Tea Expertise from the Palace

My husband Cliff has always detested marzipan. I could never get him to have any until these (upper right) arrived. He absolutely loves these Buckingham Palace marzipan fruits! He ordered some for me, along with their chocolates, for Valentine’s Day. I got him to try one and subsequently placed an order for him for this past Father’s Day. He still loves the biscuits, but the marzipan is right up there on his list. These fruits remind me of the marzipan fruit my mother used to make at Christmas when I was very little. My granddaughters are quite crazy for them too.

I was able to use these lovelies for “What Have We Here?” book photo shoots in February. – Sterling berry, cherry, strawberry forks, gilded sterling nut dishes, one lone olive fork and a petit fours server.

Yesterday I found an email from the Official Royal Gift Shop and the Royal Collection Trust. The invitation to “Become a Tea Expert” caught my eye. As I love the Royal Collection chocolates and my husband loves the marzipan and biscuits, I thought I’d share these tips:

                        Become a Tea Expert

All you need to know about selecting a tea blend and preparing the perfect cup of tea. Become a tea expert with our tips on choosing the right blend, preparing your tea, and what to serve with your favourite blend.

Make the perfect cup of tea

  • Store tea in a cool, dark place away from strong odours. A tea caddy is ideal.
  • For the best results, we recommend using high quality loose leaf tea.
  • Always use freshly boiled water. For black tea, use water at 95-98 degrees centigrade. For green, white or oolong teas, use water which is just off the boil, around 80 degrees centigrade. You can achieve this by leaving the water for 3-5 minutes after the kettle has boiled.
  • Fine quality leaf teas always taste better when made in a teapot. Our top tip - make sure you warm the teapot first.
  • Water quality varies widely, and soft or hard water will make a tea taste different. It’s best to experiment to find a tea that suits your water. Using a water filter will generally improve the quality of your drink.
  • Add one slightly heaped teaspoon of tea leaves per person, and infuse for at least three minutes. Of course, this varies depending on personal taste, and for a stronger flavour you might add an extra teaspoon ‘for the pot’.
  • Adding milk last allows you to judge the correct amount.

I needed some treats for photos and these fit the bill: The chocolates are on a favorite antique, hand painted, china plate from the 1920’s, in an Art Deco and Egyptianesque design. It’s paired with a gilded sterling bonbon spoon. The chocolates from the Royal Collection shop are always fresh and I can’t suggest one over the other of these two different choices. They are all sinfully delicious. The dark chocolate mints just melt in the mouth. The Rose and Violet creams are rich and so unique. Well worth ordering for a truly different gift. If you havent been on the Royal Collection shop website, it’s a lovely diversion from reading the online news of the day, and you just might see something you’d like to try. 


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