Put the kettle on
When I was at Althorp food fair last month, I came across Tea Lab Company. Copper, rose gold, white and marble adorned their stall and their teas were so beautifully presented so I immediately fell in love with them. Run by a mother and her two daughters, Tea Lab started its life as a final marketing project at university. Combined with their passion for tea and the drive to create something a little different, Tea Lab was born. With Chemistry teaching also in their background, it’s no surprise that the tea samples come in test tubes and were served up in conical flasks!
All their teas are loose leaf, which in my opinion is the best way tea can be! It might be slightly more of a faff, but I think loose leaf tea gives a much truer flavour, and there is something very relaxing about the experience of taking time out to make a lovely cup of tea. I was kindly sent a selection of teas from Tea Lab to try, which was very exciting indeed…
I don’t think I’ve ever come across teas that are so creative – everything from the flavours to the names is so ingenious! From your basic black tea, to classic green and peppermint, there really is something to suit every taste. I no longer drink caffeine as it aggravates my anxiety, but there’s a handy filter on their site so you can choose your caffeine level! Much to my delight, they have a great selection of Rooibos tea which is a sweet, naturally caffeine free tea from South Africa. But it’s not Rooibos as you know it! Here are the Rooibos teas I tried…
The Yard: strawberry milkshake rooibos tea
This was such a dream! It smells absolutely amazing – think Nesquik powder. It has a sweet but delicate flavour, thanks to the freeze dried strawberry and raspberry pieces in the tea. I drank this as recommended by Tea Lab with a splash of milk and some sugar, but you can drink this as is. This would make such a great ice tea for the summer too!
Orange County: chocolate orange rooibos tea
This smells exactly like Terry’s chocolate orange. It actually has real orange pieces in it too which make it really flavoursome. It is quite sweet and definitely leaves the taste of chocolate orange dancing on your taste buds! I drank this without milk.
After 8:30: natural mint & chocolate rooibos tea
This feels like such a naughty pre-bed time treat thanks to the chocolatey taste, but the mint makes it nice and refreshing. With milk, it tastes just like mint choc chip ice cream – another one that is going to make a delicious iced tea.
Vanilla Sky: cacao nibs & vanilla rooibos tea
This is a super sweet tea, so no added sugar needed. It smells divine with the cacao nibs adding a much needed bitter contrast to the sweet vanilla.
I didn’t go completely rooibos crazy… but see what I mean about there really being a tea for every occasion!? Here are the other teas I tried…
Rise & Shine: lemongrass green tea
This smells so so fresh and also contains basil which gives it a really interesting, fresh flavour. This is such a beautiful cup of green tea to wake up to as the lemongrass gives it such an uplifting flavour.
Helter Skelter: apple & rhubarb
This tea takes me right back to summer holidays in the peak district with my grandparents. My grandad used to buy me and my brother a packet of rhubarb and custard sweets from the sweet shop, in a paper bag. This tea smells exactly like those holidays. It contains dried pieces of apple, rhubarb and hibiscus blossoms, as well as elderberries. Many fruit teas smell so much better than they taste, but this keeps its intense flavour for the full cup.
Ceremonial Matcha: organic matcha green tea
I’m not a massive fan of the matcha revolution – matcha ice cream is something I just cannot get on board with. However, a cup of tea I can just about muster and when you read the list of health benefits that matcha has, it’s no surprise that it’s being put in everything! One tiny amount (1 tsp) is enough for one cup to give you a real superfood boost. This is best drank in the morning to make the most of its slow release energy.
To shop teas visit: www.tealab.co.uk
*These teas were complementary for this review. This doesn’t affect my opinion or genuine love of tea!