Our ambition at Twist Teas is to continually reduce our impact on the environment, and we are pleased to be taking another step forward by changing our tissue paper and ribbon – used for gift wrapping – to compostable materials.
Our gift-wrapped Twist Teas are popular with socially responsible shoppers: either personalised presents for loved ones; corporate gifts for employees and customers; or delightful surprises nestled in luxury gift hampers.
Gift wrapping is a central tenet of gift giving, creating a special and very personal experience for the recipient. At Twist Teas we put a lot of care into our gift wrapping because we know how much our customers enjoy receiving a handwritten note, pulling the bow of their ribbon and hearing the rustle of tissue paper as they reveal their favourite tea…and now they can do it in the knowledge that there is no harm to our planet.
The lovely tissue paper and ribbon – once reused – can be put into your council food waste for composting. An improvement by us to make your gift giving and receiving an even more pleasurable experience.
We’ve reduced our carbon footprint so far by making all our packaging recyclable and compostable.
We’re planning to be on Santa’s ‘environmental’ list next year as we further reduce our packaging waste and use paper tape instead of sellotape for gift wrapping during 2021.
Did you know that in ancient China, 2,000 years ago, tea leaves and other precious materials were wrapped in paper to protect them? In fact, we used paper for wrapping before we used it for writing!
If you’d like to find some wonderfully innovative and eco-friendly ways of wrapping your gifts by reusing unexpected household items, visit the campaign page for Mind the Wrap.
And, speaking of gifts, we’ve given our gift section a makeover – just in time for Valentine’s Day…get shopping.
Our recommended tea to accompany Love in Colour: Raspberry Choc Kiss
Love is in the air; it’s February and St Valentine is amongst us. This month it seems only appropriate to choose a book and a brew that gets the pulse racing for Twist Tea’s latest review. Love in Colour is an anthology of love stories, each based on mythology and folklore retold in a contemporary setting by Bolu Babalola. Taking an old idea and giving it a modern twist: now that sounds like a familiar concept at Twist Teas!
First Impression: Is it wrong to admit I chose this book because of its cover?
The front illustration is just gorgeous. It gives a much-needed injection of colour at this sometimes-gloomy time of year.
Short story collections are not usually my first choice, as there often doesn’t seem enough time to form an attachment with any of the characters. The protagonists in Love in Colour possess a god or goddess-like perfection and it is impossible to imagine a stray hair or a pimple among them. With my currently unkempt hair I would normally find it difficult to feel an affinity for such flawlessness. Despite this, I found myself urging them to succeed, to win their battle, to unite with their soulmate and to live happily ever after.
My favourite story was that of Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul. In her version, Bolu transports Psyche 1900 years into the future and reimagines her as an ambitious career woman about to pitch an idea to earn herself promotion. Working for a women’s magazine, modern Psyche has her every idea and effort thwarted by Venus, her jealous and vindictive manager. Fortunately, handsome and loyal Eros has her back as she risks it all professionally.
The verdict: Love in Colour offers the reader a dose of pure escapism. It demands that you switch off the news, Facebook and Instagram and allow yourself to be transported to lush, tropical destinations we can currently only dream of.
The Twist: A book this lavishly written should be complemented by a tea of equal sophistication. In my mind there is only one blend up for the job: a cup of Twist Tea’s Raspberry Choc Kiss. This tea is a heady combination of Sri Lankan and Chinese black tea, with the tartness of raspberry, the fragrance of rose petals and a subtle hint of hot chocolate. And just when you think it can’t get any better, there is also a touch of Damiana in this blend, a herb believed to be an aphrodisiac by some indigenous Central and South American cultures.
Written by Nicky Kavanaugh, Founder and Director of Twist Teas
In our collection we have two delicious blends for lovers of Earl Grey. Our Classic Earl and a very special blend with all the Earl Grey tea benefits, plus an extra ‘twist’, we’ve called Earl Great! It includes some fantastic extra ingredients you’re going to want to hear about. Although Sri Lankan black tea makes up the majority of our Earl Great blend at 73%, in this post we focus on the health benefits of two of the ingredients – Ginkgo biloba and Gotu Kola – which have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Earl Grey tea benefits
A tree native to China, Ginkgo biloba leaves have been used for the past thousand years in natural Chinese medicine. And for good reason!
