Review of Twinings Chai Tea

As a tea blogger I am on the constant look out for new teas to try. I have tried a few chai teas but tend to have these in the colder months as I associate the aroma and flavour with Christmas. A few fellow tea bloggers had recommended that I try Twinings chai tea. I saw a packet in a local supermarket so decided to give it a try.

Onto the packaging I liked the purple theme with a picture of a lady dancing in the right hand corner. I especially liked the little cut out swirl design at the bottom allowing a sneak preview of the tea envelopes inside. It is described as having warming flavours of the spices of India. Onto the ingredients black tea, ginger root (10%), cinnamon (10%), and flavourings (8%) are listed. On a personal noted I wish that the actual flavourings were listed in more detail. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the box I was greeted by 20 individual tea envelopes. I like this as it means that you place one in your bag and have it on the go. Or as an alternative when you politely decline an everyday tea. On opening the tea envelope I got a delightful aroma of cinnamon and ginger intermingled with another flavouring which I would describe as being like all spice. The aroma did not change on my close up sniff test. I couldn’t wait to give this tea a try.

I placed the teabag in my teacup and added freshly boiled water. The teabag soon infused with the hot water and it changed a medium brown colour. I let the tea infuse for 3 minutes as I have my tea medium weak and milk free. I was soon hit with the aroma that I associate with a nice chai tea. The aroma from the black tea was slightly overtaken by the cinnamon and ginger. There were faint undertones of the other flavourings which still reminded me of all spice. The aroma slightly intensified on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it tasted like a nice every day black tea with undertones of the cinnamon and ginger and all spice noted.

So would I recommend this chai tea? Yes I would. Its aroma and flavour make for a nice everyday chai tea. The tea envelopes give it that little extra which mean you can easily enjoy it when out and about. So thank you Twinings for producing a nice every day chai tea that I can enjoy.

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Review of Twinings Redbush Tea

My mission to reduce my caffeine intake is now going well after a little blip at the end of last year. My mum, who I have inherited my love of tea from enjoys her rooibos tea and drinks goodness knows how many cups a day. So I thought it was about time I tried some new rooibos tea to enjoy with my mum. I happened to stumble across some Twinings redbush tea at a recent buffet breakfast. So I have to confess to taking a packet home to try.
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I liked the vibrant orange colour of the packet with the orange, yellow and white leaf design. Onto the ingredients nothing was listed on the back of the packet. So I popped online and checked the Twinings website. Very disappointing no ingredients were listed. So onto the Amazon website I went. Only pure redbush is listed and there is no may contain warning.
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On opening the packet there was a nice woody aroma was noted, or what I would expect from a good rooibos tea. This did not change on the close up sniff test. The teabag was a little darker in colour than I expected with a slight red tinge to it. I added the teabag to my teacup and added the hot water and let it infuse as instructed. It didn’t seem to take long for the tea to infuse with the hot water. It soon turned a dark cherry/brown colour. Onto the aroma of this tea a subtle woodiness was noted that was spot on. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea there were subtle undertones of both woodiness and grassiness noted. This was lightly stronger than I had anticipated but was a big plus for this tea as it was no to strong and overpowering. It was quiet pleasant and overall was a nice refreshing tea.
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So would I recommend this rooibos tea? Yes I would. It is one of the nicer everyday redbush teas that I have tried. It had a pleasant aroma and flavour and was a nice refreshing caffeine free tea. So thank you Twinings for producing a nice redbush tea that I can enjoy.

