And now for something completely different… My favorite drink in the world is tea. I drink it all the time: summer, winter and I have been drinking it since I was little. As a child, I only drank straight up English breakfast tea. With of course milk and sugar. Later the milk was replaced with some cold water and eventually even the sugar went out the window. As a student I started trying different teas and found a few great ones. Eventually I found Twinings tea and fell in love. I love trying new flavors and they have plenty to choose from.
Twinings is an English tea brand started in 1706 by Thomas Twining. By now it is a worldwide brand, sold in many different countries. In England you’ll find the brand in any regular supermarket. In The Netherlands it is only sold at De Tuinen. However, these shops never sell the full range of products. There is only one physical Twinings shop which does. It is located at the beginning of The Strand in London, right across from the Royal Courts of Justice. This is the same location where Thomas Twining started his first shop.
When I first set foot in the little nook (it’s really easy to miss) it was like stepping into any tea lovers’ dream. The walls are lined with tea. You can smell all of them and they even have a tea bar. Another nice addition is that they sell different sized packs (single sachets, 20 bags, 25 bags or 50 bags) and also loose teas. In other words: if you like tea, this is the place to go. And I do whenever I’m in London. Since my next trip isn’t until summer and my tea supply had dwindled down to a minimum, I decided to place an order via their website. Because oh yes, they have an online store. And guess what? It stocks their full range of products and they ship worldwide.
I placed my order on a Thursday, the package was shipped out of the UK on Friday and the delivery guy already came on Monday to deliver it. Talking about fast shipping! It wasn’t my first time ordering from their website and I never ran into any problems before. However, this time, the website was a bit weird but customer services were excellent and the problem was solved quickly and I could place my order again. So despite that little glitch everything went fine. Now on to the goodness!
The package comes in a big sturdy box and is delivered by DHL. There is also some wrapping inside the box to ensure the teas from flying around during shipment. Shipment is a bit expensive on the website, but like I said: it’s fast and when you buy in bulk, like I do, it really isn’t too bad. This way it is cheaper for me to get teas most of which I can’t buy where I live as the total price including shipping for this many teas is less than buying an equal number of teas in a store in The Netherlands.
So now the big question is: what did I get? Well there’s a little bit of everything. Black tea, green tea, something fruity, something herbal, something spicy, some I already know, some I don’t know. I really stocked up and I drink so much tea that I’ll probably be through it all within the next 6 – 8 months or so. I keep my own tea at work and have at least a morning, afternoon and evening tea open and ready to go at home. Then I also keep a box of tea for when I have visitors over, so yes, a lot of tea is being drunk at my place.
Keemun & Yunnan black tea
These names may strike you as odd, but they refer to the region where the tea is grown. I just finished my box of Yunnan tea and I really liked it so I repurchased it. It is a black tea, with a golden brown color. It reminds me of honey mostly and has a very smooth flavor to it. There is something nutty in it as well. Because I loved it so much and since the Keemun tea seemed to be fairly similar I bought that to taste the difference. The Keemun tea is definitely lighter and smoother. It is not as outspoken as the Yunnan tea, but more like a milder version of it.
Passion fruit, mango and orange black tea & Lapsang Souchong black tea
Two completely new teas! I am not a big fan of flavored black tea. In fact, I’m incredibly picky. I prefer mango and peach and only if nothing else is available I’ll drink forest fruit tea. I thought I’d give this a shot. I especially like these fruity teas in spring and summer. Lapsang Souchong is a classic black tea. Strong, black and smokey. That’s how I’d describe this one.
Jasmine green tea & Yunnan province green tea
An oldie and a newbie. I love green tea with Jasmine and this one is one of my particular favorites. I also don’t mind actual green tea and since I love the black Yunnan tea so much I figured: why not try the green one too?
Peppermint and Eucalyptus & Green tea with cranberry
Twinings also has a few lines, which have certain types of teas in it that can help you relax, or anything like that. The Revive and Revitalize range is great and my favorite tea from it is the Peppermint & Eucalyptus one. It is refreshing and I love drinking this in the morning to wake me up. One of my favorite green teas is with added cranberry. The cranberry flavor works very well with the green tea and adds a hint of tanginess but also some sweetness. This is a tea I prefer drinking in the afternoon.
Peach and cherry blossom green tea & Blackcurrent and mint
Another green tea. This time with peach and cherry blossom. It’s smooth and sweet. Perfect if you’re not used to green tea: the sweetness of the peach takes out the bitterness of the green tea. Favorite tea in spring and summer. The second one is a new one for me. It’s also a limited seasonal edition, so I’m curious to try it. I am not a super big fan of the fresh & fruity line though. I usually find these teas a bit too sweet, but I have tried a few that I loved (strawberry & mango for instance). So it’s a bit hit or miss.
Cherry and cinnamon & African honeybush with lavender
The cherry & cinnamon tea is a repurchase. More of a winter time tea this one. Sweet with a hint of spice. The African honeybush tea is new to me. I know red bush teas, but this I have never tried before. I’m hoping this will be a great late night/ just before bed tea.
Camomile, honey and vanilla & Camomile and maple sensation
I hate camomile tea. And vanilla tea. However, when you combine the two and add a bit of honey I love it. I drank this all throughout fall. Every night I’d drink a cup just before going to bed and loved it. It has the same effect on me as warm milk & honey. It soothes me and literally gives you a moment of calm. The sensation teas are new to me, so I would like to try it. From what I could smell through the plastic it smells similar to the other camomile tea, but I’m sure the maple syrup will have a slightly different effect.
Rooibos & Peppermint infusion (loose tea)
The only loose tea I ordered and the last one in the bunch. I’ve been trying to acquire some more loose teas and this sounded very interesting. I mean red bush tea with mint? Two of my favorite tea flavors in one? I’m so curious how that works out. It smells delicious though.
So there you have it. This tea junkie is going to get her fix. What about you?