- Antioxidant Concentration
Ginkgo biloba has large amounts of flavonoids which help to regulate cellular activity and eliminate free radicals. Flavonoids are said to help prevent cancer and provide anti-inflammatory benefits by inhibiting inflammatory pathways to the brain. This anti-inflammatory inhibition can reduce the effects of other issues such as arthritis, bowel problems, heart disease and stroke.
Ginkgo biloba helps to improve circulation which provides additional fantastic benefits. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and other undiscovered reasons, it was used historically by the Chinese to increase blood flow to organs and muscles to help with healing. Nowadays, improved circulation can be associated with reducing HDL (bad) cholesterol and a whole host of other benefits.
Again, native to China as a historical medicine, Gotu Kola has been used as natural way to increase brain function, skin health and organ function.
- Helping to ease anxiety
It has been suggested that Gotu Kola is able to regulate the activity of neurotransmitters due to its asiatic acid content. Asiatic acid can help ease symptoms of anxiety and act as a calming agent.
- Supporting good circulation
Similar to Ginkgo biloba, it can improve blood circulation. It does this by inhibiting fatty plagues within blood vessels allowing easier transport of blood around the body helping with issues such as venous insufficiency and other circulatory diseases.For true fans of Earl Grey, add the tea to your recipes, such as Earl Grey loaf, shortbread and Earl Grey Cake. And if you fancy trying our delicious Earl Great tea with its amazing ingredients choose either Earl Grey tea bags or loose leaf tea and get brewing!
The sleep-inducing benefits of Chamomile tea are well known across the world. Our exciting new blend, Sleep is made up of 64% Chamomile combined with rose petals, lemon balm, hops, mallow flowers, valerian and lavender.
Chamomile comes from the daisy flowers, a member of the Asteraceae family of plants, where its flowers are dried and steeped in water. It will certainly get you yawning in the evenings! Chamomile has been used as a natural remedy for many generations, particularly, in improving sleep quality and is one of the world’s most popular herbal teas.
Let’s consider some of the fantastic health benefits of Chamomile before you drift off!
1. Sleep-inducing benefits
2. May be beneficial for sufferers of diabetes
Initial research indicates that Chamomile has been shown to help regulate glycaemic control, helping those with either type of diabetes and helping blood lipid profiles, by decreasing HbA1C. Although, more research is needed on this, it is definitely worth a try.
3. May aid your digestion
Digestion health is much more important than most people consider. Research suggests that Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, and particularly helps with soothing the stomach with symptoms such as nausea or gas. It has also been suggested that Chamomile reduces bacteria growth and acidity in the stomach, lessening the chance of ulcer development. Although these are early findings in research, it might just do the trick!
Chamomile is rich in flavones which are a great antioxidant. Flavones are suggested to help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, allowing easier transport of blood around the body, reducing stress on the heart.
5. Potential Anti-Cancer properties
Apigenin is not only useful for sleep but has also been reported to fight off cancerous cells, helping to reduce cancer’s progression.¹
Chamomile is certainly a great herb and even better tea, now I’m off for a nice, long nap – I can definitely see why we call it Sleep – sweet dreams!
All health content on the Twist Teas’ website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider.
Our recommended tea to accompany The Lost Man: Lemongrass and Coconut
January and February are my least favourite months in the UK. Christmas is over, the weather is unrelentingly grey, damp and cold, the days are still short, and spring is a long way in the future. To top it all off, January 2021 sees us once more in a hard lockdown due to Covid-19. Wrapping up and hibernating inside with a good book and a cup of tea seems like the only sensible thing to do!
The Lost Man provides escapism from January-itis in spades. Set in rural Queensland amid searing summer heat, buzzing flies and the ever-present danger of death by dehydration, snakebite or spider bite, a man from a remote farming community has died suddenly and brutally.
