Thursday, 6 October 2011

hear the call of Lörelei

Quite a lot has been written lately about pure tea.  Camellia Sinensis.  And that's all.

I've asked before why it seems like French tea shops have so many flavoured teas, and on a number of occasions in the last several weeks I've heard someone say that Germany is a source for a lot of the flavours that're used in these teas.  I don't have any data to support that, but in this case I'd rather just bring up the topic.

Many shops offer a great variety of both flavoured and pure tea.  If I were a shop owner and I knew that my customers liked Caramel Rooibus, I'd stock it and sell it happily.  The same goes for any of the other flavoured teas that're available.

But me?  I steer clear of the stuff.  I drank Earl Grey years ago, but have weaned myself of that Bergamot-soaked concoction.  Actually, I just slowly got tired of the taste.  Became more interested in tasting the leaf and nothing but the leaf.

The funny thing is that I see a lot of flavoured tea being reviewed, sold, talked about...I'm still open to try the stuff.  Bergamot comes from oranges.  It's not as if it's an unnatural substance.  I've heard that there are noticeable gradations.  That someone attuned to it can tell if poor quality Bergamot oil was used.  I can believe that.

I don't want to have to drink enough Earl Grey again in order to learn that distinction.  There are plenty of tea drinkers/reviewers who actually like drinking it.  I'll leave that experience to them.

But I am still curious about curious about the flavoured tea I see here and there.  When Xavier came to visit this summer, he brought a curious package of a tea from Le Palais des Thés that I would've never bought for myself.  It's called Lörelei, and here's what they're website says about it:


'The warmth of cinnamon, the mild sweetness of vanilla and the subtlety of almonds.'  To some, including me, that'd normally be something to be avoided.  Pure tea for me, please.

But a funny thing happened when I tried it.  It wasn't so bad.  It's a nice change.  I've served it as a dessert tea, and it's been rather well received.

I still worry that any flavoured tea is using the flavour to cover up subpar tea.  That's a concern, right?  But this helps my resolve to stay open to these things I'd normally turn up my nose at.

Doesn't mean I'm going to go out of my way to drink more Earl Grey.  I've had more than my share of that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on this one. Occasionally I'll find a flavored tea that I really enjoy but normally it's pure leaf for me :)