[Gryphon Tea Company - White Gingerlily; Earl Grey Lavender]
Anyone who knows me understands that I have an undying love affair with tea and coffee...a fact which will undoubtedly unfold over the course of this blog. For today, though, let's indulge my love for tea. Mmmm...tea....
So, towards the end of March this year, my father went to visit my aunt in hospital in Singapore, and because he is the best father ever, he stole all her tea and extorted more from the nurses for me. Who could ask for a better father?
He returned with two sachets each of British Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Lavender and Chamomile. Those sachets are long gone, but I was suitably impressed. I had never tried Gryphon tea prior to this even though I have seen it in a few cafes around KL.
I am, to a large extent, a creature of habit, but there is this other part of me that really does love trying new things...especially when they are convenient. Now, I'm quite sure that when you saw the picture above, you thought about how pretty the boxes were. If you didn't, go get your eyes checked. You may also need a psychiatrist. Preferably a psychologically-trained optician who can treat you while he checks your glasses out. But, I digress. Not only is the exterior deliciously pretty, the interior packaging is unbelievably beautiful as well. Beautiful and convenient!
What they have done (there will be pictures later!) is to place silken sachets of loose leaf tea into individual, airtight plastics for freshness. Which also doubles as easy carriage! Which makes me happy! Now, back to my point: I needed tea on the go, and I took the British Breakfast and Earl Grey Lavender with me because the rest of my tea is not travel-friendly.
And I fell in lust! Especially so with the Earl Grey Lavender! Omg!
[Gryphon - Earl Grey Lavender (20 Sachets)]
[Gryphon - Earl Grey Lavender (Single Sachet - Front)]
[Gryphon - Earl Grey Lavender (Single Sachet - Back)]
Yes! All 20 of the sachets are wrapped as such! Isn't it awesome that they even tell you the temperature to brew it at and what it pairs well with?! You get tea AND an education! It's almost like eating a Kinder Egg!
What you should notice when you pick one of these sachets up is the distinct lack of a smell. This is a fantastic thing because air, temperature, humidity, etc. tend to have an effect on tea, so the lack of smell indicates truly airtight packaging. What you will also notice, is that when you tear this packaging open, the distinct smell of lavender will float out and caress your senses, instantly throwing a veil of calm over you. It has to be one of the best feelings in the world. That is, until you taste it! OMG!
Meet my tea mug:
[Gryphon - Earl Grey Lavender]
Now this is a really big mug. I think it's meant for soup. For a size comparison, here it is next to a full-sized teapot:
What you should conclude from this is that one of these silken sachets is capable of brewing an entire pot of tea...or one mug, if you're me. Why do I brew it this way? I feel like it opens up the flavour of floral teas when brewed in this manner, as opposed to closed up in a teapot. I am well aware that people in Sri Lanka might shank me for this, but too bad. I will beat them with my big, orange mug!
Anyway, I really do wish I could have you just smell the scent of this as it brews. It's like sniffing peace. And when you sip it...*sigh*...absolutely divine. I have yet to encounter a better blend of Earl Grey Lavender. I somehow feel this is going to be a fruitless search.
[Gryphon - Earl Grey Lavender with Milk]
This has to be my favourite sight in the world. It makes me happy just looking at it.
Now, before you think Gryphon has paid me to spread the word, let's talk about their White Gingerlily.
[Gryphon - White Gingerlily (20 Sachets)]
[Gryphon - White Gingerlily (Single Sachet - Front)]
[Gryphon - White Gingerlily (Single Sacher - Back)]
Fail. So much fail. I don't even know where to start.
Sadly, this tea came very highly recommended by a barista I know, and I am disappointed. It's a good thing she makes coffee (and very good coffee, I might add). It also saddens me that this is one of those don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover situations. The packaging is SO pretty that I really wanted, and really tried to like this tea. I don't, and it is unlikely that I ever will.
What exactly is wrong with it? It's white tea. You are not supposed to flavour white tea with all the overpowering flavours they have added to it. It's an abomination. That is, unless you are using sub-par white tea in the first place, which might very well be the case judging from the colour of the brew:
[Gryphon - White Gingerlily]
White tea is just that...It is meant to be a clear, very pale brew. This is not. I don't even think the colour has anything to do with the other additions. It's just a bad brew with too many flavours competing for attention. I really don't like this tea. Instead of being calming, it actually stresses me out whenever I drink it because my tastebuds get truly upset by the concoction.
What about the other two varieties I mentioned - British Breakfast Tea and Chamomile? They definitely get a pass. I wouldn't buy entire boxes of either though, but if you are a fan of either, you definitely should try them. Why wouldn't I buy them? Chamomile is not a tea...it is a lie. I simply do not like it. As for the Breakfast tea, Gryphon's blend has spices in it, which makes it somewhat of a chai, which is an affront to my Indian senses. My family might disown me if I buy chai-esque items instead of making proper Indian tea myself. That said, if I were to buy a spiced tea, this would definitely be it!
All in all, try the Earl Grey Lavender even if you have to kill someone to get it. It is absolutely worth the jail time.
Gryphon is a Singaporean company, and so I got the teas from there instead of in KL for purely financially prudent reasons. However, they are available in Ben's Independent Grocer in Publika and they range from RM35-RM42, depending on the variety.