I am normally a tea bag kind of girl, but when I first spoke to Bernadine and heard the story behind Quinteassential, I knew straight away I wanted to try her tea blends and I was really hoping I would like them. I did! I also fell in love with the teapot she gifted me. Until now, I had always gone for standard teapots and I honestly thought I would hate the glass one. For some reason, I am not fond of hot drinks in glass cups or pots.
First of all, I am a glass teapot convert, if there is such a thing. Its clever filtering system and refined design make all the difference in my opinion. I had assumed it would be a faff to use anything other than tea bags, but I was wrong.
I would not use it every morning when I am rushing, but it makes a great weekend treat. This teapot will come out every time I have friends around! Bernadine’s signature breakfast tea is a wonderful blend. It would be worthy of an afternoon tea at the Ritz.
With no further ado, here are some thoughts about Quinteassential from its founder and tea designer Bernadine Tay.
One of my most treasured memories when I was a child was afternoon tea with my sister, mum and aunt. They loved singing a ditty from classic Hollywood flicks or favourite evergreens from the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck whilst waiting for the kettle to whistle. “Take me far beyond imagination. You’re my dream come true, my constellation.” Their untrained but melodious voices filled our small apartment, with the aroma of tea wafting from steaming cups with a hodgepodge of western, Chinese, Malay, Indian and fusion desserts. This is a yearning that has not been dulled by passing time.
My younger sister Diane, Mum, Me and Auntie Jennifer (Mum’s sister) – Photo Credit: Bernadine Tay
My younger sister Diane, Auntie Bernadine (My godmother), Me (in front of the cake), Auntie Maureen, Cousin Serene and Adeline – Photo Credit: Bernadine Tay
Fast forward three decades later. I have my own family and I have settled in Chester. After an exciting career in public relations, I decided to start something of my own. Quinteassential was born.
Inspired by culture, travel and love of art, Quinteassential aims to bring the tea drinker on an imaginary voyage through taste; colour and selective use of the finest ingredients from all over the world. When I design a blend, I revisit memories of old, places I have been to, or even voyages I gleaned from a glossy magazine on my to-do list. For example, blending green tea with graviola, a tropical fruit that I have been familiar with since my youth evokes in me imageries of sleepy villages and white sand shorelines.
The art of tea experience also extends to Quinteassential’s packaging. We not only taste with our mouths, but with our eyes as well. I commissioned an artist-photographer to create abstract artworks of ink and water to express the ingredients and flavours of the blends, visually stimulating the palate of the tea drinker.
Photo Credit: Quinteassential
As a tribute to the songs of childhood, and to push beyond imagination, a QR code that is included on each box plays a track matched to the blend. The duration of the music acts as a tea timer for the particular brew.
We’ve been fortunate that our blends have been very well received, winning us seven Great Taste Awards since we began. We’re small, independent and craft truly artisanal teas of the highest quality. We hope you will join us in our voyage of discovery, to places far and near, for memories old and new.
Thanks a lot Bernadine for sharing details about the creative process behind your fine teas.
I always feel humbled by people who are passionate about what they do. I think you will agree with me when I say that Bernadine really paid attention to detail when creating her truly luxurious tea blends: creative combinations of flavours, completely customised packaging to perfectly match each blend, music to go with the tea and serving the purpose of brewing ‘timer’ as well as travel tea sachets for brewing your favourite tea on the go.
Win a 85g box of Green Flamingo Quinteassential Loose Tea & a Teapot
How to Enter
Just use the box below. It is easy to use and you can get more than one entry! If you are not sure how to use Rafflecopter, I have included detailed instructions below the box.
Entries are open until midnight GMT time on 22nd September 2015. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
How to use Rafflecopter?
The first thing you need to do is to log in with Facebook or your email address.
Once you are logged in, the first and mandatory entry option is to visit Quinteassential and leave a comment on this post telling me which tea blend most appeals to you and why.
For extra chances of winning, check the instructions in the form. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment for your entry to be valid.
– The prize was supplied by Quinteassential and will be posted by Le Coin de Mel.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.
– I was sent a range of tea blends as well as a glass teapot. All opinions and photographs, unless otherwise stated, are my own.