Hoots mon, it’s a wee laddie!

As you might be aware if you’ve seen any news bulletins from this part of the world lately, a small prince has appeared.

The ‘Royal bub’ (to borrow an expression from Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd) is the first child of the Earl and Countess of Strathearn (aka Wills and Kate), and good old Twinings have come up trumps with just the gift to bestow upon the happy couple: a big black box with tea inside.

Depending on your point of view, the packaging could be considered chic or funereal, but in any case it’s a fine sturdy box, excellent for putting things in after the tea’s all gone. Here are some teacups to give scale to the picture, standing by ready to do their duty for Queen and country:

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Inside the box two cylinders nestle in shredded tissue paper:

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Look lively, young tins, new mothers across the nation are gasping for a restorative cuppa.

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The top half of each cylinder slides off to reveal the tea inside, with the word ‘congratulations’ hidden underneath the join between top and bottom:

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There are three different tea types you can choose from – Yunnan, China White and Peppermint – and what I have are the China White and the Peppermint:

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I was particularly excited about the white tea with its light downy leaves:

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But when I opened the peppermint…

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I was consumed by the strong fresh scent, a most marvellously minty concoction:

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I’m not sure I want to drink it so much as sew it into a little pillow and inhale it through the night.

Given the night-time nature of the peppermint and the fact that I was toasting the infant in the morning, I plumped for making the white tea first:

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It being some hours since breakfast, I paired my tea with a buttered slice of fruit and nut-filled bran loaf diced into baby-size bites:

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The tea was a very pale yellow colour and more fragrant in the cup than the dried leaves were in the packet.

On my first sip I detected lemons in the foreground with bachelor’s buttons as a backdrop. (I refer to the wildflower, bachelor’s buttons, also known as feverfew, as opposed to small round devices for doing up a waistcoat, which I suspect would not improve the taste of this tea):

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Bachelor’s buttons – a sweetish pungent backdrop to the lemony hints in Twinings China White tea.

On further tasting, after refreshing the palate with water, I became aware of what I can only describe as a whiff of raspberries on a distant breeze. I saw in my mind’s eye a rather lovely raspberry pie, all hot and juicy straight out of the oven with a shiny top and glistening juices leaking through a little crack in the pastry.

Now, whether all of this is down to the fact that I accidentally made the tea with boiling water, which is a cardinal sin with white tea, or whether if I’d made it properly it would still have had these complex flavours, I have yet to discover. I will need to do more tastings, brewing the tea properly next time, so that I can compare notes.

In any case, I found Twinings China White tea to be a delicately full flavoured brew, and if the peppermint tastes anything like as good as it smells I’m in for a treat this evening.

Congratulations to the new parents, and welcome to the world tiny prince, may your life be long, happy, healthy and filled with excellent beverages.

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Categories: Baking, Lemon, Photography, Raspberries, Scotland, Tea, Tea tasting, Teacup, Teapot, Twinings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “Hoots mon, it’s a wee laddie!

  1. I always feel so “cultured” after reading your posts–and I want to try the China white tea now

  2. Lorna, you do make me laugh! I love your post title, your writing [bachelor buttons], and I agree with onthehomefront, your connoisseur’s appreciation of the tea bowled me over.

    Yes, this wee laddie has a strange life indeed in front of him. His parents seem to be about as down-to-earth as people inhabiting their position could probably be, so that’s a good start.

    • Thank you kindly, Christine. I think you’re right, they do seem relatively down to earth, and I think they’ll make good parents for the little heir. I’m looking forward to finding out his name, I’m hoping for James.

  3. Great stuff Lorna. You’re doing a sterling job as marketing manager for Twinings Tea. I hope they’re paying you even half of what you’re worth. And I liked the baby bite size pieces of loaf too. Great writing!

  4. It’s all a little mad, isn’t it, but good luck to the happy couple. I rather like that knit family. No tea for me, please. :)

    • I can’t convince you to take even one sip of this delightful tea, no? Oh well, I’m sure toasting the bub with a nice coffee or something a little stronger would be just as acceptable.

  5. Such a beautiful sentiment and Twinings have certainly outdid themselves with this commemorative tribute to the happy couple. I love both those choices too & white tea is certainly a delicious change.

    Knit your own baby!!! Novelty kitch at it’s best!

    • Thanks, Alice, I must admit I do like a bit of fancy packaging, and the tea inside hasn’t disappointed. That white tea is really nice and I’m looking forward to trying the peppermint. What could be more appropriate than knitting your own Royal family? I can’t think of anything.

  6. I like the Twining celebratory package. The design is chic and I am sure my tea-drinking daughter would love this package. Secretly she is a Royal watcher. :-) She would never admit it though.

    • I agree with you Heather, it’s a chic package. I suspect there are lots of secret Royal watchers, but just lately it’s been hard not to watch them. Still, I’m delighted for them with their small prince.

