Friday, 13 April 2018

Jollybrew Tea Co: Blood Orange Marmalade

Last week the wonderful - and they are wonderful - folk at Jollybrew agreed to send me some wonderful samples that I could feature on the blog. I was beyond pleased when they said yes because I've had some fun interactions with them on Twitter but realised that it had been a very long time since I tried any of their tea.

Earlier this week a little parcel arrived through the post containing several lovely sounding teas. But, the orange in tea addict that I am, my eyes were drawn to this marvellous fruit infusion - Blood Orange Marmalade. 

I absolutely love blood oranges. I eat them, drink them in cordial and now am enjoying them in the comforting warmth of tea. Life couldn't get much better!

I couldn't wait to crack open this infusion and give it a go, which, I will admit, I did almost as soon as the samples arrived.

Visually, this is one stunner of a infusion. It's so bright and colourful. I love the blending of bright orange and red colours in the tea. It's just so pretty and wonderful and healthy looking.

I filled my infuser with a generous amount of tea and left it to infuse for several minutes watching it develop from a a clear liquid to a rich, strong, orange tinted drink. To see the colour emerge and swirl within the water is just so lovely. I left the tea to infuse for five minutes.

The infusion has a strong and pleasant fruity aroma. So far, this infusion ticked all the right boxes.

As I settled down into my comfy chair I took my first sip and it was lovely and refreshing. I always consider cold drinks to be refreshing but this tea is exactly that - I was thirsty when I made the drink and it certainly is a good thirst quencher.

This blend contains orange, apple and rosehip pieces as well as hibiscus petals.

This infusion is a full bodied, rich and well rounded. Upon first sipping you are hit with that lovely orange flavour. At the beginning of the sip it's nice and sweet and that sweetness is incredibly moreish - you just want and more of it, it's certainly a sweetness that appeals to someone who is trying to avoid sweet things. But towards the end of the sip there is a slight tartness which does take you by surprise but keeps this blend interesting. It gives the tea that extra bit of kick and I think it's really a fun and wonderful infusion.

Alongside the orange there is a underlying crispness to this infusion which I think comes from the apple pieces. It adds brilliantly to the blend - not only do you get a wonderful aroma and a vibrant flavour, it's also has a great texture to it, too. There are many different levels of flavour that all work together to create an interesting, vibrant and very modern infusion.

I love how you go from rich sweetness, to bold tartness. From the mouth watering benefits of the blood orange to the refreshing and crispness of the apple. There is, in addition, a gentle floral tone from the hibiscus petals.

Blood Orange Marmalade is, quite simply, an awesome infusion. It's ideal to relax to at the end of the day. As this contains no caffeine it's perfect for a late evening, before bed brew. And I think it's going to be marvellous as summer approaches. You can have the comforting benefits of a hot drink, whilst at the same time, experiencing something that is equally as refreshing as something you'd find in the chiller in the local supermarket.

This blend is healthy, funky and fun. And I am so glad that I managed to try this tea.

I urge you, the tea drinker, to give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed with this infusion, because, it's simply sunshine in a cup. And you really can't ask for anything more.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Whittard: Blend #93: Piccadilly Blend

I will admit that I never planned to buy Whittards Piccadilly Blend. Actually it was a blend that I tended to overlook whenever I was browsing the website. Recently though, I was placing an order and was told if I spent £4 more I'd be entitled to free postage so I just happened to grab this and I added it to my online basket.

I had quite forgotten that I had ordered it till the big beautiful box came through the post. So it was almost a surprise when I found this lovely little box nestled between all the caddies I had ordered. This blend is a flavoured black tea.

Due to  my hurry to place my order I hadn't realised that I had brought this tea in the bagged version. Buy tea loose now is about as natural as it comes for me so very rarely do I buy bagged tea. However, bagged tea does have it's positives and the main one is it's a lot quicker to pop a bag in the water and leave it to infuse - its' a pretty instant way to have tea, yet, it doesn't replace the ceremony of making the tea in the pot, which is what I really love about loose tea.

This tea contains a black tea from unknown origin, hibiscus, rose, strawberry and lotus. A very interesting sounding blend.

