Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Birchall’s – Virunga Afternoon Tea. I think when it comes to afternoon tea blends I honestly enjoy them a lot more than english breakfast blends and I’m always on the look out for new ones to try. However compared to english breakfast blends there aren’t many afternoon tea blends out there right now that I haven’t already tried. My favourite thing about afternoon tea blends is that they pair well with sweet treats and they give me an excuse to break out the scones treat myself to an at home cream tea. They are also a lot lighter than breakfast blends and they are just a lot easier to drink.Here’s what Birchall Tea have to say about this tea over on their website: “Birchall Virunga™ is a pure origin tea, sourced from the finest tea gardens in Rwanda, found close to the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Virunga National Park. In this region, the tea bushes grow slowly, at high altitude and relatively low temperatures, developing greater flavour before they are individually picked. Our pursuit of quality ensures that all our leaves are only ever hand plucked. The leaf, bud and tender stem are carefully pinched together in a ‘perfect pick’. This is how Birchall Virunga™ gains its exceptional brightness, yellow gold colour and distinctively refreshing flavour.”
Tea Tasting Notes
This tea is absolutely delicious and reminded me of why I love afternoon tea blends so much. It has the classic matiness of a black tea with subtle woody notes and a slightly woody underpinning but it’s not heavy and drying in the mouth and there’s no astringency to it at all. I can see this paring well with a cream tea and my personal favourite scone fillings lemon curd and cream.
I’m never normally a fan of CTC teas but I think CTC works for convenient english breakfast and afternoon blends like this one. I can see where blends like this and really all the blends that Birchall’s do would appeal to people who simply don’t have the time for loose leaf tea and just want to grab and go or want a quick cup of tea in the office if you only have five minutes in the morning. The great thing about CTC is that it steeps really quickly because there’s much more surface area so you only need to steep it for around two minutes.I’ve had this with and without milk now and honestly and shockingly I prefer this without milk but I do like to add a little bit of honey to it but only one teaspoon because it really doesn’t need much more than that. The reason I don’t like to add milk into this blend is because it is lighter than english breakfast and I honestly think that adding milk to it would overpower it subtler notes. I suppose if you wanted to try it you could use two bags for one cup but I enjoy this as it is so I don’t think I’ll try that myself. It’s not very often I find a bagged CTC blend that I can drink on it’s own and it’s really refreshing.
All in all I really did enjoy this blend and I’ll continue to enjoy it day after day until I finish the box. If anything it will give me a great excuse to treat myself with scones with lemon curd and cream.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5 | The reason I’ve given this a 5/5 even though it’s a bagged tea is because it does what it says on the tin and for a CTC tea its delicious. It’s one of the best bagged afternoon blends I’ve had in a while.
If you want to find out more about Birchall Tea and purchase some of this blend for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me to the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for.*