Thursday, 13 September 2012

Tea Review - In Nature Teas

The nice people at In Nature Teas sent us some tea samples for review.  We love our teas and were more than happy to oblige.

In Nature Teas sells high grade, organic teas from China.  They only sell loose leaf tea and they put the emphasis on their teas being free from any kind of additives or flavourings.  Their range includes varities of White, Oolong, Puerh, Green and Black tea.

The tea samples we received were their Pure Flower Jasmine and Red Rose Black Tea. 

The teas came in lovely boxes that we all liked.  They have a simple but attractive design that stands out next to other tea packaging.  Inside, the tea was packed in foil bags that were designed according to the tea inside.

The bags emphasised the Chinese theme, but we didn't really feel they fitted in with the pure, organic tea and the attractive boxes.  There were also leaflets in each box, with some information about the health benefits of tea and brewing instructions for each of the teas.  Strangely though, there was no information about the actual tea, either on the boxes or in the leaflets.  We had to go to the website to find out about each tea. 

Red Rose Flower Black Tea - £6.50 online

According to the website, this tea is a blend of a mild, sweet black tea from Zheijian and red roses from Jiansu.  The taste is 'mild and soothing...with a deep floral fragrance'.
The first thing you notice about this tea is the smell.  It has a heavy, woody scent with a slight sweetness that makes it smell malty.  Interestingly, once it's out of the packet, the rose scent is much more noticeable.  We were split on whether we liked the smell or not, as the sweet woodiness reminded Mo of drawer liners, whereas Charlotte really liked the maltiness.

Once it's in the cup, the tea is very pretty to look at, with its rose petals and buds.

We brewed it according to the directions on the leaflet, using water at 85C and leaving it for 3-4 minutes.  The tea was quite a light red/brown colour, and once again had the malty smell, rather than the rose one. 

This tea was surprisingly light and refreshing for a black tea.  It was clean on the palette and didn't leave a strong after taste.  It had a slight sweetness to it but you couldn't really taste the rose flavour.  For us, this wasn't actually an issue as none of us would choose to buy a rose tea, but it could be a problem if you were expecting a more floral taste.  Interestingly, adding milk to it made virtually no difference to the taste.

As black teas go, it was a nice, good quality tea but nothing startling.  Although In Nature Teas classifies their black tea as Autumn/Winter, this one would probably make a nice iced tea.  It would look beautiful in a jug with some rose petals added, and would make a refreshing summery drink.

Pure Flower Jasime Tea - £5.01 online

The website listing says that this tea has been picked from 'the finest leaves, buds and flowers picked early in the morning to ensure freshness of aroma and flavour'.
As soon as you open the packet, you get a lovely, strong Jasmine smell.  We also had a pleasant surprise, as we were expecting leaf tea but instead we got Jasmine pearls.

We were much more excited about the pearls.  It's a sign of a good quality Jasmine tea, plus it's fun watching them uncurl in the hot water. 

Again, we followed the brewing instructions and used water at 95C, waiting for 3 to 4 minutes until the tea had brewed.  There was a bit of mixed feeling about this. For Charlotte, the tea wasn't strong enough, so she put the pearls back in for another couple of minutes.

The tea was a nice golden colour when brewed, and as with the Rose tea, it gave a very clean, fresh taste.  It kept its Jasmine aroma and flavour well and didn't get bitter as it got stronger.  It was a nice quality Jasmine tea that all of us would be happy to drink again.  It was easily the favourite for all three of us, as it looked, smelled and tasted lovely.  It's also very reasonably priced for a Jasmine tea so I'm sure we'll be buying it in the future.  
Overall, the teas were very good quality and we'd all be interested in trying more of their range.   It was disappointing that there was no information about the teas on the boxes.  Without this, there isn't really anything apart from the nice packaging to single them out over other teas on a shop shelf.  We didn't even know the Jasmine tea was in pearls until we opened the packet.  We'd really like to see the information from the website printed on the boxes, as they have been so selective about their teas it's a real selling point for them. 
If you'd like to try any of the range, In Nature Teas are available from their website and in certain branches of Whole Foods, Fresh and Wild, Nutri Centres and Tesco.

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