Friday, 29 May 2015

TG Green Tea: Mandarin And Ginseng Iced Green Tea

This week I received a lovely parcel of tea samples from a wonderful lady (all tea people seem really nice!) called Sophia Nadur. Sophia has started up her own tea company TG Green Tea. This new tea company is owned 100% by women and it's aims are to bring green tea, both iced and hot, which are both flavoursome and healthy to the nation's shelves.

The tea's that TG Green Tea sell are packed full of all the good things that nature provides, including ginger and ginseng, whilst keeping it down to just 30 calories per bottle. 

The first tea that I have decided to review from my little parcel is one of the iced variety - Mandarin and Ginger. This will not be surprising to regular readers as I absolutely LOVE any tea that has the slightest hint of orange, mandarin or anything citrusy! Though my head told me to try some of the others my heart followed the mandarin flavour. And it proved to be a brilliant decision.

I have to say that I've not always had a nice relationship with iced tea.  I've tried Liptons, the sort you can buy in any drink chiller and I wasn't impressed. It was bitter whilst at the same time seemingly containing a lot of sugar. On the other hand I've made iced tea from fruit tea at home and they were nice but were, quite frankly, to much bother to worry with! So it was nice to have something ready made to enjoy, whist at the same time feeling it's healthy and good for you.

At this time of year I tend to struggle with tea drinking. My body doesn't cope at all well when the temperatures start to rise. So, when it starts to get hot, my tea drinking drops quite a lot till I'm used to the warmth, then, I'm back to normal. It's just the transition period, from the crisp spring days to the hot summer that I struggle with.

The very idea of having green tea ice cold was interesting and as soon as the delivery arrived I popped them staright into the fridge to chill. This afternoon, bored with water but still not quite yet back on the tea properly, I decided to try my first iced green tea.

And, I loved it!

It is simply so refreshing and reviving that it instantly makes a very positive hit. It energises you immediately and cools you whilst at the same time, gives you the familiar tea hit.

The mandarin and ginseng flavour is wonderful and it's the perfect flavour for a iced drink. The mandarin is very full flavoured and fresh which is partly what makes this such a refreshing drink. It's a wonderful, fruity twist to the iced tea and is incredibly moreish. If this is your thing you will certainly not want the bottle to end, I didn't! It's a brilliant palate cleanser and is just ideal for the warm time of year.

The ginseng makes this tea really interesting, too. There is a sparky after bite, which really makes your taste buds come alive, it's rather like drinking a strong ginger drink and gives the taste buds a bit of a much needed kick!

What I really liked about this tea too was that there was no bitterness at all. I was expecting it to either have a bitter taste or that much loathed grassy flavour that puts so many people off green tea, yet it lacks both. It's just well blended and when served ice cold the mixture of flavours is just awesome.

Mandarin and Ginseng Iced Green Tea is ideal for summer. It's cooling and refreshing but is much nicer then plain water. I am thrilled to have tried this drink and cannot wait to try the other flavours, too.

It's wonderful to enjoy all the benefits of green tea whilst at the same time enjoying the cooling aspects of cold drinks. The best of both worlds!

I can only applaud Sophia and everyone else involved in this wonderful tea company and in particular this product. You really have created a wonderful iced tea.

Please visit the website. You can read all about the company and also find out about how you can get TG's tea's stocked in a shop near you!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Forleaves Tea Company: Lavender White Tea

I have been tea blogging now for just about sixteen months. And, it's been an utter delight writing this blog. Happily, I'm now at a point where I've started to have tea companies writing to me offering to work with me, or, send me samples to review. I've reached this point due to hard work. However, I never take anything for granted and I still get excited when a new company approaches me. I get very excited trying new tea's and I think I always will. As a true tea lover I'm always searching for something new, and I believe that search will never end!

A few weeks ago I was approached by a chap called Drew from Forleaves Tea Company. They are a company based in Leicestershire who concentrate on artisan loose leaf tea. Of course I said I'd love to try some of his tea thank you, then it went a bit quiet. Earlier this week a message popped into my inbox on Twitter saying that he had blended for me a white tea with lavender and it was in the post. Oh what joy, a wonderful new tea. I couldn't wait and it arrived yesterday.

I do like white tea. Now I have the tea maker I have tended to drink more of it because the hard work of precisely getting the water at the right temperature and brewing it for the right time is pretty much done for me, so I always get a nicely brewed cup of white tea.

White tea is so popular for me because it makes a change from drinking black tea, and is a little more gentler then green tea. It's perfect to relax and unwind with, and with the added bonus of lavender (regular readers will know I love floral tea's such as rose or lavender) I had a extremely positive approach to this blend.

Forleaves Lavender White Tea is quite an international tea. The white peony tea comes from China (Fujian Province) and the lavender comes from France.

 (The Lavender White Tea loaded up on the tea maker basket - all ready to go!)

