Thursday, October 25, 2012

teapigs tea tests

We were very excited to be asked by teapigs to test some of their teas. Their carefully packaged offerings are usually seen in higher-end tea shops & we have often wondered what some of their more exciting creations tasted like. When we review tea we usually get a whole box of each variety, and involve friends & family via a gathering of some kind or via Royal Mail to participate. As well as being lots of fun, this give us a cross section of views & palettes to base reviews on. Teapigs obviously do things a bit differently as they sent us just 2 tea bag samples of each variety. So we gave the job of writing the reviews to our most trusted tasters, Janine (Tea) and Barry (Brew). Here's what they thought....

The teapigs packaging is very quirky and fun and on opening each packet you are presented with a beautiful silk pyramid that contains all the tea leaves to make the brew. Its a beautiful thing. An object of quali-tea!

teapigs 'morning glory' tea everyday brew
On reading the instructions it says to allow at least 3 mins to brew. I made the tea in a mug, allowed 4 mins to brew and added milk once the teabag was out. The colour was just right a mid brown colour just as I like it. Its made of 3 varieties of tea, Assam, Ceylon and Rwandan. I've not had the Rwandan tea in a mix before and I have to say the mix is lovely. There is a mild malty taste, which gives it a lovely flavor without being over powering. I can imagine if you over brew this one it would be too strong for me, but 4 mins was just right. I would recommend this tea as an everyday brew if you like a taste to your tea.

teapigs 'chocolate flake' tea
Again I made the tea in a mug and allowed 4 mins to brew. I then decided to taste the tea without milk and it tasted nice this way. It was quite a delicate flavor at this strength so if you like your tea with milk every time it may be better to brew for longer (I will do for the 2nd tea bag). It is very refreshing without milk though so would probably buy this and drink it black for a change!
The second bag I allowed 6 mins to brew and added milk. The extra 2 mins made all the difference. The chocolate flavor comes through more and it is lovely with milk too. So depending on mood I'd drink this both with and without milk.

Sam's extra comment: Janine was really kind and sent me some of these teabags. I brewed one. Whilst the chocolate came though in the smell, and the taste was sweet & rounded, I was a bit disappointed.  I said so to my boyfriend. He said: "you wanted it to taste like you were drinking a cup of tea through a chocolate flake, didn't you?". As usual where I am concerned, he hit the nail on the head. This is a very nice chocolate-scented tea. For my daydream creation of a tea-mocha, I'm going to have to get creative with a pan and a whisk. I'll let you know how that goes.

teapigs 'peppermint' tea
I made the tea in a mug and allowed 3 mins to brew. I usually drink peppermint tea after dinner or if I have an upset tummy. This was very pleasant tasting tea. A good flavor of peppermint, a slight tang, not too much or bitter. I would recommend this tea to peppermint lovers. A lovely refreshing tonic of a tea if you fancy a brew without milk.

teapigs 'rooibos crème caramel' tea
Brew drinks rooibos tea all the time... but straight - no added flavoring or milk. So he tested this tea 1st. Now he wasn't so keen on it but thought it may be better with milk! I made this according to the instruction - 3 mins brewing time and added some milk once brewed. Much like the chocolate flake tea the taste is very delicate. I think if we had more tea bags I'd like to try it again with a longer brewing time to see if I could get a stronger taste or I'd like to have tried it without milk. I think the taste would come through more that way. So the jury is out on this one – best to give it a go for yourself!

teapigs 'tung ting oolong' tea
I made this according to the instruction (3 mins brewing) then tasted and popped the tea bag back in for a min or 2 for a fuller flavor - no milk required! I have to say it's a lovely brew. No bitter taste at all (which you can get with green tea especially if brewed for a while). If you don't have milk with your tea or fancy a brew without milk from time to time its very easy drinking. I would strongly recommend this one if you fancy something a bit different!

teapigs 'pure mao feng green' tea
Again I brewed the tea for about 3 mins then tasted it. This is a very nice delicate green tea... its not bitter like a lot of green teas. I then popped the tea bag back in and forgot about it for about a further 5 mins! Ooops! I found timing is of the essence as it did become too strong and a little bitter!. It is a lovely brew though if you follow the instructions and brew for 3 mins!

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