Tag Archive: Tea


White Pearl

White Pearl from Nothing But TeaWhen I first put the water in with this White Pearl tea from Nothing But Tea I was amazed by the beauty of the little pearls unfolding and the little leaves floating around in my teapot.  However, it didn’t go well for very long.  I put the teapot down and left the tea to brew but after a while I heard a slow drip drip drip drip.  I then realised that I hadn’t put my ingenuiTEA teapot down on a properly flat surface.  Fail.  If you don’t know already, ingenuiTEAs have a valve at the bottom and this is where you empty the tea from but if you don’t put it on a flat surface, something can push the valve open.  No matter how much I like tea, my keyboard and laptop are apparently less fond of it…  After the less good start, I have to say it was a very very nice tea.  It has a mild, slightly grassy, slightly sweet flavour.  It’s apparently suitable for multiple infusions, which, having just had a fourth infusion of it, I would very much agree with!

Advertisements

Snow Dragon

Snow Dragon by Nothing But Tea.  Click to visit their website.Snow Dragon tea by Nothing But Tea is a pretty tea. The buds are twisted into little spirals that unravel when steeped in water, leaving you with whole leaves.  Its mild flavour is sweet and not at all bitter making it very pleasant to drink.  It’s got a slightly grassy taste although it doesn’t have a grassy smell.  Once it has brewed the tea is a pale yellowy green colour.  I really liked this tea, it’s definitely more of an afternoon tea than a morning tea but I can highly recommend this tea, it really is lovely to drink.

Antlers d’Amour

Antlers d'Amour by Nothing But Tea.  Click to visit their website.Antlers d’Amour from Nothing But Tea is an unusual tea.  Tea normally comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant but this actually comes from the stems.  It’s apparently Fair Trade (although I wouldn’t know how to check this one).  It’s a white tea and it tastes very similar to Ceylon White Silver Tips and it really can be infused multiple times without spoiling the taste (I tried it this afternoon!).  Like the Ceylon White Silver Tips, it’s a mild, slightly sweet taste.  It’s what I’d consider a relaxing afternoon tea.  It’s not got enough caffeine to wake you up, but is very relaxing to drink and has enough caffeine to keep you going.  It’s got a slightly grassy taste that I’ve come across with a few (particularly white) teas but without the grassy smell that I don’t particularly like during the peak grass-induced hayfever season!

There are two misconceptions about tea that are pet hates of mine:
(1) White tea is just tea that has milk in it.
(2) Green tea is a super healthy version of tea that is good for you, unlike “normal” tea.

I could talk through these two separately but actually I think I may as well talk through them both together as they both boil down to more or less the same thing: there are different types of tea but they all come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis.  Every time I think I’ve found every type, I come across a new one, but these types include:

  • White
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Oolong
  • Pu Erh
  • Black

So, what are all these types?  Well, I’ll go through them in order.

  • White tea is where the young leaves and/or buds are picked, steamed and dried.  This tea has the highest level of nutrients.  It has a much milder and much less bitter flavour than other types of tea.  White tea is rarely drunk with milk in it.
  • Yellow tea is one of the rarest types of tea produced from buds and leaves.  They are rolled/shaped and dried.
  • Green tea is made from leaves that are panfried or steamed, then rolled/shaped and dried.
  • Oolong tea (sometimes known as blue tea) is not fully fermented, it is bruised by shaking, briefly oxidised and then panfried/dried.
  • Pu Erh tea goes through a natural fermentation process before being dried.
  • Black tea is rolled, fully oxidised and then fried/dried.  This has the lowest level of nutrients, although some of the research papers I’ve looked at suggest that the difference in the level of nutrients between types isn’t that big (although it’s really not my area of research but if you want a list of references for interesting papers, do ask).

So, incase you’ve got to the end of that and wondered how that answers the question at all.  White tea is not black tea with milk in it, it’s tea made from the same plant but made in a different way and using young leaves and/or buds instead of older leaves.  Also, although Green tea does have a higher level of nutrients and other Good Things than Black tea, White tea has even more (and in my opinion tends to tastes better!) and there isn’t anything particularly magical about Green tea, all types of tea come from the same plant.

Keemun

Twinings Keemun, click to visit websiteKeemun is a tea I’ve really yet to make up my mind about.  I first tried Twinings Amber Keemun tea when it came in a pack of three with Spring White Tea and Golden Oolong Tea, it was definitely my favourite of the three, although they are all very nice.  I wouldn’t call this tea a particularly interesting or exciting one but it is nice, just nice, but sometimes a plain and simple “nice” tea is just right.  It’s certainly a tea I recommend to people who are new to drinking tea without milk.  It comes in teabags and is sometimes available in supermarkets (the bigger ones at least).

So, why have I yet to make up my mind about this tea?  Well, I decided, given I liked this one, to buy some from the person who sells tea at the local market (I’d run out 😦 ), I’ve bought some very nice loose teas from him before (including a very nice Lapsang Souchong) but the Keemun I bought from the market I really didn’t like.  A bag of it is still sitting rather unloved on my office desk (amongst more teas than I can keep track of).

