Monday, 29, February 2016

Filed under:
The Westbury

Written by
Nicola Brady

Top Tips from The Westbury’s Tea Master

What to drink and how to drink it

Enjoy an Afternoon Tea in The Westbury in Dublin


If there’s one thing we know how to do well in Ireland, it’s enjoying a cup of tea. And there’s no better place to do it than in The Westbury, where you can cosy up in luxury in The Gallery. Whether you’re popping in for a quick tea break between shopping on Grafton Street, or treating yourself to the full Afternoon Tea, you’ll be well looked after.

That’s because, as well as the friendly and attentive staff, there’s an expert Tea Master who knows everything there is to know about tea. Rossa Heritage is the girl in the know, ready to help guests make the most of their experience. We sat down with Rossa in The Gallery to find out more about her role, and to get some top tea tips…

“I’ve been working here almost two years now. I’m team leader and Tea Master. That entails speaking to guests about their tea, and making recommendations and explanations, and getting them excited about tea! The Afternoon Tea here is all about the experience, and different ways we can enhance that experience. We like to encourage people to branch out beyond the regular Irish breakfast tea.

“Because our tea menu is so vast, it can be a bit overwhelming if a guest is just reading it without guidance. We can point out one to help people try something new.

“The most popular tea is the Irish breakfast tea, but we’ve also introduced The Westbury Blend, which is still an Assam tea (like the Irish Breakfast). But if people don’t want to try something too crazy this is great – it’s a bit stronger; it has a bit more flavour. It’s blended specifically for us.

“We also get a lot of people trying the herbal teas, like the green teas, so that’s slowly changing. When you’re here and having Afternoon Tea you can have as many as you like while you’re eating, so you can change throughout. That helps people to be a bit more adventurous.

“I would recommend that people try a few teas throughout the Afternoon Tea. But it’s still based on preference, so I’m always there to advise. It’s always good to have a decaffeinated or herbal tea in the mix, so you don’t get too jittery by the time you’re done!

“Different teas match with foods, as wines would. Here are my suggestions for different occasions…

One of the options at Afternoon Tea in The Westbury, Dublin

For the first cup of the day…

For a tea first thing in the morning, or with breakfast, people generally want a high-caffeine tea. So the Irish breakfast is a good strong tea to start with. The green teas are another great choice – people don’t know this, but they do still have a lot of caffeine in! A nice light Darjeeling is great, too.

For a pick me up…

A new one that we have is a white tea, so it’s a nice one to try; it’s nice and light. Sometimes green tea is a bit much for people, so a white tea or the Peach Oolong would be great. It’s semi-fermented, and still has caffeine, but has a really smooth flavour to it.

With something sweet…

I would usually suggest the chilli chai, which is a great contrast to sweet dishes. Even the tea itself is a contrast – it smells sweet, it smells like you’re drinking a fruity tea, but it does have a slight spice to it. You brew it for three minutes, then you pour it, so it does have a bit of a kick, especially in the second cup!

For after dinner…

I would recommend a nice herbal tea. If it’s late at night, then I’d suggest the Rooibos; it has the feel of a ‘real’ tea. There’s no caffeine in it, so it’s perfect for the nighttime. I always recommend the Rooibos as a caffeine free option. It’s a good one to have that’s naturally caffeine free.

For something different…

The Lapsang Souchong is a great, smoky tea. Also, the Irish Whiskey Tea is very unusual. When gentlemen come in for the Afternoon Tea that’s a popular choice. I try to give them something to be excited about with their tea. We can make it into a mock Irish coffee, with the cream on top. We can even make it into a proper Irish Tea with whiskey in too!”

For more information about Afternoon Tea at The Westbury, see the website.

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