I boiled some fresh water and infused the tea for four minutes, being careful to follow brewing instructions. The aroma from the blend is a fruity blend on the whole with floral tones weaving it's way through. Quite pleasant!

Taking a first sip, I was left a little underwhelmed. I think this is because I have been blown away by their other blends, such as Bohemian Raspberry, Orange Blossom and their heavenly Orange Pekoe. I'm not saying that it's horrible - rather that it lacked the wow factor the the aforementioned blends have in oodles.

This tea is a smooth, easy to drink, well crafted black tea. The base tea, which I cannot establish it's origin sadly, is lovely and rich and has caramel tones to it. Just very beautiful and flavoursome. I am really loving the black tea's that Whittard choose for their blends - it's so easy to drink and full of flavour. Just yummy.

The two most prominent flavours in this blend are the rose and strawberry. When you first take a sip on this the strawberry is the first flavour that hits your tongue. It's fresh and pleasant and instantly refreshing. It's incredibly light - this blend would be ideal to serve as afternoon tea with a huge wedge of Victoria Sponge.

Complimenting the fresh and fruity strawberry flavour is a natural sweetness from the rose. It brings to the blend a flavour not dissimilar to Turkish Delight. The sweetness is rich and brings a very interesting layer of flavour to the blend. The two flavours are well balanced.

I think I may of preferred this blend if the ingredients ended at strawberry and rose. But there is a underlying flavour that is just a bit "off" for me and I think it may be the lotus flower. It's has a slight perfume like element to it and I find it quite distracting from the other ingredients in the blend.

Obviously people's tastes are very different and you may love this tea. I certainly liked it, it's not horrid or horrible but it just doesn't do it for me. It's not a tea that I would return to again, nor would I reorder it when I next place an order with Whittard. It just lacked a bit of oomph and spark for me. And it left a strange taste in my mouth after I've finished it.

I have been spoiled, I think, by my recent purchases from Whittard which are just perfect for me. Their Orange Blossom is divine.

If you like your tea fruity and floral and if you like a slight perfumey edge to your blend this is ideal for you.

For me, though pleasant and certainly refreshing, it just lacks something that appeals to me. You, though, may think differently and I'd certainly love to hear from you!

eteaket: Blooming Marvellous

I love Friday's. I work the entire weekend into the new week so Friday's are like most people's Sundays. I try to relax, unwind and enjoy doing what I love to do - mainly drinking tea and blogging, of course!

Today though seems to be a even better than normal Friday. It's been a long, harsh winter. We've had it all here in the UK. Rain, wind, lots of snow and achingly cold temperatures. Today the sun is out, the air is warm, the grass in our garden has burst into glorious, green coloured life and the squirrels that use our garden to run around and play in are bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Also, today, this months wonderful box from the tea subscription service, teatourist, arrived today. It's  is, quite frankly, one of the highlights of my month. I deliberately avoid their emails which give us tantalising hints into what is contained within the box. I love to be surprised. And today it's is a varied selection.

I spend a moment reading about each tea and this wonderful blend, Blooming Marvellous by eteaket immediately struck me as very interesting. And potentially tasty. So after all my chores were done today, I made my first cup.

Blooming Marvellous is a green tea.  The base tea is a Chinese sencha. It is bursting with strawberries, sunflower petals, rosebuds, mallow and lemon, red berries and vanilla flavouring. It's  jam packed when it comes to flavours. I was intrigued to try it!

This tea is a beautiful tea, visually. It's large, green leaves are natural and healthy looking - which is something that appeals to me. They are light in colour and the sunflower petals and strawberries add a lovely dash of colour within the blend.

It's incredibly aromatic. When snipping open the packet, you are hit with a wonderful mix of fruit and floral scents. Mouthwatering indeed.

As this is a green tea I am especially picky about how I prepare this tea to get the very best out of it. I put two teaspoons into the infuser. I used freshly drawn water and boiled it to 80 degrees, leaving it to infuse for three minutes. I am a passionate advocate for green tea and like to prepare it with the respect it deserves.

