Posts Tagged ‘loose leaf tea’

STEENBERGS TEA TASTER PANEL Morning Brew herbal tea & organic Fairtrade Earl Grey Tea

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Our tea taster panel had a delicious choice of teas this time, with a delicate organic Fairtrade Earl Grey and one of our new herbal tea blends, Morning Brew.  We had some great comments on both teas, although 63% of you did prefer the Earl Grey.  Read on to find out more…

STEENBERGS MORNING BREW HERBAL TEA

About Morning Brew:

morning brewSteenbergs Organic Morning Brew Herbal tea is an organic caffeine-free herbal blend created for Sophie as a decaff morning herbal brew. It is hand crafted and packed by us to Axel’s special recipe from organic redbush, organic oatstraw, organic ginger, organic cardamom, organic cinnamon and organic orange peel. The redbush provides the body, the oatstraw is uplifting and the spices add a zing and a spring to your step.

“I start every day with a mug of this tasty morning brew without milk – it starts my day perfectly,” says Sophie.organic-morning-brew-herbal-tea

Since we sent out the samples to our lovely tea taste panel, we have made a couple of changes to our Morning Brew.  Firstly we have managed to find organic oatstraw so we can make Morning Brew completely organic – hooray!  Secondly, we have relaunched our herbal teas in brand new practical packaging to make it easier to see the delicious blends.  We’d love to know what you think…

What did you think of Morning Brew?

Given the name ‘Morning’ Brew and the blend of uplifting herbs, it was interesting to see that only 29% would drink it just in the morning, with the majority happy to drink it at any time of the day (56%) and 9% in the evening.  Only a tiny minority didn’t like the blend.

morning brew worditout

The vast majority of our tea tasters enjoy herbal tea on a regular basis (88%), with 77% rating it excellent or good. When asked to describe how it made you feel we were delighted to find that ‘refreshed’, ‘invigorating’ and ‘energised’ were frequent words, as though was ‘relaxed’ – how good to feel both at the same time!

morning brew descriptions

Although very positive about the tea, it wouldn’t be the majority of our panel’s first drink of the day, many of you preferring a caffeinated drink such as coffee or black tea to give you that much-needed kick start.  Maybe it doesn’t go well with toast which it what the majority of our panel have for breakfast.  We particularly liked the sound of ‘toast with a savoury topping – goats cheese & honey or peanut butter & black pepper’ – delicious!

STEENBERGS ORGANIC FAIRTRADE EARL GREY

About Steenbergs Earl Grey:

organic-fairtrade-earl-grey-tea-loose-leaf-125g-tiSteenbergs Organic Fairtrade Earl Grey Tea is a deliciously light and fragrant classically scented organic black tea.  It comes from the Greenfield organic Tea Estate which lies between 5000ft and 6000ft above sea level in the Uva Highlands in central Sri Lanka. We pay a premium for the social welfare of the 770 people on this Greenfield Tea Estate. Visit our About FAIRTRADE  page for more information.

Sri Lanka is a jewel of a tropical island, located just above the equator with perfect growing conditions for organic Fairtrade tea, the climate is temperate, but rainy. Uva tea is regarded by the Japanese as the best of all Ceylon teas and we tend to agree. It produces a pale liquor with a slightly astringent taste that works very well with the flowery Bergamot flavour.

We use Greenfield organic Fairtrade Orange Pekoe grade tea leaves as its base, which compliments the sweet, citrus flavour of bergamot oil. We only use 100% organic bergamot oil for flavouring. The story is that in 1830 the second Earl Grey was presented with the recipe for this tea during a diplomatic mission to China.

What did you think of our Earl Grey?

With 78% of our panel rating the tea either Excellent or Good, here were some of the lovely comments you gave us on our Earl Grey:

“Wonderful!”

“Earl grey is a winner in my books, again down to the taste but I loved it!

“Even the last cup from the pot is lovely.” “It hits the spot.”

“Rarely drink Earl Grey – but this is amazing! Love the large tea leaves.”

However some of you were less enamoured and felt that the tea was not as intense or flavoursome as you would have liked.

Here are some of the flavour and aroma descriptions that you came up with.  It’s interesting to see that both ‘strong’ and ‘mild’ featured heavily, although ‘delicate’, ‘light’ and ‘citrus’ were definitely the main adjectives used.

Earl grey worditout

Of our taster panel, 59% were already regular Earl Grey drinkers, enjoying Steenbergs but also several other brands.  Over half of our panel drank the Earl Grey without milk and of those, 26% drank their black tea with lemon, with a small handful added sugar or honey to their tea.  If milk was added is was most likely to be cows milk (76%) although a variety of other milks were drunk including soya, almond & goat’s; although of those who drank both, several preferred cow’s milk in their tea but non dairy on cereal.

