Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Red Rose Canadian Breakfast Tea: Pure And Simple And Extremely Tasty Tea

One of the best things that social media offers is the ability to meet people that, in different circumstances, you may never of met. Through the tea world (well, the Twinings Facebook page and this blog) I've met two lovely ladies, Elena from Italy and now, Deanna from Canada. (And I can't, of course, miss out the lovely Kirsten and Alex from Twinings!)

It was lovely at the end of last week to have a private message from Deanna saying that she'd love to send me some Red Rose Canadian Breakfast Tea to try. As I'm eager to try new teas, especially blends from abroad, I jumped at the chance. Today, those tea's have arrived. Alongside the breakfast tea, she had also included a envelope of one of my best tea's ever, Mulled Spice. (I can't thank you enough for that!).

Red Rose Canadian Breakfast tea is a black tea, that reminds me of a slightly weaker version of Assam. It's certainly not as malty as English Breakfast, but is really tasty.

I couldn't wait to try it. I popped the teabag in and poured the water and watched it brew.

It brews into a nice dark, mahogany colour. I left it to brew for about three minutes, as there were no instructions, I didn't want to over brew.

It's a full bodied tea, but at the same time not so strong that it's difficult to drink. I took it black but I think it's fine to add milk. I think also that lemon, or even lime, would go well with this tea.

I mean this in the nicest way, it's just a simple black tea. But the simple things in life can be wonderful, and I really enjoyed this tea. It's a good tea to get back to basics. I sat back and enjoyed every sip of this tea.

I have researched a little about the Red Rose brand and it's very popular in Canada, and I can understand why. It's made a lovely little brew that I enjoyed immensely.

Thank you Deanna! And in return, your tea's will be posted tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the selection I've made for you as much as I enjoyed Canadian Breakfast!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Clipper Organic St Clements Infusion: So Much Potential, So Little Flavour

"Laura" my friend said. "I've found a tea I think you'll really, really like. Can I bring it over this afternoon?" my friend texted me last Saturday. "Of course" I replied, whilst secretly thinking, please make it be ginger bread indulgence!

When she got here, she popped a tiny box on the work unit. It was a box of Clipper St Clements Infusion. Now, this is a tea that seems to have bombarded my computer as I've seen adverts for it everywhere, and, to be frank, I quite fancied it as I love tea's with citrus tones.

The design of the box is very pretty. Bright, colourful and appealing. And I really like the fact that you seem to get "tester" boxes, which contain 10 teabags (as this box does) so you can try the tea without having to buy a full box.

So, I brewed a cup each for Pauline and I. It was weird to see it brewing because it started off a green colour, then turned lemony and ended up a strange and odd light brown colour!

The tea, in theory, should be right up my street. I love orange and lemon flavoured teas, in fact any citrus based brew. But I just couldn't get the flavours here. Neither the orange nor the lemon stood out. In fact the only thing that I recognised was the slight, sweet, after bite of liquorice root, which I know so well from Twining's blends.

I imagined this brew would be very refreshing, slightly bitter from the lemons and sweet from the oranges. Instead, what I got was a tea that tasted artificial. There is a slightly unpleasant soapy taste too, rather like drinking washing up liquid. It's just so bland and tasteless.

Believe me I've tried brewing this tea every way. I've tried leaving the bag in, I've tried using two bags. But it just lacks that fruity taste, that I really wanted to like. There is a flavour there. But I can't detect what it is. It just was there,in the cup, a water that vaguely tasted of... something.

I really, really, really wanted to like this tea. I've seen it advertised and I was interested enough to want to taste it as it looks refreshing and interesting, and the packaging was bright and attractive. But it just sadly didn't deliver.

I have to be frank and admit I don't know much at all about Clipper tea. I can't recall trying any of their tea's before this but I could be wrong. I won't be put off if a opportunity comes up to taste their black tea blends. But, I can't say I'm impressed with their fruit infusions.

Summary of Clipper Organic St Clements Infusion

- Brew for 3 to 4 minutes
- No milk needed.
- Available from all the major supermarkets. Price for boxes of 10 envelopes is £1.49.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Twinings Delicate Earl Grey. A Lovely Addition To The Earl Grey Family

In January, when I started this blog, the first tea's I reviewed were Earl Grey. Alongside The Earl Grey, I also reviewed Earl Grey Silky Pyramids and Classic Earl Grey: http://lovetealoveblogging.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/earl-grey-variations-on-wonderful-theme.html

Delicate Earl Grey, which was released last year, was the only one missing. Kirsten, the lovely lady at Twinings had sent me a sample out just before I started this blog so couldn't write about it as the drink had long gone before I set up the blog!

Yesterday though, in Tesco's I found the caddy and snapped it up. Isn't it so pretty. What this picture may not reflect is how pretty the caddy is with it's lovely illustrations of pots of tea and flowers on.

I am a huge fan of Earl Grey so when I brought the caddy yesterday it was lovely to taste it again.

I brew the tea for three and a bit minutes and it brews to quite a dark colour.

The aroma from this tea is very lemony, and it smells wonderful. It's so inviting and gorgeous and reminds me of a lovely summer's day.

Curling up on the sofa, I took a sip, and was really surprised at how strong the lemon flavour was. Far stronger then The Earl Grey and, in fact all of the other variations. I did wonder why it's considered delicate because it tastes a lot stronger then any of the other blends of Earl Grey. Then I remembered an email I received from Twinings when I asked that very question. The reason it's delicate is that there are higher percentages of lemon flavour and bergamont flavour, so you can taste less of the black tea, meaning it is more delicate, because as we know, black tea is all mighty and powerful!

Although this could be considered just another Earl Grey, it's totally different to all of the others. But I think it's a extremely welcome new member of the Earl Grey family.

It's so light and it makes a really refreshing drink. I'm so glad I found some. I've enjoyed two cups already and it's only 11am! (And that is in addition to a cup of Earl Grey and one of Lady Grey!).

This tea is for you if you like strong, citrus flavours in your tea. I'm positive you'll enjoy it!

Summary of Delicate Earl Grey

- Tea can be brewed between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Milk can be added, or indeed, a slice of lemon!
- Available online and from Tesco's. A caddy, containing 20 envelopes cost £5.00.
- You can also purchase a Delicate Earl Grey caddy which also contains a Earl Grey candle for £9.50 from Twinings Online.

Ginger Bread Indulgence, Caramelised Apple and Salted Caramel: Why This Could Be Twinings Greatest Launch Yet

I first started drinking Twinings four years ago, so I'm a relatively new convert. But, in that time, I've seen the launch of several different ranges. From the annual Christmas product line, which has been hugely successful, to the ever popular Sensations range (now renamed as "Intensely"). From the revamped fruit and herbal range, to special editions such as Diamond Jubilee, Delicate Earl Grey and the "Royal Birth" range.

So whenever Twinings teasingly announce that something new is coming, the comments section goes crazy on Facebook, and you can almost hear the collective foot shuffling whilst we all wait for what it is.

I have never seen the sort of excitement, praise and general hub bub that the new range of green teas has caused, on any of their other launches. The Sensation range is incredibly popular, but, as far as I can gather via social media, it's been a slow burner. People are loyal to the range, once they discovered it. They enjoy it, but not all of the flavours were available in all supermarkets so it's taken some time for people to experience the full set.

