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Family, News
Like most small businesses, we’ve been hit hard by Coronavirus.

Most of our sales come from coffee shops, restaurants and bars that are currently closed.  These commercial customers will be suffering enormously; despite the measures put in place to support businesses through this crisis, many won’t survive, and that’s tragic for the people that have put blood, sweat and tears into growing their passion into businesses. Or in our case, blood, sweat and tea.

We have loads of loyal customers who buy our tea for themselves, or for their friends and family.  Like pretty much everyone else, they are having a tough time now.  They’ll be worrying about their own health and finances, and those of their friends and family.  Many have responded by buying even more tea – there aren’t many pleasures left right now, really, so why wouldn’t they? –  and we’re super grateful to them for doing so.

But above and beyond our customer-base, our hearts go out to the millions of people who have been affected by this virus.  Indeed, we too have had some Coronavirus health scares, and scary they most certainly were.  It hammered home, first-hand, the stark reality for people working in the NHS, putting themselves and their families at risk to help those in need, without the protection they deserve, underfunded and stretched to the limits.  And it’s not just doctors and nurses; it’s the delivery drivers, the cleaners, the pharmacists, the retail staff and supply chain, the teachers, the police…  Essential workers, many formerly regarded as ‘unskilled workers’ of course and made to feel unwelcome on our shores until the penny (or the virus) dropped.

So, what are we doing about it?  There’s only so much a little business like ours can do.  Some of the major tea brands have donated millions of teabags to the NHS, and that is terrific.  Their profits will no doubt take a bit of a hit, it’s a lovely gesture they didn’t need to make, and their contribution will be gratefully received by those on the front line, so a big thumbs up from us.  Many other businesses and members of the public are doing their bit too, from redirecting their production lines to make PPE and ventilators, to donating their cash to the support the NHS. It’s all very admirable and shows the high esteem in which the nation holds the NHS (although not everyone. Real high esteem would be equipping them appropriately, paying them what they’re worth, not merrily voting down payrises and leaving it to 99 year old veterans walking around their garden to top up the coffers. But that’s for another time…)

So, what we’re doing is a) trying to avoid going under and b) giving our customers the chance to say thanks, with our personalised ‘Brew for a Hero’ gift and c) donating the profits from this product to the NHS. It’s not going to make much difference, frankly, but it’s a gesture, and if having a special cup of tea from a loved one makes people feel a bit better, then we’ll drink to that. And we’re dropping off a few caddies to some of the Essential Workers in our area, to give them our personal thanks too.

Some day, this will be over and we’ll be in a new norm. No-one knows what that will look like, but whatever it is, we very much plan to be around to help everyone rebuild it.  Until then, stay safe and well and thanks for buying Twist.

Twist fans will know that we’re not averse to adding a special ingredient or two to give our blends an extra functional ingredient.  Caffeine-rich yerba mate in Breakfast Boost has made it one of our best sellers since we started our journey in the tea-biz, for example.

But for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to find something really special to add that bit of magic and sparkle.  We had a yet-to-launch black tea with raspberry and chocolate waiting in the wings, so set our Master Tea Blender to work and after a few days of genius alchemy, we had a solution.


Damiana? What’s that, we hear you ask? It might be pretty much unknown here in the UK, but ask the indigenous cultures of Central and South America what it’s all about and they’d have a smirk on their face, a twinkle in the eye and, well, who knows what else happening below the belt. 

Because, for centuries, they’ve sworn by it as an aphrodisiac (as well as a general health tonic).   So, among the delicious ingredients of our Raspberry Choc Kiss is a touch of damiana.  What’s not to like about that?  And, new for 2020,  you can create a personalised caddy of this or any other blend,with the name of the love of your life and our special heart-shaped logo, with our new With Love From Me To Brew gift. 

