I was kindly sent some samples of fresh leaf tea by the friendly Kirsty (@teaboxonline) who set up an online tea business based in Sheffield, called TeaBox Online. I am a massive fan of tea in any form, at any time of the day. Tea is wonderful. It perks you up, calms you down, warms you, quenches your thirst, makes you feel instantly better and is a great drink to have in a crisis. So I was pretty excited about getting some free tea in the post and then getting to write about the magic of the wonder drink. I can't praise tea enough. It's bloody brilliant.
The first sample I tried was good old English Breakfast. And guess what, I had it for breakfast :) D's birthday breakfast actually- I followed the instructions on the packet (2 spoons per person, add water boiled to 100 degrees) and brewed up a nice big pot in my cat teapot. I love my teapot but am often too lazy to use it- getting loose leaf tea was the perfect excuse to get it out and pretend I was a real lady pouring out cups of tea.
Anyway, the tea was lovely. I drink mine black because milk is the work of the devil (I don't understand how it looks like it should be creamy and thick but actually has the consistency of water...freaky. Yes, I probably do need some kind of therapy) and this tea was one of the best morning cuppas I've had for a very long time. It was slightly more fragrant and delicate than my normal Yorkshire Tea tea bag job, and was really refreshing; the perfect accompaniment to my banana, cereal and yoghurt breakfast. (Yoghurt. Looks thick, IS thick. Not like milk.)
D had milk in his and had it with his special birthday breakfast of bacon and eggs and he also loved his cuppa. It's so worth going to the extra effort of brewing up a pot of loose leaf tea rather than quickly squeezing a tea bag into a mug of water- the flavour is so much lighter and you can taste all the different leaves that go into making it. TeaBox have definitely found the perfect blend for a lovely morning cuppa- highly recommended.
(I now REALLY want a set of vintage china so I can feel like a real lady instead of ruining the delicateness of leaf tea by drinking it out of chunky mugs)
The second lot of tea I tried was a blend called "Fatigue Fighter." I decided to take it to work this week as I was horribly tired after trying to pretend I was still young and hip by going to a student house party and then being kept up all night by D's horrendous coughing (he has man flu- I'm being suitably disdainful of him, no time for man illnesses!) and Delia's nighttime capers. (Chasing plastic bags across the floor with massive crashes into walls? Why not?) Fatigue Fighter is a blend of Chinese white tea, Lemongrass, Ginger, Ginseng, Ginkgo, and Rosemary and promises to give you a little lift and soothe your senses that have been battered by physical fatigue.
I brewed up a pot in a rather nice teapot I found in the work kitchen and offered it around the office. Most people were up for a cup- even the Man Of The Office, who believes that tea should be black, strong and only a bit of milk; true builder's tea. Everyone agreed that the tea smelt lovely- the aroma of ginger really warmed the office. Also all my colleagues were a fan of the flavour of the tea- slightly hot with ginger, yet delicate and floral with the other herbs, and wonderfully light. It certainly did soothe, but did it fight fatigue?
Well I took a second pot into a meeting with the boss, and we both had a couple of cups whilst discussing my upcoming Important Plans for my various little projects- I went into the meeting yawning and came out feeling energised and productive. So that's a yes from me, and the boss was appreciative too.
The Man Of The Office said that although the tea tasted lovely, it didn't provide any more of a lift than a normal cuppa would. Which I guess could be true, but black tea, and coffee, and Red Bull and the like are all loaded with caffeine, whereas this tea just feels a lot purer and a lot better for you, yet does the same job with herbal ingredients. I won't be giving up my black tea any time soon, but will definitely invest in some Fatigue Fighter for those times when I just fancy a delicious tasting lighter brew with a little health kick at the same time. This tea doesn't claim to improve your health in any way, but I certainly felt a little more virtuous drinking it- and didn't notice a slump later on like you usually get after a large injection of caffeine.
I would definitely like to try some more of TeaBox's selection- they've convinced me to invest more time in making the perfect cup of tea from loose leaves instead of a bog standard tea bag, and they have a fairly decent selection of other blends. The ethos behind the company is also something I admire- they really value customer feedback and even invite customers to create their own tea flavours, and they are a small family run independent business committed to quality and good service. Highly recommended.