Lavender White Tea is just an exquisite looking tea and will say it's perhaps one, if not the most prettiest tea I've seen. There is greenery from the tea leaves, and splashes of bright colour from the blue cornflowers and lavender. It's just so, so pretty, stunningly so, actually.

Upon opening the pack the tea has a extremely strong aroma. In fact it's was slightly overpowering, but this is never a problem. This is typical of lavender tea as, of course, lavender is strongly scented and when it's in a pack it's even stronger, however, as I later discovered, it brews to a nicely, delicate flavour.

I filled the basket for the tea maker with three good, heaped, teaspoons. I normally put a extra spoon for the pot, but, as this was the first time trying this tea I thought I'd put a smaller amount. Likewise, with the brewing times, it's suggested three to five minutes, so on this first infusion I played it safe and went for midway - four minutes.

Even though I've owned the tea maker since January, I still find watching it infuse the tea a magical, almost hypnotic experience. The world just simply stops for four or five minutes as I watch the tea infuse, the bubbles dance around and the actual act of the infuser raising out of the water. Today was no different. Watching this tea brew to it's glorious, barely there amber colour was great fun.

(Lavender White Tea brewed to a pale, golden colour.)

I couldn't wait to pour a mug of this tea, and shortly, I was sitting down enjoying my first cup.

I REALLY loved this tea and was impressed. Of course, you would be right to say that I am slightly biased due to my obsession with floral tea's, but I think even if I was just so so on floral tea's this still would of made a impressive impact.

Possibly due to lavender being associated with soap, perfume and lavender water, your brain somehow expects to drink a tea that is highly perfumed and almost synthetic, but that is certainly not what you get with this tea.

The lavender is exceptionally delicate and gentle, but, makes it's presence known for sure! It is surprisingly delicate actually, but leaves a really wonderful flavour in your mouth. It's feels very fresh, natural and is just blissful. And there is a sweetness to this tea too which I am enjoying!

Even though I'm drinking this tea just after 10am, I feel relaxed, slightly sleepy and comfy. I could just doze off. It's just so relaxing and makes you feel at peace, even for a short while. This is perfect for any time of the day, but I feel it would make a wonderful evening cup of tea.

What of the white tea? It's flavoursome and works really well with lavender. Other lavender tea's I've tried tended to be paired with black tea, which works, but I like the two delicate flavours coming together to make a lovely cup of tea.

White tea lacks that robustness that black tea has, so it's a perfect pairing with the lavender as the two flavours enhance one another rather then fight against one another.

Forleaves Tea Company have produced a wonderfully chic and classic tea. I can well imagine this tea in your finest china teapot, served up with afternoon tea. It's stylish, a really wonderful example of a very good, high quality tea. I was more then impressed.

In my sample pack Drew kindly also included a Russian Caravan tea and a White Monkey green tea, I'm very much looking forward to sampling and reviewing those tea's in the coming months.

A huge thanks to Drew for sending me this beautiful tea. I certainly appreciated - and enjoyed - trying this wonderful blend.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Northern Tea Merchants: Gundpowder Green Tea

I love green tea. Of course, I love black tea too, but as we are coming up towards summer, and, hopefully, warmer weather, I find green tea is very refreshing when it's warm and my consumption of green tea during the hot months rises steadily. It has a pleasant lightness for me, and, not being able to deal with heat very well, it cools me and lays far less heavily on my stomach then black tea.

I'd like to think I'm a fairly experienced green tea lover. I love it in it's purest form, and I also like it with flavouring added too, normally with peachy or apricot sorts of flavours.

I also love Northern Tea Merchants and was very keen to try their Gunpowder Green Tea.

This unique green tea is just lovely. It's gorgeous to look at and it get's it's name from the fact that the curled up balls of green tea resemble the old fashion gunpowder. I love the nice clanking sound it makes in the caddy!

So, today, I loaded up the teamaker with four level teaspoons of this tea and watched it infuse, for three minutes.

(After a infusion period of three minutes the tea takes on a gorgeous, golden, honey coloured hue.)

I just loved the look of this tea. It infuses, as you can see above, to a golden honey colour and has a lovely, earthy aroma.

Gunpowder Green Tea is a wonderfully refreshing green tea that is gentle to the taste. It's light, pure and satisfying, but, it lacks all the "negative" sides green tea can have.

Firstly, this tea lack's any trace of bitterness that you can sometimes get with green tea. This bitterness can come from a poor quality tea or from incorrect brewing, but believe me, there is nothing nastier then a bitter, horrid cup of green tea.

To the taste buds this tea is smooth and slightly nutty (well to me it is!) and lovely to the taste. It makes your mouth feel really lovely and the organic taste the tea has lingers in the mouth for a while, too, making it a completely enjoyable experience.

