I got an e-mail informing me that National Tea Day is the 21st April (Saturday) nd asking if I'd like to try something from the English Tea Shop. The pictures in my head were of English Breakfast, and Earl Grey and frankly everyday is Tea day in my world so I said yes.
What I actually got was this.
White Tea, Coconut and Passion Fruit is not what I was expecting. White tea is still from the same plant (all tea is) but it's usually used to indicate juvenile or under-processed varieties so I worried how this would work with the strong smells I could detect coming from the still sealed box.
You get 20 lovely individually packaged tea bags (which is great when you find out you don't like it as they are easy to give away) and they tell you what is in them which is a bonus. There are certainly a blend of ingredients with lemongrass being the biggest surprise as it's 2nd on the list but not listed in the variety.
And much to my surprise it's a fantastic little afternoon tea. The smells are very reminiscent of the lovely little loose tea shop we used to have in Birmingham. The flavour is admittedly quite coco-nutty and very in your face, but it's certainly not a herbal infusion as the tea is strong and gives a refreshing aftertaste. After cautiously only bringing three bags to work I took a load in the following day for some nice summer-time brews. I could see this being successful in tea shops too which is a high complement as it's really hard to have something that is in a regular non-Teapig teabag and yet still stands out enough to want to pay money for. I don't think you'd want to dunk biscuits in this...
I'm sure we'll find a spot for it in our ever growing tea collection...
And seeing as today was (bizarrely) the hottest April day in the UK for 70 years I decided to see how it worked as an iced tea. The answer - surprisingly well! It doesn't have the natural sweetness that it needs to really shine, but with a little fruit (or sugar) and maybe a dash of spirits this would make a fantastic outdoors drink when the real summer gets here.
It was only after all this that I realised we'd got a barely tried box of pyramids of English Tea Shop teas for Christmas (we've managed one so far!) so now I have a great excuse to try those and report back too!