If I had to point to one habit that I picked up during my 7 years in London, it would be my daily consumption of tea.

I was a tea enthusiast prior to living in the UK but brewing a cuppa is now an enjoyable part of my everyday life. Two months ago, I went to Paris for a work meeting and while everyone kept offering me coffee, my response was invariably the same “Any chance I could have a cup of tea please”. I am undoubtdely lost to the French nation at this point! I never liked coffee anyway, it was always just a mean to stay awake or fight a massive hangover. Is a latte even considered real coffee? But I digress…

There is so much complexity around tea and as a lover of all things beautiful, I find that there is something very luxurious and endearing about this beverage and the traditions around it. I see a lot of similarities between the experiences of wine and tea tasting (and I also happen to be very fond of wine!). Both are very ceremonial and rely on a heightened olfactory sensitivity. To me, what makes tea so special are the traditions attached to it and the ways to experience it. Is there anything more comforting and enjoyable than having a cup of tea while eating warm scones with clotted cream and homemade lemon curd? Because I love hosting so much, I decided to take an afternoon tea baking class and came across Giuliana Orme‘s web site.

Giuliana runs classes every week in her lovely St John’s Wood home. We made a selection of tea sandwiches, scones and Scottish shortbreads. We tasted different types of tea and talked about the origins of the afternoon tea tradition. Purchasing a traditional porcelain tea set is now at the top of my shopping list. Just when I was trying to be more reasonable…

Below are my current tea favorites:

  • Golden Earl Grey Tea, TWG
  • Organic Earl Grey Tea, Clipper
  • Singapore Breakfast Tea, TWG
  • Marco Polo, Mariage Frères
  • Pukka Organic Detox Tea
  • Coral Garden infusion  (technically not a tea since it is caffeine free) but refreshing and flavoursome in summer
  • Brazilian Detox Energy Tea (Organic), Palais des Thés
  • Chaï Imperial Black tea, Palais des Thés

I hope you enjoy the pictures of my afternoon with Giuliana.


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