First Impression: I was completely hooked by this book before the end of the first chapter. Jane Harper’s amazing prose easily enables the reader to imagine the taste of dust in their mouth, feel the blistering heat from the sun, and sense the growing dread that all is not as it should be for the central characters as they struggle to come to terms with Cameron Bright’s death.
One key theme to The Lost Man is that of isolation. Farms in this region of Australia lie across vast tracts of land, often covering several thousand hectares each, with the closest major cities located thousands of kilometres away. Even popping over to the closest neighbour necessitates considerable planning and a lengthy drive. Flooding can completely cut these properties off from one another, requiring them to always have emergency supplies on hand.
Does the thought of feeling isolated sound familiar? Unfortunately, isolation has become commonplace during lockdown this past year. People have felt cut-off from loved ones, friends, even from medical help and there have been concerns about grocery supplies. So how can we stay positive during this time? While it is difficult to plan too far ahead with so much uncertainty, we can still make time to enjoy simple pleasures such as a lovely cup of tea and a fabulous new book. It’s all about the little things right now, isn’t it?
The verdict: Read it! And then read Jane Harper’s other books. The first I read was Force of Nature, followed quickly by The Dry. I am eagerly awaiting her latest, The Survivors, to be released later this month.
The Twist? Although I’m guessing that no-nonsense farming people would prefer a straightforward brew such as Twenty Four Seven, in the spirit of dry January, I recommend that the Bright family try a Twist Tea cold brew, made with chilled water. The blue of Lemongrass and Coconut would contrast nicely with the red soil while the all-natural ingredients would completely refresh them. Don’t forget the ice!
Written by Nicky Kavanaugh, Founder and Director of Twist Teas
Our recommended tea to accompany this book: Classic Earl
Skål to author, TV presenter and former model, Caroline Fleming! Cook Yourself Happy is a wonderfully wholesome immersion into the Danish lifestyle, peppered with childhood memories, insights into the culture, traditions and history of this proud Nordic country.
If you collect cookbooks to bring a bit of colour, life and fusion to your family cooking, you’ll absolutely love this book.
First impression: I’m a highly visual person and was drawn by the texture, warmth and distinctly Scandinavian hygge feel of the photography and layout. Portions are modest, nourishing and simply presented. The photographs of Caroline’s childhood home and local haunts provide an engaging context to her warm and lovingly-told food story.
Recipes: What I like most about the recipes is the wholesome connection to nature and the local environment, and how much I learned about the country through the recipes. Denmark is a seafaring nation and while many of the dishes are bursting with fish and shellfish ingredients, Caroline includes the traditionally harvested produce, meat and cheese specialities, as well as foraged ingredients such as mushrooms, blueberries, cherries, apples and nettles in her recipes. These are carefully balanced recipes including light meals, soups and open sandwiches (a firm part of everyday Danish life), salads, meat, fish and vegetarian main courses, desserts, bread, bakes – even healthy candy(yes, really!) and drinks.
I rate a cookbook on how many recipes I want to try immediately when I first page through it – this book scores a 10+. I love the twists on some of the old favourites such as apple cake (served in jars with macaroons and cream!); the food bread – it is absolutely delicious – and Caroline’s carrot salad – wow.
Ethos: I have a dear Danish friend, Jette, and have enjoyed many a noisy, fun, warm and hearty meal with her and her family, so I found it very easy to relate to the ethos of Cook Yourself Happy. I recognise the feeling that Caroline explains so well. The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of the home and the act of cooking is an expression of love. Recipes handed down through the generations make you think of family and friends when you use them: I covet Jette’s mum’s oat ball biscuits recipe I was given one Christmas – Caroline’s version of Vanilla and Oat Cookies are reminiscent of these – and I genuinely salivate when I think about Jette cooking the Danish way to cook pork: I couldn’t stop eating it either!
The Twist: As a Twist Teas lover, perhaps the sweetest surprise of all, was finding a recipe at the very end of the book for iced tea I hadn’t come across before. It combines Earl Grey, lemons and sugar. It is wonderful. A super addition to my cookbook shelf – but also a beautiful way to learn about the Kingdom of Denmark. Thank you, Caroline.