Are you not a fan of a regular old cuppa? No, me neither. So, I’m sure you’re on the hunt to discover some new, affordable and refreshing teas to keep yourself hydrated, whilst satisfying those taste buds this summer. I’ll be sharing with you a selection of teas that have been put to the test for your recommendations. So, get your shopping list at the ready, you will want to scribble these down!
Over at ‘The Tea Makers of London’, they have some interesting tea blends which you could only dream of whilst sipping on a sandy beach in Bali – you certainly won’t come by this tea at your local supermarket. For the summer season, I selected their ‘Mango Mocktail’ tea, which is available in various sizes and in packs and caddies. You can even try out a 50g sample sized pack first, to see if it suits your palate. This exotic themed tea combines notes of pineapple, mango and orange along with some floral notes and a fruity aroma with marigold blossoms. This is the sort of fruit tea which can be enjoyed hot in the evening after dinner with a creamy dessert or equally appreciated during the daytime in cold/iced water. The steeping time is only 3~4 minutes, requiring a minuscule 1 teaspoon amount of tea leaves to 200ml of water. Preferably filtered water should be used to enhance the flavour.
‘Suki Tea Makers‘ pride themselves on thriving for sustainability. Even in their own words, they say they are ‘extremely fussy’ when it comes to selecting the quality of their tea, whilst also ensuring that it is ethically sourced – operating a more socially, economically and sustainable approach to the food and drink industry. Their newest edition to their fruit infusion category is “Iced Summer Punch’; which has already become ‘tea of the month’ among their extensive range. Similarly to the tea introduced above, ‘Iced Summer Punch’ casts your mind to a tropical island – it’s a tea that is bursting with flavour, which specifically has been designed to be used as a Cold Brew or an Iced Tea. Personally, I think brewing the tea for the advised 2+ hour period and allowing it to cool before drinking, brings out the flavour with more impact and once again, accompanies light desserts well, such as ice-cream or sponge cakes.
If tropical flavours aren’t your thing, and you prefer a more mellow tea with a just a hint of fruitiness, but slight bitterness; green teas infused with berries may be your ideal blend. There is no specific time or occasion for Sencha – traditionally in Asia, it is ideal for all times of the day, serving as an antioxidant from the start of the day to aiding digestion in between meals and towards the evening. Simply adding tart berries like raspberry brings a punch of flavour to the mix, to match the upbeat atmosphere associated with Summertime. ‘ZO Organic Tea Rituals’ have a loose-leaf radiance tea, which couples Chinese Sencha Green Tea with raspberry. Your first sip will welcome your taste buds with a distinct flavour of sharp raspberries, leaving a somewhat earthy taste. Overall it gives you a tanginess but leaves a mellow aftertaste once the lemongrass and raspberry notes fade. If you wish to pair it with food, something with not much flavour but is sugary, is definitely a good choice. Butter cookies/biscuits and Japanese confectionaries (Wagashi), such as Castella cake and variations of Mochi – Dango and Daifuku are just a few to mention, which are also common choices for their lightness in both flavour and texture.
If you’d like to go off the beaten path and try something that isn’t your typical loose–leaf tea bags, ‘Whittard of Chelsea’ has ventured into producing modern-day convenience teas: instant teas packed with the same quality as their other tea products. They have many different flavours, some of which are idyllic for this sunny time of year. In the spirit of the Summer theme, limited edition ‘Peach Melba’ caught my eye first; although they also have ‘Mango and Passionfruit’, ‘Strawberry and Vanilla’ & ‘Lychee and Mango’ – I settled on the later. Delicate Lychee contributes more to the aroma of the tea but does indeed bring a fruity-floral aftertaste, whereas the mango in a sense adds in a dash of natural sweetness. This is another tea which may be served hot or chilled. I like to drink it with plenty of ice with a slice of orange for garnish, though most citrus fruits or fruits of Asian origin pair best with both Mango and Lychee.