Over the years, I have grown to appreciate afternoon tea as I enjoy the sampling of finger foods, the different flavours, and of course the tea!
I first found out about Kitten and the Bear’s Afternoon Tea for One through Lu Ann from The Cup of Life, who shared a story from the company’s Instagram. After I saw the story, I knew I had to try afternoon tea “to go,” especially since I’ve visited Kitten and the Bear in the past for afternoon tea and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was out of the delivery range, but thankfully, I had friends who were visiting, so they picked up my order and delivered it to me. I have to say that Sophie, the owner, and the staff at Kitten and the Bear were more than accommodating with the pickup, my food sensitivity, and answering all my questions. So, thank you!
It felt most appropriate to split this post into two parts: the afternoon tea box and tea itself and since tea is the focus of the blog! I will give an overview of the afternoon tea box and my thoughts followed up with a review of the tea. So, with that, let’s go!
Kitten and the Bear’s Afternoon Tea for One
Description: “Everything you need for a darling KATB afternoon tea experience for one, to go!”
Review: All the items for afternoon tea came in a neat box with strawberry print at the bottom and included tea sandwiches, a scone, sweets, a packet of tea, and a menu. Specifically:
Cucumber, Spinach & Herb Cream Cheese
Strawberry Whipped Goat Cheese, Honey & Rose
Smoked Salmon, Preserved Lemon & Dill
House made preserve & Whipped Crème Fraîche
DAMSON PLUM TEA CAKE
CLOTTED CREAM SHORTBREAD* & SALTED CARAMEL
SLOANE FINE TEA MERCHANTS’ HEAVENLY CREAM
* Since I have a cinnamon sensitivity, the Chai Shortbread was replaced with a nectarine shortbread
Afternoon tea is commonly severed on a three-tier tea stand, as noted in Lu Ann’s post about how to properly serve afternoon tea. I sadly did not have one, but I decided to still taste the foods in the same order starting with savouries (bottom tier), then the scone (middle tier), and finally the sweets (top tier).
- Cucumber, Spinach & Herb Cream Cheese: The sandwiches had a nice savoury profile, with a strong cucumber taste followed by spinach, and a creamy texture from the cream cheese.
- Strawberry Whipped Goat Cheese, Honey & Rose: I have personally never had strawberry whipped goat cheese before and it was an interesting experience. It didn’t have an overly strong taste and was quite mild compared to some of the goat cheeses I’ve had in the past. It was berry goat cheese sweetness on top of a wheat cracker.
- Smoked Salmon, Preserved Lemon & Dill: The smoked salmon and dill flavour were nicely interwoven together. The sandwich was on top of a pumpernickel cracker.
- Buttermilk Scone: The scone was a lovely round shape with a dusting of coarse sugar on the top. It had a dense and buttery inside with a pleasing textural difference between the crispy outside and the fluffy inside.
- Strawberry, Raspberry & Cream Jam: I have tried multiple jams from Kitten and the Bear and have enjoyed each one. This one is one I have tried more than once, and I enjoyed the sweetness of the strawberries, followed by the tartness of the raspberry, and then the vanilla notes.
- Whipped Crème Fraîche: It added a bit of creaminess to the scone!
- Damson Plum Tea Cake: The cake was pretty with the various layers of cake, buttercream, and damson plum jam with a dusting of gold flakes on top. It was surprisingly dense, with a strong almond taste with a nice creamy and berry jam taste.
- Nectarine Shortbread: The shortbread had a classic buttery taste with some citrus tartness from the jam. I just wish there was a bit more jam!
- Salted Caramel: Sweet chocolate tasted melded with toffee and had a nice amount of salt.
Overall, this was a lovely experience! I personally liked the scone (with jam and crème fraîche), along with the cucumber, spinach & herb cream cheese tea sandwich, the tea cake, and the salted caramel most. Like afternoon tea in general, it is a premium item, but I would still highly recommend it if you are looking for a treat or have something to celebrate!
Company: Kitten and the Bear
Sloane Fine Tea Merchant’s Heavenly Cream
Description: “Sloane’s Heavenly Cream features Ceylon and Assam black tea, balanced with notes of bergamot and creamy vanilla.”
Instructions: 1 sachet | 12 oz | 5 minutes | 100°C
The tea was packaged in a small decorated foil packet and the tea was inside a triangle biodegradable satchel. After opening the packet, there was a strong smell of bergamot and vanilla which wafted into the air.
After brewing for 5 minutes, the liquor left strong vanilla and bergamot smell lingering in the room. The tea infused into a clear golden orange colour. The taste started off earthy, malt, and brisk, then there was a surge of bergamot followed by pleasant vanilla and fruity sweetness. The sweetness and the bergamot coated the mouth and there is a bit of astringency.
The tea could handle being overstepped but at the cost of additional bitterness. The sweetness and bergamot thankfully masked that. It could also be re-steeped (with a weaker second infusion). Lastly, the bergamot taste was also more present went the liquor was hot. Opening the satchel, the brown wet leaves were small and broken with strong bergamot and a sweet smell.
Sophie mentioned this would be a good pairing with the afternoon tea, and I am glad I went with it! It was a very pleasant drink and paired well with food, and was even lovely on its own. This tea had strong vanilla and bergamot notes which may be nice for people who like earl greys but do not enjoy an overly strong bergamot taste (4/5 rating).
- Type: Black tea
- Origin: Unknown
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: Indian black tea, Ceylon black tea, cornflower petals, natural flavours
- Company: Sloane Fine Tea Merchants
The question of the post: What tea would you drink with afternoon tea?