While on holiday in Australia I like, as always, to sample the wide variety of beverages available to me. This includes tea, and often while out shopping I will grab a small ten pack of individual bags from the Twining’s range.
Such a stunning wee box
This innovative pack size is wonderful for me as it allows for the ability to sample several different types and styles within the range without breaking the bank, or requiring additional storage of the leftovers… Why this has not been rolled out to New Zealand yet, I do not know.
The Honey and Vanilla tea is right on the mark, the balance has been while struck so as not to overpower the tea, but to complement it with honey notes on the tongue and lingering vanilla notes on the back of the palate. But yet it is still not overpoweringly too sweet, but unlike other attempts at a boutique tea, It is not trying to mask, but complement the tea leaf used, and as such you still get the robust English breakfast Assam blend just there in the mix without too much thought
The blue willow pattern is a classic, and an absolute favorite of my mothers, If i could find the Twining’s Honey and Vanilla English Breakfast loose leaf to sample, I’d dust off the whole set. .
I just finished a box of the twining’s Assam Bold this morning… It will be sorely missed.
Twining’s have come out punching with this blend; it gives the Dilmah Strong blend a real run for its money. Described as the strongest in their range it almost lives up to its name; I believe the Irish is still just a touch stronger, and the loose leaf twining’s series contains some real cannons! It also happens to contain some of my favourite notes to be found in cup of tea… rich malty tones, and a splendid depth of character. My preference for this one is with milk; it complements the flavours very well and in a way helps to cut the tannin-y astringency to allow for an ease of exploration by the palate.
As you can most likely tell I like this new variety, so much so it could almost become a breakfast stable if the Russian Caravan was not occupying it at present. I may, however, get another box anyways for when I’m in a rush… or if I need a couple of bags to sustain me when staying over at a bean grinders hovel.
Every year without fail corporations begin to assault shoppers around the globe unrelentingly with Christmas carols by Evil-Elevator-Music-Inc, and release their wares developed in conjunction with the wondrous people at Tinsel-All-of-the-things. This generally produces a level of nausea only overcome by some kind of mind altering substance brought from a man wearing a Santa hat and lacking any front teeth…
Tea companies are no exception to the rule, and not more than a few weeks back I came across the Twining’s Christmas tea release. I walked past bitterly muttering under my breath words unsavoury for the joy and cheer of this time of year.
I decided for the sake of my blog, to try this demonic concoction which could only be expected to be some foul blend of an unenlightened cheap gimmick, and a brilliant way to dispose of a bad tea harvest by drowning it out in spices… then I saw the price tag, began a tirade of foul language that would make a Grinch blush, and promptly left the store.
On my third attempt I discovered not a box of the stuff to be seen. This was perplexing; generally this sort of stuff never moves until after Christmas day. It is seen at ¼ the price an large mountains… generally with a distraught looking sales man peddling the wares to whomever seems desperate enough. It dawned on me I may have made a mistake in judging this tea prematurely.
So after much hunting of supermarkets and on the verge of giving up I came across two solitary tins sitting in the tea section pushed well to the back, and partially obscured from sight. I grabbed one, swallowed my pride and brought it home hoping it was a spectacular failure and worthy of scathing ridicule. I was wrong.
This tea blew my mind away with every mouthful overwhelming my taste buds with flavours reminiscent of homemade Christmas mince pies. I can hear carols in my ears brought back from the smell of that particular blend of clove and cinnamon that make you think of Christmas crackers and brandy snaps. Following the directions on the box produces this effect, milk and one sugar. But if you want that sticky Christmas pudding flavour, try it with a bit of honey… it even leaves you feeling warm and satisfied, much like after a good solid Christmas feast.
For a long time I believed Twinings had lost their touch, fell afoul to the demons of corporate Christmas. I was wrong. Twinings makes great teas, brilliant competitive teas.