I am sure you guys have already heard about the new concept called Plait, Malta’s first subscription box. Being launched only this June, Plait promises to become a truly successful and locally popular trend!
I find the idea of subscription boxes particularly interesting. Although I do enjoy choosing products myself, sometimes I just don’t have enough time on my hands to do so. Plus, I am eager to try new things, of course. Therefore, subscribing to a monthly or even weekly box means convenience, as it is delivered straight to your door with a variety of carefully selected and hand-picked items. Without doubts, you also have to be sure in the quality of goods that are included in the box.
The concept of subscription boxes is totally new to Malta, while it is well-known and practiced around the world, especially across big cities, like London. Therefore, this business phenomenon has been receiving a lot of attention since it has appeared on the local market.
When I got to know about Plait, I headed over their website, which is very simple to use, yet informative and organised in the most clear and straightforward manner. In a nutshell, there are 4 distinct types of subscription boxes that Plait offers: organic produce, wine, beer and Maltese foods.
With the thought of supporting the local produce, the founders of Plait have created an organic crate with locally produced, pesticide-free vegetables delivered door-to-door up to once a week. Isn’t this amazing? If you have been following my blog for some time, you should know how much I am after the local and everything that follow a farm-to-table approach.
In addition to the organic produce, there is a food crate that was created for those, who are nostalgic of Maltese products. I find this idea particularly lovely – what can be a better cure for homesickness for those Maltese living abroad than the traditional food?
There is also a wine crate that is updated monthly that could be delivered in the box of 3, 6 or 12 and you have an option of choosing some exclusive wines. These are not just any types of wine but sommelier-selected ones. As explained by Daniel Fenech, the co-founder of Plait, the idea behind this is to introduce the customers to new unique wines, even some hidden gems, instead of offering what is already known and common.
And finally, Plait also offers a beer crate, which has the same ideology – only the exclusive and rare types of beverages that cannot be easily accessible from the local outlets. These are mostly exported from small breweries of Belgium, rising stars of the market.
When browsing these Plaits, we decided to go for the last one. Though I’m not a beer enthusiast myself, I was still curious to try what Plait has to offer – especially when I happened to have a selection of Belgian cheese that could be a perfect match for the beer. Hence, I figured that it was a time for a beer party!
So, I gathered a small crowd and prepared some snacks for the beer tasting. Well, yes… If you are organising a proper tasting, then you are not supposed to serve things like salty crisps, meat or cheese but only a plain bread or unsalted crackers. At the same time, you don’t want to leave the crowd hungry – and that’s what I did. As for the comments, I prepared a tasting grid for my guests to make some notes about the appearance, aroma, flavour, finish, body of each beer etc., as well as a small memo on how to taste the beer.
Before we started our beer tasting session, I had noticed that the Plait’s package quality was a nice and satisfying start itself. Made from high quality cardboard and designed in a minimalist style, this box will definitely be reused in my house!
In total, we tried 12 types of beers. There were 5 beers from June crate
- Vedett IPA
- De Koninck Wild Jo
- Celis White
- Chimay Blue
- La Trappe Trappist Tripel
And 6 beers from July crate, which we had an exclusive opportunity to try on the same day.
- Liefmanns Kriek
- La Chouffe Sobeil
- Chimay White
- Bornem blonde
- Westmalle dubbel
We had so much fun tasting all these beers even without the special beer glasses! All of us was very serious about this…We started from mildest moving to the strongest ones. We studied the beer, described its head (foam), as well as the colour and the clarity. Then we studied the “lace”, which refers to the traces left by foam.
Super serious study. Look at my crew.
We swirled the glasses, brought them up to our noses and then inhaled detecting the aroma of each beer. Swirled them again, took sips and finally described the flavours, whether they were long or short. We determined the body of the beer – was it velvety and thick or light and thin.
Last point but most important one was whether we liked it or not. I think I will not stress you out with the description of each type of beer we tried during our tasting session. I am positive that you should order this Plait and try it yourself! Studying the notes of my lovely friends, I figured out that our favourites were VEDETT IPA, DE KONINK WILD JO and BOULEVARD – THE CALLING.
Most importantly, we were very satisfied with what we got because the guys from Plait chose some really interesting beers that would not normally be found in supermarkets.
In conclusion, I would like to wish a big success and brilliant achievements to Daniel Fenech and Daniel Zammit. Let Plait prosper and surprise us with new crates in the future!
Special thanks to Aygul Yunusova for help and Luke Azzopardi for photos of my crew.