Last weekend at The Secluded Tea Party we welcomed a real first in the form of a very grown up and interesting tea tasting workshop with the lovely Jane & Gail of Kandula Tea, a local independent tea supplier here in Cambridgeshire.
These lovely ladies greeted my 14 fabulous afternoon tea guests with their friendly and fun approach to tea tasting, offering the option to purchase their favourite loose leaf tea blends by providing them with a scoring sheet as we glided through the afternoon. This was such a great idea so that guests could remember afterwards all the tasting which teas exactly they enjoyed the most, such a simple idea, but I would have never have thought to do it myself. These ladies thought of everything, including their very own John Lewis Tea Pots and strainers to allow me to focus more on the edible elements.
Drinking from mis-matching china teacups, guests enjoyed blends such as their Green, Ivory & a Pink Ceylon (of which is said to be best enjoyed naked with your better half whilst eating edible flowers, but we didn't put this one to the test!) , some Black Teas including English Breakfast, Ebony Chai (Which went perfectly with a homemade dark melt in the mouth truffle ; ) and a gorgeous Earl Grey which got most guests talking and realising that the shop bought tea bags don't quite cut it.
In fact, the Kandula ladies had some shop bought tea bags at the table for the guests to rip open and learn exactly just what was inside those cheap impostors. Most of us had no idea just how cunning these large tea companies can be, even learning a very intriguing little secret about a very well known brand that we just couldn't spread around, but you would be very surprised if you didn't know! It was very informal, but we learnt a lot and got to sample lots of new tea blends that most of us would never have considered prior to this event.
The health benefits of tea are also of great interest to me, learning that both of these lovely ladies drink Peppermint Leaf tea before bed, which is a natural relaxant and doesn't stimulate you as a cup of normal tea or a coffee would before you need your 8 hours beauty sleep. Noted for the future ; )
The afternoon tea treats were matched to the tea selection that the ladies had pre-organised with myself, including a new twist on a classic in the form of Cucumber & Cream Cheese Penny Sandwiches, Warm Cheese & Paprika Scones with a Chive Butter and a new addition to the table in the form of Carrot Jam, of which my Jam lady has designed from a recent burst of inspiration. Needless to say it worked perfectly and my guests loved it. Hurrah : )
The sweet dishes included Raspberry Meringues with a Lemon Curd swirled Clotted Cream, American Mocha Jubilee Cake (With my ode to the upcoming celebrations, Chocolate Crowns which melted in the heat, but I think I managed to capture a photo of two before they collapsed haha) and British Strawberry & Vanilla Creme Patisserie Tartlets which were the perfect mixture of sweets to enjoy with our Pink Ceylon Tea.
Whilst, the best was save until last, the Midnight Truffles, rolled in caramel and chocolate curls. These were the perfect petit four to melt on our tongues whilst sipping the Ebony Chai Tea. I am such a convert with this simple little dish and tea combination, that I will be offering this to a sophisticated group of hens at the next event I host to allow them to try this for themselves.
My guests got on like a house on fire, as always, it's such a great feeling to see Tea & Cake bringing strangers together on a gorgeous summer day, I wasn't really needed to make introductions, everyone chatted between themselves, made new contacts and had a giggle, which was the exact reason I started offering these afternoon tea events.
Our venue was one of my favourite secret Cambridgeshire locations and in fact some of our guests left their cars after the event and took a walk in the gorgeous woodland walks through the village to burn off some cake, of which I am chuffed to bits to see, as this village is stunning and the perfect location to host an afternoon tea party.
I can't thank Jane & Gail enough for their expertise and friendly tea tasting experience, it was so much fun and I can't rate them and their award wining teas enough. And no, they haven't paid me to say that, I truly believe in what they offer and I love them both as a supportive supplier to The Secluded Tea Party. Get yourself on their website now and purchase some Pink Ceylon if NOTHING else!... Honestly, even local spas and deli's are now selling this blend, it's so different and yet so refreshing, you have to try it, if just once.
You can visit their website at www.kandulatea.com
Until next time...