It was interesting to see that the vast majority of our panel enjoy their tea from a tea pot, with 72% feeling it is a ‘must’ for an enjoyable tea experience.  A tea bag versus loose leaf tea was another interesting debate and really boiled down to time.  54% definitely prefer loose leaf, with 20% preferring bags and 26% using either depending no how much time they had.

58% of our panel also enjoyed tea as their evening drink of choice, although 76% of those chose a decaffeinated herbal tea to wind down.  14% though felt that a glass of wine or a G&T was a much better way to spend an evening and 12% chose a soothing milky drink.

In conclusion, loose leaf tea in a lovely tea pot at the weekend with friends, or whilst reading or watching TV, was agreed to be a very relaxing way to enjoy a cuppa!

Top 5 teas chosen by Sophie

Friday, September 18th, 2015

 

 

We drink a  lot of loose leaf tea here at Steenbergs. All of us tend to change around our favourites depending on the weather or our moods.

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Currently I’m favouring tea without milk and my current favourite picks are:

Morning Brew – this caffeine free herbal infusion is the way Sophie starts each morning, with its blend of redbush, oatstraw, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and orange peel. (This brew has just become organic at Steenbergs – finally managed to track down some organic oatstraw)

Rose and Bergamot – this is Sophie’s current favourite of all of the Earl Grey style teas that Steenbergs blend. Great for all day drinking It’s a floral mix and adds cardamom in a Persian style twist to this tea.

Organic Green tea with lemon verbena and ginger – this is a very cleansing tea with the great flavours of lemon verbena and ginger, perfect for all day drinking – although Sophie moves to it particularly in the afternoon.

Organic Happy Hippy Tea – One of the beautiful teas – a blend of organic chamomile, organic double mint and organic rose petals. Completely caffeine free, a very mellow tea, one that Sophie drinks in the evening.

Organic Fairtrade English Breakfast – this is our standard cuppa, to be drunk black, with milk, with or without sugar, it has malty overtones and is a very refreshing brew.

For other ideas on favourite teas at Steenbergs look at our Time for Tea section on the blog, where we talk to a whole range of people about their tea preferences. We’ve also got feedback from the Steenbergs tea taster panel. Let us know your favourites.

Top 5 tea picks – chosen by Axel Steenberg

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Axel’s top 5 tea picks – loose leaf

We (Sophie and I) both drink a lot of tea – all loose leaf and Steenbergs. We take our current favourites away with us on holiday and when we are away for the weekend. (Although depending where we are going we also may take the odd loose leaf tea infuser). What we drink varies on the day, how the day is going, the time of day and who we are with.

Axel’s top picks for tea at the moment are:

Organic English Breakfast tea – I start the morning early with a large pot of our organic and Fairtrade English Breakfast tea. It sets me up for the day

Organic Gunpowder green tea – a traditional Chinese green tea – whose leaves look like little shots of gunpowder before they are immersed in water. You only need a few grains to make a wonderfully refreshing cup of tea. I drink this for a large part of the day, along with jasmine tea.

Organic Jasmine green tea – another traditional Chinese green tea – this time flavoured with jasmine. Again, you don’t need much of the leaf to create a wonderful infusion. I can drink this all day long, along with the gunpowder tea.

Organic 1st Flush Darjeeling Puttabong tea – It’s one of the most delicious Darjeeling I’ve tasted for a couple of years and is a real treat.

Chillax infusion – a calming herbal tea we designed to dissipate life’s stresses. We developed its unique relaxing herbal blend with oatstraw, St John’s wort, lime flower, skullcap, chamomile, red clover, catnip and lemon balm. Lemon balm, oatstraw and St John’s wort lifts your flagging spirits, while the catnip, chamomile, lime, red clover and skullcap soothe those angsty nerves.

For more views on teas, look at the Steenbergs Time for Tea columns, where we talk to people about what they love most about tea. Alternatively we also have the feedback from the Steenbergs tea panels – where customers are asked for their views on different teas throughout the year.

Time for Tea with Ronke Lawal, creator of www.whosfordinner.co.uk

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Time for Tea – our regular chat with someone who cares about tea – Ronke Lawal, Creator of www.whosfordinner.co.uk

Ronke Lawal, creator of www.whosfordinner.com

Ronke Lawal, creator of www.whosfordinner.com

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
I love a normal English Breakfast tea, milk and one sugar. I have been reducing my sugar intake over the years and so eventually it will be no sugars (but maybe a biscuit or 2)

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Green tea is perfect to relax me in the afternoon. There is a calming quality to green tea which always helps me to take stock after a busy day.
3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
I love the quality of the ingredients in the teas as well as the taste to be honest. There is an authenticity in each freshly brewed tea pot of tea that makes this brand so special.
4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
I am so lucky that I had the chance to try the tea that I really wanted to taste and that was the Organic Red Chai. It was absolutely delicious, with a depth of flavour that made me want more!

