I’ve been toying with using loose leaf tea lately, but, for the 4-5 cups of tea I have a day, it is a bit of a faff. I even sewed my own reusable tea bags from organic undyed muslin, which worked well, but didn’t remove any of the effort of cleaning out the used tea leaves. A pile of crusty tea bags waiting to be emptied is not so much fun to come home to, especially when the bottom ones are growing mould. Yuck!
I recently signed up to have a box of 50 Teapig’s Everyday Brew tea bags delivered once a month, because, if, like me, you’ve been feeling guilty over the amount of plastic waste we produce, you’ll no doubt know that Teapigs are now certified plastic free – it even says so on the packaging!
The tea temples (triangular/prism shaped bags that leave space for the tea to move around in the water) are made from corn starch, the outer packaging is made from FSC cardboard (sustainably sourced), the string is undyed cotton, the label is printed with vegetable oils, and, most surprisingly, the “plastic” bag holding the teabags, is made from wood pulp. Amazing, I know!! The cardboard goes into your recycling bin, and everything else can go into your food waste bin.
The other incredible thing about Teapig’s tea, is how amazing it tastes. I consider myself pretty well acquainted with all types of tea. I know when I’ve got a rubbish cup. I can tell the difference between Earl Grey and Darjeeling, Green Tea and White Tea, to name a few. Our tea cupboard is full to bursting. I immediately noticed the fullness of the flavour of a Teapigs tea compared to regular tea (my usual had been Twinings Organic Everyday Tea for a few years at home, but they are not plastic-free, or Clipper Organic Everyday Tea at work), because they use the whole leaf, not the dust off the floor – not my phrase, but it’s a good description of the difference.
Last week, as Facebook is wont to do with personal data and not long after subscribing to the monthly delivery, an advert appeared for an evening of tea tasting and blending with Teapigs in Kensington, which is about 30 minutes walk from my office. And for only £15, I couldn’t really refuse, especially as all proceeds go to their charity of choice, the Point Foundation, who work with vulnerable young people in Gisenyi, Rwanda. A donation is made from every pack of English Breakfast tea sold, too.
There were 15 of us in attendance. We had a great introduction to the company, including where the tea is sourced, the plastic-free credentials, the differences between the types of tea, and, of course, how to make a good cuppa. At least 3 minutes brewing time is the key! I actually already followed this rule, even with the strange looks I get at work (and at home) for setting the oven timer.
We were given small amounts of 8 types of tea to try: White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea, Rooibos Tea, Peppermint Tea, Hibiscus Tea, and Chamomile Tea. The first 4 shots of tea were all caffeinated teas (all from the same tea plant), the last 4 shots were caffeine-free teas (Rooibos or herbal infusions). I never realised that to make a caffeinated tea decaf, it has to be bleached or flushed multiple times until the caffeine content is removed – that doesn’t sound so appetising – but Rooibos Tea (Redbush Tea) is a naturally caffeine-free alternative.
Then came the fun of the tea blending. The general rule was:
- 5 tbsps of base teas – black, green, lemongrass, hibiscus, or Rooibos were our options
- 5 small scoops of additional flavours – coconut, caramel, liquorice root, cranberry, rhubarb, marigold petals, peppermint, ginger, blueberry, beetroot, orange peel, chamomile flowers.
- 3 tbsps black tea
- 2 tbsps lemongrass
- 1 scoop coconut
- 2 scoops orange peel
- 1/2 scoop ginger (strong)
- 1 scoop rhubarb
Frickin’ delicious! Quite Earl Grey-esque.
I wasn’t expecting to get a massive goody bag from the event, but I emptied it out when I got home and was really thrilled with it – all vegan goodies, perfect!
I also picked up a box of White Tea and a box of Peppermint Tea on my way home, because they tasted so nice at the event.
Thank you, Teapigs!!
Disclaimer: I was, in no way, paid for a review or given anything in exchange for a review (I wish!!). All opinions in this article are my own.