Picture the scene: it’s hammering it down with rain, you have successfully navigated a flood in a suede coat without ruining it and braved a hellish journey back from the big smoke without a decent cuppa for 24 hours. You resemble a sodden badger, are slightly peeved and in need of a good sit down and a brew. This is our tea review context folks; the outlook was bleak.
Normally I would reach for a tried and tested tea in this critical stress emergency, but today I was feeling all Kanye West cray cray after hobnobbing with southerners and thought: ‘balls to it, I’M TRYING THE LEMON MERINGUE TEA AND RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, JUST TRY AND STOP ME!’ (Disclaimer: I’m not running for president, sorry to disappoint. In that moment of tea decision madness though, I thought I could).
So, I grabbed my most northern mug imaginable to truly dispel my London-weary malaise, cracked open the Normann Coppenhagen tin of loveliness and was greeted by the glorious smell of liquorice and vanilla. ‘Welcome home and put your feet up duck,’ is what those loose leaves were telling me. I duly obliged.
Whilst not quite how I imagine lemon meringue to taste, this Assam-plus-lots-of-yummy-bits brew was a delicious dessert substitute. The extra yummy bits were indeed liquorice root, vanilla pods, lemon zest and even marigold flowers. I tried this black first; you get a deep yet sweet aniseedy flavour with a subtle vanilla ice cream aftertaste. The liquorice flavour was very strong without milk, so I added a dash of almond milk (lactose intolerants in the house you see) and a pinch of sugar, which really brought this tea alive. The milk calmed down the strong liquorice kick and enabled me to taste all the other little pieces of heaven in this tea, from the Christmassy Assam blend, to the citrus flavour of the lemon and marigolds. With milk, the flavour more closely resembled lemon meringue, although I don’t think Mary Berry would be fooled. She would also want copious amounts of gin in it.
In sum then, I liked this tea a lot for what it is designed to be – a dessert substitute and an evening tea. I don’t think I would drink it every day as it would negate its ‘treat appeal’, nor does it have the strong, full bodied malt taste of a good ‘WAKE ME THE F UP!’ black tea. BUT, if you fancy something different, are a sucker for beautiful packaging and a big fan of Birdhouse Tea Company’s Sweet Shop range, then you will love this! You can find this blend online here, or you can do what I did and rummage through the drawers of TK Maxx (oooh matron!) until you find a pretty box of it. It was certainly worth the strange looks and questioning by security.
Anybody else tried this? What other evening dessert blends would you recommend?