As much as us Tipple Tippler’s enjoy seeking out the best alcoholic beverages, sometimes we all need to take a step back and rest our livers. At the end of the day, nothing beats a cup of tea – at least not if you’re British. I have long been intrigued by my parents who like nothing more to arrive home after a long day to utter the words ‘oooh let’s put the kettle on’. That is now me. And I don’t feel ashamed to admit it!
Like with wine, there are thousands of varieties of tea from all around the world, each with different characteristics, flavours and intensities. And no, PG Tips is a brand, not a variety! I have long been a fan of green tea, peppermint and fruit teas – the idea of enjoying simply without milk or sugar appeals to me – but it is no longer that simple. Traditionally Westerners are drinkers of black tea, but in recent years there has been a surge of interest in green and white teas, herbal and fruit infusions and loose tea rather than the good old tea-bag.
A staple in my tea shopping repertoire is Whittards – a London tea and coffee specialist since 1886. With over 130 varieties of tea, I find it incredibly hard to walk out without a purchase. Whilst my wish list consists of their fine bone china tea sets, my budget stretches only to their fabulous teas….sigh! My top three?
Oh my, what an aroma! Ripe fruit and creamy vanilla flavours combine to celebrate the English summer. Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the South African Redbush plant. Naturally caffeine free, high in antioxidants, with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, it’s perfect for any time of day and has become a staple on my desk at work.
Black tea infused with the intense flavours of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom and black pepper to create a spicy, exotic blend. It’s based on the Southern Asian masala chai (meaning ‘mixed-spiced tea) and can be drunk black, or with the addition of milk and sugar (my preference).
This super super easy tea is soooooo delicious. A beautiful colour and sweet fruity flavours, it’s a blend of sweet raspberries and tart cranberries. The best part? All you need to do is add water. Delicious hot or cold, these instant fruit teas are a great pick me up. Be careful on your measures though as it may end up tasting too sweet.
Happy tea time!