English Breakfast from Cheeky Tea

English Breakfast from Cheeky TeaOne of my favourite blends in the whole World is good old English Breakfast – particularly first thing in the Morning . . . with, you guessed it, Breakfast!

Now, I’ll apologise in advance to the purists – I’m from Yorkshire, so I like mine with a good drop of milk. To me, English Breakfast just isn’t English Breakfast without it.

When Cheeky Tea’s English Breakfast dropped through my door, it had a lot to live up to. The benchmark on this blend is high – I’ve tried many, and only a select few make it into my treasured tea store.

So – let’s see if Cheeky Tea’s version makes the grade.

Upon opening, it has that classic, earthy, almost toasted aroma. The sign of a good Black Tea.

I steep the leaves, and the fragrance mellows but still lingers, leaving a lovely, mouth-watering toasty aroma in the air.

I add my obligatory drop of milk, and the colour of the tea transforms – to that most Brits are so familiar with when the word ‘tea’ is mentioned. A lovely, soft, light brown.

I take my first sip, and I know instantly, this is one English Breakfast I shall be consuming regularly! Malty, comforting, a very bold black tea with flavours that linger in your mouth for a long while after taking a sip.

Here’s what Cheeky Tea have to say about this blend:

Needing no introduction, this renowned blend contains nothing but rich, malty Assam and full-bodied Sri Lankan black tea for a brilliantly bright and bold cuppa that’s perfect at any time of day.

They say a cup of tea can make anything better. And this one certainly does just that – the liquid equivalent of comfort food, and something I would love to wake up to in a Morning accompanying a nice slice of toast and jam! Delicious.

Jasmine Tea Crystals from Pique Tea

Jasmine Tea Crystals from Pique TeaI was super-excited when Pique Tea’s jasmine tea crystals came through the door.

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I’m a massive fan of matcha tea. The whole premise of matcha tea is that you consume the actual tea leaf – giving you maximum antioxidants and other health-boosting properties. Now, with Pique’s tea crystals, the concept is pretty similar – there’s no bag, no whole leaves, just delicate, tiny crystals.

These crystals are formed from a concentrated brew – giving it a slight difference to matcha tea, in that you aren’t consuming the leaf itself, but a highly concentrated brew – full of flavour and antioxidants.

Upon opening a sachet of the Jasmine tea crystals, a hay-like, perfumed aroma hits my nose – something I love about Jasmine tea normally, but this version seems even more potent with some fine powder escaping as I tear the sachet open and dispersing in the air.

I pour on the hot water and the fragrance intensifies still.

There’s no waiting for this to steep – as soon as the water hits the crystals dissolve and turn the water a deep yellow/orange.

I take a sip, and this is one fine quality jasmine tea. The bouquet entertains my nostrils whilst in my mouth, the brew has a very thick mouthfeel, almost creamy, with the floral notes of the jasmine flowers and almost grass-like notes of the Green Tea.

This is clearly a high-quality jasmine tea, and I just love the novelty of it having been crystallized – it makes it so convenient to quickly and easily make a high quality tea. I’ll definitely be taking the rest of these sachets to my office.

Here’s what Pique Tea themselves have to say about this blend:

This elegant Jasmine tea is made using spring-harvested green tea from a lush mountain valley in Zhejiang Province in China, and combined with fresh Jasmine flowers petals plucked at the peak of their freshness. According to our unique technique, this green tea is blended 5 separate times with batches of fresh Jasmine petals to create a perfect delicate aroma.

And I concur, this is one of the most elegant jasmine teas I’ve tasted, and one of the most innovative too – keep it up, Pique!

Raspberry Matcha From Tea’s Me

Raspberry Matcha From Tea's MeI love love love matcha Green Tea! So any matcha samples are warmly received.

I’ve never tried the matcha and raspberry combo before, so I’m excited when Tea’s Me’s Raspberry Matcha blend comes through the post.

The packaging is nice and minimalist, in a clean white, re-sealable pouch – which is important with matcha tea since oxygen exposure degrades its quality.

It’s also great to see on the back of the pack that this is a product of Japan – too many matcha green teas are from Korea, Taiwan, China and elsewhere. It’s not true matcha unless it is grown and manufactured in Japan using their traditional techniques.

Upon opening the pack, a strong raspberry smell escapes with undertones of grassy matcha – a combination made in heaven!

When I pour the warm water on the matcha powder, as usual with matcha, the water turns a deep, cloudy green – it just looks instantly like a healthy drink. The raspberry fragrance also intensifies as the water hits the blend, filling the room with a sweet fruity aroma.

I must admit I was slightly disappointed to see sugar in the ingredient list, as I like my matcha unadulterated and unsweetened – but I also appreciate the fact that matcha alone is an acquired taste, so sweetening the blend may make this appeal to a wider audience of tea drinkers.

Upon drinking, it’s a sweet, fruity tea, and I can imagine it working well with milk as a latte or cold as an iced tea.