With the new green tea range however, people have instantly gone mad for the blends. It's been limited to Tesco's and Waitrose stores, and this limited availability, I think, has only added to the intense interest. I myself, traveled over three hours this weekend to purchase the set, only to find the supermarket had sold out. I was really annoyed by this, unusually for me, and felt incredibly frustrated that I couldn't get my hands on any.

And I'm not the only person to feel like this. One person on Facebook commented that he had gone to all of his local supermarkets and could not find a single box. His disappointment was palpable.

What has caused all of this mania? There are several reason's.

I think Twinings blenders are geniuses. They have created three totally individual and unique flavours that you will not find anywhere else. Ginger Bread Indulgence, Caramelised Apple and Salted Caramel. These are flavours that will suit those with both a sweet tooth and people who prefer savoury elements.

In addition, Twinings have been very smart with the timing of the launch. They have taken full advantage of the post Christmas "loose weight, get healthy" mentality. Green tea has many health benefits, so by using green tea, and launching it now, it's extremely appealing to those who feel they want to do something positive for their bodies.

Of course, these tea's have the usual high standard of quality that you can expect from Twinings. For a tea company to do these sort of unique teas well, they have to know how to do the basic's. There is no point releasing something like Ginger Bread Indulgence if you can't produce a decent Lemon and Ginger or Earl Grey. Twinings have the basic's covered, and I think this means they can take time to invest in new lines.

I was fortunate enough to have been sent some samples of these tea's. I enjoyed them all very much. Ginger Bread Indulgence was my favourite, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy the other two because I truly did. But, like most ranges, there are always some flavours that just appeal to you a little bit more then the others.

I really hope that Twinings release these teas and stock them in Morrisons, Asda and Sainsburys, so that more people can experience them. I think they will be doing themselves a huge injustice if they don't. This tea NEEDS to be reached to as many people as possible. The lack of availability in the shops that do stock them goes to show how popular it is. Suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand.

Well done Twinings on releasing, what I feel, is your best new range yet. Here's hoping that many more people will enjoy it's qualities too!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Today's Twinings Purchases

Today I failed on my mission to buy the new green tea's. Tesco's was wiped out completely of stock. However, I did pick up some great tea!

I treated myself to two boxes each of Lavender Earl Grey and Rose Garden, two personal favourites of mine. I also found a caddy full of Delicate Earl Grey which I will review tomorrow.

So, all in all, not a bad day!

Salted Caramel Tea. It's Very Different And It Works!

Today I traveled three hours on a bus to go to a huge Tesco's store to try and buy the latest green teas. Save for one really badly bashed box of Caramelised Apple, I couldn't find a box anywhere. I politely asked the manager to look outside, and no, there was not a box to be had. So it's quite sad that this evening I'm using the last sample I was sent to review on this blog.

Salted Caramel was the flavour I left till last as I was sure I wouldn't like it. I've never really brought into this chilli chocolate fad, so I thought I'd dislike this tea. But, to my utter surprise, I really liked it and found it a interesting tea to drink.

At the risk of keeping repeating myself this tea cannot be brewed for more then 2 minutes as it can go bitter and loose it's flavour. I do apologise for the rough picture but you get the idea!

The aroma of caramel whilst brewing this tea is fantastic. It is very strong and fills up the kitchen wonderfully. It reminds me of toffees and is rich and inviting. It feels like a luxurious tea, a real decadent blend, and that's exactly what it is!

Salted Caramel is truly a tea of two halves. When you take the first sip the lovely caramel flavour comes through, and then, a few seconds later, the salty flavour really takes the tea to another level. The sweetness followed by the savoury is a real experience. It's hard to put in words, it's something someone has to experience for themselves.

If you can find a box, I'd grab one .... or a dozen! They are so hard to come by in most shops but they should be tasted by everyone. These blends are genius. And tasty to boot!

Summary Of Salted Caramel

- Brew between 1-2 minutes. No longer!
- No milk, no sugar neeeded
- A box of 20 teabags cost £2.49 available in Tesco's, Waitrose and online.

Special deals

Available from Twinings on a 3 for 2 deal. Included in the deal is free postage and a free gift bag.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Twinings Caramelised Apple: A Real Good Treat!

So, I'm now reviewing the second of the new green tea blends. I'm really enjoying sampling these new flavours, and it's been so much fun to see the reception from other people who are tasting them too.

I've decided the second review will be of the Caramelised Apple blend. As you can see, Twinings have been really creative with their packaging. I love it!

As with any green tea, it's important not to over brew it as it can go slightly bitter, and when the green tea has a flavour added you usually loose the delicate taste, so I would suggest no longer then two minutes brewing time.

The blend brews to a light amber colour.

When I made my first cup of tea, the aroma that hit me initially was of toffee apples. You know the sort that you can buy at a fairground. But this evening I brewed my second cup and decided it reminded me more of one of those lovely apple tarts that are available, the sort that have a lattice crust, which is nice and shiny, and the slight taste of cinnamon.

This blend is less strong then the ginger bread indulgence, but that in no way means it's a weak tea. I'd say the flavour is far more delicate, but then again, anything with ginger in it is bound to make an impression!

I love this tea because the apple and caramel are so perfect for one another, and they compliment each other. The first thing you notice when drinking the blend is the sweet, refreshing flavour of apple, and then, secondly the smooth caramel flavour. It's a warming tea, and one that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and clean.

It's also incredibly moreish! If I had more then two teabags, I probably would of had a few more cups of it this evening! It's a really pleasant drink to take. Tasty, but at the same time, extremely light and delicate.

Twinings have done something extraordinary with their new blends of green tea. They have created innovative flavours, and I have read, and know personally, that people who once did not like green tea (including me) are now embracing it with open arms. It's fine, in my opinion, not to like a tea such as green tea in it's pure form. People can find it's flavour off putting. But when mixed with special flavours like these, people are willing to try tea's they may not of before.

Tomorrow, I will review the final tea, which is Salted Caramel. But, last does not mean least!

Summary of Caramelised Apple

- Be careful how you brew - two minutes is the maximum.
- No milk or sugar needed.
- The tea is available from Tesco's, Waitrose and Twinings online shop. It costs £2.49 for 20.

Special Deals

This tea is available on a three for two deal from Twinings online. UK residents have free postage when ordering and also receive a free gift bag.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Twinings Ginger Bread Indulgence Green Tea. How Do I Even Begin .....

The buzz about Twinings new green tea has set the tea world alight. On their Facebook page, people are going nuts about the three new green teas, and what's not helping is it's only being stocked in Tesco's (not all branches by a long shot!) and Waitrose. "We can't find it" is a regular complaint, and one I find myself saying!

Earlier this week Twinings sent me a lovely gift (of which I will blog later!) and included in the gift was two sample teabags of each flavour. We have Ginger Bread Indulgence, Caramalised Apple and Salted Caramel.

As I opened the envelope to see what was in the parcel I felt like Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka, and I certainly felt like I had won the golden ticket when I saw the samples sat in the bottom of the envelope.

Wow! I had finally gotten hold of these new teas that everyone has been raving about. (And I've heard nothing but positive things about the blends!).

To be honest, I was just a bit excited and couldn't wait to jump in and try these flavours. So I opted for the one that jumped out to me from the beginning. Ginger Bread. Yeah, yeah, it's ginger. How different can it be? Well, it's very different from Lemon and Ginger or Settling Ginger. And I have to say, I prefer it!