Indeed, as I suspected this tea fully sums up the glorious weather. It is like spring in a cup. It's light, breezy, refreshing, tasty and fun. It brings a modern and elegant twist to traditional green tea and I was immediately blown away by it's gorgeous flavour, which is as mouthwatering delicious as the tea's scent is. teatourist have done incredibly well, as they always do, to include this tea in this months box!

Firstly, the wonderful sencha is both tasty and smooth - it is a genius idea to include this as the base tea of the blend. There isn't a hint of bitterness or astringency about it. It's just wonderfully smooth and of a very good quality. A delightful green tea. I love the lightness to the tea and it's very yummy indeed.

I mentioned earlier that this tea is filled to bursting with flavour and I did wonder for a amount about whether the amount and variation of additions to the tea would make a confused jumble of a tea. It's hard to mix floral and fruity ingredients together and get them to work, but eteaket have managed just that. It does work! And it works extremely well.

The first flavour that comes through, and is very strong and natural is the fruity flavour of the strawberries. I have a odd relationship with strawberries. I love strawberry flavoured things, but I don't enjoy actual strawberries as I don't like the texture. This is a wonderful way to enjoy strawberries. The flavour is strong and full on and adds a very special element to green tea. It's nice to see green tea paired with strawberries, it's not a mixture one comes across very often.

From the sunflower petals you get a slight herbal element to this tea which adds a extra layer to the tea. First and foremost though the fruity additions to this tea are which come through the most strongly. I love that alongside strawberries you have the slightly stronger addition of red berries. The berries and strawberries work well together to present a flavoursome addition to this fairly light base tea.

Alongside the sweet berry flavour you have the addition of the lemon which brings a refreshing and tasty citrus twang to the blend. It takes the edge off something that would be very, very sweet. This is a extremely well blended tea.

I will admit that I didn't detect any flavour of vanilla. However, there is, weaving through this tea, which you detect more at the end of the sip, is a smooth richness. It's like adding liquid velvet to the tea. It's just glorious, plain and simple.

I have been totally blown away by this tea. Instant love. Admiration at first sip. My tea instincts honed in on this blend as soon as I opened the box from teatourist today, and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

For a green tea it's full of flavour and is full of fun, too.

This could be, putting it honestly, my perfect tea for summer 2018.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Leaf Tea Shop: Autumn Fire

It's quite odd to be reviewing a tea entitled Autumn Fire in April, just when the British weather is calming down. The snow and cold weather has hopefully gone, the sun and warmer temperatures are on their way. However, as I was treating myself to a hot cross bun this morning - a Be Good To Yourself one, naturally, - the lovely flavour of mixed spices immediately reminded me of something and after rifling through my tea box, I found the tea I was thinking of.

That tea is Autumn Fire by Leaf Tea Shop. This gorgeous little gem was handpicked for me to try but the wonderful and talented team at teatourist.

It's more than fair to say that I absolutely adore autumn and winter when it comes to tea, at least. I love how warming and comforting the tea's become as we head into the colder months. Everything is blended with tasty spices with subtle floral or fruity flavours. The tea is indulgent, rich, moreish and perfectly reflects those autumnal and winter events; bonfire night, carol singing, firework displays and the joy of coming home to such tasty teas is part of the fun.

However, due to the ingredients of this blend which are: black tea, cinnamon, orange peel, rose blossom and almonds, this could also be perfect for Easter. This reminds me as much of hot cross buns as it does Christmas cake, so it's a perfect all rounder, despite it's name.

The aroma of this blend is simply gorgeous and it strikes you immediately. The main scent is of the orange but the sweetness of the cinnamon does come through - it is truly mouthwatering. In fact, as I sit here in bed blogging, I had left the tea in my bedroom whilst I nipped to the loo, and when I came back the whole room was filled with a glorious fruity scent that immediately took me back to Christmas when all the shops were full of wonderfully scented candles. It was a really lovely experience to walk back in the room and be greeted by such a aroma.

