It’s no secret that we Brits love a good cuppa. Indeed, there isn’t much that a nice hot brew can’t solve. Believe it or not though, there’s a whole world of tea out there that goes way beyond your average box of teabags you’ll get in the supermarket. At New English Teas, we have a world renowned selection of fine and delicate flavour teas to suit all tastes, all crafted with the finest ingredients. But what if you don’t know your Darjeeling from your Earl Grey? What’s actually the difference? For those wanting to branch out on the classic cuppa, we’ve put together our Tea 101 just for you, helping you to discover your new favourite.Black Tea
Black tea is the main component in those popular teas we’ll explore further, such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey. Probably the most common type of tea, this one is what most of us drink everyday, however, we’re more likely to refer to it as “normal tea” or “everyday tea.” Tea leaves have the potential to become any type of tea - black, green, white, you name it - and the key to creating black tea is through what’s known as the oxidation stage, where the leaves are turned from green to black. The longer oxidation stage is what causes the dark colour of the tea leaves, as well as the rich, distinctive taste.
A key component to the hearty full English breakfast, this is one of the most popular teas you’ll find here in the UK. But what’s actually the difference between English breakfast and classic tea? Generally, an English breakfast tea has a richer, more full bodied flavour, and the blends made with Assam tea have a higher caffeine content making them a great option for your morning brew, although it can still be served at any time of day. When it comes to how you drink it, keep it simple and serve with a splash of milk and (if you have it) sugar. Our Loose Leaf English Breakfast Tea is the perfect accompaniment to your full English, and if you really want to embrace the British-ness of the whole thing, why not go for one of our stylish gift tins? We especially love this quirky Victorian Tea Tin!
Named after British Prime Minister Charles Grey, Earl Grey is an incredibly fragrant tea that’s known all over the world. It’s considered to have aristocratic roots and has been associated with the upper class, being reserved for special occasions only. It’s made with a blend of Keemun tea and bergamot oil, which gives it a unique refreshing and citrusy flavour. Traditionally, Earl Grey is to be enjoyed without milk, giving you the best chance of enjoying the smooth and fresh aroma. To get you started, our Loose Leaf Earl Grey has a full bodied bergamot aroma and is a wonderfully comforting way to end your day. You can even embrace those quintessential tea party vibes with this fabulous English Tea Party Tin!
The clue is in the name with this one - afternoon tea is a blend of black tea that has a lighter flavour than breakfast teas and designed to be enjoyed later in the day. Traditionally served as part of the classic afternoon tea which features sandwiches, cakes and pastries, it’s designed to be light enough so that it doesn’t mask the flavour of the meal. Our English Afternoon Tea Bags are ideal for enjoying a traditional British cup of tea too, with a medium bodied and delicate flavour. Again, this is one to keep simple, so serve with just a splash of milk. Of course, you can really perfect the afternoon tea experience by serving a couple of finger sandwiches and cakes on the side! You could even create your very own mad hatter’s tea party with the help of our Alice in Wonderland Tea Tin.
Considered the ‘champagne’ of the tea world, Darjeeling is an aromatic black tea that has a fragrant and musky sweetness to it. Its rich golden colour is wonderfully comforting while the refreshingly smooth aroma is the perfect way to kick back and indulge. Our Classic Darjeeling Tea Bags are best enjoyed with freshly boiled water, leaving them to infuse for around 5 minutes. For a more intense, fuller flavour, leave for longer.
Increasing in popularity over the years, green tea goes through a shorter oxidation process than black tea. Compared to black tea, green tea has a more earthy taste and is a little sweeter, provided it’s brewed correctly! Experts advise letting boiling water cool slightly before pouring - it should be hot, but not boiling - and to steep for around two minutes to get the perfect taste. It can also be a good idea to remove the tea bag after steeping, as leaving it in can result in a more bitter taste. For a little something extra, stir in a little honey to indulge your sweet tooth! Our Green Tea Bags have a wonderfully refreshing taste, or you can give our Green Tea with Jasmine a try for a light and floral twist.
Fruit teas can be a refreshing alternative to the classic cuppa, especially on a summer’s day. Generally, they’re blended without caffeine, which can make them a great option for before bedtime or for those wanting to reduce their caffeine intake. The world of fruit tea is a vast one with numerous flavour combinations and they can also be blended with herbs and spices too, so there really is something for everyone. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend our Fruit Tea Fruit Bowl Selection which consists of three delicious flavours: superfruit, rosehip and hibiscus, and lemon and ginger. The only downside is you’ll struggle to pick your favourite!
If we’ve got you inspired to try something different for your usual cuppa, make sure you take a look at our best-selling tea selection to find your new favourite. From indulgent blends to everyday classics, there’s something for everyone. Plus, why not treat yourself or someone special to one of our fantastic gift tins? There’s plenty of glorious designs that are sure to add some flair to your collection, including our best-selling Beatrix Potter range and our incredibly popular Best of British selection!
Written by Amy Jackson - Content and Features Writer at My Favourite Voucher Codes - 20th August 2020