Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lipton High Tea @ Masterchef Dining and Bar (plus Lipton Pyramid Giveaway) - Closed

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang. So, here I am at my computer, typing away while enjoying a freshly brewed cup of Russian Earl Grey tea, compliments of Lipton. I attended the ‘High Tea Brewed By Lipton’ event on 8 September as an invited guest, held at the Masterchef Dining and Bar pop-up restaurant at First Fleet Park, Sydney. In celebrating the release of its new Lipton Pyramid tea range utilising an innovative, pyramid-shaped teabag, Lipton conducted a tea-tasting session, hosted by Lipton Master Tea Blender, Kurush Bharucha. The afternoon's menu featured an array of exquisitely crafted desserts and high tea classics, from Waldorf sandwiches to Vegemite Caramel Chocolate Cups (yes, Vegemite!). It was definitely one sweet afternoon! Read on and find out how you can sample these delicious teas with our giveaway.
Feast your eyes ....

Being a fan of the Masterchef series, I was really looking forward to dining at the pop-up restaurant. I felt like a kid going to the carnival for the first time. The hostess at the door showed us into the restaurant and led us up the stairs onto the second level of the room. I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite a small and private function. I brought Mr G along and we were seated at a quiet corner with a lounge chair, right next to the railings. It had a great bird's eye view of the entire room. I managed to snap some pictures of the kitchen below and admired the entire setup from floor to ceiling.

Kitchen and dining area

Moments later, Mr G turned to me and whispered "Look, there's Julia". I turned to look and there she was, making her entrance. I was kind of star-struck for a minute, and the initial thoughts running through my  head were "I have to get a picture with her". I was also thinking, how does someone like her who makes desserts everyday manage to stay so slim? If you've watched Masterchef 2012, you would remember Julia Taylor as the Dessert Queen, famous for her sweet creations, and more notably, her Melting Moments. I have made them countless times and have garnered quite a huge following for them at work. She stopped by at each table to chat with the guests, and I was thrilled to finally meet her in person. And I had a picture taken with her too! Meeting her was definitely one of the highlights for me.

Each table was laid out with 5 glasses and 5 different teabags on either side. In between sat a row of tiny porcelain dishes displaying the contents of each teabag under mini glass domes. I could see how the new pyramid shape allows the bag to hold larger leaves, real fruit pieces, petals and herbs. It also gives the tea more space to swirl around and release a fuller taste and aroma. In essence, it's like brewing with loose tea leaves, but with the convenience of a tea bag!

Green Gunpowder tea

There were five specialty blends of tea up for tasting, and Tea Master Kurush walked us through each one of them in detail:

- English Breakfast (lovely with a splash of milk)
- Russian Earl Grey (delicately flavoured black tea with orange and lemon peel and blue petals)
- Forest Fruits (black tea blended with a medley of berries - smells amazing)
- Fruit and Herbal Collection (black tea with berries and lemongrass)
- Green Gunpowder (a well-rounded green tea with natural pear flavour)

Lipton Master Tea Blender happily at work

Love the pretty colours

I enjoyed all the teas, with my favourite being Russian Earl Grey, which has an exquisite aroma of bergamot and citrus. I think it was Julia's favourite too, and reminded her of lemon myrtle. I did like the Green Gunpowder tea as well, which was smooth and delicate. The name "Gunpowder" is a description of the manufacturing process which rolls and twists the leaf until it looks like little balls of Gunpowder. One interesting tip I learnt from Tea Master Kurush (who has almost 30 years of tea-tasting experience under his belt) was that green tea is best brewed in water that is well below boiling temperature, and should be infused for only a short time for best results. At home, I usually have black tea with milk, as I sometimes find the tannins from the tea a little bitter without it. I was pleasantly surprised that with these Lipton pyramid teas, there wasn't the slightest hint of bitterness, even without milk.

With a splash of milk
Pretty blue petals in the Russian Earl Grey

After we were done with tea-tasting, it was time to indulge in some sweet treats (another highlight for me!). We each received a menu describing the food along with recommended tea pairings. I opted for the Green Gunpowder tea, which complemented everything really well. It also served as a great palate cleanser in between each of these sweet little bites, which all tasted divine. I only wish we had more time to slowly savour each one and try a few more of the teas.

The High Tea selection
Waldorf Sandwiches; Friands with tea-infused raisins; Adriano Zumbo's Passionfruit Tart;
Julia's Vegemite Caramel Chocolate Cups;
Zumbaron (macarons in flavours of Bread and butter pudding, Cherry Pie, Finger Bun)
Sink your teeth into one of these divine Zumbarons!
This was afternoon tea and dinner all in one for me!

Overall, we had a wonderful time learning about Lipton's process of tea selection and how tea is blended to create the very best experience for it consumers. We also enjoyed meeting and chatting with Julia and Kurush, and sampling some of Adriano Zumbo's famous and quirky creations. Before we left, they gave out gift bags containing a box of Russian Earl Grey and a variety of Lipton tea samples, which was a nice way to end a lovely Sunday afternoon.

Gift bag with lovely tea samples

The new Lipton Pyramid range consists of 16 different blends of tea that caters to all tea lovers out there. Some people love fruity-flavoured teas, some prefer theirs with a dash of milk, and others just want a caffeine-free tea for that last relaxing cuppa before bed. Whatever your preference is, I'm sure one of these tantalizing teas will entice your tastebuds!

Lipton Fruit Flavoured Black Teas - for those who want the flavour without the sugar or milk:
Forest Fruit, Peach and Mango, Passion Raspberry

Lipton Flavoured Green Teas - Ideal for those seeking the health benefits of green tea without the bitter taste, with refreshing flavours from fruits and herbs:
Intense Mint, Jasmine Petals, Mandarin Orange, Aromatic Lemon

Lipton Herb and Fruit Infusions - Caffeine-free, with strong flavours without sugar/milk; Calming and uplifting, refreshing and delicious:
Calming Chamomile, Uplifting Lemon Ginger, Refreshing Mint, Temptation Summer Fruits

Lipton Discovery Collection of Premium Teas - presented in a silk-like pyramid bag and delivers amazing flavours:
Mild Ceylon, English Breakfast, Green Gunpowder, Orange Jaipur, Russian Earl Grey

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**Lipton Pyramid Giveaway**

I have FIVE Lipton Pyramid sample packs to give away to five lucky winners!

To win, simply leave a comment on this post with your answer to the following question:

Which Lipton Tea flavour would you try first, and why?


This giveaway is open to Australian residents age 14 years and above. I will be choosing the FIVE most creative entries as winners. Each winner will receive a tea sample pack containing eight different flavours from the Lipton Pyramid range. 

So enter now and submit your entries by 5:00 pm AEDST on Friday, 27th September 2013Terms and conditions apply.

Good luck everyone!

Julia Taylor and Kurush Bharucha