It has taken me a little while to publish this blog, not though lack of trying, just that it needed my full attention. Now the festive season has passed I had a weekend to myself so I was able to do it justice, or so I hope!
I was introduced to a company called Tealicious through a colleague at work. On hearing about my blog she recommended I tried some of the products they offer. The fact there was a Hertfordshire based loose tea company intrigued me and after checking out their website I ordered myself a few taster tins; Royal Reserve, Afternoon Tea & Rwanda Green.
Shortly after my order confirmation email I was sent a follow up advising me that the Rwanda Green was not available, a real disappointment as I am always in search of a Green Tea I find easy to drink. Thankfully they had offered to replace this with a Green Tea from the Yunnan region of China and for the inconvenience they added a Darjeeling taster tin as well!! What fabulous customer service!!
My order arrived swiftly and after spending some time tasting them here is my review:
Let’s start with the freebie. I am so glad Tealicious sent this to me as I have never tried it and for some reason shy away from it in favour of more familiar teas. This is known as the Queen of Teas and certainly has the presence of royalty. The temperature, altitude and soil all playing their part in nurturing this earthy brew and give it real substance.
Tealicious recommend a 3 minute brew time which I found to be sufficient, much longer and it becomes too astringent. The leaves smell of dry autumn leaves and hay bales, strong and peaty. The water turns golden as it brews and the scent becomes much lighter and fresher. You can add milk if you wish but I enjoyed it without. The earthy flavour lingers in the aftertaste but I didn’t find it over powering. Warm and comforting this is a sturdy brew grounded in its Himalayan routes.
If, like me, you find Darjeeling a little intimidating then I recommend you try this regal blend. The earthy Darjeeling is blended with malty Assam which softens it enough for new comers but doesn’t sacrifice any of its depth. Brew for 4 minutes, as recommended by Tealicious, or perhaps a touch less if you’re new to these flavours.
The brew has warm, inviting russet tones with a light scent. The Assam brings a smokey background which lingers after each sip. You are welcome to add a splash of milk which does make it a little smoother on the pallet but I found it unnecessary as well as making it less appealing to the eye. A well balanced, smoky brew, strong enough to accompany any afternoon tea.
This a beautifully light combination of Ceylon & Assam, not smoky like the Royal Reserve as the light touch of malt shines through. Light and golden it is as refreshing to the eyes as it is to the pallet, very easy to drink. I found it had an almost creamy quality even without milk, although you can add a drop if you fancy. The grassy citrus from the Ceylon finishes each mouthful on a refreshing note. A very balanced brew which I could drink at any time of day.
So this was my replacement blend and my first venture into loose green tea. I have to say all the bags I buy leave me with such an astringent taste in my mouth I end up drinking green tea as you would take medication as a child; grin and bare it as the benefits should out weigh the negative taste! I am pleased to say this brew did not leave such a bitter taste in my mouth. Tealicious recommend a 3-4 minute brew and ideally let the water cool just a touch before pouring it onto the leaves to bring out the best flavour.
This brew has a golden green glow, far more appetising than the pond water effect you get from most bags! Smoky background notes warm the pallet with a balanced astringency you associate with green tea but no bitterness at all.
Each brew has it’s own personality and I enjoyed each in its own way. If I had to pick a favourite it would be the Afternoon Blend as it was so light and moreish, very drinkable for all pallets. The others may be preferred by more adventurous tea drinkers but the taster tins are perfect for trying something new for a very reasonable price.
Whether you are an tea fanatic or you just enjoy a simple brew I urge you to check out Tealicious. Their blends are non fussy and reasonably priced, each with expert advice on where it’s grown and how to brew it. You can order on line or, if you are local, visit one of their stockists in Hertfordshire and London. I love the simplicity of this company and I mean that as a compliment. It’s clear that thought and compassion goes into each blend selection, high quality, hand selected and accessible – everything you could ask for in a decent cup of tea. Happy Brewing!