The base tea used in this blend in Ceylon black tea. I have had the luxury of drinking plenty of tea from Sri Lanka recently, and I'm really loving it smooth and delicious taste. As the norm with Ceylon tea the leaves are really, really dark and are always striking to look at. But the orange peel and red rose blossoms add vibrant splashes of colour, much like fireworks against a black winter night sky.

So far this tea was perfectly suited to my senses. How would it taste though?

I filled my infuser with a generous amount of tea and let the blend brew for four minutes. The information on the card that came with the tea said three to five so I went for one in the middle. For me, it was lovely but next time I think I will try for the full five minutes. As this is a black tea it's perfectly fine to use boiling water but always make sure you use freshly drawn water.

From the very first sip I realised that this is a tea that will take you on journey with each sip. Some teas, when you take a sip you are hit, face on, with the flavour. This tea though, and partly why I love it so much, is that the flavour develops through the sip. So the taste is very different at the start of the sip then when you swallow the tea. It's interesting and keeps you on your toes.

I suppose, not surprisingly, the first flavour that comes through is the sweet cinnamon. Cinnamon, especially hot in tea, is a strong flavour. So its the first to come through and I loved how it's spiciness dotted around on my tongue, making it feel slightly prickly. This tea has a texture as well as a lovely scent and wonderful flavour. The addition of the cinnamon makes this tea warming and tasty and, after a stressful period, which I have been going through recently, very comforting and relaxing.

There is a very slight twang midway through the sip which I think comes from the orange. The orange isn't sweet, like you'd get from a clementine, it's rather, not bitter exactly but sharp. So that sharpness is a nice contrast to the sweet cinnamon. The two work well together balancing well and making a very even and well blended tea.

I will admit that I didn't detect much from the rose blossom, but I think it's one of those things that had it not been added the tea would of tasted completely different. Maybe because the cinnamon and orange are so strong that they do cancel out the most delicate of flavours.

Towards the end of the sip there is a slight marzipan taste coming through from the addition of almonds. It does remind me a little of cherry bakewell cakes.

As with many tea's blended for winter, there are also cloves added as well which brings a familiar taste to this tea.

Overall this is a really well balanced and blended tea. I was sad to not be able to detect the floral element, however, that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a damn fine cup of tea. I am so impressed with it. It's a shame that I only have it in sample size, so I probably have enough left for another couple of cups of tea which is a huge shame - but it has been added to my list of teas to buy. Thankfully, it still seems to be available on the companies website.

I love how this tea perfectly reflects autumn - which is my favourite time of year. Everything that is nice is reflected in a single cup of tea. It's warming and comforting and also interesting and refreshing. It's familiar and at the same time, due to it's wonderful blending, new and exciting. It's a tea that can be enjoyed whilst snuggling down, yet light and refreshing enough to sit and admire the lighter evenings.

Despite it's name it is a all rounder of a tea.

This is the first tea I've tried from Leaf Tea Shop and I'm hugely impressed with it. I'm very much looking forward to having a look around their elegant and modern website to see what other delights they have on offer.  Already I have my eye on their Blood Orange and Baked Apple! They sound so scrummy!

I look forward to reviewing more of their blends on Laura's Tea Room.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Whittard: Blend #600: Lucky Lychee

To celebrate the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, Whittard have blended a fantastic limited edition blend. It's been given the number 600, and it's their Lucky Lychee.

I first came across this blend a couple of weeks back when I was browsing the Whittard website looking for inspiration to feature on the blog. I've become quite partial to Whittard over the last year. I love the quality of their tea, I love the fact they have actual stores that I can visit and talk tea to the workers there, and I love the fact that mix traditional blends with the modern.

I know you cannot judge a tea by it's packaging. However, this eye-catching design stirred my interest and as I love lychees, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I cannot find out how long this blend will be on sale for, but if it sounds like something you'd like, I'd get in quick - it is limited edition as stated on the web page.

The tea consists of Chinese black tea and lychee flavouring.

This tea is gorgeous to look at. It's beautifully dark and is made up of relatively small leaves. It comes in a box and wrapped in plastic within the box. I would of brought a caddy to place this in, as it is highly fragranced, but as it's a limited edition, I'm happily leaving it in it's original and very pretty packaging.

