With over 150 million cups of tea drunk in Britain daily, you might be surprised to learn there isn’t a simple one set time for tea. We’ve taken up a Herculean task of untangling the various moments when one can enjoy a cuppa into a loose-defined 8 times for tea in a day.
Read on for a small insight into a tradition that is considered an inseparable part of British cultural heritage.
The tea to start your day with – English breakfast tea is often a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan black teas although the blends vary.
The practice of drinking tea for breakfast has – somewhat surprisingly – originated in America in the 1840s, as coined by tea merchant Mr Richard Davies who was the first to use the base of Congou (black Chinese Tea) with the addition of Pekoe (black Sri Lankan tea) and Pouchong (light Oolong variety) in his favourite time for tea.
The blend was then carried back to the UK by the Scottish merchants and popularised in England thanks to Queen Victoria who acquired the taste for it at her holiday home of Balmoral, Scotland.
In Ireland, the blend tends to be stronger, thanks to higher Assam content and is enjoyed with plenty of milk, often accompanied with an offering of breakfast treats.
Want to try the breakfast tea Twist Tea style? We love Breakfast Boost with its blend of finest Indian Assam black tea and Sri Lankan black tea with added functional benefit of yerba mate and Siberian ginseng. Thanks to the inclusion of the ginseng, you won’t get any jitteriness but at the same time plenty of energy from this wonderful blend.
Made popular recently by hobbits in Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, elevenses refers to a time for tea and a light snack taken at eleven in the morning. More than a snack itself, tea (such as Refresher Green) forms an essential part of this brief pause in the whirl of a day, providing a moment of calm and peace. The whole sencha green leaves in our green tea have none of the bitter aftertaste caused by smaller cut leaves and naturally extend the feeling of relaxation even after you’ve finished your cup.
Elevenses is, in fact, a time for tea so important, the concept has travelled well to other parts of Europe and further out into the world. In Sweden, fika is a mid-morning break, taken with tea or coffee and a slice of cake or a pastry.
Tea-drinking dates back to ancient China – the afternoon tea tradition is a rather recent invention by one Anna the seventh Dutchess of Bedford in the year 1840.
Meal times in the 1800s have not been spaced out to her liking and thus she has asked for a tray of cake, bread, butter, jam and tea to be brought to her room for her time for tea, in the late afternoon. Earl of Sandwich had a similar idea of putting a filling between two slices and naturally, the fashion of taking an afternoon tea took the society by a storm from then on.
If you’d like to start your own tradition, try Raspberry Choc Kiss – with pieces of cocoa, tart raspberries and fragrant rose petals, indulgent and delicious, yet with no sugar or sweeteners. A blend full of exquisite natural ingredients, adding a luxury feel to any afternoon time for tea.
According to a legend, the origins of cream tea can be traced to Tavistock Abbey in Devon. After being plundered and badly damaged by Vikings in the 11th century, the monks have fed the labourers restoring it a rich diet of strong tea served with a side of bread with clotted cream and strawberry preserve during their time for tea.
The counties of Somerset, Cornwall and Sussex will all contest this origins story as they all claim the tradition started with them.
Modern-day cream tea is often considered an institution with standard rules: the cream is always clotted, the jam (or preserve) better be strawberry and the scones must be freshly made. The pot of tea is hot and plentiful and additional cakes may be offered, such as Victoria Sponge.
The great Cornwall – Devon debate is over the order in which you assemble your scones: cream then jam or the other way around?
Whichever you prefer, cream tea is a wonderful summer tradition, found all across the West Country. For a delicious Twist Tea variation, try Afternoon Perks which delivers a light energy boost with its light-bodied blend of Ceylon and Darjeeling black teas, perfect for drinking all day, whenever you’d like a time for tea.
After the industrial revolution, afternoon tea signified a social event for upper classes, while traditional high tea was a necessary time for tea and a full meal at the end of a day – to some extent this version is still popular in Scotland and parts of Northern England.
The clever blend of Sri Lankan black tea with functional gingko biloba to boost mental performance and complemented by notes of bergamot and orange blossom, Earl Great goes well with any meal at high tea.
The humble tea break is a firmly established time for tea in the British history, beginning in the 1780s during the height of the industrial expansion.
The workers in factories often put in excruciatingly long hours and sustained themselves with strong sugary tea as a stimulant of choice. The tea was cheap, easy to prepare and suited a time for tea during the short breaks allowed.
Such was the passion for tea breaks that in WWII, all British armoured vehicles have been equipped with a boiling vessel so that the team can enjoy a fresh cup of tea.
Nowadays, office planners have to consider including a breakout area, for that all important time for tea – a cuppa to collect your thoughts and socialise with your colleagues. We like to chat over a cup of naughty-and-nice Mint Humbug, a caffeine-free blend of rooibos and mint, perfect for those moments when we crave a sweet treat. Full of natural ingredients, with no sugar or artificial sweeteners, this is the one pud we can’t get enough.
