We Are Tea infusions
Review by Iain P W Robertson
While I am Scottish by descent and, therefore, I am a coffee drinker by rote, living in Englandshire has given me a taste for the national drink, tea. While I am not a Yorkshire Tea traditionalist… sturdy enough to stand the spoon upright… I do resort to a milk first, tea-pot infused beverage.
To be frank, I think that we have all been assaulted by a seemingly endless array of different tea types over the years, which have included all manner of frightening fruit and floral varieties, very few of which actually have much to do with the genuine tea-bush. However, while ‘tea’ was undergoing a rebirth around twenty years ago, I have to accept that its modernisation and the largely successful attempts to make tea trendy have worked.
We Are Tea is a company that celebrates the magnificence of a truly refreshing and enervating drink. Its origins are recent, dating back to the opening of its tea shop, in 2007, in the lea of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Although the shop no longer exists, the desire for the company to promote only the finest leaf teas remains a priority.
Entirely opposed to the crush, tear and curl methods of producing tea, by treating whole leaf tea gently, it retains its essential oils and the fuller, more complex flavours that differentiate one plantation and location from the next. As a result, while the company does sell loose leaf teas (in refillable caddies), its teabags are designed to ensure that proper infusion takes place to ensure only the highest quality and most fulfilling flavours result.
We bought a selection of its latest offerings from Sainsbury’s, although Ocado also stocks it, among a host of other quality retailers. Sold under an ‘everday tea’ handle, Svelte (in the pink bag) incorporates yerba mate, ginger, dandelion, nettle, fennel and seaweed. Infused for around three minutes, the colour is a gorgeous golden yellow, with excellent clarity and a deliciously rounded flavour, with just a hint of liquorice (due to the fennel) and a clean ‘bite’ from the ginger and nettle.
The orange pack contains another 12 pyramid bags under the Glow name (suggesting that it is good for the complexion). This time, the blend includes mixed red berries, a drop of calendula, Echinacea, some more nettle and dandelion as well as pink petals. The infused colour is reddish-brown and it is again very clear, possessing a lightly floral aroma and a rich fruit flavour that is enhanced by around a four minutes infusion period.
Finally, the Soothe tea (yellow pack, intended for tummy relief) contains fennel, chamomile, lemon verbena, holy basil, mint and ginger. Brewed for around four minutes, it releases a delightfully complex aroma, with a lovely blend of warm flowers. Its clear golden fluid tastes warming and is remarkably settling with consumption, with the merest hint of mint resting on the palate.
At almost 30p a cup, or mug, this class of speciality tea demands to be appreciated but, created in such a satisfyingly careful and loving way, you can almost feel the blender’s hug with every enjoyable sip.
We Are Tea (RRP £3.49/12 x pyramid) teabags area available from most good retailers. For more information, please visit www.wearetea.com