If tea is the new coffee (which was, confusingly, once the new tea), then there are few better places to be right now than Dublin – the days of Barry's vs Lyons are long over, as greens, mints, matchas and fruity brews all vie for our attention.
Every week we choose one tea, in one location, and give our two cents on it. And this week, we've headed right into the heart of old Dublin for a cup of white...
What am I drinking?
White tea with rosemary (also featuring lemon and lemongrass)
Where am I drinking it?
Bibi’s Café, a gem of a spot nestled in the centre of residential Dublin 8. It may be off the beaten track, but the quality of its food, teas, coffees and treats is turning it into one of the busiest spots in the area: just try getting a table for lunch once it hits 10.30. It’s comfortable and bright, with a buzzing atmosphere.
What does it taste like?
As you would expect from Clemont & Pekoe, who supply Bibi’s loose-leaf teas, this is a really fine tea blend. The white tea itself is light and refreshing, just a hint on the tongue, while the rosemary, lemongrass and lemon gives it an earthy edge.
Perfect with scones for a garden afternoon tea vibe.
What does it look like?
The tea is served in a cast-iron teapot: these teapots are not only beautiful, but are great for allowing the tea to steep well and keep its heat. Bibi's serve all their food and drinks on deep green pottery, which adds to the rustic garden feel. The tea itself is also chunky and rustic, with the rosemary leaves and lemon pieces clearly visible. You also get a little piece of brownie on the side: what’s not to love?
Where does it come from?
White tea is tea that has not been heavily processed, usually just dried (as opposed to green teas which are cooked before drying). Most white teas are Chinese, and as discussed here before, usually from the Fujian province.
What effect does it have?
Refined and gentle, this is a tea for relaxing afternoons, or refreshing tea breaks, and would even make a fantastic iced tea.
Where can I get it?
As well as Bibi’s, Clement & Pekoe supply a handful of stores around Dublin, and of course have their own café on South William Street as well as Indigo and Cloth on Essex Street. Their website also promises an online shop coming soon…
Is it worth the try?
Don’t go for this if you’re looking for a caffeine hit, or very strong flavours, but a definite match for your brunch in the sun.
If you like this, also try…
Clement & Pekoe's Organic Chamomile, another light and refreshing afternoon herbal blend.
Bibi's Cafe, 14A Emorville Ave, Dublin 8