Given the chance, I would drink nothing but tea all day, with coffee coming a close second. To make sure that I drink as much water as I can, I always make sure that I have a good supply of caffeine-free teabags on my desk at work to prevent me from going out and buying coffee or tea (I could make my own, but someone always pinches the milk). I’ve tried a variety of flavours; I particularly like peppermint and berry flavoured teas. The latest box that I have bought is raspberry, strawberry and loganberry – mainly because my local Sainsbury’s doesn’t have a great deal of choice, but also because I like the sharp taste of raspberries.
Twinings is a registered trademark of R Twining and Company Ltd. The company’s history began back in 1706, when Thomas Twining, who worked for the East India Company, bought a coffee-house just off the Strand in London and began to sell the wares that he had discovered during his time with the East India Company. It took time to take off, but Twining’s marketing skills were good and eventually he found a niche market with the wealthy. Over the years, tea became more available to all and is now the popular beverage that it is today.
The teabags come in boxes of 20 (some UK supermarkets may have boxes of 40, but I have never seen one). The box is red in colour with a picture of a strawberry, raspberry and loganberry on the front (surprise surprise).
How to make
This couldn’t be simpler. Just boil a kettle, pour on the teabag, and leave it in. If you prefer a weaker flavour, the teabag can always be taken out, but I’m happy with it to sit there giving out more flavour as I let it cool. It also works fine with not quite boiled water. We have a water machine at work that provides hot water, but it never quite reaches boiling. When water is first added, the colour tends to be quite a strange dirty purple colour, but this later blends into a pleasant fruit-flavoured cordial colour. The instructions also mention that it can be drunk cold, by making first with hot water and allowing to cool. Neither hot or cold milk should not be added.
I think it actually smells better than it tastes. People are forever walking into my office and asking what the smell is. There is a definite hint of strawberry and raspberry – possibly loganberry too, but as all I know about loganberries is from the picture on the front of the packaging, I wouldn’t know.
Although the smell is probably stronger, there is a definite taste of strawberry and raspberry. I like this combination, because the raspberry is quite sharp and dulls the sweetness of the strawberries. The loganberries may or may not add something – I have no idea what it tastes like, so again, can’t comment.
Most of the ingredients sound healthy and natural: hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, strawberry flavouring, liquorice root, raspberry flavouring, loganberry flavouring, strawberry, raspberry and loganberry pieces. I’m not too sure about the flavourings though. And the fruit pieces only make up 1% of the ingredients each. Certainly looking at the teabags, it looks like bits of plant inside, so I imagine that the hibiscus, rosehips and orange peel make up most of the ingredients.
This is the good news – just 2 calories per 100ml of brewed infusion and just .3g of fat.
ConclusionI find this tea very thirst-quenching and the fruity flavour makes you forget that you are drinking something that has no caffeine and is made up of mainly water. The fact that it also doubles as an air freshener is an added bonus! This and other caffeine-free teas have definitely helped wean me off drinking too much tea and coffee – I still drink ‘proper’ tea at home in the morning and when I get home, but as I tend to drink most when at work (would rather make a cup of tea than get on with my work!), I must have cut down on a fair amount of caffeine. Unfortunately, there is no caffeine-buzz, which tends to mean by mid-afternoon I’m flagging, and sometimes have to go and buy a coffee just to keep myself going!
On the whole, though, this is a refreshing alternative to tea and coffee and can be drunk in the winter or summer, hot or cold. Although more expensive than ordinary teabags, 95p for 20 (and it can probably be found cheaper elsewhere – I buy from a central London Sainsburys), it doesn’t exactly break the bank. Twinings is the only manufacturer of a fruit tea of exactly this blend, but many other manufacturers make similar concoctions – I personally think that Twinings is the tastiest. Recommended.
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