Here is the picture of the lovely little tea bags. As you can see, Twinings really have done a fabulous job on the packaging. I love the colours, I love the cute little gingerbread man. It's just awesome in every way possible.

For the brewing instructions Twinings are quite positive that the tea be brewed for no less then two minutes, so I stuck to that religiously. I didn't want to make a mistake and not get the best from it. Anyway, I set my brand new fried egg cooking timer and waited. And waited. And waited!

Once it had finished brewing it took on a strange light orange hue, rather similar to the Settling Ginger Blend. This isn't the best photo going because the light in my kitchen at night isn't so good but I hope you can see it!

On the first sip, I have to say, my first thought was 'oh, it tastes like green tea ... oh now I see ...'. When you take the first sip you get that familiar green tea flavour. But just a couple of seconds later, the gorgeously wonderful taste of gingerbread comes through.

This isn't just another ginger tea. Oh no! This acutally does taste like ginger bread! It has the sweetness of ginger bread. It has that subtle flavour, that is spicy but not too full on. In fact, the taste of this tea is exactly like the sample of a gingerbread house I was given whilst out Christmas shopping a few years ago.

The smell of gingerbread is wonderful, and rather resembles ginger nut biscuits. It fills the whole kitchen. I keep my used teabags in a bowl and empty it regularly through the week, when the teabags have dried out, as I loathe leaking bin bags. The aroma of gingerbread was vibrant and strong for days afterwards and it was really pleasant to be in the kitchen for days after I first tried it. In fact, on Wednesday, we had Freesat installed in our kitchen and the man installing it asked what the lovely smell was. "You must be a good cook" he said. If only he knew!

I am so excited about this blend of tea. I love it and it's so sweet and tasty. It's spicy, gingery but so different to other ginger blends. I'm almost evangelical about this tea. It's fantastic. I'm just really desperate to find a full box of 20 so I can enjoy it again and again.

If you can hunt down this tea, then please, please try a box. You wont be disappointed. I certainly wasn't!

Twinings - your master blenders have stuck gold here. You should be proud of them, they have done a fabulous job!

Summary of Ginger Bread Green Tea

- Brew this tea for no longer then 2 minutes. Time it. It's vital so not to ruin the taste.
- No milk or sugar needed.
- Available in selected Tesco and Waitrose stores. Available online at Twinings. A box of 20 cost £2.49.

Special Deals

Currently available on a 3 for 2 deal on Twinings shop. You also get free delivery (if your in the UK) and a free gift bag.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Twinings Ceylon. The True Statesman Of The Tea World

Ceylon tea is one of those blends that I look at with admiration when I'm browsing the tea aisles. Like Darjeeling, it feels as though it's the real statesman of the tea world. I imagine that it sits on the shelf, looking down, haughtily, on the "lesser" teas that sit beneath it!

I will start with it's glorious packaging. Isn't it pretty? I love the blue colour Twinings have used for Ceylon. It really stands out, both on the shelf in the store and amongst my tea collection, housed in the Twinings corner of my kitchen!

Twinings recommend that you brew the tea from 3 to 5 minutes. I tend to go midway and leave it for four. It brews to a lovely dark amber colour.

Ceylon is a medium strength black tea, and it's perfect for those who like to drink their tea black and unsweetened as it is strong enough to give you a full bodied tea, but at the same time, it's not too overpowering, such as Assam and English Breakfast are.

This tea has a ever so slight, delicate sweetness to it, which makes for a refreshing thirst quencher. It's a light tea that doesn't sit too heavily on the stomach, so I find it's a perfect tea to make in a large pot, so I can have several cups!

Ceylon is a perfect blend for any time of the day, however, it would be a good candidate for an afternoon tea party.

Although this tea is slightly more expensive then other blends, I would advise you to treat yourself. It's a super blend and one that I find very enjoyable indeed.

Summary of Ceylon Tea

- Brew between 3 and 5 minutes, though I think 4 is enough.
- Can be taken black or white, sweetened or unsweetened.
- Can be purchased from Twinings Online or in supermarkets. £3.29 for 50 teabags. You can also buy in loose tea form from Twinings online shop with prices varying from £9.50 to £28.00

Special Deals

- Sainsbury's have two boxes for £4.00
- Tesco's have two boxes for £4.50.

Cranberry And Blood Orange: A Sharp Delight

First of all, I have to start this blog by stating that Cranberry and Blood Orange (was known as cranberry and sanguinello previously) is my all time favourite fruit tea. I absolutely love it, and can, when I'm in the mood, get through a box a week.

I find the contrast in blood oranges fantastic. I love the orange peel and the blood red flesh of the fruit. The difference in colours is amazing and it makes for a particularly attractive fruit.

Here is a the box of tea. I really love the revamped boxes for the fruit teas. The designs are modern, colourful and appealing.

Just like it's name, the tea brews to a blood red colour!

Now, I must state that if you have a sweet tooth and like your fruit teas sweet, like mango and strawberry, for instance, then perhaps this isn't the blend for you. Both cranberries and blood oranges are at the sharper end of the scale when it comes to fruits, so the combination of the two together make for a rather potent blend. That said, it's not uncomfortably sharp, but it does have a kick to it, that makes your tongue tingle.

It's a refreshing blend, and it's very different. It's quite a daring combination to put the two together, but it really works.

The bolder of the two tastes in this tea is the blood orange. I do get a lovely scent of orange as the tea is brewing, and could still smell it when I went back into the kitchen a couple of hours later. The cranberry adds another level to the tea. In fact, it's quite interesting to note that out of all the fruit tea's, cranberry is perhaps one of the most used ingredients and it's mixed with other flavours. I like the tartness of the cranberry, but oddly, I struggle to drink cranberry juice. I think it really works when mixed with other fruit like it is in this tea.

And underneath the two marvelous flavours of blood orange and cranberry, I also detect the ever so subtle presence of liquorice root which always makes it's presence known by giving you a slight kick once you've taken the sip of tea.

I think what makes the tea so great for me is that it's strong. This isn't one of those wishy washy fruit teas where you have to really guess what your drinking and can barely pick out the flavours. This is proud, and it says 'I'm here ... you can't miss me'. It's refreshing, and it's different.

Selecting blood orange as opposed to any other orange is a stroke of genius. The aroma of it fills up the kitchen with it's sweet and fresh scent.

I've liked this tea since I brought my first box and it remains my favourite. There is something really interesting and bold about it.

So, now, I'm off to brew another cup. And enjoy it all over again!

Summary Of Cranberry And Blood Orange

- Brew for as long as you wish.
- No milk or sugar needed.
- Available from Twinings online and in most supermarkets, priced £1.49 for 20 teabags.

Special Deals

This tea is currently on deal at branches of Tesco's. Two boxes for £2.60.

Sorry I Didn't Blog Last Night ...

I received an email today asking if I was alright considering I wrote no blog yesterday.

I'm fine! But, after last Wednesday storm, we suffered very minor roof damage and lost our tv aerial. So, yesterday we had the roofer here and the aerial guys working out quotes. By the evening both my boyfriend and I were beyond tired.

But fret not, tonight I'm reviewing Ceylon and Blood Orange and Cranberry!

Come back and read tonight!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

My Cup Seems To Be The Star Of The Show!

