I was sent a selection of 5 very different teas to taste from the Twinings range so decided that the best way to test them was with cake of course. I baked half a Victoria Sponge, blueberry muffins and chocolate buns for the kids. We also had fruit cake that I had made previously.
I invited 3 friends over, who were all, like me, Bank Holiday Widows and we had a lovely afternoon in the garden with the children playing nicely and some interesting and varied teas on offer.
We all started with the Camomile and Maple Sensation which was described on the box as “A soothing amble into sweet indulgence”.
As we all have babies under 1 year old and older children too we all need to be soothed from time to time!
The first fragrance that you get from this tea was the Madagascan vanilla which is also in this exotic blend. I’m not always sure about Vanilla flavours as they are often overpowering and remind me of scented candles, but I was not put off. The tea tasted quite sweet, I assume due to the maple, and even though none of us take sugar in hot drinks usually, we didn’t find this unpleasant. The blurb says it has a “velvety finish” and that was a good description; there was no harshness or unpleasant aftertaste that I have experienced before with camomile tea. We all decided it was quite drinkable!!
For our next drinks, Cathy and Sue tried the “purifying” Dandelion tea and Sally and I went for “Rose Garden” which we drank, as the packet suggested, with a splash of milk.
Cathy’s first reaction to the Dandelion tea was that it smelt like cut dandelions! But it is made with the dried root according to the box so I suppose that it would! I’m not sure that Cathy was too thrilled with this one, but Sue said she didn’t mind the flavour, but probably wouldn’t drink it often. I tried this tea later in the evening, and to be honest didn’t find it to have much flavour. I didn’t dislike it but there wasn’t much to really say about this tea to be perfectly honest and I did understand what Cathy meant about the dandelion smell.
The Rose Garden tea is “A light black tea with the seeet scent of rose”. The first aromas are rather pot pourri! Apart from with actual rose flowers I think that pot pourri is where you usually smell roses. The roses could be tasted too as the tea was drunk and this was unusual but quite nice. The tea was quite pale, even with a small splash of milk in, but I think I thought that because I’m quite used to dark, strong “builders tea”. We both liked the tea and thought that it would probably be a flavour that we would get used to; it was just a surprise to our tastebuds when in every other respect it was just like normal British tea.
Later on in the afternoon, when Sally had left, I opened the Double Mint Sensation with “Peppermint leaf and mint oil”. Cathy had just decided to have a normal tea when she smelt the lovely minty fragrances from the freshly opened box and changed her mind and decided to have a cup of this instead. The mint smell was definitely fresher and more punchy than other mint teas that I have tried. I drink Twinings Peppermint and Nettle tea anyway. Once the tea was brewed its lovely shade of green, the aromas were still there and it did have a nice flavour that I will enjoy having again.
And now, as I am writing this blog, I am trying the Jasmine Green Tea. I have tried green teas in the past and not really liked them much; I think that I might have used water that was too hot or brewed them for too long. This tea has a floral aroma, but it is not too strong or too flowery; I’m assuming that this is the jasmine, although I don’t really know what Jasmine smells like! The tea should just be brewed for one or two minutes and I found that it didn’t have too strong a flavour or that horrible acrid, catching at the back of the mouth taste. I think that if, like me, you want to start drinking green tea for it’s health benefits, but have been put off before then this is a good place to start.
Overall, we liked more teas than we didn’t like! I will definitely try them all again, as some of them were so unusual that I think that they just will take a little bit of getting used to!
To find out more about Twinings and their large range of teas you could visit their website here.
The cakes I made were:
- Half a Victoria Sponge, recipe here
- Iced fruit cake, recipe here
- Paul Hollywood’s blueberry muffins, recipe here
Twinings sent the five boxes of tea for me to try for free, but I decided to have an afternoon tea party with my friends and baked all the cakes myself. All words, pictures and opinions are my own (and my tea-tasting friends’)