An Afternoon With Stephen Twinings

How to Make the Perfect Cuppa
@ Marina Bay Sands, Presidential Suite
5 September 2011
Any true tea-lover would screamed in wondrous delight when they see an exquisite teapot set laid on a fine marble table top next to cosy cushion seats. To get their excitement going, a 45 degrees turn, they saw a plateful of sliced lemons, finely-cut sugar cubes, pots of warm milk and Bonne Maman honey stored in small marmalade bottles.All of the the essentials that will complement any sort of tea to derive a perfect tea formula to suits to your liking. As a tea-lover, I just can’t wait to experiment all these “garnishes” with my cup of tea.

I love how sugar are made into cute tiny cubes.

Bonne Maman Honey
You can’t really consider yourself to be a true tea connoisseur till you’ve met this man from Herforshire,Britain who runs Britain’s Tea Empire,Twinings and drinks at least 15 wholesome cups of finely brewed tea a day.  To be learning about the science behind tea and the art of tea blending from Mr.Stephen Twinings himself is something that a tea-lover could ever dream of.

Fun fact: Did you know that Queen Victoria appointed Twinings as a supplier tea to her household? Even the Queen enjoys the goodness from Twining’s tea leaves.
Mr.Stephen Twinings, a very tall man who towered over us while he explained how tea has play a part is shaping the British’s way of life. His passion for tea is something that would not go unnoticed and it really leaves you pondering why this man would drown himself with 15 cups of tea a day for years in his life. If tea is his first love,then each cup of brewed tea he sipped each time would be something new and fresh that would tantalised his taste buds. He knew his first love inside out, down right to the picking of the best tea leaves by hand.
 Picky or What?
No. The leaf sizes are too small.

No, take these away. The tea leaves doesn’t curl nicely.

The aroma is too mild. Out!
As he shared with us about the insights and the behind-the-scenes in creating Twining’s Tea blend, I was amazed by how much precision and effort goes into making fine quality tea for the discerning tea drinkers.

Tea + Milk. In the olden days, people poured some milk into their porcelain tea cups before filling the cups with hot tea as this would prevent the the cups from cracking due to heat. The addition of milk helps to lower the temperature of the tea. And this  probably explains why tea drinkers add a dash of milk to in their cuppa.
 When Tea is Brewed to Perfection.

 It’s the water that brings out the essence of tea so the type and temperature of the water is of utmost importance.

 Well-oxygenated Water that would bring out the tannin from the tea leaves, leaving a nice brown taint in the water.

 Boiling Water for Black tea Blend like Earl Grey and Darjeeling.

95 Degree Celsius for Green Tea and White Tea leaves
I am a little Teapot, short and snout.
Before brewing make sure the tea stains are removed thoroughly. 
Here’s a little tip from Mr.Stephen Twinings.
Avoid using soap and detergent to scrub the teapots unless you want to achieve a hot brewed cuppa with traces of detergent in it.
The brown stains on the teapots can absorb the harsh chemicals from detergent.
The teapot is usually warmed with hot water before brewing to minimise heat loss.
Brew your tea for 3 to 5 minutes.
Enjoy your cuppa with scones,cupcakes and chocolates.

White Tea served with:

Char Siew Soh Rolls with Sweet Plum Dips

Maki Sushui Rolls

Mini macarons

Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Torte

Afternoon Tea. Fun fact: Did you know that high tea refers to the early evening meal for  the working class in England?

Hezelnut & Milk Chocolate Torte: Rocher Chocolate toppings with hazelnut sponge cake.

Char Siew Soh Rolls. I love the crunchy flakes but it was quite oily and the oiled flakes slides smoothly between the layers.

Twinings Mint Cooler which was served with crushed ice and mint leaves. The sudden cooling sensation shocks and awaken my senses at the very moment I tasted it.

Twinings Mint Cooler served with:

English cucumber tea sandiwch
Spanish Quiche
Mini Pistachio Financier
Mini Ginger Creme Brulee

During the tea appreciation session, we get to sample 3 different types of Twining brewed tea : Earl Grey,White Tea and Mint Tea.
My all-time favourite was Earl Grey, a perfumed tea that leaves me a deep imprint on my tase buds when I took a sip for the very first time in my life. The aroma and unique taste of the bergamot was truly unforgettable.

The Earl grey tea sold in Singapore has a mild taste to it, different from the ones that are sold in London. Asians are know to  prefer tea with a milder taste but not for me as  I love drinking Earl Grey with a wholesome dark flavour of bergamot to it.

I am glad to be equipped with a plentiful of knowledge from a tea connoisseur and I just can’t wait get home and  brew a teapot brimming with Twining’s Earl Grey. 

Maybe I have to use 3 more tea bags of Earl Grey to achieve the maximum strength in flavour.

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