I've received a couple of really lovely emails over the weekend from people asking about the cup that is always featured in this blog.

Well, here is a full picture of it!

So, here it is! It's a Cadbury's Creme Egg mug. It came with an Easter Egg many years ago. They release them every year, but if you can't wait there are a few bouncing around on ebay!

I have a matching cup from a Cadbury's Caramel Egg, but don't like it as it doesn't hold much tea!

Of course, I have posh teaware. I have a beautiful PIP cup and saucer, brought from Twinings shop, but I use that at weekends when I make a pot of tea up. For everyday use I use my Cadbury's mug, quite simply because it's my favourite! And now, I consider it a good friend!

Blackcurrant Burst: A Tea Full Of Flavour

A little while ago Twinings kindly sent me out a box of different fruit tea's to review on this blog. It was a lovely gesture, and Twinings (as well as anyone else who knows me!) know that new tea's excite me, and I love trying them

Blackcurrant Burst is such a heart warming and lovely tea. It's so full of fruity goodness, that I feel it's not only tasty and indulgent, but it's good for me, too.

First of all I would say that blackcurrant burst is perfect for those sorts of icy cold days, where you've been out and are frozen to the bone. It's rather like drinking hot cordial, but with far less sugar! I had a brew of this when I was freezing and I felt as though my whole body was warming up. It was a lovely experience.

To get a full flavour, I use two teabags. Now, this may seem excessive. However, by using one teabag, though you get a nice taste, it's fairly weak. I prefer the strength and texture when I use two bags. And, because the cost of the tea is affordable, in additional to the fact that I rotate my tea so don't drink the same one all the time (obviously!) it's not a problem to use two.

I brew it for a while, but with most tea's I leave the bag in anyway so I don't have to worry about brewing times. It brews to a deep, red colour.

From the very minute you pour the water on this tea, the aroma of blackcurrant's is very strong and extremely pleasant. It fills the whole room up and I really love the smell, so I knew that I'd enjoy it.

Now, to be honest, I've always been a little wary of blackcurrant. That's because as a child, I drunk a lot of it in cordial's and the blackcurrant flavour always seems to have a plastic taste. Despite the advertising, it never felt natural, rather artificial. So I was a tad dubious when taking my first sip. But I didn't need to be.

This is really FULL of flavour. In fact Twinings are quite right to call it Blackcurrant BURST, because it is honestly, bursting with flavour. It's a staight forward tea. It's not blended with anything else. Blackcurrant is all you get with the tea, but it's done nicely and impressively. It's rich and fruity and full bodied.

I have to say, when drinking this tea, the kettle was already boiling for the second cup before I had finished the first!

If you like your tea plain and simple ,but well done, this is the tea for you. Exotic flavours are fun, but familiar ones can be fun also!

I'm going to stock up on this tea. It's marvelous and enjoyable. Maybe you'll enjoy it too!

Summary Of Blackcurrant Burst

- Brew for as long as you wish, no minimum or maximum time to brew.
- No milk or sweeteners needs. It's perfect as it is!
- Blackcurrant Burst is available from Twinings online and all major supermarkets. A box of 20 teabags cost £1.49

Special Deals

This tea is available on a special offer at Tesco's. The cost is £2.60 for two boxes. Valid until the 4th of March 2014.

Twinings Apple And Pear Green Tea: Lovely And Refreshing

Whilst popping through Tesco's today, on a (hopeless, it turned out) mission to try and source the new blends of Green Tea, I spotted Apple and Pear. As it was Valentines Day , and considering my boyfriend doesn't celebrate it, I decided to treat myself to a new box of tea! (Well, any old excuse will do!).

The apple and pear immediately jumped out on me. I've tried apple tea before, but I haven't tasted pear in a tea. It interested me. So that is the flavour I chose.

I really loved this tea. When I opened the box the aroma of pears was sweet and tempeting. I very much enjoyed inhaling the steam coming off the tea as it brewed. It was so fruity, and I couldn't wait to try it.

As with the other blends of green tea I've tried, it brews to a lovely light green colour.

I timed the brewing. Green tea can go bitter if left too long, so I brewed it for a minute and a half which was enough.

The flavour of this tea is gorgeous. The pear, which is the stronger of the two flavours, is very sweet, whilst the apple is slightly sharp, and it reminded me of a Granny Smith, which had been left in the fridge. Nice and crisp. The two flavours come together well to make a light and refreshing tea.

One thing I really liked was that after finishing a cup of this tea, the lovely taste of pear lingered for a bit, in a pleasant way, of course. I do like the slight herbal quality that green tea has, and it goes well with the flavours. It's certainly very different to black tea.

The pear is so delicate. It works well with the apple. I really enjoyed this tea. It's lovely and light and would make a brilliant after dinner drink.

Summary Of Apple And Pear Green Tea

- Brew for 1 to 2 minutes. Be precise, it can go very bitter.
- No milk no sugar needed.
- A box of 20 costs £1.69 (though Tesco's have it on deal, two boxes for £3.00!).

Friday, 14 February 2014

Twinings Mulled Spice: Where My Twinings Tea Journey Really Began

I remember very well the first Weight Watchers meeting I attended. I recall the leader explaining to me how the programme works. To those who do not know how it works, quite simply every food and most drinks have a propoints value. When I got home from that first meeting, I diligently worked out the points value of everything. Then, it came to pointing my beloved Cherry Coke. I was appalled. I quickly appreciated that fizzy drinks were out of the question.

As I dislike coffee very much, what was left for me to drink? Well, tea, obviously. So, I was stood in the tea aisle of Tesco's, a real novice, what did I buy. Green tea? White tea? PG Tips, Tetley or Typhoo? I stood there, completely bamboozled. Then, out of nowhere I spotted an alluring box on the shelf. It featured a painting of a girl in a red ballgown. It was so beautiful, and so different, that immediately I picked it up. Mulled Spice? Interesting.

Funnily enough I brought the box, and for some unbeknown reason to me, I put it in the cupboard and didn't try it. So, it wasn't till a few weeks later, after requesting some samples from Twinings, which included Mulled Spice, that I finally tasted it. It was wonderful. And I had a box of this! A couple of weeks later, I made my first purchase with Twinings online, in which I brought the caddy for this tea. And that, is quite simply where my tea journey began!

It may seem a little odd, that I say I fell in love with a tea, but I did.

Sadly though, it was announced at the end of last year that Mulled Spice was being taken out of production, and now you cannot buy it anywhere, bar a few boxes floating around on Amazon. I felt really upset that this blend was being retired. It always sold well, had positive reviews and was a tea drinkers favourite. I felt sure that it was a permanent member of the Twinings family. But, this happens from time to time. So, I guess this is rather a nostalgic post then a helpful one!

Mulled Spice is made up of a strong Assam blend, mixed with Christmas Spices, which I includes cloves amongst other things.

Here are some examples of the packaging that each individual teabag came in.

Mulled Spice was a perfect blend for Christmas. It was the sort of tea that went well with a big slab of Christmas Cake, or even, a tin of chocolates! It had the full taste which comes along with as Assam blend, but the sweetness of the spices was just delightful.And it was an extremely addictive tea, once in which you could become hooked on very quickly indeed.

