What am I drinking?
Blue Earl Grey, a blend of early grey (dark assam black tea), flavoured with bergamot oil, with the addition of a smattering of cornflowers.
Where am I drinking it?
Saltpeter at The Green Door Market, located in Newmarket just beside the new Teelings Distillery. Basically occupying the corner of a large warehouse, the centre of which is itself occupied by the fruit and veg market, this is an unexpected little spot (just four tables) of hot beverage heaven. Great tea, great coffee, great baked goods (their gingerbread men are particularly good).
What does it taste like?
Earl Grey is a strong black tea, flavoured with bergamot, which gives it a really unique citrusy overtone without compromising on the tea. It tends to feel a little oily on the tongue, as compared to, say, green teas. The cornflowers in this blend don’t seem to effect the taste overmuch, just handing a hint of floweriness, but have a big impact on the aroma, which is basically divine.
What does it look like?
The cornflowers also add beautiful splashes of blue to the dark greyish-black loose tea, though these get somewhat hidden once put into a teabag – it would be great to see this tea in a glass pot rather than in a teabag, but we’re in a café in a food market, you can’t have everything.
Where does it come from?
The tea itself is assam, from South India, but Earl Grey is a British invention. The addition of the citrus Bergamot oil was intended to elevate cheap, low-grade teas to the level of the fine greens from China. The result is something that tastes very unlike green tea, but has become an institution in itself. The teas in Saltpeter are supplied by Alveus.
What effect does it have?
This blend gives you a pretty good boost – assam is basically a breakfast tea, so strong and energising, perfect when you need a bit of focus to blast through some work.
Where can I get it?
We haven’t seen anywhere else in town that stocks this particular brand of tea, but blue Earl Grey blends are actually fairly common as the flowers and bergamot flavours are such a good match.
Is it worth the try?
This is pretty expensive for one takeaway-cup-worth of tea at €2.50, but worth a try to come and sit in this strange little spot in the corner of a warehouse and sip on a super cuppa.