Tea is a huge part of our lives, for me personally the morning routine is pretty much the kettle on as soon as awake and before speaking to anyone, grab a largish cup, pop in a pyramid tea bag, fill the cup, allow the tea to infuse, remove the bag, add milk (yes milk last – however I’m open to debate on this?) and stir. In our house we have a couple of moments to enjoy it before getting on with the chaos of getting the kids sorted for school, feeding cats, making lunches, brushing teeth, putting shoes on and getting the bikes ready – which to be fair has become a fine art over the years, however I never generally manage to finish a cup of tea before 8 in the morning apart from recently on father’s day was I bought an English breakfast in bed !
Whilst similar in ways to the production of coffee, the variety of teas is close to 2,000 however generally broken down to 3 main categories, Black’s, Green and Whites and herbal infusions, some of which I love and others that are not my cup of tea so to speak. Blacks include Earl Grey’s, Darjeeling’s, Ceylon’s, Lapsong Souchong’s (always like saying this!!) and of course the nations favourite, English Breakfast. Greens and Whites such as Green, Matcha, Oolong’s and Jasmine’s are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body which are said to include improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefits, then we have the Herbal Infusions such as Mints, Chamomile and Rooibos – caffeine free, full of natural ingredients, refreshing, healthy, tasty and colourful.
Not knowing too much about teas we partnered with Novus, a family ran business with blending, manufacturing and packaging all done in the UK and not a million miles from Hessian Towers, which makes a great working relationship. With so much passion and enthusiasm, Novus have won great taste awards year after year for 99% of the products and support us with training, education, customer visits as well as bespoke premium display solutions and tea ware accessories for hotels, restaurants and cafes.
My personal tea education has moved rapidly from the common tea bag where you dunk your bag in hot water for 17 seconds, stir it a bit, squeeze it a bit, look at the colour in the cup and add milk to suit, to recently ensuring freshly boiled filtered water, a clean cup, infused for 4 minutes until dark brown and a touch of milk. English Breakfast should be rich, full bodied yet delicate in flavour as well as capable of packing a punch. Novus only ever use the highest grade of whole leaf tea out of the 28 grades, classed as Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe or FTGFOP for short. The standard “17 second dunking tea bags” we have grown up use very small particles known as fanning’s or dust, very poor quality but unfortunately used by the market leaders. Novus also use the same high-quality leaf across its product range of pyramids, loose leaf and individually wrapped bedroom envelopes, I know other companies will us a lesser quality in the tea bags – not our friends at Novus.
The pyramids themselves are 100% Biodegradable as decomposes into carbon dioxide & water and resolves into the Earth faster than a newspaper does which is impressive!
Now then, having discovered decent English breakfast tea my taste buds were then blow away by some of the other teas and infusions Novus offers. Not experiencing anything other than the “17 second stir” growing up, tasting Persian Pomegranate literally blew my socks off! Apple, pomegranate, orange peel, blackberry leaves, liquorice, Hibiscus and Rose petals blended together in harmony this is simply stunning with the most amazing red colour. Infused for 4 – 5 minutes it gives a sweet, well rounded fruity caffeine free drink full of super fruits and antioxidants which can’t be bad for you! Superb served over ice as well.
My mornings will still be chaos I’m sure but need to make more of an effort to enjoy these wonderful teas and infusions. Tea is just not for Father’s Day!