Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tea: Australian Afternoon

I've been a big tea lover for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make amazing Southern Sweet Tea and I'd always ask for her hot tea which she made always with the perfect amount of milk and sugar just using simple and plain Lipton's Tea Bags. As an adult, I've carried the love for tea with me, especially black teas. I'm not much one for herbal teas, but I have been dabbling lately. I'm still not a super big fan, but I do find that I enjoy herbal tea more so in the morning as my stomach can't yet handle the heaviness and richness black tea brings. Black tea is always my afternoon and evening drink. I especially love a nice cup while I'm writing my penpal letters. 

In the penpal community, it's common to send small gifts with your letters. Teas are one of the most common treats you'll receive inside a letter. Tea is popular in snailmail for many reasons. One, most everyone likes it. It's cozy! Two, it's flat and lightweight, super easy to ship and doesn't add much extra weight to your letter. Three, it's fun to try new things from other countries and there's so many teas from all over the world! I always like to share with my penpals a tea bag from the tea that I'm drinking while writing their letter.

Above is a letter and small gifts recently received in a letter from my penpal, Rita, in Glebe, Australia. Postcards and tea are always a lovely surprise to find inside a letter. I was so happy to receive these two Twinings teas from Australia. Twinings is my absolute favorite brand of tea and I haven't seen these flavors in America (but if anyone knows where I can find them, do enlighten me!). I especially love that the tea is themed to herself, she's Russian, but lives in Australia and the two teas she sent have flavors based on those two cultures: Australian Afternoon and Russian Caravan. 

Today, I thought I'd share my thoughts on Australian Afternoon. This is something I plan on doing more as I receive more unique teas from around the world from my dear penpals. 

Australian Afternoon is black tea made by Twinings and is described on the packaging as being "Brisk & Full-Bodied" at "Full Strength" (this measures how strong the tea will be). As I sipped on this wonderful tea, I made some notes. My first impressions were that the tea actually had a similar flavor to Lipton tea bags. I noticed the tea became very dark, very fast. After adding my cream and sugar, the tea then took on a rich golden brown color. Almost a dark amber which the packaging suits perfectly. 

Australian Afternoon had an interesting aroma, one that I cannot describe. I must preface this by saying that today in particular, I am having some sinus-related stuffiness, so my sense of smell is slightly skewed, however I absolutely cannot pinpoint this aroma. As I drew the mug closer to my face to take a sip, there was a peculiar scent that was almost a bit sweet and syrupy... almost a tad medicinal. I really don't know how else to describe it. 

This is quite a robust tea, which is perfect if you like your tea with a strong flavor. The tea remained flavorful even after adding cream and sugar. The undertones of this tea are unique and interesting. Thank you, Rita!

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