Unlike most tea's this was one blend that I took with a bit of milk and a spoonful of sugar. The sugar really brought out the wonderful blend of spices. Not to add either milk or sugar meant that you were not enjoying this brew to it's full potential. As by adding milk and sugar, it made a slightly softer tea, and a very comforting brew.

I added a dash of milk and let the tea brew for three to five minutes. The spices prevented the tea from going over bitter when brewed for a longer amount of time. As you can see it made a nice amber colour.

When drinking this blend, I really loved how the flavours mixed in the mouth. You had the strength of Assam, slightly tampered down by the sweetness of the spices used. And the creaminess of the added milk added even more taste. I found this to be a mouth watering tea, and from the first sip, I really loved it!

I think this tea is utterly unique. Nothing will ever replace it. However, Twinings did release another Christmas Spice tea in 2013, Chritmas Cheer, which, although not the same, was very similar.

The one tea that is closet to Mulled Spice is Chai which I really enjoy, and which is, thankfully, available all year round in most shops.

Mulled Spice was a wonderful blend and I'll genuinely miss it. And today, I used my last teabag so I could write this blog! Still, I have now been left with a wonderful caddy which I can use to house other tea's.

But still, Mulled Spice... I'll miss you!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Exotic Raspberry And Dragon Fruit ... An Interesting Tea

One of the reason's I like Twinings, as I have said before, is that seem to be utterly fearless in combining different flavours when it comes to their fruit teas.

Pretty much every brand, and every supermarket can produce lemon and ginger or summer berries. That isn't a criticism of course, but, they can be a bit ... well ... sometimes you can fancy something different.

And through their Sensations range, Twinings have been even more inventive in the blends they have produced.

Tonight, I'm reviewing their Raspberry and Dragon Fruit Sensation.

As I said previously, last year, I was fortunate enough to win the complete set of Sensations tea. And, every flavour was a pleasure to try. But I was surprised as I have to admit, I've never experienced a dragon fruit before. If your like me and not seen one, here is a photograph.

Upon doing some research, I discovered that dragon fruit has a mild flavour, rather like what you'd expect from a water melon, but it's incredibly sweet.

As with the other family members, this blend comes in it's own envelope.

What I really like about this tea is when it brews the aroma of raspberry is really strong, and it reminds me of when you make up a jelly. It's fruity and sweet and lovely.

It brews to a deep red colour, and as you can see, I leave the bag in so that the flavour is really strong. If you dip this bag in the water and take it out again, you won't get a strong brew from it.

Like other fruit teas that has raspberry as it's leading ingredient, you get a full flavour, and there is really no doubt that it's raspberry your drinking. It has that sharpness you get with raspberries. I think though, that raspberry tea on it's own may be a little too tart, and it does need another ingredient, such as strawberries or, in this case, dragon fruit, to even out the balance somewhat.

The dragon fruit adds it's sweetness. But can I describe the flavour of the fruit? Not sure if I can. I noticed on the packaging that it also has lycee added to this blend, which is the taste that came through to me after the fullness of the raspberry flavour had passed. I feel maybe that dragon fruit, being such a delicate flavour, is somewhat lost. The raspberry is strong, and the lychee, although not strong, is a prominent flavour.

This is a really exotic blend, that is quite different. I enjoy it, as, like with other fruit teas, I love the mixture of sweet and sour. I think I would of preferred the chance to taste the dragon fruit more, but in all fairness to Twinings, if the fruit has a delicate flavour then there isn't much they can do with that. But perhaps pairing it up with the strong flavour of raspberry isn't the best way to bring the flavour out. Perhaps a dragon fruit and grape tea would be a little better. Two delicate flavours, complimenting each other, rather the one trying, and failing to pop it's head through.

Still, I do enjoy this tea simply because it's different and interesting and refreshing. I like it.

I'd highly recommend giving it a try. It's a perfect, summery blend. Very nice indeed.

Summary Of Raspberry And Dragon Fruit Sensation

- Brew for as long as you wish - but I think the longer the better!
- No milk or sweetener needed.
- Perfect blend to use for a fruit punch.
- The tea is available in selected supermarkets and from Twinings Online. A box of twenty costs £2.49.

Sorry For No Blog Yesterday

Hi Everyone

I usually blog everyday.

We had a bit of a hairy night here in the North West last night. Winds reaching 52 mph and heavy rain meant that, as I live near to a promenade, things were ... interesting.

We've lost our tv aerial, the strong wind has pushed a bit of water in through the bedroom wall and we have a slightly lifted roof tile. But, compared to others we are so lucky.

As it's still gusty tonight, I'm not sure if I'll be blogging, but I'm hoping to - I have raspberry and dragon fruit to discuss!

Please check back this evening or tomorrow. There will be new content added shortly!

Laura x

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Twinings Blackcurrant and Rhubarb .... It's a bit lovely!

Imagine it's a lovely Sunday afternoon and you've just eaten the most delicious Sunday roast. Then, for afters, your served a gorgeous crumble, that is filled with juicy blackcurrants and plump pieces of rhubarb, topped off with buttery crumbs. All served with lashings of warm (but not too hot!) creamy Devon custard.

Well, with Twinings Blackcurrant and Rhubarb Sensation tea, that is effectively what your getting. It's like a dessert in a cup!

Last year Twinings released their new Sensations range. I've already reviewed one tea, the Lime and Ginger which is lovely. From the emails that I've received through writing this blog, as well as the comments on Twinings Facebook page, the Sensations range is already establishing itself as a favourite in the tea world, with blackcurrant and rhubarb frequently named as the top flavour.

This blend comes in boxes of twenty teabags and is wrapped in it's own envelopes. I love the packaging of the range, it's so pretty and colourful.

When opening the box you can straight away smell the lovely fruit flavours. It's gorgeous!

As with most fruit tea's I tend to leave the teabag in whilst drinking as it makes for a stronger brew. Normally, I even use two teabags when making this tea to make a extra strong brew, however, I'm low on stock and am trying to limit myself! As you can see, the tea brews to a lush red colour!

When you take your first sip of this tea it's an experience you wont forget in a while. Both rhubarb and blackcurrants can be quite sharp in taste, but the extra ingredient of liquorice root, which has a sweet kick to it means that the sharpness is balanced out by the sweetness. Also, the tea contains vanilla, which makes the blend creamy and ever so inviting.

With some fruit teas you can have one flavour outweigh the other. But this is such a evenly balanced tea that no one flavour dominates. It's a perfect match of ingredients that come together and make a perfect fruit tea.

As someone who is weight watching, creamy desserts are out of the question, so I can honestly say that this blend really is a good substitute. In fact, I've recommended this tea to some members of my weight watchers class, and they have all come back with positive reviews of the tea. But, even if you don't have to watch your waistline, you'll enjoy this tea. It is sweet enough to please those with a sweet tooth, but the tartness of the rhubarb and blackcurrants keeps it evenly balanced for those who don't!

I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed with this brew. It really is special!

Summary of Blackcurrent And Rhubarb Sensation

- Can be brewed as long as you wish.
- No milk or sugar needed.
- Available in supermarkets and Twinings online. For a box of 20 it costs £2.49

Monday, 10 February 2014

Christmas Thanks ... A Christmas Cake Flavoured Tea

Authors note: For Christmas 2014 Christmas Thanks has been rebranded. It's now called Christmas Afternoon and is now in a gold caddy.