Steenbergs organic red chai is a caffeine free rooibos chai loose leaf tea.

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
Oprah Winfrey! One day I’m going to take her for a cup of tea and a chat, my treat to her for being such an inspiration.
Your contact details
Website: www.whosfordinner.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whosfordinner
Twitter: @whosfordinner @ronkelawal
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TEA TASTER PANEL Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea & Steenbergs Jasmine Green Tea

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Many thanks to our tea taster panel who this month had the delights of tasting Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea: a strong, aromatic blend of organic Fairtrade teas from Sri Lanka and Assam, Kerala and Darjeeling in India; and Steenbergs Green Tea with Jasmine: a delicately flavoured green flower tea from China.  Two very different teas with unique flavours and we loved hearing how, when and why you enjoy drinking them.

Steenbergs organic Jasmine Green Tea 

organic-jasmine-green-tea-loose-leaf-tea-caddy

We asked you to describe the flavour and aroma of the tea and the predominant descriptions were floral, sweet, light, fresh, delicate and (luckily!) jasmine. Interestingly one of you who wasn’t keen on the flavour of scented teas still loved the aroma! We did love the fact that one of our panel likened the tea to ‘coming home – similar to a pair of cashmere bedsocks!’

We were also fascinated to find out how it made you feel, with many of you saying relaxed, refreshed and healthy – what more could you want from a tea!  Other notable quote included: ‘both myself and my 2 year old give a big thumbs up to the Jasmine Green Tea'; ‘much nicer than jasmine flowers which I find too heady or sickly’; ‘warm climes with jasmine abundant on every corner’; ‘evokes holiday & summer memories’; and ‘floral with perfect level of bitterness’.

Around half of our tea panel were already green tea drinkers with a wide scope of brands and varieties regularly enjoyed, including long jing and gunpowder. Brewing of the tea averaged 4-5 minutes but again it was often down to personal preference.

When assessing the overall preference for teas, the Jasmine was more popular than the English Breakfast. However, other interesting teas were mentioned such as Silver Needles, Gingerbread Chai, Redbush, Rose & Bergamot & Happy Hippy, all making it into your top tea choice.  It shows the great range and variety of teas available to us now, with green, white and herbal teas vying for position with our traditional black teas to be your favourite.  We certainly had an expert panel though, with 76% of you championing tea as your favourite daytime drink.

 Jasmine Green Tea

Steenbergs organic Fairtrade English Breakfast Tea

english-breakfast-tea-in-caddy-organic-fairtrade

With comments such as: ‘good balance of high & low tones’, ‘good subtle flavour’ and the ultimate accolade of being ‘better than PG’, many of you enjoyed the flavoursome qualities of this black tea, although a few of you did feel that it could be more intense and fuller in flavour.

Our tea tasters were evenly split in their desire to try it with or without milk, with 63% preferring to drink it in the morning than any other time of day.

Half of our tea tasters use a pot to brew their tea, with 27% preferring a mug and the rest going with the flow.  The majority of our panel do have a favourite mug from which to drink their tea with all sorts of shapes and sizes to choose from.  Porcelain was popular as were some personal favourites: an Emma Bridgewater mug saying ‘Best Friend’; a tall thin Disney Princess mug or a big wide green stoneware mug.  On average the tea was brewed for 3-4 minutes, although anywhere between 1 and 8 minutes was noted.

For that first drink of the morning, many of you always go for tea (60%) with hot or cold water (24%) being increasingly popular than coffee (12%).  A luxury for some, a newspaper is only standard with your cuppa for 40% of you, with The Times and The Guardian featuring as the most popular reads.

Have a look at some of the words used to describe Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea – the larger the word the more times it was mentioned.  Do you agree?

English Breakfast

Although a rather unfair comparison with two distinct teas, 70% of you did prefer the Green Jasmine to the English Breakfast.  Are we becoming more international with our flavours? More health conscious? Or, as with many things, is it just down to our own personal preference.

Time for Tea Post for May – Holly Shackleton, Deputy Editor for Speciality Food Magazine

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

This month we feature Holly Shackleton, deputy editor for Speciality Food Magazine.

Holly Shackleton, deputy editor of Speciality Food Magazine

Holly Shackleton, deputy editor of Speciality Food Magazine

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
I’m afraid I need a bit of a push to get out of bed, and a good, punchy Assam does the job in style. However, lazy mornings call for a touch of luxury which is when a cup of Chai comes into play – it always feels like a treat.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
I’m quite sensitive to caffeine so afternoons are a decaf-only zone. Rooibos is my saviour, and I’ve found that a vanilla or caramel variant can perk up even the most trying of days.

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
Steenbergs are rightly proud of their ethical credentials, and knowing that by choosing Steenbergs for my cuppas I’m supporting truly worthy causes makes my enjoyment even greater. Plus, the tins look great on my shelf!

