A few weeks ago, Claire at Twist Teas contacted me via Twitter and asked if I’d like a sample of their tea. I said “yes please”, obviously, because I would never turn down the offer of free tea. A couple of days later I received a lovely box containing no fewer than twelve tea bags, all of different sorts of tea. Looking at their website, this is is only a small fraction of their range of over 40 different teas. Some of their blends are really original and it’s nice, after forty-something years on the planet drinking tea, that I can still be surprised by innovative blends.
[Declaration: I have not received any incentive, financial or otherwise, to write this review. This is a genuine response of appreciation and admiration.]
A little bit about Twist Teas
Twist Teas was founded in 2017 by mother and daughter Nicky and Claire, and Claire’s friend Fraser so this is a small, British company, which hand blends whole leaf teas and herbal and fruit blends. Given how concerned I’ve been over recent months about plastic in teabags, I was pleased to read that all their packaging is recyclable or reusable and contains no plastic, so I’ve added them to my list of plastic-free tea bags. Their teas are all available in loose-leaf form too in lovely reusable metal caddies.
On to the teas in my sample box in the order in which I tried them:
A blend of Indian Assam black tea, Sri Lankan black tea and, rather surprisingly, yerba mate and Siberian ginseng. I love black tea (obviously) and I love Yerba Mate but I’d never thought of putting them together in one drink. I’ve previously taken Siberian ginseng for energy so this is a winning combination of ingredients to get your brain going in the morning. How does it taste? Like a very good, slightly zingy Breakfast Tea.
Designed for cold brew, this is a fruity blend of apple pieces, rosehip, hibiscus, lemongrass, lemon peel, orange peel and orange blossom. I’m not normally a huge fan of citrus teas: they tend to be too perfumed for my taste, but this is a lovely tea for a hot summer day: juicy, refreshing, soothing and caffeine-free. I think the hibiscus, lemongrass and lemon peel balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients nicely.
This is 100% peppermint, consisting of whole leaves. As you’d expect, this is a refreshing drink. I love their suggestion of brewing it with boiling water, allowing it to cool, then adding ice and sparkling water. Definitely a plan for the summer!
Another fruity sounding one that I think “Hmm, I’m not sure I’ll like this” but the surprise for me is that the main ingredient is actually whole leaf Chinese White tea, with the addition of apple pieces, rosehip, hibiscus, freeze-dried strawberry (5%), elderflower, orange blossom, rose petals and orange peel. Created to be brewed and served cold, this is a beautifully balanced combination of tea, fruit and flower and I love it!
A Great Taste award winner, this is a soothing blend of chamomile, rose petals, lemon balm, hops, mallow flowers, valerian and lavender, all of which feature in my post about natural sleep remedies. A relaxing blend of soothing, well-balanced flavours, this is perfect for getting a good night’s sleep.
Wow! I was not expecting this to create a beautiful deep blue colour when infused but the secret ingredient is the blue pea flower. The full ingredients list is: apple pieces, lemongrass, rosehips, blue pea flowers, desiccated coconut, marshmallow leaves, hibiscus, orange peel, pineapple pieces. Another one created for a cold brew, this tastes as good as it looks: smooth yet fresh, a touch of fruitiness balanced by the coconut. And it’s blue, which is just lovely.
I love a tea where I can’t guess what’s in it from the name and this turns out to be one of my very favourite teas: Jasmine green tea. I have tried a lot of different Jasmine green teas in my life but words can’t express just how beautiful this tea is. Containing just Chinese green tea and jasmine flowers, this is an excellent, wonderful, life-enhancing tea.
Given my surprise enjoyment of their Oranges and Lemons earlier, I no longer feared the citrussy name of this tea. But it’s far more than just lemon, being mostly rooibos, plus lemon peel, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle, chamomile and sunflower petals. The fact that it’s caffeine-free and contains soothing chamomile, lemon verbena and lemon myrtle, this is another good tea for the evening to promote a good night’s sleep. The citrus and sweet notes are nicely balanced and I really enjoyed it. And I slept well too.
A blend of Indian Assam black tea and Kenyan black tea, this contains cut whole leaves to produce a full-bodied, strong black tea in just two minutes. Now, I like my black tea strong, and therefore usually brew it for a good five minutes. Actually, more like seven minutes, so I was slightly sceptical about brewing this for only two, thinking that it might be more like a supermarket value tea that just contains dust so brews quickly but the flavour is less than great. Not so with this tea. The balance between quality black tea and leaf size is just right, producing one of the best black teas I have tasted in only two minutes. Brilliant!
The name gave me a hint that I was going to love this tea, and I was not disappointed. A blend of Sencha, along with Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Siberian ginseng and sunflower, this tea has an aroma that is out of this world. The drink it produces is just perfect: not a hint of the bitterness you sometimes get with green tea, just a clean, fresh and yes, truly refreshing green tea.
If there’s one tea which I love more than Jasmine green, it’s Earl Grey, so I saved this until last. I mean I really truly love Earl Grey and this takes it to a whole new level. It’s a blend of high-grown Sri Lankan black tea, Chinese Keemun black tea and natural bergamot flavouring. The Chinese Keemun gives it a smoky note and there’s a good quantity of bergamot flavour to provide that unique, citrussy Earl Grey flavour. Another well-deserving recipient of a Great Taste award, this is my new favourite Earl Grey.
I thoroughly enjoyed every one of these teas so am very grateful to Claire for reaching out to me and sending me these samples. My only issue now is choosing which ones to buy. Fortunately, they offer a Pick & Mix option of six teas, which may well be the way to go.