  7. Gosh, the likeness of those knitted figures is just uncanny isn’t it? :) I had not previously caught up with this piece of happy news, as in ‘it’s a boy’. Just up, I had been wondering briefly how you might know what a bachelor’s buttons would taste like, but then it dawned – it’s really all there in the name, innit? I did not know they were feverfew. Your blog is just so informative!

    • That’s what I thought, Trish, the likeness is uncanny. Delighted to have informed you on the subject of feverfew, I wouldn’t know anything about wildflower names were it not for delightful assistant no.2 who is a mine of such info.

  8. Hoots mon! Your downright poetic description of that tea makes me want to try a pot of me own. Can’t wait to hear about the peppermint tea, which happens to be among my favorites. :0)

    • Wish I could slug you a cup of that tea, and I will do a post on the peppermint in due course. I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve got a bit hooked on the China White.

  9. Twinings should hire you on the spot for advertising, seriously! My favorite would be the peppermint and I was surprised to see actual tea leaves in the white tea. Rather silly of me really but I’ve mostly only seen small bits of tea, usually in a teabag, if I’m honest. Love the orange teapot and also the fruit and nut loaf … I am not sure I would have been so ladylike to cut it into such small pieces. :) I’m very happy to hear of the arrival of the new royal baby.

    • That’d be a nice little commission, thanks, Alison. I should think the majority of tea drinkers aren’t familiar with actual tea leaves, especially those of us in the western world who’ve been brought up on the traditional teabag. Although I do still drink the old fasioned teabag tea well as the leafy stuff, there is a flavour difference with whole leaf that makes for a more interesting and complex brew. Worth a try, if you get the chance. Hurrah for the small baby, it’s good to have a piece of positive news making the headlines.

  10. What a lovely post for a special occassion. The China White tea sounds wonderful.

    • Thanks, Darlene, that tea has definintely made an impression on me. I even chose it over a nice strong cup of black tea this morning. I made it properly this time, too, and it was just as good.

  11. Lorna, you are an inspired tea-drinker and tea-reviewer.

  12. It is such wonderful news! The knitted family is so cute. I like your idea of making the tea into a sachet too… :)

    • Thanks, Meg, I haven’t followed through on that sachet idea, mainly because my sewing skills are non-existent. Also, I would like to try drinking some before it gets stuffed into a little pillow.

  13. What a lovely tribute gave to the little prince! And tea from Twinings, I doubt we can get that over here but I’ll check. I too love your blogs, they make me want to hop on a plane and fly over to enjoy the tea and travels you do!

    • I’m not sure if Twinings do those teas outside the UK, I know the selection they offer in other places does vary, if you can get it at all. Thank you for your kind words, it’s lovely that you want to hop over here to take tea! :-)

  14. What a lovely presentation, and the tea sounds divine! You should be the poet laureate of teas (that really ought to be an official title – I hope the Royal family read this). I am very tempted to try the white tea. I am only slightly concerned that there might not be enough butter on the bran loaf. I hope that this did not incur the disapproval of your delightful assistants.
    Wonderful! Love the knitted family too!

    • Poet laureate of teas? What a marvellous title and a post I’m sure there would be a lot of competition for. As for the bran loaf, I am a woefully thin spreader of butter (in actual fact this was a butter substitute, one of these spreads, Bertolli I think), but the delightful assistants more than make up for my stinginess on that front, and they would choose butter over spread given half a chance. I do hope some creative soul has knitted that little family and sent them to the Cambridges.

  15. Your tea sounds delicious…I don’t normally gravitate towards white teas or herbal infusions as I so enjoy oolongs, green and black teas; however, you’ve inspired me to quit being so limiting and try these. I love the packaging…quite exciting to open a box presented like that. Hope the peppermint is to your liking also.

    • I do hope you like it if you try it, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I, too, am more of a drinker of other teas but this was a very welcome departure from the norm. I still haven’t tried the peppermint but I’m looking forward to doing so one day when I’m really in the mood. Interesting the way tastes change with time, isn’t it? I used to drink a lot of peppermint tea but these days I don’t often opt for it.

    • I meant to add, you’re quite right, it was exciting opening the box! :-)

  16. You really spoke to me with the words: “I’m not sure I want to drink it so much as sew it into a little pillow and inhale it through the night.” I think that’s what I’d rather do with tea. Quite often I am disappointed when I drink tea, but when I open a tin or packet and inhale…

    • That’s great, perhaps that’s the answer for you. I must say, although I drink copious quantities of tea, there are some that I think I’d rather just sniff. I like to think it’s good for your health, even if you just sniff it.

  17. I have never had China White tea, but now you have tempted me to be on the lookout for some. And if I’ve not said it before – you write so well!

    • That’s a coincidence, I made a pot of it a few minutes ago before sitting down at my computer. It’s a very light and fragrant sort of tea, perfect for drinking from fine bone china. If you try it I hope you enjoy it, and thank you very much for your kind comment. :-)

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