I put a blog entry on a few days ago discussing the use of plastic in tea bags and an alternative source, teapigs. There are a few suppliers out there with alternatives, but I buy my stuff from Tea Pigs, so I thought it was worthy of a review.
Loose real leaf tea is still slightly specialist and you can’t just go to the local supermarkets any more as most don’t even stock standard brands of leaf tea any more. High quality leaf tea is another matter. It’s highly specialised and generally very expensive. If you love your herbal drinks and even tea you will I’m sure appreciate the variations from the standard sweepings off the tea room floor used in many of the commodity tea bags out there. Tea Pigs have one rather unique selling point – they use these 100% biodegradable tea bags. Not uncommon in the rest of the world, but not something you often find here in the UK. They call them tea temple, but there are various descriptions of them out there on the web if you search. Having a tea bag that I can put into the compost without worrying about the plastic used in standard bags is a good thing.
Anyway back to the tea and the shop. Firstly the shop part. There is an on-line store (www.teapigs.co.uk) which is very simple to use and takes all the usual payment methods. The web site is slick, but I am disappointed that they don’t go into enough details about what’s in their product, where it comes from etc. So what about the tea then? Ok, lets get onto the three tea’s that I’ve tried to date:
Tea Pigs English Breakfast: Standard dark black real leaves in the bags hide what is actually quite a nice traditional blend of tea’s. Nothing is overwhelmed and each leaf used add it’s own distinct character to the brew. This is a very nice tea with strength and body.
Tea Pigs Chai Tea: A surprisingly interesting and very fragrant blend of tea and spices. The tea in the bag is a marvel to look at with real spices in the bag (seemingly no fake flavours here). A good three minute brew later and you have a stunning warming tea that tastes every much as good as it smells. It makes an absolutely wonderful drink with a great depth of spices to tease your nose and mouth.
Tea Pigs Rooibos Creme Caramel Tea: I do like my Rooibos tea. Naturally decaffeinated, very hydrating and a brilliant afternoon tea on a hot day. So why the heck add Crème Caramel to it? I’ve no idea why they thought of it, but what a great idea! I still enjoy mine with milk and keep my caramel red bush tea for the evening as it’s lovely and relaxing and a very comforting drink. The caramel adds a wonderful smell to the drink which at first is not apparent in the taste. Only after swallowing does the crème caramel leave it’s mark in your mouth leaving you licking teeth and the top of your mouth for a bit more yummy crème caramel.
For a real tea supplier with great flavour I cannot fault them. Next order I’m going to add the blue tea, expect a review soon. Adrian Hollister’s favourite tea from there…. it has to be the Crème Caramel Rooibos.