Tea Tasting: Ellie Drinks Every Type of Tea She Owns in One Day

 So I’m still quarantining (we’re now on day 6), and I’m beginning to lose it a bit. Or a lot.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking very hard about blog posts that are interesting and give me something to fill my day with. A daily sense of purpose, if you will. So I thought about things that I’ve been doing a lot of over the past few months and then it hit me. 

Tea. I’ve drank a lot of tea. So I decided that I would drink every single type of tea I currently possess in my house. Which came to a total of 13. This is a lot of tea to consume in one day, but I’m a dedicated content creator, so I set about on a day of tea tasting. 

Now, I should mention that I am no tea-taster. I haven’t the slightest clue about the intricacies of tea flavour and whatnot so this is pretty much just me rambling about various teas. I did start off trying to follow Twining’s tea tasting guide. It all seemed a lot of nonsense until step six which is when you actually got to put the tea into your mouth. 

The thing is, you need to aerate the tea, by slurping and taking in air at the same time as tea. I ended up choking on a hot cup of green tea, so this was a no from me and I decided I’ll just enjoy my tea as I normally would. 

I guess professional tea-tasting is not going to be my career path. 

That said, it’s time to begin my amateur attempt at tea tasting.

Green Tea

For green tea, I generally prefer to use the loose leaf stuff. Shove some in a pot, add hot water and then let brew. Then pour it in a cup and Bob’s your uncle. Brewing a pot means you’ve got a fair amount to last you a while, so this is great for long periods of studying or working. 
I tend not to add anything to my green tea and I usually drink it by itself or with a Japanese meal. I also enjoy ochazuke, which is basically when you pour green tea over rice. 

Currently we have two green tea blends in our house. I started with my favourite, which is Ito En’s Oi Ocha, a matcha green tea with roasted rice that I bought in Japan. Once you start drinking green tea from Japan, you can’t really go back, because it just tastes better. 
I can’t really describe the flavour, it’s just literally how green tea should taste. This is the brand that my family have always bought, whether that’s as a loose leaf blend or chilled in a bottle, so for me it’s pretty much just the epitome of green tea. 
We also have some Organic Green Loose Leaf Tea from Clipper. Consuming this straight after having the other green tea is disappointing to say the least. It’s not quite so flavoursome and almost seems to have a slight hint of fish? I don’t know how or why that’s a thing. It just doesn’t quite hit the green tea spot, but I do know that when I don’t have any access to my preferred green tea it does the job. 

English Breakfast

The English Breakfast tea is a true staple. No British home is complete without a box of English Breakfast Tea.
Shove a tea bag in a cup, add two teaspoons of sugar (sue me, I like it sweet), then hot water. Let it brew a little before removing the bag and lastly, add a splash of milk (just a splash, because otherwise you may as well just drink watered down hot milk like a savage). 
You’ll want a nice pack of biscuits on the side, like some rich teas. Personally I don’t like to bother with any biscuits that have extra bits, like a layer of chocolate because I want to taste the tea, so save your chocolate digestives for a cup of milk. I mean, unpopular opinion, but I don’t even like chocolate digestives. 
Alternatively, for a nice morning treat, have some tea and toast. Make sure your tea is extra sweet, then butter your toast generously and cut it as if you were going to have egg and soldiers, only you’ll be dipping your soldiers into tea. 

Now, I’ll be starting with Yorkshire Tea, which seems to be my family’s go to, so again, to me, it tastes of the epitome of tea. I guess this is a personal opinion based on what you are used to. And I kind of forgot about the whole ‘tasting’ aspect of this and just made myself a super sweet cup of tea, which kind of screwed with my ability to actually taste tea, so what I consumed was basically a cup of comfort and sugary goodness. 
I also thought I’d do a little comparison to the Yorkshire Tea Decaf, to which I didn’t actually notice any difference. I did feel as if it wasn’t as strong, but I have a suspicion that it was more of a placebo effect. 
When I was at university I bought myself a box of PG Tips as it was on offer. I never finished it, so it came home with me because there was no point in wasting it. Anyway, normally I never have any issues with PG Tips, just tastes like a decent tea. But the thing is, when you switch straight from one cup of tea to the next, it is noticeable. The main difference I found was a slight earthier taste than Yorkshire Tea, but this is the only thing that made PG Tips not as good. 

