Friday 23 August 2013

A Foodie Friday Special - Tasting Teas With Twinings

Ever since I was a small child I've been a tea drinker. My dad hated tea and coffee so from an early age my mum encouraged, well made me, have a cup of tea with. I have to admit I was never that keen but over time I was seduced by the charms of a simple cuppa and eventually became a "tea wife" as my mum puts it. I'm not as obsessed as some people but I usually end up drinking at least two or 3 cups of tea with milk and no sugar. The bog standard tea bag is my brew of choice, with a foray into English Breakfast if I'm feeling flush, but sometimes it's good to experiment.

Every now and then usually for diet reasons I add some herb or fruit teas, or infusions into my daily routine, they're generally calorie free or pretty low in calories so they're a good way of getting that warm drink hit without disturbing a days calories intake.

One of the brands that I usually line towards when it comes to flush tea purchasing is Twinings. Twinings are a British company which has an unrivalled history when it comes to the humble cuppa. Founded way back in the 1700's Twinings has maintained it's original pledge to sell only the finest qualities and varieties of tea, and currently retail over 100 varieties of teas and infusions. For what was originally a poor mans drink Twinings teas have appealed to people of all ages and social classes, famous fans of the brand have included Jane Austen and of course the Royal Family, the company having gained the prestigious Royal Warrant way back in 1837 under Queen Victoria, something which they still hold to this day.

I was recently sent a few boxes of tea from Twinings extensive range to try. I've tried quite a few of their teas in the past but everything that I received was new to me, so I roped in Mummy Lou to join me for a bit of tea tasting.

Twinings Herbal Sensations Camomile And Maple Sensations 

I was sent three packets of tea from their new Herbal range. The first two packets came from the Herbal Sensations line.

The first one I tried was the Camomile And Maple. This soothing and comforting blend features a base of  traditional camomile, flavoured with natural Madagascan vanilla, and cocoa nibs.

Like all of the teas that I received these teas are designed to be served without milk, simply add them to a mug with boiling and leave for at least 2 minutes to give it time to infuse, the longer you leave it the stronger the infusion will be.

From the description I really thought I'd love this one but some how it just didn't work for me. It's hard to describe flavours to be honest but this tasted sweet without actually being sweet if you know what I mean. The taste was a little bit sickly and overpowering to be honest, you initially got a big hit of the maple and vanilla , and then you got a woody, almost herby hint of the camomile. I really wanted to love this one as did Mummy Lou but we just couldn't :(

I'm not a one to give up on anything though and me and Mummy Lou got out heads together and debated how we could make this more enjoyable. Well the simple solution was to put it in a cake :)

My mum makes the most amazing boiled fruitcake, so we decided to use one of these tea bags to infuse the liquid which we boiled the fruit in - it was a huge success, and we just needed to add a tiny bit more vanilla.

The tea infusion added a lovely vanilla infusion and warmth to the cake x It just shows you think outside the box and you'll find a way. Next time we make this cake (there will definitely be a next time it was so good) I'll put the recipe up so you can try it yourself x

Twinings Double Mint Sensation

The next tea from the Sensation range that we tried out was the Double Mint Sensation.

I guess pretty much everyone has drink a cup of peppermint tea at some point. It's great for digestion and if your feeling a bit bloated. It's also really revitalising and uplifting when your feeling a bit tired or weary.

This tea contains a double hit of mint with peppermint leave and a natural mint flavouring.

This was one of those teas that you can smell before you've even opened box, you can smell that lovely hit of after dinner mints mmmm After Eights lol. The look of this tea surprised me, every other mint that I've ever drank (bar the ones made from fresh mint) are bright green in colour, this was a much more natural tea colour. Again this shows the quality of the product, no artificial colouring in this one :)

This tea was great it reminded me and Mummy Lou of the mint teas that you can often get in Turkey and in North Africa, all it needed was a little bit of sugar. It had a really strong but clean mint flavour that really lifted the spirits and woke up the taste buds.

Both the Camomile and Maple Sensation, and the Double Mint Sensation retail at around £2.29 for a box of 20 Bags

Twinings Settling Ginger

It's well known the ginger is great for settling the stomach, and preventing nausea. It's all too easy to grab a ginger biscuit but instead why not try a mug of Twinings Settling Ginger.

This fabulous contains dried fresh ginger root, liquorice root, cinnamon and clove.

The smell hits you before you open the box, to be honest it smells of Christmas - all warm and spicy

This is a fabulously warming spicy, tea. First of all you get a big hot of the ginger you can actually feel it warming as it goes down, then you get the hints of the cinnamon and the clove, before finally getting an almost peppery woody hit from the liquorice root.

This tea was by far my favourite of the four. It was very warming and soothing ideal for a cold winter night, or when your feeling a bit under the weather. It's also a winner if your having lady pains :) You could also use this tea again for infusing the fruit for making a fruit cake, this time I think it would give it a fab spicy hit ideal for a Christmas or spice cake.

Twinings Setting Ginger retails at around £1.29 for a box of 20 bags.

Twinings Jasmine Green Tea

Surely by now everybody knows the power of green tea it's good for you and it is full of antioxidants. Twinings do a number of different green tea variants in their range, and recently they've introduce a new line of green teas, including some classic and some flavoured versions.

I was sent the Jasmine Green Tea which is made by layering white jasmine flowers, with green tea leaves.

When you open the box you can immediately smell the aroma of green tea, with a hit of pungent jasmine. I have to be honest I was a bit scared about trying this one I love jasmine but it's quite an overpowering smell so I was worried about whether this would be too strong.

Whilst the jasmine is dominant you can definitely still taste the green tea, this really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, it was actually very refreshing and very palatable, just make sure that you don't over brew it as the green tea can taste a little bitter x

Twining Jasmine Green Tea retails at around £1.39 for 20 bags.

I've really enjoyed my Twinings experience, and whilst I'll only definitely repurchase one of the teas that I tried it's introduced me to a lot of new flavours. It's far too easy to think of tea as that everyday cuppa that goes down a treat with a couple of biscuits, but there is so much more to tea. There are different varieties of the tea leaf itself, and then there are herbs, fruits, spices and flowers which can all be used to make fabulous taste bud tingling infusions - the world really is your oyster or should I say tea bag when it comes to tea. To be honest I'm much more of a fruit tea girl but whatever your tea of choice Twinings are sure to have it covered - please have a look at their website to check out their full range x Are you a tea fan? do you like fruit or herbal teas? or is the normal cuppa your favourite beverage? let me know in the comment x

(All Of The Teas In This Post Were Provided On Behalf Of Twinings For Review / Promotional Purposes)

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