I heaped a generous amount of tea in the infuser and poured on the boiling water. Whilst it infused I enjoyed it's sweet aroma. Though lychee's are fruit it has a oddly floral scent about it, and it is utterly gorgeous and tasty. I infused the tea for four minutes.

This blend is a extravagant, rich blend. It is bursting with flavour and is aromatic, robust and tasty. As lovely as it is, it's rather like the tea equivalent of shortbread. A small amount is lovely but if taken too often it can become a bit too much. I think this box will last me some time, as it's quite full on!

The base tea is of Chinese origin and is lovely and smooth and is the perfect match with the lychee flavouring as neither flavour out does the other. I think Whittard are especially wise to have used a stronger tea with this strong flavour as we could easily of had a tea where one flavour over took the whole blend. This is blended exceptionally well and is a joy to drink. A ideal blending!

There is something lovely about the texture of this blend. It's smooth and easy to drink, and it's like someone is giving me a hug. I feel good when I drink this tea. I'm not sure if it's the sweetness but it's just delightful in how it makes you feel. It's soft, gentle on the palate and makes your tongue dance with flavour.

I am rather partial to lychees, but in my neck of the woods they are not always easy to find so I was hugely looking forward to tasting this -and I wasn't disappointed. The flavour of the lychee is incredibly fresh, natural and it tastes almost as if there are real, actual lychees floating in the tea. It's well rounded and just wonderful. When I've had a cup I just want more and more and more of it.

This is about as comforting a tea as you could possibly wish to have. There is something so lovely that it's hard to find the words for. There isn't any harshness or bitterness to this tea, even as it cools. It is a well balanced cup of tea from the first to the very last sip. Utterly delightful.

I will be rationing this tea. It's quite pricy for the amount you get and as it's a limited edition I don't know how long it will be available for. So I only have a couple of cups a day. You know what it like - you get to love a tea and all of a sudden you can't find it anymore. I've had that happen several times in my eight years of avid tea drinking so I've learned to treasure those tea's and drink little of it so it lasts for longer.

I think this is a great tea for spring. As the days get longer, with lighter evenings and mornings, it's like your welcoming in a whole new world. And this is the perfect companion. It's brilliant that Whittard have chosen such an exotic fruit to blend with the tea. A very good example of Whittard successfully mixing the traditional with the new.

I am utterly in love with this tea. It's familiar yet different and keeps you on your toes and it's glorious flavour lingers well after the cup has been finished.

So far, this is one of the best new tea's I've tried in 2018. For me it's exceptionally lucky that two of my favourite things have been brought together in a fresh, romantic, dreamy way. Whittard - I can only thank you!

Teakruthi: Lemon Kandy

Unwittingly, it seems, it's all about Sri Lanka at Laura's Tea Room this week! The past few tea's I've had the pleasure of reviewing have all been from Sri Lanka and this review is no different. This review is about Teakruthi's lush Lemon Kandy black flavoured tea.

It's no secret here on my tea blog that I am a huge fan of black tea. It doesn't matter if it's in pure form or flavoured. I find great warmth and satisfaction in drinking black tea. And I have tried A LOT of black tea so I always approach new tea from new (to me) companies with excitement and high expectations.

Every single time I try a new blend I am enthusiastic. And when I tried Lemon Kandy, I was no different.

You wouldn't be blamed if you thought, due to it's name, that this blend is one of those new fangled dessert type tea's but Kandy, in case you didn't know, is actually a region of Sri Lanka. It's high up in the mountains and produces some of the loveliest tea going. Sri Lankan tea is quite strong by nature, but tends to have a lovely sweetness to it, too. It's the best of both worlds.

I am also partial to fruit in black tea. Normally I tend to veer towards orange flavoured black tea so I was interested and intrigued by this tea which is flavoured naturally by lemon peel. I have tried flavoured tea before and was disappointed as it tasted like washing up liquid. However, I know from experience that we cannot tar all tea with the same brush. And this proved to be a exceptional tea.

I filled my Flo-tea with a generous amount of tea and boiled the freshly drawn water. It advised me to boil to 90 degrees so I boiled the kettle and let the water cool down a while.

