When you get invited to a tea masterclass, you just can’t turn it down, well certainly not if you’re a tea lover like me. Now T2 aren’t just any old tea place, they do tea differently and are all about recreating the tea leaf with over 200 teas now to their name. Having opened their first store in Melbourne, Australia back in 1996 (I’d have been barely one), T2 has started a tea trend and only went and landed themselves a store on Glasgow’s famous Buchanan Street back in June. Having a friend who is a T2 fanatic and who constantly visits their store on her trips to Australia, it was only right to take her along to the masterclass so off we went to master the art of tea.
On arrival, my nose perked up with all the exotic smells floating around the store as soon as we walked in. There was tea everywhere, to the point I didn’t know you could actually get as many different flavours of tea as they offer, I was amazed and ready to treat my taste-buds.
Before that though here’s a little fact about the amazing decor that certainly caught my eye. With very little funds to cover the decoration costs, the store owner bought a bunch of Chinese newspapers which were put to good use…as wallpaper. This caught on, adding to T2’s distinct nature and was adopted in all other stores.
We were introduced to the lovely Jenny who’d be taking our tea masterclass that day, and very shortly after chatting I came to the conclusion that I’m not very experimental when it comes to tea. I like what people tend to call “baby tea”, lots of sugar and pretty milky so I had no clue where to start, thank goodness Jenny was on hand for some guidance.
I tried a range of different hot teas and iced teas, and learnt that actually iced tea isn’t as weird as I once would have thought it was, and at T2 if you pick the right flavour, actually an iced tea can be even more of a treat than a good old cup of tea. So what iced teas did I try out? I had the traditional Matcha tea which is their well known powdered green tea, used as part of Japanese tea ceremonies, and as weird as it may look, it was really lovely both hot or cold. We then went for some fruity flavours and tried the Pack a Peach which really packed a punch with me and left a good impression, but my favourite iced tea was the Southern Sunrise. With white hibiscus, lemongrass and grapefruit, this was a fruitful delight, and I can see where it gets its name from, its very refreshing and would make a great start to any early morning.
Moving on to some hot teas, I started off with the mint mix, which combines both peppermint and spearmint to make the perfect minty duo. Peppermint is very good for the stomach, particularly if its upset, and with the perfect strength of mint this is the ideal tea. Not only lovely and fresh but a health remedy of some sort too. T2 really go the extra mile when coming up with the names of their tea and this next one Blue Mountain had me intrigued. A fragrant, vanilla-scented black tea like this enables you to imagine you’re high in the mountains with nature’s fresh air blowing through your hair, when in reality you’re sitting at the kitchen table with an overly used mug in your hand.
What was my favourite tea? Without a doubt the Caramel Brownie, but why? 1) I love brownies and will always order these if they’re on the dessert menu at a restaurant and 2) I recently tried a caramel tea during my afternoon tea experience at the Hilton Hotel so I was curious as to what the combination of the caramel and brownie would be like. It didn’t disappoint that’s for sure, it was the type of tea I can imagine drinking on those dreary Winter mornings, with a dash of milk, which I was recommended. T2 were kind enough to let us pick a box of loose tea leafs to take home so of course the decision wasn’t hard for me, I chose the caramel brownie and my mornings have been a whole lot better ever since.
So what did I learn during my masterclass at T2? There are some very important T’s when it comes to the tea itself, and that’s time and temperature, as both are key to making the perfect brew. I’ve also experimented with both iced and hot tea, and I’m now swaying further away from my usual baby tea. I can’t thank T2 enough for inviting me along to broaden my tea horizons as it certainly done just that, you can broaden yours too, check out their social media links below.