Whilst in Brussels, I managed to find time to stop by the delightfully named Pepper Mint Tea Room. Although they do a well-rounded menu of quiches, salads, sweet treats, wine, and beer (it is Belgium, after all), their most extensive offering is tea. With a separate tea menu listing more than forty different tea options, this is definitely a place for tea lovers to stop by if in the neighbourhood. They serve tea for one or two, and also sell it loose should you care to take some home with you.
Perusing their long list of teas, there were several options that stood out. Rather than go for one of the classic teas, I thought I would try something a little more unusual. I found just such a tea in the somewhat extravagantly named “Tarte Meringuée.” This tea combines white tea, green tea, sencha (yes, I know sencha is also green tea, but this is what the menu says…) with pineapple, papaya, grapes, coriander, cinnamon, coco, cardamom, mango, meringue, orange, lemon, apricot, and grilled almonds. Ok, so maybe it’s not the name that is extravagant, but the tea itself! In any case, this tea was a new item of theirs and one of the more interesting ones on the menu, so I thought I would give it a try.
Not quite knowing what to expect from a mixture of white and green tea with all of those flavours, I was pleasantly surprised. Of the spices, the cinnamon flavour was the strongest, but was not overpowering. The fruit flavours come through the spice, but again, their sweetness was not overpowering, and the combination of so many flavours prevented the tea from tasting too much like any one fruit. Overall, the sweet and the spice balanced each other out very nicely. As for the mix of the green and white tea, again one did not overpower the other; it did not feel like I was drinking either a green tea or a white tea. The resulting in-between flavour (which came through despite all of the added fruits and spices!) was mellow and very pleasant.
In addition to offering a wide range of teas, the Pepper Mint Tea Room also knows how to serve it; my tea arrived brewing in a tetsubin (cast iron teapot) of a very respectable size, complete with Japanese-style teawares from which to enjoy my tea. If I’m in the city again, this is a definitely a place I will come back to!
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