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Tea of the month – July

MANGO BLACK TEA

With mango season in full swing, it only makes sense to pay tribute to our Indian roots and choose our black mango tea as one of our teas of the month. The bright yellow pulp, protected by a thick waxy skin, dark green with a rosy blush, is synonymous with summer desserts. Our black tea, which is scattered with sunflower blossoms, will bring this sunshine into your tea break, along with a little caffeine boost.

Whilst lovely as a hot brew, we’re really enjoying this tea blend as a cold brew drink at the moment. Given the recent heat wave, it made sense to us to develop a range of cold drinks, and this has proven to be one of the most popular choices with customers in the shop! Cold brewing means it tastes naturally smooth and sweet, so there is no need to add sugar, like you usually would with an iced tea. Without getting too scientific, this is because cold water extracts a different chemical balance from the tea than hot water, resulting in less of that black tea bitterness.

Cold brewing is something you can easily try at home. All you need is a large bottle, a few scoops of tea, and a space in the fridge! We usually brew ours overnight, but it needs a minimum of 4-6 hours. The sunflower petals and mango cubes make this a really pretty blend to have brewing.

 

HAPPINESS INFUSION

Our happiness infusion has this name for a reason! A cheerful blend of lemon verbena, rose buds, fennel and rosehips, this is an uplifting infusion which helps to clear the senses and revitalise the spirit. Winner of a Great Taste Award, this blend harks back to the age of foraging and preserving plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.

Lemon verbena has a number of health benefits, primarily decreasing inflammation, thereby protecting muscles and boosting the immune system. It can also clear up congestion and reduce fevers. When paired with rosehip, a seed famous for its high vitamin C content, it is great for preventing and treating colds and flus. The delicate rose buds add a gentle floral flavour, as well as some colour.

As this is a wellness infusion it won’t over brew like a regular tea would. We usually recommend leaving for around 5 minutes before enjoying. If you leave the tea for longer however, you will notice that the brew, initially a light green, will darken to a russet red as the rose hips come into play and it will taste more tangy. This is a truly versatile tea as it can adapt to different taste preferences, without getting bitter.

Summer Sun Iced Teas

Are you prepared for the summer?

Despite the recent wet weather that the UK is so famous for, it seems that things are about to change. It’s reported that Britain is in for the hottest summer and only weeks away from a flaming 100F/37C with tropical heatwaves driven by the “Spanish Pluming”. Before the panic sets in and people rush to buy electrical fans and other cooling mechanisms, we suggest that you stock up on plenty of tea leaves and ice and be prepared to be taken on an iced tea journey around the world. We believe there can be no better way to keep cool then drinking healthy and tasty iced teas.

Historically iced tea has not been widely consumed in the UK as the rest of Europe and the USA. In the UK it started to become more popular in recent years especially for those seeking healthier choices to carbonated cold beverages.

Tea drinking traditions was brought to the US in colonial times by British settlers. Afternoon tea became a weekly practice but rather than drinking hot tea Southerners preferred it cool to keep themselves refreshed in the hot piping heat. In the US iced tea makes up about 85% of all tea consumed and mainly consumed in Southern America. Apparently iced tea recipes go back to the 1870s when it was on sale mainly in hotels and railroad stations.

Iced tea is versatile and can be drunk sweetened or unsweetened, carbonated or non carbonated, blended with fruit and combined with alcohol to produce delicious cocktails. The ideas are endless and consumed worldwide according to the cultural traditions. For example in Brazil Mate is the most popular beverage and is drunk iced and sweetened with occasional flavouring. In Hong Kong strong black tea is brewed and served with simple syrup and lemon. India prefers iced tea with lemon and ginger whilst in Japan, green and oolong iced teas are more common. This usually comes unflavoured and unsweetened.

Health benefits of iced teas

The health benefit really depends on whether you prefer to have it sweetened or unsweetened. Having it slightly sweetened with honey or agave might be the best option if you have a sweet tooth. Iced teas offer a crisp, slightly astringent flavour which helps you to keep cool whilst replenishing your body’s fluid levels. Unsweetened iced tea contains a good source of manganese, helps increase your fluoride intake and provides beneficial flavonoids (which are antioxidants).   The body incorporates fluoride into the bones and teeth, and consuming fluoride fights tooth decay.   Antioxidants help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease and clogged arteries.

To get you ready for the summer we have shared some our favourite simple iced tea recipes with you. Despite the predicted scorching sunny summer, we hope you keep cool and refreshed by trying out our recipes below.

 White Apricot Iced Tea

Ingredients:

5 teaspoons of  White Apricot loose leaf tea

5 mugs of 80 degrees hot water (before the boil)

Ice

Simple syrup or honey (optional)

Method:

Place the loose leaf tea in filter bags or a large stainless steel infuser. Place the infuser in a large heatproof glass pitcher. Pour hot water into the pitcher and let it steep for at least 8 minutes. Remove the infuser or filter bag (if using a filter bag then give it a good squeeze till the bag is drained of tea).

Refrigerate the tea until cool. To serve, fill iced tea glasses with ice and pour the tea over the ice. Sweeten with simple syrup or honey if desired.

Any teas can be used for this simple and basic recipe. Teas loved best from our collection are Lung Ching green tea, Chamomile tea, Cherry Blossom tea, Extravagant Earl Grey, Green Mint tea, Lemon Verbena tea, Mango tea, Rose Bud tea, Turkish Apple tea, Very Berry tea and Zest tea.

For a slight twist to the tea, fill ¾ glass with the ice tea and top up with lemonade.

Camellia’s Arabian Nights

Ingredients:

5 teaspoons of  loose leaf Rose Tea

Mixed berries (optional)

5 mugs of hot boiling water

Ice

For the syrup:

7 teaspoons of Very Berry Tea

1 cup water

1 cup white sugar

Method:

Place the Rose tea in a filter bag or a large stainless steel infuser. Place the infuser in a large heatproof glass pitcher. Pour hot water into the pitcher and let it steep for at least 8 minutes. Remove the infuser or filter bag (if using a filter bag then give it a good squeeze till the bag is drained of tea). Refrigerate the tea until cool.

To make the syrup, place Very Berry tea in a paper filter tea bag and put in a small cooking pan. Add the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer till the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool. Once cooled discard the tea bag.

Fill half a glass with ice. Throw in a few mixed berries if desired. Pour in the rose tea and top with the syrup to taste.