It seems a little odd to be sitting here in February thinking, and writing, about a Christmas product. But, Twinings Christmas Thanks blend deserves to be spoken about, as it really is rather special.

I have spoken of my friend Elena before. I often get to hear about teas from her. She lives in Italy and is a keen Twinings fan. So when she emailed me, in November, and asked if I had tried the Christmas Tea, I was really rather ashamed to tell her I hadn't. So, springing into action I ordered myself two of the Christmas teas.

The first of the Christmas tea's I'm reviewing is Christmas Thanks. It's a strong black tea that is blended with the flavour of Christmas Cake.

This was one tea I couldn't wait to taste. Christmas Cake flavour? Really? Now, that is different. I was not disappointed.

Christmas Cake tea was only available in loose tea form and came in a wonderful caddy. If you look at the reviews for Earl Grey and Liquorice Allsorts Tea that I've produced on here you'll see that Twinings developed a wonderful theme for all of their Christmas products. It seems to be the branches of a Christmas tree with the ornaments adorning it made up of teapots and teacups. Very pretty indeed.

Upon opening the caddy the aroma of the tea is very powerful, and it really does smell of Christmas Cake. Closing your eyes and inhaling the lovely scent, you can't help but think of a lovely, moist, Christmas cake, filled with fruit and topped off with snow white icing. It's indulgent, and the aroma pulls you in, making it irrisistable. You cannot refuse to make this tea. Your drawsn in and before you know it your warming the pot and measuring out the tea.

As you can see, it's a dark tea, with the leaves being fairly small.

I brew this tea for three minutes as I find that it's the right amount of brewing time to have a subtle brew. However, you can brew it up for five minutes if you want a rounder, stronger taste.

When brewed the tea forms a wonderful amber colour.

I am curled up on the sofa writing this and I'm instantly taken back to Christmas afternoon. I'm full up after a lovely dinner watching the Christmas movie and having just enough room for a slice of Christmas cake. This tea is full of flavour, and even though the taste of Christmas cake is strong, you still receive the punch that you get with black tea. It's fantastic and very tasty.

I was actually surprised at how much this does resemble Christmas cake. I've tried other drinks before which claim to taste of food items, but never been convinced, until now, of course.

This is a very full tea. In fact, I'd say it really is almost like a dessert in a cup (and this isn't the only tea that Twinings make that is like a dessert in a cup, but more will be revealed later!).

It would make a perfect after dinner drink. It's light and refreshing, but at the same time interesting enough to serve for your guests.

I wasn't at all disappointed with this tea. It met my expectations and more. It was different and quirky, but not in a gimmicky sense. But, I think if you were to serve this to guests it would make for a great talking point!

As well as making wonderful tea, Twinings is doing something really different. It's focusing on seasonal goods (such as Christmas and Valentines) and it's doing it amazingly well. The Christmas theme for 2013 was absolutely stunning. From beautifully decorated caddies to Christmas ornaments. From tea's to biscuits. I have noticed that they really did Christmas fantastically well.

I cannot wait to see what ideas they have come up with for Christmas 2014. Here's hoping they do a mince pie flavoured tea. Now that would make me one happy lady!

I'll Say Goodbye To Diamond Jubilee ... Thanks For The Memories

Well, this evening was (in my tea world, of course!) a sad one. I brewed the last of my reserve supplies of The Diamond Jubilee tea.

I won't go into too much detail as I reviewed it here not so long ago. But, I have many happy memories of that fantastic Jubilee weekend, brewing pot after pot as I watched the celebrations on the television. A really gorgeous tea.

I was lucky enough to have brought it in loose tea (see top caddy in the photo) and in teabag form. And I stocked up on individual envelopes from the pick and mix on the Twinings shop for as long as I could.

Sadly, though, all good things come to a end. It's a real shame that this tea is out of production now. I'm pretty positive that it's been a popular tea. Perhaps Twinings could, one day, bring it back permanently. It could be called the Queen Elizabeth blend, and it could head the regal blends of tea Twinings have, such as Prince of Wales blend, and Earl and Lady Grey. Just an idea.

Twinings, a big thumbs up for blending an extraordinary blend. It was the most delicious treat. And I, for one, am so glad I got to experience it.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Kensington Tea Company: Genmai Cha With Rice

If you ask some ladies what their idea of bliss is, some may say it's a weekend pampering session at a spa, or a shopping trip with friends. For me, it's the chance to brew loose tea in a pot, and drink it from a fine bone china cup and saucer. Sometimes, it feels increasingly hard to find the time to do just that, so, it's taken me some time to review the final tea that The Kensington Tea Company sent me to sample.

This evening, I sat down and opened up the final packet, which is Genmai Cha with Rice.

Genmai Cha with Rice is a Japanese tea. Genmai is a variety of brown rice, which is lightly roasted, then roasted again. So, not surprisingly, when I opened the packet, the first thing I thought of was popcorn. Not the syrupy sweet stuff, but the lovely salted popcorn you can get at the cinema. In the picture below you can see the grains of rice. It's really interesting to look at and really caught my attention as I waited for the pot to warm.

Genmai Cha with Rice is made up of green tea, and the leaves in this tea are large. I couldn't resist a peek of the tea as it was brewing. I left the tea to brew for just around three minutes. The photo below isn't very good, but you can see what a light, delicate tea it is. The actual colour of the tea is a pale yellow, but perhaps would of been darker if I had brewed it for a little longer.

As this (as well as all the other green teas of course) is completely and utterly new to me, I sat down in peace and quiet and took my first sip. I didn't really know what to expect, I have to say. Rice in a tea! I didn't even know something like this existed!

The main taste you get from this tea is rice, so it's a savoury tea, not at all like a citrus or spiced based brew. The flavour is very distinctive, unlike any other tea I've tasted before. In fact, if it contained sweet elements to it, it would rather remind me of sugar puffs! But joking aside, despite the strength of the taste of rice, it's a mellow tea, and actually has a slight nutty element to it, which brings to mind one of my favourite blends of black tea - Yunnan.

I still wasn't sure of it halfway through the first cup. That isn't always a bad thing, though. When you drink a blend of tea, that is many miles different to what you think a tea should be, it can leave you undecided for several cups. In fact, with Earl Grey, instantly I took a dislike to it, then, as I drunk it more often, I started to realise that I actually really liked it. You just have to open your mind, expect that it will be different, and really taste it.

When I poured the second cup, which was slightly stronger then the first, it had a slightly different taste. It was far more mellow, and the taste far richer.

So do I like this tea? Yes, I do. (And I'd be sure to write the truth and tell you if I didn't). But I honestly think that this tea needs a bit of getting used to. It's certainly not unpleasant (and believe me I've tasted some awful blends, and some lovely blends brewed badly!) but it's certainly unique, and has to be tasted to be believed. I believe this tea is an acquired tasted, and some people may think it not nice at all. But, this evening I brewed a second pot and am drinking it as I write, and, already my taste buds are enjoying this, and enjoying the difference in taste. It's not a sweet tea, so perfect for those who enjoy more savoury taste.

I would recommend you try this tea, just for the experience if nothing else. According to The Kensington Tea Company you get a free sample whenever you place an order, so perhaps you could request this for your sample and give it a go.

