Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
Could there be a better antidote to stressful festive planning than a nice cup of tea, possibly with a few biscuits?
The Ethical Superstore have sent me a lovely selection of seasonal teas, from the English Teashop.
We know only too well that we should make an effort to consider the environmental and ecological impact our purchases are having on the globe; however, it is difficult to see the larger global-picture when trying to purchase responsibly. The Ethical Superstore supply products from around the world, enabling their customers to choose eco-friendly alternatives to fashion, food, cosmetics, cleaners etc. They work hard to maintain the quality of their products; they research and provide clear, concise information so their customers can make educated decisions when purchasing their goods.
The Ethical Superstore stock a range of teas from The English Tea Company. They have supplied, and blended, highly original organic teas from Sri Lanka since 2010. Close to their heart is sustainability and environmental awareness. They champion small farms who produce their teabags teas without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers. They have received certificates from the Soil Association, Fairtrade and several other environmental and well-being organisations. They aim to keep the carbon footprint of their manufacturing to a minimum. Within their Sri Lankan factory, they conduct training courses, ranging from English to IT, to maintain and improve the lifestyles of their employees.
The sample I received from The Ethical Superstore, was the “English Tea Shop Organic Premium Holiday Selection”. This particular tin, about the same size as an A4 pad of paper, contained 36 organic teabags. There is a more extensive 72 teabag collection available which includes a further 3 flavours (Winter Fruit, Happy Holiday and Pineapple Punch).
The tin, which can obviously be reused as a small biscuit-tin or refilled with further teabags, contained six bags of the flavours listed below. I was quite surprised at the number of organic spices in each blend, and have only noted the predominant flavour in each tea bag. A full list of ingredients is clearly marked on each package.
Berry Rooibos: Rooibos (also known as Redbush), with Apple Pieces. This I found to be one of the most refreshing teas in the collection.
Red Cherry Chai: Lapsang Souchong and Cinnamon. This has a deliciously smokey flavour; it might not to everybody’s taste, but I certainly loved it. I’m a fan of pure Lapsang Souchong, so this, with the addition of a subtle fruit flavour, was always going to be a winner.
Peppermint Candy: Peppermint Leaves with Green Tea, and Orange Peel. I don’t particularly like Peppermint tea, and I can’t say that this was a particular hit with me; however, my wife loved it, so it very much comes down to individual taste.
Spicy Pumpkin: Green Tea with Cinnamon. Quite a plain flavoured tea (to be quite honest, I’m not sure what a pumpkin tea should really taste like), however, it was very warming with a lovely aroma of cinnamon.
Ginger Cranberry: Black Tea with Cinnamon and Ginger. This was my second favourite flavour from the collection. For me, this was a traditional taste of Christmas.
Seasonal Siesta: Lemongrass with Cinnamon and Ginger. A slight oriental twist on seasonal flavourings. As with all of the flavours, this was incredibly refreshing.
The brewing time for each variety is clearly marked on the packaging. However, I tended to leave the teabags for slightly longer than the recommended time, I prefer my tea to be extremely strong. I wouldn’t recommend milk with any of these (although there are no rules, if you don’t like black-tea, be a tea-rebel, and add a splash of milk if you so desire).
While this is an ideal seasonal gift for a tea-drinking friend, why wait for Christmas? Be prepared for unexpected seasonal guests, stock up on the biscuits, and treat yourself to this flavoursome, environmentally kind, collection of organic teabags.
For more information or to buy visit www.ethicalsuperstore.com.