Archive for November, 2013

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Produced by: Twinings

Price: £4.29 fr 15

I’ve never been a real big fan of green teas but then I discovered that boiling water and green tea do not go together. Learning to brew it at a lower temperature was an eye opener, here was the way to get the real delicate taste of a quality green tea to come out. So it surprised me when the brewing instructions on the packaging suggests adding freshly boiled water. These tea temples are a premium product and are people going to get the best taste from them if they don’t taste nice?

Niggles aside these are a lovely tea temple of Jasmine green tea, the story of how the tea is scented is explained on the back of the packaging and when brewing they emit a lovely light floral aroma. To taste is pretty divine too, the delicacy of the green tea is interspersed with the lovely jasmine flavour, a real winning combination. This is a very floral tea, something you could just enjoy sat out in the garden on a pleasant spring day as much as when you really want something that is light and easy to drink.

Twinings have created a lovely tea here and that comes from a person who is indifferent to green tea. Well done.

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kk2

Produced by: Twinings

Price: £4.29 for 15

Wanting to try something a little different, I liked the sound of this fruit tisane, perfect for those nights where you have an early morning start and you are skipping the caffeine. On first impression the tea temple looks full of lovely ingredients leaving plenty of room for movement within the cup area. One limitation I find with tea temples is that whilst allowing the use of better quality tea, the space within can sometimes be limited. No such issues here.

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Upon brewing, I added the tea temple to a mug and added boiling water for three minutes. A small stir releases even more flavour and the colour within wits between an orange and a red hue. The aroma as you are making this is phenomenal, one of those tisanes that will catch other people’s attention wondering what that lovely smell is in the air. Upon tasting, the peach flavour is pretty intense and can be very sharp, a tisane that I found worked better once sweetened, on two occasions it worked well with sugar and even more so with honey.

What I did find missing was the supposed “ginger” aspect. I found that the fruityness of this drink overpowers any taste of ginger which was a real negative for me. The combination of the peach and ginger flavours could and should work well together but the peach flavouring in here wades in right from the start and smothers other flavours coming through.

That said it is a nice refreshing drink for an evening and may work well in the summer months too but I just found the inclusion of ginger felt like an afterthought and isn’t there in sufficient quantity for me to really enjoy this as much as I would have liked.

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Producer: Tesco

Price: £2.89 for 15

So as part of a new revamp of the finest range sees a launch of new loose tea pyramid bags which I am totally in favour of if it means people are drinking better quality tea as an end result.

This English Breakfast blend gives very little away about the teas origins or the type of leaf used. Its ingredients list is just 100% black tea but no further information follows. Brewing instructions are pretty straightforward to follow with a three minute brew time suggested.

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Upon brewing it gives a lovely coppery colour and with breakfast tea I add a little milk. Taste wise was very disappointing and I have tasted better quality from cheaper branded teabags. This is a real shame as I hoped this would work but Tesco haven’t got the taste and flavours right in this, its just very average. Looking at the tea used it doesn’t look great quality for a premium product, the image below shows the tea leaves once brewed.

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However I do give Tesco credit for trying this but as a product this really didn’t hit the spot with me.

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http://www.tesco.co.uk

Simplicitea

Posted: November 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Well an afternoon of youtube videos later and I discovered how it seems the simple process of making a pot of tea can be so overly complicated. Expensive teas from a big US chain, pricy tins that you must have, rock sugars and tea making machines?

Seriously? Have we lost the ability to use a kettle and a teapot and do we need an accurate tea measuring spoon?

Keep it simple…

Here’s my guide to making a pot of black tea without the need for technological intervention or scientific inventions.

And no its not perfect, a minute more brew time would help and I can’t hold a camera and open tea at the same time (oops)

Till next time
K

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weN1HwfMTBA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Education education education

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

One of the key things on my tea quest so far has been learning about the different types of tea and most importantly how to brew them correctly.

I’ve just made a lovely green tea that when I first tried it months ago I found to be bitter and really didn’t like the taste of it. Learning to brew it at a lower temperature and knocking that brewing time to around two minutes has made the world of difference.

So yes it has taken a bit of trial and error but ensuring I understand brewing instructions has been one of the biggest lessons and most definitely the most important too.

We all spend good money on tea yet as people new to tea was I ruining it by not having the right instructions.

No two teas are the same and they will all have their own way of brewing.

Till next time
Kris

Good quality teabags?

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

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One question I get asked a lot is what would I drink if I was using tea bags? So for those UK based readers and those who can import here are my favourites:

4. Lancashire Tea

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Still a fledgling company in the realms of the tea world, this is a proper Northern blend that shows those on the wrong side of the Pennines how it should be done. A good quality all round tea, would work well with a full breakfast and a big fat dirty mug of this.

3. Morrisons Signature Ceylon Tea

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Truly delicious, really nails that thirst. Fine for a breakfast tea but I love this in an afternoon with a few biscuits too.

2. TWININGS EVERY DAY BLEND

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It is exactly what it says on the packaging, a lovely refreshing blend of teas that loses the strength associated with a quality breakfast tea but still has a certain strength of its own that really hits the spot.

1. Dilmah English Breakfast Tea

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Ok, quelle surprise! It wasn’t intentional that a Ceylon tea took the top spot as I have been drinking this for over a year now and have found it to be the ideal bagged tea I have ever tasted. Coupled with its ethical background whereby they grow and pack everything themselves just adds something that makes you feel involved in what you are buying. A truly tasty tea – no it doesn’t hit the spot of a quality Ceylon loose tea but this is a great substitute. They also do an afternoon blend and Earl Grey but I have yet to sample these.

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Well imagine my surprise when I found a nice new selection of tea temples being sold in my local Tesco plus a revamp on their Finest loose tea selection. Inspired by Twinings and Teapigs perhaps but either way it is good to see more choice being made available to their customers.

I started with tea temples over a year ago and understand that they bridge a gap between those who seek more than just teabag-tea but those who don’t want to be weighing and measuring out loose tea and trying to judge brewing times etc. These sit right in the middle allowing a close replication of loose tea but without needing a teapot (plus infuser), strainer and various other utensils.

As far as I’m concerned if it gets people to drink better quality tea then I’m all for it.

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Good on Tesco for making this move and getting these products out there and in time I will be sampling them to see how they compare against their competitors. They do look appealing and they have started with a range of teas and tisanes that with their brightly coloured packaging leap off the shelf at you.

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Pricing is pretty good too, £2.89 for 15 compared to over £4 for it’s nearest competitors and I look forward to trying the ones above, green rooibus and pear sounds a lovely night time drink doesn’t it?