Of course, like so many claims for natural remedies, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support such claims, but little in the way of actual scientific evidence.  You know, from proper doctors with letters after their names and everything. So, we’re making no guarantees. However, what we do know that this blend is absolutely delicious and if it turns out to be the perfect cup of tea for Valentine’s Day, that’s even better! At the very least, it will show the person receiving it that you fancy more than just a sit down and nice cup of tea… (wink wink)

Book Reviews

If there’s one thing that unites us here at Twist, it’s a good book. Well, that and a good brew, obviously.

Whether curling up on the sofa, crashing out on a sunlounger or making the commute a touch more bearable, a book and a brew makes for a happy Twister.

So, we thought we’d combine these two loves by sharing some reviews of our favourite books. And, of course, suggesting which of our lovely brews would put a Twist In the Tale. 

If you’re like us, tweet or insta a photo of your book and a Twist tea, and we’ll share it  on our social media.  Use the hashtag #TwistInTheTale, or namecheck us in your post to make sure we see it. So, read on while we read on. Enjoy.


Family, News

Whether it was customised Quality Street tins, made-to-measure kit kats, or bespoke Marmite jars, one of the big trends this Christmas was personalised products. And, crikey was that the case here at Twist, when our new Supercaddybaggytwisted personalised tea caddy absolutely flew off the shelves.

What can be better than Twist Tea? Twist Tea in a caddy with your name on it, that’s what. We thought we were on to a winner here, but were really chuffed when the Mirror listed it as their top Food & Drink Gift for Christmas, and friend of the brand, broadcaster and journalist James Delingpole bigged it up on his vlog.

The result? Loads of orders, and lots more people tucking in to Twist Tea! Customers told us they loved the idea of demonstrating that some thought has gone in to the gifts they’re giving. We had:
• Customers giving them to members of their teams at work, to say thanks
• Parents giving them to their children’s teachers
• Business owners giving them to their most valued clients
• … and Twist fans just giving them to friends and family to say ‘Happy Christmas’

It’s not our first dalliance with personalisation, of course. Our four-pack and six-pack Pick & Mix selection boxes have gone down a treat for a while, and of course our popular Twist Tea Club lets members choose whichever blend they like each month, so no two subscriptions are the same.

The popularity of Supercaddybaggytwisted contributed to a really great Christmas for Twist. Yes, we’re still grafting all hours and yes, it’s bloomin’ hard work! But, word is getting out there and we’re really excited for what’s in store for 2020.

We love hearing from Twist Customers about what we’re doing well, and what we could do better. We love seeing your photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We love when a coffee shop decides to replace the bog-standard brands you can pick up in Tesco – you know, the ones that look all cutesy like they’re handmade but are really owned by global multinational conglomerates – with little old Twist.

Because, like Supercaddybaggytwisted, for us it’s personal.


Events, Family, News
No cameras please!  Speak to our agent!  Have your people speak to our people!
Pretty sure that’s how it works now we’re big time celebrities after our prime-time interview on the radio last week, on the BBC 3 Counties Radio lunchtime show. 

Okay, that’s a little tongue in cheek, but forgive us for feeling quite excited as we were invited onto the Nick Coffer show to have a tea tasting and tell the story of good ole Twist.  It’s funny how things pan out…  Nick and his producer Jonny found themselves at a colleague’s leaving party at a pub in Flamstead, Herts, pretty much halfway between the studio in Dunstable and Twist HQ in Harpenden.  This pub (The Spotted Dog, highly recommended) serves Twist, and our blends were really well received.  The show likes to talk to local brands, so we got the invite to do a tea tasting, live on the radio. Cool.

So, two of the three founders, Claire and Fraser (someone had to mind the shop back at base so Nicky got that particular short straw) headed off to studios armed with loads of blends and a kettle (which we left there – d’oh).  We were feeling fairly relaxed until a chat with producer Jonny just before we went on air, when he mentioned that the show gets about 100,000 listeners. So, no pressure there then.

So, how did it go?  Find out for yourself, here . We’re on from about 1hr 18mins, just after the Beach Boys. (A Beach Boys record, not them actually live in the studio, obvs.)

