Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Afternoon Tea Ceremony at Tea Smith, Spitalfields

There are many UK websites which offer discount deals. These are often used by retailers to promote their services. A lot of them tend to be beauty related deals or are quite restricted which does not make them a good deal. However, once in while, a gem pops up and you need to be quick!

A few weeks ago, I was told about a deal that had me positively excited! This was what it said…

“A four course afternoon tea, including patisserie from the award winning William Curley chocolatiers, for two people at £18.50.

Afternoon Tea Ceremony for two with award winning patisserie and chocolate from William Curley, plus an exclusive sampler pack of tea to take home".

A few clicks and hours later, I was a happy recipient of a voucher. Trying to book a time is not easy though but we managed to schedule in one.

Upon entering, we were ushered to the only table available and was greeted with a glass of cold White Tea that was to be our palate cleanser.

Walnut Palmier

We were served with our first course moments later. The cinnamon palmier is crunchy to the bite with the glaze of cinnamon and sugar coating making it into a hard texture. A dense flavour matching well with the delicateness of the tea that it was served with. I think the tea was the Bao Zhong which is actually an Oolong tea that is very similar to green tea. It is fresh, clear green and with delicate infusions of fresh flowery notes of lilac and lily.

Walnut & Miso Biscuit w Matcha & Honey Dip

Next came the walnut & miso biscuit. I have to say that I absolutely love matcha and when I saw the matcha & honey dip, I was so tempted to consume all of it. The aroma of the walnut hits your senses before you even take a bite, crunch on the biscuit and particles of crumbliness plays in your mouth. I added a layer of the dip after and it makes the bsicuit sweeter and denser. Love it!

Next came the patisserie from William Curley. This is my first taste of a William Curley’s creation and I have to say that I am not disappointed. Silky, creamy and the smooth stickiness of the chocolate...and this is not even describing the tea!

Floral High Mountain Oolong Tea

I am happily anticipating the next course. My sis and I attended a Japanese Tea Ceremony where we learnt the art and ritual of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. I also remembered my first matcha bowl drink and there was so much Matcha in it that as much as I love it, I was temporarily dosed out!

70% Courverture with Matcha

The one from TeaSmith is very light. Not a lot of matcha was used and it is quite diluted. I guess that this is a taster version or an ease of introduction for matcha beginners or non matcha lovers. You are meant to take a bite of the dark chocolate and with it swirling in your mouth, take sips of the matcha. The bitterness teases your palate and brings out the slight sweetness of the matcha drink.

The final course was a selection of William Curley chocolates to be enjoyed with an aromatic Oolong tea known as Oriental Beauty. This is a highly oxidized Oolong which is harvested from young leaves, in summer, just after they have been bitten by the tea jassid (a small criquet). This bite starts the oxidation of the leaves and adds a sweet and sour note that is so characteristic (http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2007/02/study-of-oriental-beauty.html).

Really aromatic and was a perfect match the chocolates from William Curley.

We got three varieties of chocolates (from top to bottom), Raspberry & Tocano, Japanese Black Vinegar and Sea Salted Caramel. My favourites were the Sea Salted Caramel and Raspberry & Tocano. The Japanese Black Vinegar was very subtle and just tasted like a chocolate filling within the chocolate. They are still good chocolates and I enjoyed all of them.

We were also given samples of the teas that we drank as gifts as the end of the afternoon tea. What I took from this afternoon tea experience is a fondness for William Curley creations and new tea discoveries. Really liked Oriental Beauty and the cold white tea that served as a palate cleanser.

The retail price of the Afternoon Tea Tasting Ceremony is £20 and you can go to their website to book it.

Tea Smith
6 Lamb Steet
London E1 6EA

Tea Smith on Urbanspoon


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