Breakfast at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

I arrived 40 minutes early for our 8 o’clock meet up at Greenbelt. Tired and sleepy, I figured a breakfast would do well to revive me. We were supposed to meet at Starbucks, but the first thing that I saw when I stepped out of the cab was Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I’ve always loved CBLT’s pastries and pastas, now I want to try their breakfast.

Eggs Ben Breakfast set at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

They have a few breakfast sets that comes with your choice of coffee, tea or juice, and a cup of stewed fruits. I went for the Eggs Ben, basically eggs benedict on rosemary focaccia, with a couple more slices of bread and some butter and jam, and a cup of English Breakfast Tea for Php 229.

The presentation is good. I sliced a small triangle and took my first bite. What can I say? It was good; the flavor of the turkey ham and the hollandaise sauce mixes well and thanks to the otherwise flavorless poached egg and the bread underneath, it wasn’t overpowering.

Eggs Ben Breakfast set at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

After a couple more bites, I moved to the slices of focaccia. Using my hands to break off a piece, I was disconcerted that it took some effort. One bite and it confirmed what I initially thought: this bread is tough. All the focaccia I’ve encountered have been soft, so eating this bread that required a fair amount of chewing was a bit of a shock. Maybe it’s old and stale or was the victim of an unfortunate reheating in the microwave. Nevertheless, this was the only sour note in an otherwise hearty breakfast.

Cupping at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Let’s start off with a little trivia I learned at the event: Tea is the 2nd most consumed beverage, next to water, world wide. And here I thought it was beer!

Moving on.

Cupping is the term used for what a tea taster does as he evaluates the tea. And at the Tea Appreciation Seminar, we got to sample some of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s house blends.

Tea! I think this is the African Sunrise
Trying out Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s bestsellers

The first tea that was served was the Genmaicha Tea, which is a blend of high-quality Sencha tea and partially toasted rice. I got a whiff of the aroma before I took a sip, and it did smell faintly of toasted rice. As I sipped the tea, I noticed how light the tea tasted, and how the flavor of the toasted rice gave it a wonderful finish.

Next to be served was the Fancy Formosa Dragon Oolong which is a medium bodied tea, with a subtle floral aroma and a flavored with a hint of peach. Now this is an instant favorite of mine, simply because it is peach-flavored. I love anything peach-flavored!

A light-bodied tea, the Apricot Ceylon was the third to be served. I liked this one as well because of its fruity flavor and aroma, which is think is a bit stronger than the Fancy Formosa Dragon Oolong. (Even though it is lighter.)

CBTL Tea Bag
CBTL Pyramid Tea Bag

If you want spice, then the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Chai is the tea for you. This full-bodied tea is a special blend of Black Tea, cinnamon, cloves and other spices. These give an exotic aroma and spicy taste to this flavorful tea.

Saving the best for last, our host introduced us to the latest addition to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s roster of house blends– the African Sunrise. This definitely takes the cake–or should i say “tea”?-! A Coffee Bean original blend, it has a very smooth body, complimented with a wonderful flavor and aroma. This is definitely the best tasting tea I had ever had! It has never been released anywhere in the world, and will be first sampled here in the Philippines this June.