Tue | May 26, 2020

Spilling the ‘Tea’

Published:Thursday | October 10, 2019 | 12:00 AMDanik Frazer /Gleaner Writer
Jampro’s Andrea Reid and Rosemarie Martin all smiles with their #CarefullySelected teas.
The new line of #CarefullySelected infused teas from the Caribbean Dreams launch on October 1.
The Jamaica Teas table all smiles. From left: Omar Dubal, Stephanie Johnson, Nyoka Rogers and Ashwane Taylor.
The iced tea station was busy all night pouring refreshing cups of the new tea infusions from the #CarefullySelected line at Caribbean Dreams.
‘Pina Colada’, anyone? The new ‘Pineapple Coconut’ tea from the #CarefullySelected line of teas.
Content creater Alexandra ‘Lexi’ Daley takes some time for ‘Select’ tea at the Caribbean Dreams launch.

As Jamaican as tea… not clicking? Well, it should since one thing you can always find in every Jamaican home is some good old-fashioned tea. Mango season has come to a close and ‘time col’ with a hint of ‘Christmas breeze’ and a dash of ‘jru rain’ is in the air so tea is king once more. Thanks to Jamaican Teas Limited, tea time just got a lot more flavourful yet it remains just as effortless. Food was invited to taste its new line of tea blends at the Caribbean Dreams ‘Select’ launch recently at the Jangas Sound Bar and Grill in Kingston. Thankfully for the brand, the Kingston skies seemed to understand the importance of this event and the evening remained dry. Well, the skies did at least, as this was not a dry launch with deliciously strong spiked tea cocktails served upon entry and throughout the night with a generously open bar. Later in the night they even featured a mini mixology demo where you were taught to spike your own ‘Carefully Selected’ teas at home.

Not interested in hard teas? No problem, the launch featured an aesthetically pleasing ‘virgin’ iced tea stand manned – or womaned – by one of their Caribbean Dreams girls dressed in a flamenco-inspired asymmetrical two-toned dress. Available for your perusal was the new line of obviously tropical-inspired teas, which include ‘Chocolate Mint Truffle’, ‘Pineapple Coconut’, ‘Apricot Passion Fruit’ and ‘Lychee Ginger’. As you can imagine, the ‘Pineapple Coconut’ was an immediate hit, being the tea brew of popular well-loved tropical drink ‘Pina Colada’. It was immediately recognisable; however, the same can’t be said for the ‘Lychee Ginger’ whose ginger component overpowered whatever taste of lychee there could have been. it was still refreshing, however, and not to be discounted if you want a milder ginger tea alternative. The ‘Apricot Passion Fruit’ was a pleasant surprise, the passion fruit was strong in smell and taste while not being jaw-clenchingly sour, which was a relief probably aided by the subtle hints of apricot. Finally, the ‘Chocolate Mint Truffle’ which was probably the most controversial in that many were pleasantly surprised. Iced, it was approached hesitantly, but it swayed the tasters pretty quickly. The chocolate flavour mixed better with the classic peppermint taste than you’d have expected. It wasn’t overly sweet or underwhelmingly chocolate so we advise you not put too much sugar in your tea, maybe try it with a dollop of honey instead to achieve the optimum draft.

The hot versions went over as well as you’d think it could in the already humid evening of Kingston. They do say the best way to cool down is with hot coffee, but the crowd did not agree, with most people shying away from the warm beverage. Still, those who were eager to try the elaborately revealed teas admitted it was worth the bravery. The ‘Apricot Passion Fruit’ giving off a beautiful floral bouquet, almost like a facial which if you didn’t know, teabags are a perfect addition to your DIY home facial steams. Who wouldn’t want a Chocolate Mint facial?

When not tasting teas, Caribbean Dreams treated its guests to a ‘Decorate your own tea cup’ station where you could customise your own Caribbean Dreams Select mugs to take home for yourself or a loved one. We caught the event’s host, Jamaica’s very own sweetheart Yendi Phillipps, decorating her own teacup which just happened to match her outfit but we’ll assume it was for her own sweetheart daughter at home. Yendi, throughout the night, hosted giveaways where the audience was encouraged between musical entertainment and mingling to answer some fairly easy questions. They might as well have used t-shirt launchers to launch the packages into the audience. This method, though, was admittedly safer.

Look out for these #CarefullySelected infusions in retailers at home and abroad!