Speciality loose leaf teas
Black loose leaf tea
Flavoured black and green teas
Herbal and fruit tea
Tea taster sets
Buy speciality loose leaf teas - green tea and back teas, oolong and white tea.
I'm passionate about tea and one of the best things about loose leaf tea is when people who have been using tea bags for many years give them a try…and then come back for more. Once you realise how easy and simple it is to use an infuser and how much better the tea tastes then it's hard to go back to bags.
These days people are becoming much more health conscious and although we tend to associate green tea with health benefits and weight loss, whether it's a white, green, black or oolong tea they all contain polyphenols and drinking as few as three cups a day can help protect against heart disease, …..
I have had so many people say “green tea must be good for you because it tastes disgusting” and when I first started experimenting with different teas I remember trying green tea several times myself and giving up because it always tasted so bitter. The thing about green tea as well as white and oolong teas is that they require a bit of brewing know how in terms of temperature and timing. We spent quite a bit of time on our brewing guides for each of our different teas because it really can transform a bitter “witches brew” into a divine drink. You can invest in a fancy temperature controlled kettle but in most cases simply adding a dash of cold water to boiling water before infusing these teas can make a big difference.
Tea drinking isn't just about taste, it's also about that moment in your day, chill time, tea does contain caffeine but unlike coffee it also contains L-theanine which “balances out” the caffeine by relaxing the mind without inducing drowsiness. A cup of tea really can revive and calm you down at the same time which is why we so often reach for a cup in times of crisis. You can if you wish brew loose leaf tea in an old sock…in Sri Lanka, the most popular tea strainers looked like a single tight attached to a bent coat hanger! However, a good teapot with a stainless steel infuser that is big enough to let the leaves open properly and that doesn't transfer flavours is in my opinion a friend for life. And for those of you who have a mild obsession, one of the great pleasures of loose leaf tea is watching the leaves unfurl so a glass pot as part of your collection can be a real treat.
The other reason that you should consider using some kind of infuser is so that you can brew the leaves more than once. Good loose leaf teas represent great value for money as they can be brewed several times over just as long as you take care to remove the leaves from the brew as soon as it's ready and don't let them sit and stew.
My husband always felt mildly nauseous after drinking tea but has finally worked out that this only happens when he drinks tea brewed in bags. We don't know the cause but many paper tea bags are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound that has been linked to cancer, infertility and suppressed immune function and then there's the glue they use to stick them together why would you want to drink that? Flavoured teas in bags often contain flavour granules and the tea has to be pulverised down into tiny flakes in order to have the space to brew. So what about those fancy and expensive pyramid tea bags? The good thing about them is that they have more room inside for tea leaves to expand, the bad news is that they are actually made from plastic, either polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polylactic acid (PLA, or “corn plastic”) or food-grade nylon which is also a plastic. There are concerns about what may or may not leach out of the plastic when you put boiling water onto it and you can't put them into your compost bin since they don't biodegrade.
All teas are made from the same plant or from the two most widely grown varietals, Camellia Sinensis or Camellia Assamica or from hybrids of the two. Like fine wine, many factors influence the final tea from terroir, age of the tea bushes, type of tea plant to season and more besides. What makes tea so special and creates the biggest distinction is the processing. In basic terms, Black teas are fully oxidised, green teas and white teas are unoxidised and oolong teas are semi-oxidised. Tea can be produced on a large scale in factories or by hand on a tiny scale using in some cases methods handed down from generation to generation.