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
East Frisian ticks all the boxes for me – simultaneously malty and floral with a distinctive sophistication, it sounds like a very classy cup.

East Frisian loose leaf tea – ticks all the boxes for me – simultaneously malty and floral with a distinctive sophistication

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
I’ll make three suggestions, just in case you’re feeling generous. Stephen Fry, Nigella Lawson and Oscar Wilde – all intelligent, entertaining and appreciative of the finer things in life.
Your contact details
Website: www.specialityfoodmagazine.com
Twitter: @SpecialityFood
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=346630364

Time for tea with Ximena Del Castro, from the Fairtrade Living blog

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Time for Tea – our regular chat with someone who cares about tea

Ximena del Castillo, from Fairtradeliving

Ximena del Castillo, from Fairtradeliving

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?

I have 2 young children and way too much packed into most days so I need my first tea to pack a punch… so I usually go for a strong Fairtrade Breakfast or Assam. I don’t worry too much about how long I leave my bag to brew, but I do pay a lot of attention to the colour once I’ve added a splash of milk and friends will always tease me because I need it to be a deep caramel… not cream!

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Either a Fairtrade Spiced Chai or an Earl Grey. I always save up my Earl Greys for special occasions, a bit like champagne.

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
Well of course the wide range of Ethical, Organic and Fairtrade teas, but I also love the uniqueness their gorgeous packaging, which makes them excellent presents.

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
I love the sound of the Green Tea with Peppermint!

Steenbergs organic green tea with peppermint loose leaf tea

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
My favourite author at the moment is Brene Brown (Daring Greatly) who writes beautifully about vulnerability, love, happiness and parenting – I think I would love to have a big pot of tea with her and pick her brains about so many of her fascinating ideas.

Your contact details
Website: http://fairtradeliving.com/
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Time for Tea with @JasmineTrinity

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Time for Tea – our regular chat with someone who cares about tea. This time it’s with Jasmine Trinity owner of the Self-Sufficient Cafe – a virtual cafe which showcases tasty vegan recipes .

Jasmine Trinity of the Self Sufficient Cafe Blog talks to us about tea

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
At the moment it’s Lady Grey, I really enjoy a cup first thing and it gets me going, ready for the day ahead. I just love the delicate flavours and the perfume it gives.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Green Tea with Jasmine, it keeps me calm especially if I’m having a manic day at work!

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
The extensive range of teas, I would love to try all of them! I’m a massive fan of tea!

Steenbergs loose leaf white tea with lemongrass and orange blossom is a beautiful tea.

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?

I think I’d have to go for the white tea with lemon grass and orange blossom. I haven’t tried many white teas and this one sounds just perfect for a Spring morning, which hopefully is just around the corner.

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
Now there’s a question! Who would it be? Decisions decisions……at this moment in time I think it would have to be Tobey Maguire, fellow vegan and spiderman, perhaps he could help me overcome my phobia with spiders!

Your contact details
Website: http://selfsufficientcafe.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SelfSufficientCafe
Twitter: @JasmineTrinity
LinkedIn: Jasmine Trinity
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jasminetrinity/

a virtual cafe which showcases tasty vegan recipes

Time For Tea with Helen WIlson of www.lotsofnicethings.com

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Time for Tea – our monthly chat with someone who cares about tea. This time from Helen Wilson whose blog is www.lotsofnicethings.com

Helen Wilson from www.lotsofnicethings.com.

Helen Wilson from www.lotsofnicethings.com.

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
Traditional tea with soya milk

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Chamomile
3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
All the unusual varieties and the fact they are fairtrade and organic
4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
Redbush Chai – because I love chai flavours but am trying to cut down on the caffeine.

Steenbergs Organic Red Chai tea is a caffeine free, herbal, loose leaf chai made from redbush tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?

Jamie Oliver. I’d like to talk to him about food and convince him to go vegan!

Your contact details
Website: www.lotsofnicethings.com

Time for Tea from John Gregory-Smith

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Time for Tea – our monthly chat with someone who cares about tea – this month we hear from chef and blogger John Gregory-Smith –

whose blog is eat.travel.live.

EatTravelLive_Email2 copy

John Gregory Smith , chef and blogger of Eat.Travel.Live

John Gregory Smith , chef and blogger of Eat.Travel.Live

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
I am addicted to Green tea with lemon and I knock it back all day when I am at work.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Green tea

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
A great selection of loose teas
4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
I love black tea with a slice of lemon, it reminds me of india. I would love the Black Tea Loose Leaf so you get the full theatre of brewing in a tea pot (Note from Axel – the classic Chinese Keemun tea is delicious with lemon)

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
Kate Moss, she’s cool. Although we might have to irish up our tea!

Your contact details
Website: http://www.eattravellive.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eattravellivemag
Twitter: @eatravelivemag
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