by kate on January 11th, 2013
Canton Tea Club Week 15
We are delighted this week to welcome our guest tea selector, Adam Byatt. First and foremost a chef, Adam is also a restaurateur and food writer. He has appeared on screen a number of times, as a regular on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and numerous other cooking and lifestyle shows. Beginning his career in the frenetic kitchen of the legendary Claridges Hotel at the age of 16, Adam was sous-chef at the Square restaurant when it gained its second Michelin star. He now runs Trinity, widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in London.
Adam: My first day as a new recruit at the esteemed Square restaurant saw me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. My eyes were opened that day to what was to become a love affair with privately-owned restaurants with a fast beating heart and plenty of rock and roll.
And this has what to do with tea?
Well, the first dish I ever cooked at The Square was a tagliatelli of pheasant poached in Earl Grey with a thyme Chantilly. Coming from a strictly PG background, I had never experienced loose leaf tea, and I had certainly never encountered the delights of bergamot and citrus in my metallic half-brewed, fairly insipid water. The dish was a triumph; I stayed – for a long time.
Nowadays I do understand tea. Not only do I buy and sell a lot of it, I also relish its inner refreshment.
Earl grey is a drink I choose not to relax me but when I am already quite mellow, sometimes just with a slice of lemon but mostly with a dash of milk.
I tried the Canton Organic Earl Grey today for the first time. It has the herbal notes, the bergamot is present but it lingers, not in a metallic way but in a palate-cleansing, pleasing way.
The citrus notes are zingy but not bitter. I think it’s the floral element from the Darjeeling that I really like. It’s less nice with a slice but I guess that’s because this tea is already balanced.
The colour always makes me long for my old friend – that coffee I can stand a spoon in. But once I go there I do really love this tea, and I may even poach some feathered friends in it for old time’s sake.