Flying Business class with British Airways and being dairy free

I was very lucky to fly business class with British Airways to start our American adventure. Now, I am lucky in that I have flown long haul on several occasions previously. Each time I dread the meal times as more often than not I can’t eat the food. It is not uncommon for me to be given gluten free instead of dairy free or contains milk. As a result I always assume that I can’t eat the food and take a large supply of goodies with me to eat on the plane. I checked the menu for a flight and none of the choices available were suitable as they all contained milk. I was a tad disappointed as I had secretly hoped that I wouldn’t have to order a special meal. So I pre ordered my meal not knowing what I would get. I made sure that I made the most if the business lounge having a large breakfast so that I wouldn’t be hungry on the flight. It didn’t take long for the meals to be served. Normally mine always comes before everyone else’s, not on this flight. It came at the same time. I didn’t expect much. I asked what it was and checked that it was indeed dairy free. It was and to my disappointment the crew didn’t know. The first course came which I assumed was my main meal, but no there was more to come. I greeted by chicken on a green purée with a side salad. It turned out to be a cold chicken breast on avocado. The texture from the chicken breast went well with the smoothness from the avocado. The salad was fresh and crispy, the oil dressing added the little extra. I was struggling and this was only the starter.
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Onto the main course. I think this was cod, although I could have been wrong. This was accompanied by picked vegetables which I think we’re carrots and fennel, a tomato and a green mash. I have no idea what the mash was. I really enjoyed the pickled vegetables as this mad a nice change. The fish was ok. It’s flavour was pretty non descript and it was slightly dry in textures as if it had been overdone. I’m afraid I didn’t like the green mash, what ever it was. It was smooth with intermittent lumps and I don’t think we’re meant to be there. I much preferred my starter and I’m afraid it just didn’t seem to compare to everyone else’s main meal.
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Onto to dessert I had high hopes for this. Please don’t let it be fruit. I always get fruit and this is not a pudding. I got a jelly with a few berries scattered in it. I had hoped for more but hey ho. The jelly was light and refreshing but l just couldn’t work out its flavour sadly. We then got our post meal tea or coffee. This was a bog standard stewed black tea for me. Where was the Twinings tea that I had read about? A real disappointment.
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The time soon arrived for afternoon tea. Everyone had finger sandwiches and scones with jam and cream. What would mine be? A pre packed tuna and mayonnaise roll with fruit kebabs. I know it’s not easy catering for food allergies / intolerances but it just didn’t compare. It’s not hard to source free from cakes instead of fruit. My roll was ok, it was dry with a reasonable filling and crumbled as I ate it. My fruit kebabs were nice but not the same a proper cake / scone. As for the tea I politely declined the bog standard tea and asked for mint which is what I got.
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In summary it is the best food that I have been offered on a plane. What I would suggest is that crew should know what the food is, so that you can enjoy the experience like everyone else. I personally like to know what I am going to eat. I would also like a proper dessert to enjoy not fruit or jelly. The Twinings tea on request is great for a tea addict like me. It should be openly offered like the alcoholic beverages you shouldn’t have to ask for it.

Review of British Airways Business Lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5

Well as part of our big trip across America we were very lucky to fly business class to New York. I was a tad excited to be lucky enough to experience this. After a quick check in and a little duty free shopping we headed for the main lounge in area B. I could see the full English breakfast on offer in the first class lounge and hoped that we would be offered similar. The first thing I noticed at a far glimpse was no sausages. We found somewhere to sit and I had a little explore. There was a sign stating if you have a food allergy or intolerance to ask a member of staff. I did this and they were very helpful.
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I was unable to have the bacon rolls but the chef could cook me some separate bacon. They explained that this would take a while if I could wait. I asked for four rashers to have with toast that was dairy free. Whilst waiting I looked to see what else I could eat. I found Kellogs corn flakes and a nice selection of fresh fruit, perfect. I opted to have my corn flakes dry, simple but filling. I then had my fresh fruit with lots of melon, spot on.
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My bacon arrived and the server asked if I wanted more so I said yes please. In the mean time I got some toast to have a bacon sandwich. I used the ketchup which was Heinz. I made my bacon sandwich and tucked in. In the mean time more bacon arrived. I tried my best to eat it all. It was certainly delicious. Oh and I forgot about the tea. Twinings, perfect so two cups of earl grey tea for me. I was certainly very full.
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We then met our friend in their other business lounge. This had a smaller selection of food not that I could possibly have any more. To my surprise I found a selection of freshly baked biscuits. Oh my goodness there were three that I could have and no may contain warning. They even had shortbread. I wanted to have some but I was just to full. I did manage to squeeze another cup of tea in this time, camomile. So when the others were toasting our mini adventure across America with a G & T I had my cup of tea.
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So thank you BA for making my pre flight experience a very pleasant and very filling one. I was very impressed with your staff’s knowledge about food allergies/ intolerances and the choice available to me. I hope to return one day soon.