Summary of Genmai Cha With Rice

- Available from The Kensington Tea Company's Online Shop.
- Brew for three to four minutes. Should be taken black and unsweetened.
- Prices: 50g £4.10, 125g £9.90, 250g £18.75 500g £32.60

Friday, 7 February 2014

Lady Grey ... My Personal Favourite Tea ... Ever.

Lady Grey has been become my favourite tea. It always has been (since I started drinking it) and will always remain so.

There is nothing to dislike about this tea. It's a black tea that is very similar to Earl Grey, but the main citrus flavour is orange, rather then lemon. The gorgeous aroma of orange, when you first open the box, is utterly brilliant. Zingy and inviting. I can honestly say, with complete sincerity, that I am addicted to it, and couldn't live without it. Such is my habit, that no matter what else I'm drinking, I will always find time for at least one Lady Grey during the day.

I have perfected the brewing of Lady Grey. I am exact, and brew it for no longer then three and a half minutes. I drink it black and without any sweetener, as for me, the taste is so perfect, that adding anything will take away from the delicate taste.

For me, there is nothing nicer then on a Saturday afternoon, and I've finished all of my cleaning and other jobs, then to curl up on the sofa with a episode of Frost or Midsommer Murders with a cup of Lady Grey. It is utter bliss.

I love the citrus flavours in this brew. It is a mixture of orange and lemon. As said previously, the main flavour is orange but you do get a slight undertone of lemon coming through. It's a medium strength black tea, so it's really pleasant to drink black.

Although it is a black tea, it's light and refreshing. I often have lemon curd on toast for breakfast and this tea is the perfect blend to take with it.

When I drink it it reminds me of summer. It warms me up and envelopes me like a blanket and for the time I'm drinking it I feel totally relaxed.

Lady Grey is a blend exclusive to Twinings. It's available in teabags and loose tea. There are caddies available and refill pouches. (The picture above shows my homemade caddy as Twinings don't yet do caddies for teabags).

If you like Earl Grey then I think you'll enjoy this. If you like tea's which have a light bergamont taste to it, then you'll certainly love it. But I promise, if you try this just once, you'll never regret it and Lady Grey will become a regular on your shopping list!

Summary Of Lady Grey

- Brew Lady Grey between 3 and 4 minutes. I think it's perfect at 3 1/2.
- You can drink it with or without milk. Sweetened or unsweetened. I drink it black without sweetener.
- Lady Grey is available everywhere! Prices for teabags are: £2.69 for 50 bags or £4.49 for 100.
- Loose tea is available at: 125g for £2.69 and a caddy, which comes with 125g of tea costs £5.00.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Embarassing Case Of Orange Pekoe.. The Lovely Alex From Twinings .. And Laura's Faux Pas!

I still cringe with embarrassment whenever I remember the fist time I had discussed Orange Pekoe. A member of the Twinings Facebook group had told how she had brought a large amount of the blend as it was on sale. "Is it really orangey, like Lady Grey?" I asked, wide eyed and innocent.

I remember that the always lovely Alex, who handles Twinings Facebook page responded with "well, Laura, it's not actually orange flavoured, that's just the name", very nicely explaining about this exotic blend of tea, whilst at the same time probably thinking how daft I was! I really did feel like the school dunce!

But, the incident, which I was hugely mortified by, did create my interest in the tea, so I brought a box

Orange Pekoe is a black tea, and it's rated as a medium strength.

I like Orange Pekoe because it's light and refreshing, and it's a black tea that is light enough to be taken without milk or sweetener.

I brew the tea for around 3 to four minutes. It brews to a lovely copper colour (I did take photographs, but my phone has just died and I can't upload them!) and has a pleasant aroma. The smell is very slightly herbal.

On drinking this blend, I noticed a very, very light citrus taste to the brew, and it's light and refreshing. In fact, I can quite often make a second cup almost as soon as I have finished the first, as it is really rather moreish. This tea would be perfect to serve at an afternoon tea party, particularly if you have guests that are not too keen on flavoured teas. It's also good when you don't fancy a stronger black tea, such as Assam or English Breakfast.

I find it a real pity that Orange Pekoe isn't more widely available in the UK. You can purchase it online at Twinings shop, under the International Range, but it would be a real treat to be able to go and buy a box as soon as you've run out!

It's really lovely to try new teas, especially those blends that are normally only available abroad.

Orange Pekoe is a really pleasant tea. It's tasty, but at the same time gentle. It's a satisfying brew that is incredibly moreish, and I'm sure you'll find yourself drinking cup after cup once you've tried it. It's one of those teas that leaves an impression, you'll never forget it once you've tasted it.

It's a pleasure to drink, and one you'll be proud to serve friends and family. But then again, you may just want to keep it for yourself ....!!!!

Summary Of Orange Pekoe

- Brew the tea for 3 to 5 minutes, though I think four is the maximum you need to brew it for.
- You can drink it black or with milk, sweetened or unsweetened.
- Available from Twinings Online, under their International range. A box of 25 teabags costs £3.00.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Why I Love Twinings!

People may not know that people visiting my blog can leave comments. Of course, to protect myself, I have to approve them, so this evening I received a email saying a comment had been left for me. I viewed it and it was from a young man in Poland. He asked me several questions about why I love tea, and Twining's in particular. So, instead of answering them in the comment section, I thought I may write about them here, so people can learn a little bit more about why I love Twinings. So here goes!

1. Why do you love Twinings tea so much?

There are several reasons why I love Twinings as a brand. First of all, as I said in my recent review of Assam, they have the basic's covered. Blends like Assam and Prince of Wales are simple, but they are perfect. And if a company can get it's basic black tea right, then when it comes to exotic blends, such as Earl Grey, or Rose Garden or whatever it may be, the chances are they will hit the spot with those, too.

Alongside their black teas, green teas and white tea's, they also are creative with their fruit tea's. Yes, we've all been to the supermarket and seen peppermint or lemon and ginger. There are thousands of versions of these blends. But Twinings are experimental. They have mixed blackcurrant and rhubarb. Lime and ginger. Mango and strawberry. They have even used dragon fruit!

They care for their customers. And I know first hand how true this is. From the little things such as calling me to let me know my favourite blend was back in stock, to acts of huge kindness such as sending me a teapot for my birthday. Their customer service is second to none, and I feel it's genuine. I recall being absent from Facebook for a short while (can't remember why) and I was sent a message asking if I was okay.

On top of that, they listen to their customers. One of my big issue is that Twining's use a delivery service to deliver orders, which is tricky if you miss the delivery man. I wrote to them suggesting they could look into Royal Mail as a delivery option. It may not happen, but I know I've been listened to, and at the very least it's being considered. (I think).

I'm genuinely proud to be a Twinings fan. I've been labelled a tea snob (in jest!) but that never riles me, because I know I get quality, for a reasonable price, plus friendly customer service to boot. That's not snobbish, it's finding a brand that is perfect for my tastes.

2. Are You A Tea Snob?

No! If someone offered me a cup of PG Tips or Tetley, I wouldn't throw it in their face and demand Twinings! I love tea generally, but there are blends and brands that I just don't like!

3. Do You Have Any Other Blends In Your House?

Yes! I have Aldi tea. It never fails to surprise me that people don't actually like flavoured tea or spiced tea etc. It genuinely shocks me when people turn their nose up at a nice cup of Rose Garden. But that is their choice - and their loss!