Visually this tea is a real treat! It's dark leaves are stunning and the dried lemon peel add a generous splash of colour which contrasts really well with the blackness of the tea. There is a slight aroma of lemon, but it's not overpowering or particularly strong, so I thought I'd brew this for the full five minutes that was suggested.

This tea has a natural rich sweetness which I put down solely to the fact that it's a tea from the Kandy area which is high up and produces stunning, delicious and tasty tea. Although there is a slight earthiness to the tea, which you normally get with green tea, it makes this blend memorable and different. And I do tend to love that natural, grassy element to tea, for some reason it really does appeal to me.

This is incredibly satisfying. Today has been a lovely day but it's been long and busy and and it's just what I needed as I flopped onto the sofa. It's warming and also comforting in a way that only black tea can be.

The addition of lemon is wonderful but it is very light and delicate. It's not a full on lemon flavour that you get with, for example, some Earl Grey's. It's whispy, light and refreshing. It's not at all tart or bitter, but I do feel to get the full force of the lemon you ought to brew it for the full five minutes. Anything less, it would of been lost to the sheer strength of the Sri Lankan base tea. It may be useful if using home made teabags or a infuser to find a bit more of the peel and add it just to strengthen the lemon a little bit. However, it really is lovely to experience lemon in a tea.

The leaves of this blend can be re-infused up to three times which is excellent as it makes the tea stretch a little bit longer. I have infused it three times, sticking to the important rules of using freshly drawn water and brewing to five minutes exactly, using a timer to make sure it is for the full five minutes.

On the second infusion the lemon came through a lot stronger than the first infusion which delighted me. I really liked it and I did like the slight sharpness from the lemon which worked well with the natural earthiness of the tea. I was also pleased to say that this tea did not go bitter on second infusion  it kept it's strong, smooth qualities which I honestly really loved. It had a level, even taste to it.

However, the third infusion, I must admit the tea did go slightly astringent. Now that is by no means a criticism and I personally know quite a few tea drinkers who like to have that sharp, twangy kick to their tea but for me, I think two infusions are enough with this blend. The slight bitterness of the tea with the, by now, quite sharp lemon was a bit too much for me, so I'd stick to two infusions. However, you may well disagree and I'd love to know your thoughts on it!

I really enjoyed this pleasant, intoxicating tea. It would be great to serve up as a afternoon tea, with a light and fluffy lemon cake. It's refreshing, cooling and satisfying and makes such a tasty difference to orange tea.

I do feel that the strength of the Sri Lankan tea does overpower slightly the addition of the lemon but this would be easily remedied by adding just a small amount more of lemon peel.

Overall, I found this to be a wonderful blend, ideal for black tea lovers who enjoy the addition of fruit into their tea. It's pleasantly easy to drink, smooth and delicious and I'm so pleased I got to try this wonderful tea.

The Tea Leaf Company: Simply Green

When it comes to tea, as with other things in life, quite often simplicity is all you want. Today I woke with a ever so slightly fuzzy head and just wanted a plain and simple cup of tea. Sometimes that is what my body yearns for. To experience tea in it's purest form.

Rifling through my tea box I found exactly what I needed. This lovely green tea by The Tea Leaf Company.  It's a simple yet beautiful tea. Simply Green. 

Green tea is one of the most divisive tea's that exists in the world. I very rarely come across people who say they like it, or it's ok. It's either yes, I love it and am a avid green tea drinker or I hate it and can't stand to be around the stuff. There is, in green tea, very little middle ground.

And I can understand that attitude because green tea is very unique. It's a very natural and at times almost gritty tea. I didn't like it at first simply because I was buying the supermarket branded tea's which are, in most cases, not very good. When I was sent a sample many years ago of proper, real, top quality green tea, I soon fell in love with green tea for all the right reasons.

I knew, as soon as I opened the packet of this tea that I would like it. This tea is a traditional, solid green tea and has all the earthy and grassy elements that I love - its' a real tea that you can get your teeth into and enjoy hugely. The aroma of this tea is exactly that - earthy and it made my mouth water. And, considering this is a Sri Lankan green tea, I knew this would have some oomph about it!

