Posts Tagged ‘Twinings’

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.

Kris

 

 

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kk3

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.

kk1

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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