Here’s what Tea’s Me say about their blend:

Our tea is a premium grade matcha tea with raspberry extract. The matcha is of pure quality from Japan and is not mixed or cut with any other powder. This provides our tea with a deep vibrant green color and rich full flavor or matcha. We have also added pure cane sugar and raspberry extract to give the matcha a little sweeter taste and amazing flavor of raspberry that does not over power the pallet. When you make the matcha, let stand for 1 to 2 minutes this allows the flavor of raspberry to become more distinct.

This is all-in-all a great matcha tea, and I’ll certainly be finishing the rest of this pouch very quickly!

Peruvian Spiced Berry From Inca Tea

Peruvian Spiced Berry From Inca TeaI’ve had various teas from Inca Tea‘s range before, so I was particularly looking forward to reviewing their Peruvian Spiced Berry Tea.

Until now my favourite of theirs had been their Tawantin Black Tea, because it was a way for me to enjoy a high quality black tea the old fashioned way (with a splash of milk!) but still receive the added health benefits of the purple corn being in this blend.

So their Peruvian Spiced Berry had a reputation to live up to!

Firstly, I absolutely love Inca Tea’s packaging – it’s one of the most innovative, well-thought-out pieces of tea packaging I’ve ever come across (and I’ve seen a lot!). You simply lift the cardboard mountain sleeve to reveal a tear strip on the inner cardboard box. Tear this off, and you can dispense individually-packed bags each time you fancy a brew. Genius!

Their thoughtfulness regarding packaging goes even further than this however, with biodegradable, silk-like bags and soy-based inks being used on their post-consumer recycled boxes. Great design, great ethics, and great ingenuity. I’m impressed with this brand before I’ve even tasted their blend.

Upon opening one of the sealed pouches this blend release a punchy, clove-laden aroma that is reminiscent of a good mulled wine – in fact, I can imagine this to be a good non-alcoholic alternative during the Festive season.

Equally though, it’s a fantastic Summer brew.

When the water hits the bag, an instant purple hue appears – probably from the purple corn, releasing its powerful antioxidant properties. This purple colour only gets stronger and deeper as the tea brews, developing into a deep purple/red with input from the berries in this blend.

The first sip is delightful, deep berry notes without the tartness you often get in berry-based teas, and an aftertaste of clove and cinnamon. Hibiscus in this blend lifts the whole flavour and ties together the richness of the berries, the freshness of the fruit, and the spices, giving it real flavour synergy.

Here’s what Inca Tea themselves say about this tea:

This is Inca Tea’s original blend to characterize the true ancient Incan recipe. This is the same tea that Inca Tea Founder and “TeaEO” Ryan Florio came across during his hike in Peru. It’s is an enlivening herbal, fruit tea blend of purple corn, berries and spices.

Aside from the flavour this tea delivers, its great to know that you’re drinking something exceptionally healthy too! I will definitely be adding this blend to one of my favourite teas from Inca Tea.

Pomegranate Mojito from Zest Tea

Pomegranate Mojito from Zest TeaI could literally sit and sniff this tea all day long – Pomegranate Mojito Tea from Zest Tea.

A smell reminiscent of my childhood (not that I drank mojitos as a child!) – more that it reminds me of the penny bubblegum I used to get from the corner shop. Sweet, slightly minty, and really fruity.

I’ve got an obsession with lifting the cylindrical aluminium tin up and taking a deep breath, it brings back so many memories.

Nostalgia aside, brewing this tea instantly creates a lovely light green colour in the water – almost like a light elderflower presse. This pays homage once again to the tea’s Summery, fruity vibe.

On taking the first sip, wow! These guys really know how to blend a good tea.

Light, minty, fruity – the Green Tea flavour comes through in the drinking, unlike its absence from the smell. Giving a lovely, fresh, clean undertone to the tea.

It’s like a sequence of flavours with this blend, they don’t all hit your mouth at the same time. First, it’s the citrus notes that hit your tongue, then as you swallow you get the clean, aromatic tones of the Young Hyson green tea, followed-up by the fresh aftertaste and invigorating mouthfeel of the peppermint. A true marriage of perfect flavours – one I would imagine to work well in iced format aswell as a hot brew.

As always with Zest Tea, they add caffeine to give you that kick! So it’s the perfect, invigorating replacement to the regular morning ‘cup of Joe’ – plus with the L-Theanine, you avoid the crash that you often experience with coffee.

Here’s what Zest Tea themselves have to say about this blend:

At Zest, we start every morning with a Mojito. This aromatic blend of young hyson green tea, peppermint, lime, and pomegranate will bring back memories of lounging on a beach, or maybe whatever memories you have left of college. Either way, our Pomegranate Mojito Green Tea is an amazingly refreshing blend, great for any time of day.

And I think I might just follow suit with a mojito each morning too! Of the tea variety, of course.