Posts Tagged ‘Green Tea’


Produced by: TeaHorse 

Price: N/A (No longer trading)

I have a love it or hate it relationship with green tea, it all started when I first tried green tea in teabag form, then brewed it to the packet instructions (ie boiling water) and ended up with this rotten brew that tasted like a crap vegetable soup. I’ve never really gotten over that experience but I’m open minded enough to try again and so I dug out another TeaHorse pack, this time their Mao Feng.


The first thing that strikes me is how light the colour is, this is a brew that isn’t that far away from a white tea and doesn’t contain that “vegetable” sort of taste that puts people off drinking greens. It is very light and delicate in taste and would be a good starting point for someone trying green tea or who has had it before and didn’t like it. I’m still no convert but this is a better example of a green tea for those who aren’t too keen on it.



Your tea journey

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As I’m not at home much at the moment, reviews are few and far between for now but this got me wondering what else could I write about. And so it struck me, every0ne who is a lover of tea must have a back story about how they got to where they are now.

I remember when I was younger my great auntie having a full tea set, a proper pot, tea cosy, milk jug and sugar bowl and proper china cups and saucers. That to me was one of my childhood memories, seeing the loose tea scooped into a pre warmed pot, then filled with boiling water and a tea cosy put over it. Then leaving it a few minutes and pouring it out into the cups, milk first and sugar, then the tea.

It wasn’t until I stopped drinking alcohol that I became an avid tea drinker. I was picky about what I bought at the supermarket but I wouldn’t deviate from a good breakfast tea or an Assam. About two years ago I went away for a weekend with Gemma (my wife) and in our lodge there was a teapot. As we went out to get some shopping at Booths I picked up a pack of loose tea to take back with us. The next step came when a colleague went on holiday to Sri Lanka (not at all jealous!) and I always ask people if you’re going away to bring me back some tea. This is what he did but this was in the form of loose tea so then I had to buy a tea infuser and off I went.

Finally when I went to London in August for a film festival, I had time to kill so popped down to the Twinings shop on The Strand and bought back a selection of various teabags but I also tried some loose tea at their teabar at the back of the shop. This is where my enthusiasm and inquisitiveness for different types of tea started and from there on in I try and get some new teas every month to try. Some I love, some I’m indifferent to but it is an interesting journey to try something completely different and I’d say I like tea in a way another person may have an interest in wine or quality malt whiskies.

Not everyone gets it as they just see tea as an everyday commodity like milk, bread, sugar etc but as you delve beyond the mediocrity of the teabag there is a lot to enjoy. Learning about where your tea comes from, the country and estate, where it is grown, how it tastes and learning how to properly brew it using the right measurements, temperature and time is a skill in itself. It is also an interest that doesn’t cost the earth, a nice shipment of tea for a month costs me less than what a couple of bottles of wine would.

So what next? Well I got a teamaker for Christmas which offers different brewing temperatures and means I can resteep to my hearts content. I’d also like a gongfu set and also a proper quality set of cups and saucers too. All I need now is a bigger house to store it all.

Do I have any suggestions for a person picking up and trying loose tea? Well the first step is to learn your own taste preferences, there is no right or wrong answers. Try and sample as many different teas as you can but learn how to make it correctly. I’m adamant the reason many people dislike green tea is that its down to dipping a teabag in boiling water and wondering why it tastes so awful. Try a quality loose green tea, lower temperature for a shorter time and taste the difference. You chill white wine and serve red at room temperature so learn how to make the tea you have bought.

Any finally don’t over complicate it, get a selection of loose tea, your kettle, a pot and a strainer and off you go. It’s how I started and it really is that simple.





Purchased from:

Price: £3.75 for 25g


Teahorses’ Green Mint tea combines Gunpowder Green Tea with peppermint – at first sounding like a really delightful combination. When you open up the pack the aroma of the mint really hits you.


This really does smell amazing prior to brewing; a real feel of freshness to the mint combined with tightly rolled balls of green tea. Hitting the kettle on and allowing to cool to the suggested 80C – pouring water over it brings out the minty aroma even more.




As it brews the gunpowder tea unfurls and the dried mint leaf opens out and this looks amazing as it is brewing in a glass pot!




It’s only as you taste it that it loses that real initial promise that the dried leaves offer – in terms of taste the mint is still there but it doesn’t take over or dominate the cup in any way. Don’t buy this as a mint tea as you may feel disappointed (see for a really strong mint tea) but that said the two flavours do work well together. My first thought was when would I drink this, if I want green tea that is what I would brew, if I wanted a mint tea then likewise but these two together? Just a thought.

Still it is a nice brew, it works ok but again, I’ve tried it but wouldn’t buy more.





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.



Producer: Teapigs

Price: £4.15 for 15

So this is Genmaicha – or popcorn tea to its friends. Originating from humble origins whereby the poorer people of Japanese society blended green tea with toasted rice to make the tea last longer. I do like a good story about the background of my tea (don’t start me on monkey picked oolong) but this for me was all about the curiosity of how this will taste.

Green tea is very hit and miss with me and sometimes that has come from brewing for too long or using water which is too hot so please do bear that in mind when brewing up. It doesn’t need long to brew and let that boiled kettle cool down for a good few minutes to drop down to around 80%. This will bring out the best taste of the tea and should help to alleviate the bitterness or nasty taste that many people associate with green tea.

I can’t see myself drinking this on a regular basis, it is pleasant and “popcorn” isn’t really how I would describe it, more like a savoury rice cake taste to it. No bad thing as far as I am concerned but this doesn’t taste like your regular bag of Butterkist either if that is what you are expecting from this.

Definitely one to try, even if it is just to say you have tried it.