lemon, or lime juice. (Yes -- I did say lime juice!)

I mashed that first pot for approximately three and a half minutes: with the tea I normally drink (Tetley Quickbrew or Brooke Bond PG Tips Bags) and the type of water (in terms of hardness) available here where I live, that's usually <u>more</u> than adequate! Well, I poured the first cuppa: it didn't seem as dark as my favourites usually do. But I pressed on, adding milk and a little sugar. Then ... the first sip.


Sorry, but I wasn't impressed. The flavour was somewhat weak in comparison to the brands I usually drink. However ... I am a fair-minded individual, so I gave it another try about a week later. This time, I let it mash for five minutes and fifteen seconds. The result? A little darker this time, and a bit stronger too, but still not up to the strength I prefer in a really good cuppa.

Long story short? You'll like Society Tea if you aren't as fussy as I am about how strong your tea is. For that reason, I'll give it two stars -- and I wish I could make it two and a half because it does make an effort to be a fine product in every other way. Incidentally ... I still have that jar somewhere: maybe I'll give it another shot sometime!

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Society Tea