Sponsored post: A flavour-packed afternoon tea
I was recently invited to the pop-up Masterchef Dining and Bar in Sydney to experience ‘High Tea Brewed by Lipton’ with master tea blender, Kurush Bharucha. As a self-appointed aficionado of tea and cake, I was excited to check out the new pop-up and explore the new range of Lipton‘s Pyramid teas. And I was also eager to sample some of the sweet treats that have featured in Australian Masterchef over the past few years. My date for the afternoon was my mum, the original aficionado of all things tea and cake.
First surprise? The magnificent set-up of the Masterchef Dining and Bar, which was a much grander verision of your usual wooden-crates-and-make-do nature of a pop-up. This was pop-up deluxe, with marble benchtops, magnificent lighting installations and Masterchef’s signature mezzanine, where our afternoon tea was taking place.
Our table was set with an intriguing line-up of bell jars housing samples of tea leaves, with another row of glass tea cups and a third row of Lipton Pyramid tea bags. After our glasses were filled with hot water, we were introduced to Lipton master tea blender, Kurush Bharucha, who is a man who knows a wee bit about tea. So much, in fact, at one point in his career he was tasting 1,000 cups of tea a day. Blimey!
Kurush guided us through each tea, explaining the finer points of each blend as we infused our hot water with the new pyramid tea bags. It was an experience for all the senses, and represented a departure from your usual automatic-robot-tea-bag dunking, as we could observe the tiny leaves, flowers and pieces of fruit within each pyramid swirl and burst into colour and fragrance.
Second surprise? The Russian Earl Grey tea pyramid came to life in the hot water. The pretty sky blue cornflower petals swirled amongst pieces of orange and lemon peel and the gentle aroma of bergamot and citrus wafted up from the cup. I’m not generally a fan of Earl Grey but this one had a subtle flavour that was gently warming.
So what’s the big deal about the pyramid shape? Kurush explained that it allows them to use longer tea leaves and bigger pieces of ingredients such as lemon peel, cinnamon bark and jasmine petals – which is responsible for the swirling visual treat in my cup! Also, the roomier teabag means that all the goodness in the tea bag can dance about and release more flavour. It’s a bit like having a mini teapot with loose leaf tea in your tea bag. Nice!
Third surprise? We were also introduced to the new range of the delightful Lipton tisanes, with blends including Forest Fruits, Raspberry Passion and Peach Mango. Most of you will know that I generally like a good old cup of builder’s tea – English Breakfast is my blend of choice, but I really loved exploring the new fruit tisanes. Anything with a flavour punch of passionfruit gets a big tick from me. I usually fill my tea with milk and sugar, but there was no need for anything else with these cupfuls of rich flavour.
We were also introduced to last year’s Masterchef runner-up, the lovely Julia Taylor, who took us through the tasty afternoon tea menu featuring Waldorf finger sandwiches, friands with tea-infused raisons, Zumbarons, Adriano Zumbo passionfruit tart and her signature Vegemite caramel chocolate cups.
Lipton’s Forest Fruits tea went down a treat with the zumbarons! The stand-out sweet morsels of the afternoon were the incredible friands, the flavour-packed passionfruit tart and the Vegemite caramel chocolate cups, which were the absolute highlight. Sweet and salty and incredibly moreish, we sat in reverent silence as we consumed the heavenly mouthful of the most surprising ganash.
The best surprise of the afternoon? Discovering that Lipton’s pyramid tea is indeed a clever and innovative way to enjoy your favourite brew, and the 16 new flavours provide a real treat for your senses.
Who knew a tea bag could provide so much entertainment?
WIN! Lipton Pyramid Tea
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me in 25 words or less which Lipton Pyramid tea flavour would you pair with your favourite sweet treat? The giveaway is open to all Australian residents 14 years and older, and ends at 5pm Friday, 27 September 2013.
The five most creative responses will win a sample pack containing eight different flavours from the Lipton Pyramid range. Click here for the full competition terms and conditions. Please don’t forget to leave your email address in the space provided in the comments section – it will only be visible to me.