Thursday, 30 July 2015

10 Terrifically Tasty Sweet Tea Flavours

Some days, today included, they really should just link me up to an IV drip of tea. I simply can't get by without the stuff - and it's a habit I'm not willing to break.

Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a good old-fashioned cup of English Breakfast (I believe that would still count as treason) but a combination of a thirst to explore, a sweet tooth and continually forgetting to buy milk has led me to start yearning for some tasty flavoured teas instead.

I've reviewed flavoured teas in the past, and it's become clear that the fastest way to my heart is through a warm cup of the sweeter flavoured teas, (the fruity and herby ones just don't seem to do it for me - they're too goody-two-shoes healthy for my liking) so I've been on the hunt for the most indulgent and naughty-sounding sweet tea flavours I can find. Here's 10 of my favourites:

1. Birthday Cake Tea, £4.95 (50g pouch - 35 cups) from Bluebird Tea Company

YES THAT'S RIGHT. I'm starting with an absolute corker - the genius idea of making tea taste like cake.

The Bluebird guys combine rooibos tea (that's the natural, caffeine-free one with all the health benefits - so birthday cake tea is healthy, ner) with things like almond pieces, mallow flowers and cake sprinkles.

This gives it a cheeky, indulgent cake taste with barely any calories at all! I've got a feeling it'll be my birthday every day from now on...

2. Coconut Tea, £4.50 (100g box - 70 cups) from The Proper Tea Company 

A large-leaf, aromatic Black China tea which has been infused with coconut and comes with pieces of coconut for added coconutty goodness. A lovely tropical cup for a sunny day - and the Proper Tea guys make the very good suggestion of using it as a base for iced tea. Absolutely top stuff for summer.

3. Green and Chocolate Orange Tea, £4.95 for 75g, The Wee Tea Company

I absolutely adore this combination: you get the wonderful delicacy of Chinese Green tea (which, as I've said in my green tea review, is a brilliant concentration-booster and very healthy) mixed with a rich chocolatey-ness from cocoa peel and a zesty, uplifting finish from dried citrus.

I like that this isn't too 'in your face chocolate' so you get a hint of indulgence without feeling like it's cloying or overly rich - everything is really well balanced.

4. Almond Blossom Tea, £24 for 100 flowers (up to 100 cups) from The Rare Tea Company

This one really is a bit special. These are wonderfully cultivated flowers from Sierra Nevada, and they produce tea with a wonderfully aromatic, sweet, honeyed flavour.

You just need five of them to make a whole pot of tea - and you can refill the pot and re-infuse the flowers up to five times! A really decadent tea to sip all evening instead of wine if you're having a booze-free night but don't want to be bored silly - and much, much cheaper than most other drinks.

Obviously, it's quite pricey for the initial outlay (24 whole quid!) but it works out at around 20p per cup, and the Rare Tea guys have such a wonderful reputation I don't think I'd be disappointed. Definitely one on my wish list...

5. Pear Tatin white tea, £2.20 for 20 tea bags from The London Tea Company

As well as being a lovely 'dessert in a cup' type of tea (I love those), this is also a brilliant Fairtrade tea company, so you get to feel good while you drink it too.

Here, they've mixed fairtrade white tea with fairtrade ginger and 'the warm flavours of a pear tatin dessert', which I'm guessing is things like vanilla and... well, pears.

I imagine the ginger in this will make this even more appealing as we move into Autumn...

6. Chocolate and mint tea, £3.99 for 15 pyramid bags from Teapigs

Oh, I do love Teapigs. They really know how to nail a flavour combo, and here they've combined two of my absolute favourite things: peppermint tea (which is super good for my digestive health, and lovely after dinner) and ACTUAL CHOCOLATE CHIPS.

There's other flavourings and cacao nibs and what-not in there too - and guess what? It's only 3 CALORIES PER CUP! All the indulgence, none of the dieting. Winner.

Seeing as mint choc chip is my other half's favourite ice cream of all time, I think I'll have no issues convincing him we should splash out on a few boxes of this stuff.

7. Cinnamon tea, £3.60 per 125g from The Wiltshire Tea Company

I know none of you want to think about the nights drawing in and all the leaves falling off the trees and onto the railway lines and all the trains stopping and all the grey, grey despair of winter, but CONSIDER THIS: imagine if, after a hellish day of wintering, you could get home and have a steaming mug of sweet, cinnamon-laced tea to make all your troubles go away?

I think this sounds like a bloody brilliant idea myself, and the Wiltshire Tea guys have infused some lovely Chinese Ceylon Black tea with actual cinnamon bark and natural oil of cinnamon, so it's not going to be all fake-cinnamony either.

I also think this is not a bad price for such a lot of loose tea. That's plenty of cups to at LEAST get you through Autumn.

8. Hazelnut and Vanilla tea, £5.95 for 100g from High Teas

Sort of a bit like nutella tea but without the chocolate. Yes.

Actually, this really is a tasty combination - quite unexpectedly floral - and I imagine a cup of hazelnut and vanilla tea is absolutely perfect with an Italian or French pastry to nibble on the side.

The only downside is High Tea's website - you don't get a lot of information about the actual tea, but you do get a huge long essay about the history of hazelnut and vanilla pairings going all the way back to the Roman times. And they try to teach you a couple of words of Latin. 3/10 for web copy, 8/10 for tea flavours.

9. Cocoa and Chilli tea, £2.20 for 15 bags from Higher Living Herbs

When I was sent Higher Living teas to review last year, this was called 'sweet chilli' tea, and was the flavour I was least excited about. I had visions of drinking a brew of watery sweet chilli dipping sauce, and I was NOT feeling it.

But oh my giddy aunt, good golly Miss Molly and good heavens Miss Evans. It's the smoothest, most delectable blend of softly fiery chilli and ginger with creamy, chocolatey cocoa and warm fennel and cinnamon.

It really is a delight, and is my tip-top tea for autumn sipping. I buy it again and again for a reason.

10. Sticky Toffee tea, £6 for 100g from Whittards

Of course they did.

But it's not all fake toffee and sickly sweetness - this is black tea with caramelised macadamia nuts, a little sugar and some flavouring.

Not the most natural of the teas I've shown you, no, but come on - it's sticky toffee flavoured tea from a very decent tea-making company. It's good stuff.

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