Twinings Finest KeemunSo, not to be deterred, having liked the Twinings standard Amber Keemun tea, I decided to try their Finest Keemun loose tea but I can’t say I liked this one either.  However, they do describe it as being like Darjeeling, one of the few teas I really don’t like so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.  Maybe if you like Darjeeling tea then this one will be for you but personally I think I’m going to stick with the standard Twinings Amber Keemun tea.

Ceylon White Silver Tips

Ceylon White Silver Tips from TwiningsI went on a trip to the Twinings shop in Strand, London and decided to investigate their loose tea bar.  As a fan of Ceylon tea and white tea I was very keen to try this tea and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it has to be one of the nicest teas I’ve ever drunk.  It’s a very delicate tasting tea that has a subtle but very nice flavour to it.  It appears to be quite low caffeine as well.  It’s not a strong tea or one that’s going to wake you up in the morning but it is one you can really sit and enjoy.

Twinings Jasmine Earl GreyThis Jasmine Earl Grey tea from Twinings is a Limited Edition tea that I first bought over 6 months ago so I’m not expecting it to be around for much longer, which is a shame because it’s a lovely tea.  Although this is one of the selection of Earl Grey teas that Twinings sell, it tastes far more like a jasmine tea than an Earl Grey tea.

Of all the black teas I’ve drunk (I tend to be more of a fan of the white teas), this one is one of my favourite.  Black tea can sometimes taste slightly bitter but the jasmine in this seems to really help in that regard (I never put milk or sugar in my tea).

This tea probably won’t be around for much longer but it is well worth a try (even if you don’t like Earl Grey) if you get the chance.

Royal Wedding White Earl Grey

Twinings Royal Wedding commemorative blendStrangely enough I didn’t particularly want to buy this tea, let alone like it.  It’s a commemorative blend made by Twinings specially for the royal wedding.  I’m not a royalist and the royal wedding just didn’t interest me and before seeing this I was successfully ignoring it but when I saw the details about this tea: earl grey (not something I’m generally a fan of) with white tea instead of black to and added rose petals, it sounded so nice that I had to buy some.

It has a particularly short brewing time of only a minute but tastes very good.  Even people who don’t like Earl Grey seem to like this particular blend.  As with all white teas it’s best enjoyed without milk.  As it is a limited edition tea, it won’t be around for long though so if you want to try it you’ll need to buy it soon!

Dragon Phoenix Pearl Tea from Adagio Teas, click to visit the website.This tea, bought from Adagio Teas, has attracted a surprising amount of attention from people when it’s been in my teapot, possibly more so than the flowering tea.  It is Dragon Phoenix Pearl tea and attracts attention because when put in water these balls unravel into leaves that are very distinctly leaf like.  I realise I’ve just described leaves as being “leaf like” but this is actually quite unusual with tea.  There aren’t many teas that I’ve drunk where afterwards I’ve been able to pick out actual whole leaves that look like just that, leaves.  This attracts a lot of attention from people, particularly those that are far more used to the powdery stuff you get in tea bags.  If you try this tea it’s well worth using a teapot, preferably one that gives it plenty of space as it does expand to several times it’s size once put in water so needs plenty of space if you want to get the best flavour.

This is a green tea with Jasmine in it which is a very nice combination and well worth a try.  It’s not at all bitter and has a slightly sweet flavour and smells lovely.  Although I have no idea how much caffeine is in this tea, I don’t get the impression that it’s particularly low in caffeine so may not be for you if that’s what you’re after (for low caffeine teas, look at ones tagged “low caffeine” or look at my blog post on decaffeinating teas if/when I get round to writing it).

Flowering Osmanthus TeaHaving heard of but never seen flowering teas, I was curious about them.  I had heard that they were very pretty and I thought they’d work well in my new teapot so wanted to try them.  Whilst this is one of the most expensive teas I’ve ever bought, it is still cheaper than buying your tea from most coffee shops.  I bought this from Jing Teas who said that this tea can be infused twice although I tend to infuse it three times and don’t notice much reduction in flavour, meaning I get about 1.5 litres of tea from each bulb!  Infusing this tea twice is not the same as using a teabag twice!

The flower is very pretty.  In the photo the flower hasn’t fully opened, you can click here for a photo of this tea done by Jing Teas.  Mine didn’t open quite as fully as in the photo taken by Jing Teas but that’s probably due to my teapot as it did get stuck slightly.  It’s certainly a very impressive tea and even people I expected the most cynical responses from seemed quite excited by it.

The tea itself is a green tea.  On it’s own it was a very nice tea, it didn’t taste at all bitter and had a nice slightly sweet taste to it.

Jing Teas will deliver free by Royal Mail first class if you spend over £25 and by 24 Hour Next Working Day Courier if you spend over £50.  I ordered on a Friday and received it the next day so I was very impressed with how fast they delivered it.  However, on their main page where they say “Free delivery over £25” they don’t point out that this is over £25 excluding VAT, whereas their prices all include VAT so you actually have to spend a bit more than this suggests to get the free delivery.