4. Do You Try Other Blends?

Certainly, in fact I've written some reviews for The Kensington Tea Company who kindly sent me some samples (still have one tea left to review!). And I really enjoyed them. They were very different and testing them was a real treat for me. But TKTC is different to Twinings. They specialise in loose green tea. Their blends are totally unique and really tasty and am looking forward to sampling some more, if they want to send me some. I also obviously, drink tea when I'm out and about and not all places use Twinings. I love experimenting with tea, and am thinking about ordering a tea caddy which the Royal Wedding on the front, and it will be interesting to see what tea comes with that!

5. Is There Any Blend You Don't Like?

Lapsang Souchong. Without a doubt. I can't drink it and it makes me gag. It reminds me of smoked kippers and is truly vile (well to me anyway!). But hey, at least I tried! Also Tetleys Earl Grey was awful, reminded me of washing up liquid!

6. Is There Any Blends You'd Love To Try?

Zanzibar Chai. It's a special blend that comes in an beautiful box. But it's expensive, so I'm saving for it.

So, there you go! That's my Twining's story. If you have any more questions don't hesitate to contact me. I love talking about tea!

All Hail The Mighty Assam!

I've long been a fan of Assam. It was one of the very first teas I experienced on my Twinings journey, and one I truly love. But, since drinking black tea, I've avoided it a bit because, even with milk, it's a powerful blend.

Today, I decided to have my first cup in ages. I've had six teabags from a selection box hanging around since Christmas so I dipped in and decided to try the blend again.

Assam doesn't need a huge amount of brewing because, as it says on the packet, it's strong and mighty! It brews to a wonderful, dark, black colour.

This was the first time I had taken the tea without milk, and from the very first sip, I realised how strong it actually is. And it is strong! It has a smooth flavour, and it really is black tea at it's finest. It's not malty like English Breakfast, but is a much stronger then Prince of Wales (which I reviewed yesterday!). But, in all honesty, I struggled to get through the cup, not because it was horrible, simply because of it's strength. I was going to have to bend and add a bit of milk.

So, for my next cup of tea, I made another Assam up, and on reading the packaging, even Twinings say to add a touch of milk, so I added some soya milk (which is a new experience in itself as I've not added soya milk to tea before)and took a sip, and my goodness it was a lovely cup of tea. I didn't put much milk in, just a teeny drop, but it made all the difference. I enjoyed it immensely, and it took me back a couple of years when it was my blend of choice.

With the addition of milk it takes the edge off the strength, making it a rich and tasty brew. I really, really love this blend and enjoyed two more cups during the rest of the afternoon.

One of the things I love about Twinings is that they have perfected their basic tea. Assam is basic (compared to the flavoured ranges) but it's done just right. It's simple, not at all flashy, but it's rewarding to drink. There are many other blends on the market that claim to be strong. Make Mine A Builders, or Yorkshire Tea Extra Strong, but I don't think you need to go out and look purposely for a strong tea, because you have it in Assam. But alongside the strength you have quality, too. Nothing is scrimped on with Twinings. It's not gimmicky, and it doesn't try too hard. It is what it is. And that's why I like it.

Summary Of Assam

- Brew for three to five minutes.
- Adding milk is highly recommended.
- Available from Twinings Online and all supermarkets priced around £3.59 for 50 teabags. Available as a loose tea also: £2.29 for 125g.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Twinings Prince of Wales Black Tea. A Hard To Find Must Have

First of all I want to say that Prince of Wales is a blend of black tea that is very hard to source in the UK. It's not available from Twinings shop, and you certainly wont find it in any supermarkets nor in the Strand. I have only ever purchased two boxes. One from Amazon's online tea store and the other box in a whole foods shop where I stumbled on the blend almost by accident. Prince of Wales, from what I can gather, is part of the international range known as Classics, and is sold abroad.

I'm not quite sure why this blend isn't available in the UK. But it certainly should be.

I have to admit, I was quite unfair about Prince of Wales tea. Trevor, who I chat to via the Twinings Facebook raved about the tea, and I searched high and low for it, and when I found it expected something different, and initially, I didn't find it. It's just a black tea, that's all.

So, today, fancying something different, I decided to make another cup and see how I feel about it now. As you can see, each teabag comes in it's own envelope.

I brewed the tea for three minutes and it made for a lovely, dark, mahogany colour.

When I first tasted the tea last year, I dismissed it it as just like Assam or English Breakfast. But, actually, it's not. It's far lighter in taste, and far less malty then English Breakfast (the maltiness in English Breakfast puts me off it sometimes). It is a strong tea, but it lacks the bitterness that Assam can have, particularly if you over brew it and don't take milk in your tea. The taste has a sweet, delicate taste to it. I would recommend this blend if your thinking of cutting milk out of your tea, as it's gentle enough to get you started on drinking black tea.

It's a really lovely blend, quite refreshing and tasty, and this is one tea that I put lemon in to make it tasty and a little zingy.

Prince of Wales, though on the surface is just a plain black tea, nothing fancy, is really rather special. It's very versatile, and can be taken with or without milk, with or without sweetener or even with lemon or lime added. On the packet, because this blend is marketed for the American market, you even get instructions on how to make a iced tea!

When you buy a blend of tea which is intended for overseas market, you get a taste of the difference in marketing. In this picture you can see the slogan that is used for the American market! I think it's cute.

This tea isn't easy to find, but if you do come across a box, I'd recommend you give it a try. It's well worth it!

Summary Of Prince Of Wales Blend

- Brew this blend for 3-5 minutes.
- Can be taken white or black, with or without sweeteners. I would recommend adding lemon or even lime to give it a kick!
- POW Tea is available from Amazon UK costing £3.58 for 20 teabags or £6.99 for a caddy with 100g of tea.
- Can also be brought from Twinings USA shop.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Twinings Summer Berry Delight

Twinings Summer Berries Fruit Tea reminds me of the long life yoghurts my mum used to get me to take to school when I was little. It consists of blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. That's all. But it's a simplistic treasure.

I first brought this tea last summer, when I was visiting the Twinings shop in London. It's not a blend that is available in all supermarkets, so I was interested to try it. Like Winter Spice, its a gorgeous blend, that just happens to be a limited edition, so I stocked up on the tea and have four or five boxes stored away in a safe place!

To get the full flavour of this marvelous tea, I brew it for five minutes. It brews to a wonderful claret colour. Richly inviting and the smell of the berries is so sweet that you honestly can't wait to get started on drinking it!

The mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries is interesting. On first tasting you get the full sweetness of plump, juicy strawberries, and then there is a sharp, slightly sour after bite of the raspberries and blackberries. The sweet and sour contrast in the flavours makes it a really interesting fruit tea. Perfect for people who don't their fruit teas overly sweet.

As I have mentioned on other fruit tea reviews, there is an option to make this into a fruit punch during hot summer days. Last year I brewed this tea, let it cool and mixed it with diet lemonade and let it cool in the fridge. It made for a really refreshing drink. It just goes to show how versatile fruit teas can be!

This blend is still available to buy on Twinings online shop. I'd snap a box up before it's no longer sold. You'll be missing out on a fab tea if you don't!

Summary Of Twinings Summer Berries Tea

- Brew the tea for as long as you wish, but five minutes is perfect.
- Like any fruit tea's, no milk or sweetener needed.
- Available to buy from Twinings Online. A box of 20 costs £1.49