Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Edinburgh Breakfast from Majesteas

I had the pleasure of assisting my colleague The Tea Stylist at her Mother's Day presentation at The Bata Shoe Museum the other day.  I volunteered to prepare the tea for the 20+ folk who came to hear her lecture and taste some tea and food pairings.

The three teas were all wonderful -- an exquisite Wei Shan Mao Jian from Camellia Sinensis in Montreal, a beautiful High Mountain (Jade) Oolong Organic from Tao Tea Leaf in Toronto, and a black tea blend from Majesteas, also here in Toronto, called Edinburgh Breakfast .

This latter tea was a delightful discovery.  I don't tend to gravitate to blends but this one seduced me first by the wonderful, rich aroma of the dry leaves and then by its nicely balanced flavour and mouth feel.  I snaffued some of the left-overs and took it home to our Mother's Day lunch to share with family, and have enjoyed it the past couple of mornings as my breakfast tea.

Majesteas is co-owned and operated by Ian Macdonald and Robert Gignac, who are both Certified Tea Sommeliers out of the same George Brown program that I graduated from -- the cohort just after mine I believe. It's a small but well-stocked store with a couple of tables for enjoying a pot of tea and sweet snack.  Very inviting.

Both owners are knowledgeable and curious about tea, tea blending, and, most exciting in my books, sourcing fresh tea. In fact Robert is just back from a 17-day trip to China and Majesteas is having a spring tea tasting of some of his discoveries on May 26 and 27.  Oh la la!

The Tea:  Majesteas Edinburgh Breakfast

Water: just off the boil
Tea: 3.9 grams to 7 oz water (same ratio as the 2.5 grams to 5 oz water I generally use, but adapted for my teamaker)
Steep: 2 minutes

The appeal of this black tea starts with the very aromatic dry leaves -- put your nose in the package and breathe in its seductive malty aroma with spice and fruity (peachy?) notes. The package tells us it's a blend of Indian and Chinese black teas and doesn't suggest there have been any other scent or flavour additives so the beautiful aroma is just the tea.  Mmmmmm.

The liquor is light to medium bodied and nicely brisk. It has a bit of a snap to it and creates that pull at the side back of the tongue that brings water into the mouth. 

The flavour is malty and toasty (buttered brown toast) with a light note of cinammon and a faint sweet floral finish.

This strikes me as a beautifully balanced black tea blend -- one I would highly recomend for breakfast.  Or anytime really.  At any rate, I'll be heading out to Leslieville to get me some more.   Perhaps on the weekend of their new spring 2012 tea tasting.