Finally, A Tea Business Pairing Tea and Food.

I was recently approached on twitter by Dandylion Teas who asked if I wanted to try a few of their teas. Obviously!

I then went on to have about an hour talk with Francesca, the owner. She is so cool and I instantly warmed to her. She is originally from New York and been a patisserie chef in Michelin Star restaurants. She realised there was a gap in market of quality tea pairings and menus. The fancy restaurants she was working in served amazing food, wines and the whole experience was luxurious but the tea was not. She creates Dandylion Teas that we’re specifically blended to go with certain element of the eating experience. I received a range of the teas and an amazing brochure that categorises the teas into sections of the menu.
I’ve picked three very different teas to try. The first was Dandy Afternoon. It sounded like a delightful afternoon blend. Brewed for 3 minutes with boiling water, served without milk. It was a bright rich amber hue, the classic tea colour.
dscf2433.jpg Its quite clear with a beautiful brightness and clarity to it. Now personally, I am a bit hesitate when there is Darjeeling that are mixed blended as many brands claim they are Darjeeling teas but its actually a mix & the apparent market total of Darjeeling in the world far exceeds that actual amount grown.  But in the blend you can actually smell and taste the Darjeeling.  This tea has beautiful levels of flavours, it has the dark sugar, caramelly base that you’d get from the Sri Lankan teas. Its perfectly complimented with the top notes of the Dajeeling, the muscatel sweetness, with a hint of floral from it, almost like honeysuckle. There is also notes of raisin in it, at the top of my throat, reminds me of a crumble.
Perhaps I brewed it slightly too long but there isa slightly drying element on the tip of my tongue, but it actually makes it moreish. It’s definitely a delicious blend that I’d be happy to drink thorough the day!
The next I chose was Coffee Frangipane. Now this one I was very keen to try. Coffee & tea together? Could this actually work? Surprisingly it does. It’s not something I’d naturally choose but definitely something interesting. It’s not at all like someone put half a cup of tea and half a cup of coffee together, but there is clearly an intentional blending of the tea leaves and coffee beans. Part of the pastries section which means they pair well with breads and pastries. The ingredients are Sri Lankan black tea, coffee beans, almond pieces and vanilla pieces. It does sounds strange but it really is an interesting flavour. I can see the pairing with pastries, something quite buttery, creamy and drinking this to cut through it and enhance the flavours further. DSCF2281
It is a slightly brighter dark golden hue with not as much clarity as the Dandy Afternoon, I suspect that is because of the additional ingredients in the teabags. But the tea (or do I call it coffee?) is a complex blend. Smelling it you can defiantly get the sweet sugary notes from the almond and vanilla. The flavour has the drying smoothness from the tea as a base with the notes of the sharp flavour from the coffee. The almond and vanilla bring it together to a mix of sensations that I could completely see as a dessert. I can see this being drunk in the morning alongside a croissant or another delicious pastry to get you started for the day ahead!
The final was Blueberry Millfeuille. This blend sounded really nice and delicious. The ingredients include – Chinese green tea, blueberries, hibiscus petals, rosehip, apple pieces and more! DSCF2279 I was a bit worried that it was going to taste artificial, but it really didn’t. It was fresh fruity and had layers of the different flavours. Its colour was a bright pinky red colour with a bright glow. It too had a bit a haze but I think that was from the actual real ingredients in the pyramid bags. The smell is fruity and floral you can definitely get all the different ingredients, it’s interesting and enticing. fullsizeoutput_587
The flavour is not at all articifcal like I find so many fruity teas are, this is not at all like that. They smell really nice but then don’t actually taste of anything. This is fresh and it has such a great range of different flavours to it. You can taste all the different fruits, the apple and elderberry but it has a zing to it. It’s a very pretty blend and definitely one for those who want to get into tea but prefer herbal blends. This is part of the Dessert Blend range, so the perfect accompaniment for desserts that are creamy, able to cut through but also compliment the food.
The only thing that has been difficult about producing content is that I was only sent one bag of each blend and I didn’t think it through properly before taking photos and such. As I’m used to more loose leaf teas, I can produce different content easily but this was a bit harder and I did the filming before blogging so didn’t have great photos before I started writing and couldn’t reshoot the teabags again.
I think what is so brilliant about this brand is that they are creating a culture for the dining experience. Those who are designated drivers, can’t drink or just don’t drink often don’t have much of range of drinks to choose from and even less that are specifically paired to go with the the menu. There is such knowledge, understanding and care in creating these blends and you can definitely see that they match menus in their pairing qualities.
 I’ve done a video so do visit my youtube channel HannahRuthTea for a better show of the teas.
But do got and visit Dandylion Teas! I love there concept and think that this could be part of making real changes with the how tea is drunk in the dining experience!

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