Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tea to WI For

November 2011

The Great Tea Taste Test - First and Foremost a Tea Room

At the point of conception, the idea for this business was the the combination of tea and cake. This is a very simple and very crucial point. As you read this and follow my journey around all the nitty gritty in setting up a business, it will all be for naught if you and I cannot sit around a table in March next year and enjoy a hot cup of your favourite tea with a stunning slice of fabulous cake. [Yes I am that deluded that I still believe I will have time to sit around and take tea at leisure, where as in reality I will be doing my headless chicken impression]

Tea is a ritual that for many of us forms part of our daily routine. From a traditional 'Breakfast Blend' to a fine 'Oolong' and taking in those great herbal infusions; we know what we like and how we like it served. As with the search to find a coffee supplier that I wrote about HERE, I need to trust a supplier who has done the leg work in sourcing the finest selections of teas and can bring the World to my door to share the best with you.

The best advice I have had to find a great supplier is to speak to someone else selling what you want and flatter them into sharing their source. In the case of tea, from all of my research there is no finer tea importer than the one that I am now in touch with. Having tracked down such a brilliant blender it's now time to take the tea to the people and confirm that what I consider is the best passes the taste test.

Finding coffee taste testers was no problem. I rounded up some very special people that I knew would give me their honest and balanced opinions. As my raison d'être I felt that this tea needed to face the ultimate scrutiny. A bunch of tasters who would make Craig Revel Horwood and Gordon Ramsay look like pussy cats, but also understand the importance of the tea ritual, its refinery and quintessential Britishness.

Who You Gonna Call? The Women's Institute of Course!

On the 12th November 2011, myself and 22 ladies with over 1000 years of tea tasting experience between them road tested my favoured tea supplier. We tasted our way through, Assam's, Ceylon's, Lapsang Souchong's, China Green Tea's, Earl Grey and Breakfast Blend's. Each tea was judged on it's look, the feel of the leaves, the smell of the brew and of course the taste.

Fortunately these ladies brought with them, a Victoria Sandwich, Fruit Cakes, Cupcakes, Scones, Lemon Tart and a rather delicious Austrian Apple Tray Bake. With three giant platters of mixed sandwiches and some glorious Autumn sunshine the stage was set.

The Results - Best In Show

I am delighted to say that the WI [unofficially] have given their seal of approval to my tea supplier. Every tea was well received. There was a momentary scare over the China Green Tea which we were finding quite bitter. With a change to the brewing conditions, slightly less leaf and a lighter brew, the Green Tea fans [myself included] were back to raving.

3rd Place - Assam
2nd Place - Earl Grey
1st Place - Lapsang Souchong
Best in Show Rosette

 Best in Show - Lapsang Souchong for its smokey depth, gorgeous colour and balance.


I have found my tea supplier. I am so very excited about this, being such an important piece in the puzzle. Today really is a milestone. You have seen the cakes in the Gallery section and now you can see the tea. It is becoming real. Roll on March 2012. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks, more venue news coming very very soon...

Get your hand on my buns! @ Chapter Festive Food Fair 10th December 2011

I can exclusively reveal that I Want to Bake Free has a stand at the Fabulous Chapter Arts Centre Festive Food Fair 2011 @chaptertweets. Even better, just for you lovely people interested in tea, I will be selling some of the fabulous Earl Grey and Christmas Blend tea at this event so you can taste at home and let me know your thoughts!

Event Details
Date: Saturday 10th December 2011
Time: 11am until 6pm (get there early to avoid disappointment)
Location: Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff

More details to follow SOON! Including what you can expect to see on sale.


  1. Yay! Glad you found a good supplier, I actually visited a new tearoom at the weekend and sampled their "Christmas in a cup" blend, it was lovely!

    I can't wait till your up and running and I can make my way to Cardiff and sample your wares.

  2. So glad to have found your blog through twitter. One of those many who wish I was doing this, maybe I will one day and luckily your blog would have given me a plethora of information to help me. thanks


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