Part 1 and Part 2 recounted some tea adventures in Amsterdam. Part 3 takes us to Delft, a small town about an hour outside of Amsterdam. Delft is most famous as a centre for ceramic production, specifically as the origin of the iconic Delftware. The town is also known for being the home of painter Johannes Vermeer. Between these associations and its accessibility from Amsterdam, we decided it was well worth a daytrip.
Needless to say, at some point during a day spent largely walking around in the cold, we needed a cup of tea. Not wanting to spend too much time wandering around trying to find the perfect place, we settled on a café we had walked past earlier, the Stads-koffyhuis (Urban Coffeehouse).
As the name suggests, their forte is coffee. But we found that they have a decent range of teas, although all are bagged with the exception of fresh mint tea. Once I saw the brand, though, I didn’t mind as much. Legends of Tea, based in the Netherlands (from what I can tell), package their tea in little booklets that tell stories about the tea with a fun mix of narrative and fact (in their words, “tales with a foundation of truth, embellished by their narrators”). We went for the tea called “Smuggler’s Secret”, a “spicy and fragrant blend of black tea with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom”, whose tea packet told us the story of colonists smuggling tea to the New World to avoid British taxation. Not exactly news to me, but a fun way to bring the history of tea into a mid-afternoon cuppa. I am often one to vilify marketing, but even I recognise that, sometimes, you just have to have fun with your tea.
Novelty packaging aside, the tea itself was in nylon sachets consisting of whole leaf tea rather than leaves crushed to a pulp. In my book, these are both requirements for being on the tasty end of the teabag spectrum. And it didn’t disappoint. Nothing fancy, just a nice strong black tea with warming wintery spices. And with a dash of milk, it hit the spot. Added bonus: they serve their tea with a mini pastry! Should you be more than a little peckish, the sandwiches and baked goods at the Stads-koffyhuis are also excellent. I can personally attest to the fact that they are the ideal accompaniment to a cup of tea, should you ever happen to be in Delft.
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