Pipar og Salt (lit. Pepper and Salt) is not just a Scandinavian comedy program, it’s also a store in Reykjavik (though the two do not seem to be related in any way). Anyone who has tried to find reasonable tea in Reykjavik knows it’s not easy. The supermarkets don’t carry many brands of tea and what they do carry is not very good. If you are thinking that a country so close to the UK would at least stock some PG Tips on their shelves, you are in for a major disappointment. Fortunately for the discerning tea consumer all is not lost.
Pipar og Salt carries a variety of kitchen items, many of them spreadable. Glass jarred preserves, marmalades, and curds abound as do tea pots, coffee pots, tea cozies, and bird houses. Amongst such odds and ends in this small store is a shelf dedicated to loose leaf tea. The tea comes in blue, 125 gram packages that show little more than the name of the variety (no descriptions, no stories, just a name and the Pipar og Salt logo). I decided to buy a package of Darjeeling mostly because I hadn’t had Darjeeling in years. The decision did not disappoint.
Brewing to a deep amber color, the tea has the light smoky flavor one can expect from a good Darjeeling. Strong, but not knock out strong, it is a worthy choice for a place of such extreme weather as Iceland. If brewed just right, the tea finishes with a touch of sweetness.
Due to the apparent lack of loose leaf tea competition in Reykjavik, Pipar og Salt could probably get away with carrying second rate stuff. If the rest of their tea stock is as good as their Darjeeling, it is safe to say that they do not.