Family, News
You may have seen some unpleasant reports in the media about hidden plastic in teabags. Nasty stuff.
Rest assured, our teabags don’t contain any plastic at all, and haven’t, from day one. None. Nadda.

The survey – or, at least, the way its findings were reported, were rather misleading. It was conducted using  pyramid teabags made from nylon. Twist teabags however, and the string attached, are made from cornsilk, the little threads that come from the top of an ear of corn. Perfectly natural, no badness involved.

The tags are paper, and these get heat-sealed onto the string, so no glue required. And the teabags are sealed using ultrasound, which causes vibration and fusion as a result. Clever huh? This means that it’s all biodegradable – although this can take quite a while. Sam, who is husband/dad to Nicky and Claire, our mother/daughter founder combo, put some on his compost pile and it took three months to biodegrade. (And, when he went outside to show Nicky that they had nearly gone, she went off on one about the weeds elsewhere in the garden so he’s not tried it since in case it happens again.)

Instead, it’s best just to put them in your food waste and let your council deal with it, as their industrial waste systems have the right micro-organisms to help the process along. Our inner bags are made of Natureflex, which is compostable, so that can just be put in your compost bin.

Our boxes and labels are made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, and our caddies are made from tinplate and aluminium. So, if ever you decide to stop filling them with Twist Tea refills (which would be madness, why would you do that?!), they can be reused for storing buttons, pens, sweets, or failing that put out with your recycling.

Another way in which the media coverage was misleading was by suggesting that traditional tea bags are composed only of paper.  This is not actually the case, centuries ago in Ancient China paper was used to store tea and other luxurious materials. In fact paper was used as a form of wrapping before it was ever written upon. However, what you or I would consider traditional tea bags contain around 25% plastic, which is needed to fuse the material together, as this is done by heating the plastic so it melts and sticks together. Once again it is worth reiterating that this is not the case with our cornsilk teabags.

When we tell you our teabags are plastic free, this doesn’t mean that they’re plastic free… apart from that small bit of plastic that we hide in the small  print but don’t have to shout about… this means that there is absolutely no plastic at all in our teabags. No small percentages like some others… no traces, just NO PLASTIC!

So, the bottom line. Our tea tastes great, but doesn’t harm the environment either, so you can enjoy it absolutely guilt-free.

Family, News
A few months back, we submitted a few of our blends to the Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards.  The awards are judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists.

These folk know their onions – and their teas – so Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting by hundreds of judges.   

So, in addition to those that won awards last year (check them out here), here are the new blends that have shot to the top of the class.

Lemongrass & Coconut

This caffeine-free blend smells, tastes and looks stunning, and is delicious whether served hot or cold. (Or even when made into a jelly – check out our recipe here).  The judges said “A stunning blue colour, very unusual and novel, very fresh and lively with a hint of fruitiness and a strong lemon which give it a good balance. Intriguing for sure.” Aw, thanks judges!  Order Lemongrass & Coconut here.

Pure Rooibos

Pronounced ‘Roy-Boss’, this rich, nutty brew with a dark copper hue is naturally caffeine-free. According to the Great Taste Judges, it has a “nice bright smell with hints of vanilla and the liquor is a deep copper/amber colour. The aroma is lovely.” And they should know, right? Order Pure Rooibos here

Classic Earl

We’ve taken our popular Earl Great and given it more oomph by increasing the amount of high-grown Sri Lankan tea in each cup. Said the judges, “A bright, brisk and astringent base tea. Not a typical Earl Grey expression, almost jasmine-noted, but the overall feel was pleasing.” Order Classic Earl here

With Great Taste Awards regarded as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, we’re so chuffed to now have awards for 10 of our blends. Ultimately, our teas are all about taste and it’s for this, rather than branding and packaging, that these awards recognise. (The fact that our packaging is so lovely is just an added bonus.)

Winning awards is lovely, no doubt about it. But ultimately. we just create teas that we hope that our customers will love.  That, rather than gongs and medals, is what it’s all about. Chin chin!