I never used to be a tea drinker. Now? I can't get through the morning without one! Since I started my 9-5 job back in April, I've become accustomed to drinking tea throughout the day - my desk is empty without my cuppa. Did you know that after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world? Mad!
Despite the recent, copius amount of white tea I've consumed in the past few months, I know little of the stuff. My cupboards at home contain one solitary box of lonely teabags - sitting on the shelf next to the coffee jar reserved just for guests. I've not branched out to try different types - I drink Yorkshire tea at work and I'm a creature of habit. When I was contacted recently about trying some Twinings tea, I jumped at the chance to grow my tea collection. I was sent the commemorative collection of loose teas and with my tea strainer in hand I got to work trying these beautiful smelling leaves. I've not got my hands on a teapot quite yet, but I had these little teacups from my cousins wedding last year and I felt so superior straining my Lady Grey into the fragile china for afternoon tea. The coloureful tins also came with a lovely tote bag which has a silhouette of London printed on and will look great in my little collection. I'm one of those people who has a canvas bag for every occasion!
My favourite by far was the simple, traditional English Breakfast. One of the most common in British culture, it's got a full bodied taste and perfect with a biscuit to dunk. Second came Lady Grey - a variation of the famous Earl Grey. This one is a Twinings trademark - a tea that contains orange peel, lemon peel and bergamot. It's strong scent and zesty flavour is difficult to miss and more subtle than the next tea I tried - Earl Grey itself. I wasn't a fan of this one personally. I found the flavour very strong and the bergamot rather overpowering but I think it would work really well in baking. It's a popular flavouring to use and I think it would taste scrummy in a sponge mix. Twinings Earl Grey skips the citrus zest and sticks to bergamot flavouring.
With herbal teas becoming more popular with us young folk it's not a surprise these two are popular - according to research, only half of us aged 16-24 regularly enjoy the quintessentially English breakfast tea compared with nine in ten of over 65s. I guess I'm getting old before my time!