Herbal & Fruit Teas

Next, I decided to get to work on some assorted herbal teas and fruit teas that I had. I’m a big fan of fruit teas in general, and I will drink some herbal teas from time to time. I find these are best enjoyed alone, without adding milk or sugar (hopefully there is not a human out there that does this!), however some flavours will benefit from some added honey. 

So, let us begin with a tea named ‘Cleanse’ by Pukka. I’m a big fan of teas named with some sort of purpose. And after a holiday in France with lots of bread and wine, a ‘cleanse’ seems appropriate. Pukka’s Cleanse Tea is a blend of fennel, nettle and peppermint, which definitely felt healthy and cleansing. I am a big fan of peppermint tea, which is, in essence what this tea was but the addition of fennel (whatever that it) and nettle certainly added something. 

I also had some, what I assumed to be, standard peppermint tea from Twinings. Peppermint tea was probably one of the first herbal teas I started to drink. I actually remember the first time I tried peppermint tea, the day after my mum and stepdad’s wedding. We all stayed in a hotel and they had it on offer at breakfast, so I tried one. Anyway, this was pretty much your basic peppermint tea, and if you like minty things or fancy a refreshing hot drink, peppermint is the one for you.

My all time favourite tea, is definitely lemon and ginger. Firstly, I swear it can cure any illness in an early stage (there is no evidence to prove this but it just feels like it does to me). Also I just really like lemon and ginger so. This is one of those tea’s that will need a bit of honey added, especially with ginger’s firey kick. So, with a spoonful of honey, I drank a mug of Twining’s Lemon and Ginger, and I can confirm it remains my favourite tea. 

Twining’s Herbal Superblends

This household seems to have become a bit of a Twining’s household during the last few months. As I mentioned earlier, I am a sucker for teas named with purpose, so these superblends are right up my street. I mean I just feel like they;re doing something good for my body (all in the name, don’t think there’s scientific evidence for this). 

These blends are basically just glorified herbal and fruit teas, and like most herbal and fruit teas, they probably don’t need any additions, but you could give honey a try for a bit of sweetness (my boyfriend says I am sweet enough already though). 

Anyway, my favourite from the selection we currently have is the ‘Glow’ tea. This is strawberry with green tea and aloe vera, all things I am a massive fan of, so it checks out. I already know this is one of my preferred teas, and the strawberry flavour really stands out and brings a subtle sweetness to the blend. 

We also have a ‘Boost’ tea. This is mandarin, apple and green tea with guarana.  My only past experiences with guarana is the fizzy drink of the same name, but apparently it’s a Brazilian fruit. When smelling this tea, I thought it smelt great, kind of fruity and fresh. I sipped and it was gross. It almost tasted like medicine and not the nice kind like Calpol. Guarana should stick to being a fizzy drink, in my opinion. This cup of tea was the only cup I did not finish, and it went down the sink (sorry!). 

Next up! ‘Detox’ tea. This is a blend of lemon and ginger with burdock root and fennel. I never actually looked at the flavour of this and I had no idea this was also a lemon and ginger tea (of sorts). It lacks that gingery kick and has an all around softer flavour than your usual lemon and ginger. It’s a nice tea though, and although I still don’t know what fennel is, I must like fennel in teas. 

Finally, I thought I’d finish my hard-working day of tea drinking with a nice cup of ‘Sleep’ tea. ‘Sleep’ tea consists of spiced apple and vanilla with camomile and passion flowers.  Of all the herbal teas, I consumed in this one day, this was the one that tasted most like what you’d expect a herbal tea to taste like, which is, well kind of herby. That’s probably the camomile which is a popular choice for tea. 

BONUS: Twining’s Cold Infuse Tea

I also found a little container of some cold infuse tea. I’m terrible at drinking water, but I’m not actually much of a fan of squash or other cold drinks either, so I thought I’d try out Twining’s Watermelon, Strawberry and Mint Cold Infuse Tea. 

The cold infuse tea can be dropped straight into cold water and left to infuse, but it will need a little stir at some point. It definitely jazzes up a plain glass of water, and the bright colour is pretty too. It’s not sweet as such, but the taste of watermelon and strawberry is clearly evident, although I couldn’t taste the mint. Definitely a nice tea option for a hot day!

So there we have it, a day of tea drinking complete. And as a special treat, I thought I’d attempt a few videos to accompany this post, just as a little experiment. So head over to my Instagram for five short videos that I posted to the new Reels feature, which are basically me trying to be aesthetic with my tea preparation. Or if you want to watch something a little longer, I’ve also posted a video to IGTV, of me tasting each and every tea in this post and some of my thoughts on the teas.

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