‘If you are cold, tea will warm you.
If you are heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed it will cheer you.
If you are excited, it will calm you.’
– William Gladstone
– BETJEMAN & BARTON TEA ROOM, 1 Utama Mall –
When the invitation came to me from the Butterfly Bloggers to attend a Perfume Tea Party and spend a morning sipping tea and eating cake at Betjeman & Barton’s Tea Room, 1 Utama, I really couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.
Established in 1919, by Arthur Betjeman & Percy Barton, Betjeman & Barton now has tea rooms spanning more than three continents and is a specialist French tea company that has been creating refined and creative blends of loose leaf teas grown from Paris for almost a century.
This famed french tea company reached our shores around the middle of last year and offers both a tea shop and a dedicated tea time dining experience on the Ground Floor of the 1 Utama Mall in Petaling Jaya.
Betjeman & Barton’s Bestselling Blend
– The Pouchkine Tea –
I first came across Betjeman & Barton at 1 Utama Mall’s Christmas Launch where they served their delicious macarons, pastries, and savouries to the Media but it was the chilled beverage they served that day left an indelible mark on my mind.
It was this bestselling tea, The Pouchkine – named after one of Russia’s most famous writer and poet, Alexandre Pouchkine (aka Pushkin) – that stole the show.
Despite the company’s French origins, it is a known fact that the founders of Betjeman & Barton had more than just a passing obsession with Russia and the country’s rich heritage.
Not surprisingly, it is because if this that many elements of the company’s product’s pay homage to the Russian culture and arts so it’s no wonder that one of the company’s most loved teas is named after a famed Russian.
While the Pouchkine Green Tea isn’t the most expensive tea served at Betjeman & Barton, it is one of the brand’s most popular blends due to the tea’s light and refreshing citrus notes that work well served either chilled or warm.
And, after trying it served cold and hot for myself, I can see why. It’s delicious even though I’m not usually a fruit tea sort of person so yes, I agree that The Pouchkine has a universal appeal that even transcends my usual bias against fruit-infused teas.Unsurprisingly, the exact recipe blend for The Pouchkine has remained a closely guarded secret for the better part of a century and it has the honour of being one of Betjeman & Barton’s oldest and most famed tea blends.
In addition to the Pouchkine Green Tea blend which contains an aromatic but gentle citrus peel presence, the Pouchkine is also available in a less whimsical Noir blend featuring a darker blend of Chinese and Ceylon tea leaves.
Betjeman & Barton Tea Shop
It goes without saying that The Betjeman & Barton Tea Room is so much more than just a place to sip tea.
Every tea at the cafe may be purchased in loose-leaf form to go so that you can recreate the beverages in your own place and your own time. This is handy for people like me who don’t often go to 1 Utama.
It all starts at this striking Wall of Teas which at the Malaysian outlet of Betjeman & Barton, is all very art deco at their 1 Utama flagship store.
In my opinion, this Betjeman & Barton Wall of Teas is something that’s worth a visit to the tea room alone for and (in its varying incarnations) is a beautiful and signature feature at possibly every Betjeman & Barton store in the world.
But the wall and jars are not just there for aesthetics – each fat cannister is home to one of Betjeman & Barton’s safely-guarded and highly regarded recipes of loose leafed teas.
In terms of origins, Betjeman & Barton brings a world of teas to one convenient location. Teas here are sourced from some of the best tea growing estates around the world and blended in-house to a range of more than 150 premium recipes. Effectively, it would take you months to drink your way through every tea here; even if you were to have a tea a day.
The convenience and sheer choice at this Wall of Teas makes it possible to choose a tea (or two or more!) from most corners of the tea-growing world and have it plucked from these jars and packed away into the sachets or cannisters of your choice.
Now, it’s worth noting that Betjeman & Barton does not add artificial flavour extracts or colouring to their teas but relies on the naturally fragrant nature of their premium tea leaves, flowers and fruit peels to impart flavour and scent to their teas.
I arrived early to the Pefume Tea Party and had a chance to chat with Betjeman & Barton, Malaysia’s Corporate & Business Development Manager, Ms. Lee, about their blends during the Perfume Tea Party.
I love tea but am hardly an expert so I took the opportunity to ask Ms. Lee how it was possible to distinguish between a well-blended tea and some of the low-grade teas with additives that are commonly available elsewhere.
I hope I’m not quoting her wrong but according to Ms. Lee, the scent and the taste of the tea, although complementing each other, should remain quite separate from the other.
In relation to the presence of flower-infused teas, for example, the smell of the flowers in the tea should be sensed at the nose but not at the palate so that it should not feel as if you are drinking a perfume instead of a tea.
The sad truth is that additives such as scent and colouring are often added to tea by some unscrupulous businesses in the tea industry to improve the perceived quality of an inferior tea blend and I’ve had a few teas myself where it felt like I was drinking brewed pot pourri and not tea at all. Yuck!
So, it’s obvious that not all teas are created equally and it’s probably best to buy your teas from a reputable trader like Betjeman & Barton to avoid disappointment.
Teas are arranged into blends and each tea is sold by weight and there’s a good range of prices to suit all budgets.
Betjeman & Barton also has a whole host of easy gifting options that range from sachets to signature gift boxes, themed cannisters or hampers so gifting tea is flexible and easy.
However, if you’re like me and plagued with indecision, a tea sampler set like the one above is a good idea and makes it possible to settle for more than one variety of tea.
Betjeman & Barton Tea Cafe
“It’s always tea time”
– Mad Hatter (Alice In Wonderland)
A wise Julia Child claimed that a party without food was just a meeting so it was nice to find that the Betjeman & Barton Tea Room is also a fully-fledged dessert cafe serving tea (and coffee!) and a good range of tea time treats all day long.
On this occasion, the sweet menu made it a nice venue for our Butterfly Bloggers Perfume Tea Party because we were all feted with some of the Tea Room’s most popular desserts.
From left to right -:
- Black Sesame Macarons
- Raspberry Macarons
- Green Tea Macarons
- Vanilla Macarons
- Lavender Macarons
- Rose Macarons
( Macaron flavours are subject to change)
The Oreo Mousse de Fromage is a cheesecake mousse speckled with oreo cookie crumbs and a light Oreo cookie base.
This was a lot lighter than traditional cheesecake recipes and paired well with a cup of hot Pouchkine Tea.
The chocolate orange cake was light and not too sweet and was again a good choice when paired with a warm Pouchkine Tea. As you can see, the Pouchkine is such a versatile tea!
The Tea Room also stocks a dedicated assortment of handmade chocolates and it’s possible to purchase just one piece to go with your tea at the cafe as well as a whole box for taking away or gifting.
So, if you’re truly mad about tea, it would be mad not to stop by at this latest addition to the Klang Valley tea scene to have a sip & nibble, or at least to browse through their tea-inspired merchandise.
Betjeman & Barton, 1 Utama, is open 7 days for an all-day tea time experience.
For more information about Betjeman & Barton’s teas and other products and services, here are some handy links…
Lot G220. Ground Floor Centre Court
1 Utama Shopping Mall
Bandar Utama City Centre, 47800, Petaling Jaya
[Notes: Special thanks to Betjeman & Barton, Malaysia for graciously providing the venue and tea for The Butterfly Blogging Project’s Perfume Tea Party with Bisou BonBon. It was due to this hospitality that I was able to experience the fine teas and service at the brand’s first Klang Valley Tea Room for the first time. Images unless where mentioned are by me and remain the property of this blog. Please do not reuse without permission and a link back to this blog. Commentary is my own. All links are for supplied informational purposes and convenience and non-affiliate.]