Visually this is a beautiful tea. Sadly it's not reflected in the photograph above, but it's curly leaves are dark green and stunning to look at.  It's very attractive - I find exceptional beauty in tea leaves and these are interesting to look at and lovely to feel.

As this tea was sent to me through the wonderful tea subscription service, teatourist, it comes with a handy little card with information about how to brew. Now I do know my green tea brewing stuff, and it did state to infuse the tea between two and five minutes. However, I do feel that five minutes is a bit too long so I opted for the middle option of three minutes and I felt this was perfect. However, you may enjoy it brewed at five minutes, it will be strong because it packs a punch after three minutes infusion! As with all tea's the best thing to do is experiment and see what tastes better for you.

I set the timer and waited patiently for three minutes and loved the scent as the tea infused.

The flavour of this tea is absolutely gorgeous and it's exactly the sort of green tea that I love. Natural, earthy and healthy. It's scrummy, delicious and much, much more!

There is a smoothness to this tea that, despite it's strength, makes it easy to drink. Some green tea's that have that slight bitter edge are hard to get through, this is not.

With most tea's that come from Sri Lanka this tea has strength, is robust (a very good alternative to that early morning coffee!) and is so full of flavour that you feel as though you could almost bite into it. This is ideal for a kick start in the morning if, like me, coffee is not your thing. It honestly would get you up and running in the loveliest possible way. Yet, whilst being strong, the flavour is, somehow not overbearing and is not too much to take. It balances very well between having flavour and yet is enjoyable.

It's also incredibly refreshing and is a thirst quencher. I prepared this tea after eating a meal that was probably a little too highly salted and unlike other tea's this quenched that horrible thirst that you get when you've eaten too much salt.

The flavour of this tea is grassy. And it's that traditional element that makes green tea lovers drool at the prospect of a good green tea! The flavour rolls around your mouth and stays with you long after the cup of tea has been consumed. You can taste it for some time after - and that is no criticism at all!

This is also incredibly moreish - I will admit that as I finished the first cup my body was crying out for a second, and I was interested to read on the information card that this green tea could be re-infused so, I thought I'd give it a go. I wasn't holding out much hope as me and re-infusing green tea doesn't always go hand in hand - I've had my fair share of disasters. But I remained hopeful as I drew some fresh water from the tap.

Does this tea stand up to a second three minute infusion? I tried the tea with trepidation, I will admit. However, I was pleasantly surprised!

It's like having two different cups of tea from the same leaves. Rather then it taking on a harsh, bitter tone, which is normally my experience, this tea totally transforms into a softer, gentler tea, though keeping it's much loved and familiar grassy elements, the strength is somewhat reduced. How that works I cannot say but I am totally shocked at how this tea changes - but not in anyway for the worse. It just seems to evolve into a softer version of it's former self. I was utterly gobsmacked at how unbitter this tea is on second brewing. I was expecting astringency - I got none. I was very happy.

I'm really quite smitten with this tea and highly impressed - and believe me, I've drunk lots of green tea.

It's vital though that you follow the golden rules of infusing green tea to get the best out of your cup and to enjoy this tea as it should be.

1. Use freshly drawn water - do not reboil water. It can make the tea taste strange and bitter.
2. Do not boil the water for green tea - 80 degrees will do it!
3. Set the timer - over infusion can kill green tea flat and it can be done in mere seconds. Always time your tea and err on the side of caution. I would advise that three minutes is good enough, but feel free to experiment but the difference between three and five minutes with green tea can mean the difference between a gorgeous tea and a rotten one - so infuse with caution!

Simply Green is ideal for you if you like your green tea strong. If you're a lover of Gunpowder Green, Fog Green or Dragonwell then this is for you. However, if you are so so on green tea, like it delicate or can only drink it with added flavouring then this may not be for you.

This blend is as satisfying to the tea lover then any black tea. It's tasty, wholesome and feels ever so good to be drinking it.

As a tea lover and a green tea nut I cannot recommend this highly enough.