It's a well rounded tea that is fully flavoured and creates a strong impression but is delicate and not at all overpowering, making it perfect for a evening drink in particular, allowing you to have a wonderful cup of tea without all the caffeine that could keep you awake! I have taken this tea with salad and the two worked really well together.

But I think what the most fabulous thing about this tea is that if you are new to green tea, this is the perfect green tea to start you off. It's gentle, tasty and wholesome and just the right type of green tea for beginners.

When people are new to green tea it can be confusing. There are so many green tea's out there, all with different brewing instructions that if not followed can put you off green tea forever. It's hard to know where to start, so why not start with Northern Tea's rather wonderful Gunpowder Green Tea.

Gunpowder Green really does make for a glorious cup of tea. It's extremely enjoyable, wonderful to relax with and just high quality - something you will come to expect and get with Northern Tea.

So if you are a green tea lover then add this to your collection - you won't be disappointed - and if you are thinking of trying green tea this is a must. It's a wonderful tea that will make you fall in love with green tea, I can promise you that.

And to Northern Tea, you never let me down with your quality tea. It's always a pleasure to drink!

Fortnum & Mason: Christening Tea

It is perhaps a slight understatement to say it's been quite a week for the United Kingdom. Yesterday we had the General Election, today we are remembering VE Day, with the celebrations lasting the whole weekend.

But for me, the highlight, was the birth of a new Royal Princess. Last Saturday the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her second child, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. So, I thought it quite timely that I review Fortnum & Mason's wonderful Christening Blend tea.

This Christening Tea was blended to commemorate the christening of Charlotte's older brother, Prince George in October 2013.

(Prince George's Christening, 2013. Photograph sourced from Google).

Readers may recall that I recently had a wonderful day out with my close friend, Kirsty, and we visited Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly. I had already chosen to try this tea, because, I realised it was going to be just my sort of thing - a twist on, yes, Earl Grey!

I did have the option to buy this tea in either loose form or as teabags but opted for the loose as I just love the caddy the tea came in. And priced at just under £10, thought it was a reasonable price for a souvenir tea.

The tea is very pretty to look out. As you can see the Darjeeling tea, which is the base tea, is very dark but has hints of colour added. The splashes of yellow and blue make a attractive tea.

I couldn't wait to try this tea and on the whole it's mainly what I've been drinking recently. I have had stomach flu and drunk very little tea but I'm now getting back into my stride and have several pots of this tea over the last couple of days.

Christening Tea is extremely aromatic and it's also a strongly flavoured tea, so when making this in the teapot, there was no need for the extra spoon for the pot. For three cup's of tea I found three level scoops were enough. It's a tea that packs a punch!

The tea brews to a lovely copper tone and fills the kitchen with a lovely, fresh, lemony scent.

This is a wonderful tea, especially for those who love flavoured tea's, in particular Earl Grey.

Firstly, the Darjeeling tea is of a extremely good quality and is indeed very strong. The tea has slight coffee like tones to it, providing you with a tea that is ultimately refreshing and robust. This isn't a blend for those who like their tea delicate!

The added bergamot in the tea was crisp and tangy. It was also slightly sharp which I really enjoyed as it refreshed my palate whilst at the same time having that familiar aspect, too. I loved the fresh, lemon flavour, and it's almost as though the lemon's had been squeezed freshly that day and added to the tea. The glorious citrus flavour was just out of this world and Fortnum and Mason can really produce a fabulous tea.

It is a well balanced tea, completely natural in flavour and thank goodness lacks the perfume like element that some Earl Grey (and similar blends) have.  It's also incredibly fresh tea and feels as though it's just been blended this morning.

I recently reviewed Countess Grey, which Kirsty treated me to from Fortnum & Mason. I have to say given the option, and this is purely down to personal taste, I much preferred Countess Grey, however, that does not mean this is a bad blend, rather it's what suits my personal taste more closely. However, I certainly did not suffer whilst drinking this wonderful Christening Blend. It's perfect for those summer mornings when you want a refreshing first cup of the day and it's lovely to enjoy after supper, too. A good allrounder, I feel.

For all of those Earl Grey lovers, this is just a wonderful cup of tea. However, this isn't for beginners as it should be taken unsweetened and without milk. I think those who are used to taking black tea would find this most enjoyable. I certainly did!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Sorry For Lack Of New Posts ...

I've received some lovely emails from readers wondering why I've not posted recently. And asking why I've not reviewed the Royal Christening tea.

Unfortunately, everyone in the house has fallen victim to a quite serious stomach bug. I'm getting better but am lacking energy and am drinking water at the moment as its all I fancy. Today I'm doing nothing more then curling up and watching the television coverage of the arrival of the new Royal baby.

I'm hoping tomorrow to do some blogging!

I just wanted to ask all my readers to bear with me I will be up and running very soon!

Thank you to everyone who was wondering where I was and if I'm ok. It was truly heartening when I was so ill.

And thanks to Mike who sent me funny cartoons which cheered me up!

See you all soon!