Review of Twinings Camomile Tea

My quest to reduce my caffeine intake is currently going well. I have been slowly working my through a variety of fruit and herbal teas. One tea that I try to now have on a daily basis is camomile. I have tried some great and some bland camomile teas. I have recently reviewed some Twinings teas so I thought it was about time I gave their camomile tea a proper try.
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I’m a sucker for packaging and personally like most of Twinings designs. I liked the calming pale blue colour with the floating flowers. As with all the teas in the fruit and herbal range each box contains 20 teabags. Now onto the tea itself it only contains camomile so no allergens highlighted and no may contain warning.
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On opening the packet I have to admit to being a tad disappointed. There was only a very faint grassy aroma coming from the teabags. On having a good old fashioned close up sniff there was a faint aroma didn’t intensify. I placed the teabag in my cup and added the hot water. It didn’t take long for the tea to infuse with the water resulting in a pale yellow colour. On infusing the tea produced a faint subtle grassy aroma that I associate with camomile tea. On sipping the tea it had a light mellow taste which was slightly grassy. It was light, and refreshing but not as strong as I had hoped. I found it to be slightly soothing on the stomach, but not so much as other brands I have tried. On having further cups of tea I left the teabag in my cup which helped the flavour intensify a little.
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So would I recommend this tea, as an everyday camomile tea when out and about yes, but if at home I’m afraid not. Overall I found this tea to be weaker in both flavour and aroma compared to other camomile teas that I have tried. It certainly wasn’t as nice as their earl grey or peppermint tea. That said I did enjoy it as a light easy palatable tea. I think I will continue to buy this caffeine free tea at the gym as an alternative to my beloved earl grey.

Review of Twinings Strawberry & Rasberry Tea

My mission to reduce my caffeine intake has been a great excuse to try new teas. As summer is now in full swing I am particularly keen to try fruit teas. I love Twinings teas so when I saw a reduced packet of their strawberry and raspberry tea it had my name on it. I liked the pink themed packaging with big strawberries with a raspberry thrown in for luck. The tea is made from a variety of ingredients with hibiscus listed as the first ingredient followed by strawberry, raspberry and loganberry with other natural flavourings being 16%. On opening the box I was hit by what I would describe this as an aroma similar that to you get in an old fashioned sweet shop when you open a jar of strawberry bon bons. Completely different to what I expected. I personally thought the aroma was slightly to sweet and artificial and found this to be a little of putting.
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I placed my teabag in my teacup and added the hot water. It took a while for the tea to infuse with the hot water. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed. The tea produced a purple colour. There was a subtle aroma of strawberry that was emitted from the tea, but I struggled to smell the raspberry element. The initial sweet aroma I got on opening the box had disappeared. I was a tad disappointed because it smelt more like a value brand of fruit tea. I expected more from Twinings. But what about its flavour ? Sadly, this did not match the aroma it was bland and non descript. I think I tasted a hint of hibiscus but that was about it. I continued to sip my tea in the hope that this changed, it didn’t. So I asked my other half to give this tea a try for a second opinion. He liked the initial aroma but he loves his bon bons. He thought that this disappeared once the tea was made and described it as being chalky. If I’m honest I was very disappointed by this tea it simply lacked any flavour. My taste buds didn’t get hit with the combination of strawberries and raspberries. I was looking forward to enjoying it as an iced tea but I didn’t simply bother trying it due to my disappointment.
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So would I recommend this strawberry and raspberry tea, no I wouldn’t. I have tried much nicer fruit teas. Maybe there was a reason why this tea was reduced. It certainly wasn’t the bargain I had hoped for. It just didn’t match the quality of the other Twinings tea that I have tried and enjoyed. Sorry Twinings but this tea just wasn’t for me.

National Iced Tea Day

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Now I have to confess that for a long time I had always thought that tea should only be enjoyed as a hot beverage. I had tried the occasional iced tea whilst on holiday in America. Sadly, it was not an enjoyable experience cold black tea with lots of ice and added sugar.

Since blogging about my love of tea I have been lucky enough to try a variety of fruit, herbal and green teas. By default I have drunk some of these cold and found them to be pleasant and refreshing. So I thought that I should experiment and try more of my teas chilled. My favourite teas so far that I have enjoyed chilled are Clipper raspberry leaf, Twining’s camomile, co-op double mint, Pukka elderberry & echinacea, and Sainsbury’s blackcurrant.

I have even set up a Pinterest board dedicated to this so that I can be more adventurous. If you have any iced tea ideas that I can try please let me know. I hope that you enjoy National Iced Tea Day.