In Spain, sobremesa is something to delight in and enjoy. While literal translation means ‘over the table’ the full definition is a bit longer. It’s a time after a meal, spent in conversation, socialising, relaxing and digesting.
Often accompanied by further drinks, one can take pleasure in light herbal tea infusion, such as our After Eat blend with refreshing peppermint and delicious cocoa – you’ll give your digestion a helping hand whilst providing you with a satisfying ‘dessert’ option. All natural cocoa makes this blend sweet and satisfying without added sugar or sweeteners, perfect for the after-dinner time for tea.
A good sleep is essential for our health. The studies have shown the importance of winding down after a day by practising simple evening rituals that will aid relaxation and contentment. One of these rituals is mindfully making time for tea – the preparation and enjoyment of a soothing cup of tea.
Whilst the green tea has been enjoying a bit of a spotlight thanks to the presence of L-theanine – that can help with focus and cognitive function- we are big fans of Chamomile Yawn, the soothing blend of whole chamomile heads, lemon balm, rose, lavender and valerian, the functional herbs proven to help you unwind and relax.
Whether you take yours with biscuits, cakes, between breakfast and lunch or post-dinner, we have a tea to suit every time for tea, mood and moment. Furthermore, for a taste of something completely unique, get in touch and we will prepare a blend according to your requests.
Did you know? There are around 3,000 types of tea, which is why it’s the most popular drink in the world, second to water. So you can imagine how many different words for tea there are in use today.
Here at Twist, we offer 24 “Blends With Benefits” so in the spirit of discovery, we decided to look at different words for tea and their origins.
For each of the differerent words for tea, we’ve even created a pretty shareable quote so feel free to post them on your social channels using #TwistTeas.
In the meantime, put on the kettle, grab a slice of cake or a biscuit and enjoy!
Tea is one of the British cultural staples, as much as rain or red telephone boxes.
The origins of the tea-drinking tradition date back to the Han dynasty emperors in ancient China in the 2nd century BC. China is also considered to have the earliest known records of the word for tea, te, dating back to the 8th century AD.
Once a luxury for the upper classes, modern day tea can be enjoyed with or without milk, in the palaces or in your kitchen.
To create the perfect tea, brew a cup of Breakfast Boost to get you up and running in the morning.
The origins of chai hark back to ancient Persia and describe a drink flavoured by a sacred combination of bitter leaves, spices and honey.
It was in India where chai really took off as a drink of choice on hot and cold days. Traditionally a family pot would always be ready with an individual recipe, producing a warm soothing cup, serving as a natural digestif and improving one’s day from the first sip.
We have many delicious flavours but the one we keep coming back to is Sweet Chai of Mine.
There isn’t much in the world that can’t be improved with a nice cuppa. First recorded in 1925, it almost always is followed by ‘tea’ unless you’re in the US where ‘cawfee’ or ‘joe’ is not unheard of.
A cuppa gives just enough time to take a break and catch up on the recent happenings with a good friend.
For a tea as versatile as the word it describes, we reach for Choffee Mint – tea, coffee, hot chocolate and mint, all in one cuppa.
Spoken at one time all across the East-end of London, cockney rhyming slang was the language equivalent of a well-brewed cup of rosy lee – complex, full of character and completely unique.
Amongst the different words for tea, the origins of this example of cockney rhyming slang aren’t quite clear, howerver we can confidently say it doesn’t derive from the name of the burlesque dancer Gypsy Rosy Lee. The expression, known in print since 1925, pre-dates her working life.
‘Say it with flowers’ some say – or you can say it with a lovely cup of our Passionfruit & Rose blend.
Although Germanic in origin and dating back to the 500 BC, brewwana eventually made its way to England and over the centuries evolved into the word we all know and love.
A good brew up is for those occasions when the family comes over, together with a cake or at least a tin of biscuits. Whilst the leaves are steeping in hot water, all matters can be discussed and the world put to rights.
Be sure to have a caddy of Afternoon Perks next time the family visits, giving a nice lift to those afternoons.
Unbelievably, the word for builders referring to tea was only first recorded in 1996! Although legend has it that it’s been in use conversationally for many years before that.
Taking inspiration from the materials they work with, builders tea is characteristically very strong, with a dash of milk to make it more akin to a redbrick, sweetened to preference (often not at all!).
The importance of a sturdy mug to hold it in cannot be underestimated, and our Twenty Four Seven is the perfect brew for the job. Hard hats are optional!
So how did you like our words for tea? Did we miss any? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Whether you enjoy a cuppa or a good old-fashioned builders, here at Twist Teas, we’ve got a tea to suit every mood, time of the day or season. And if we don’t – we welcome all suggestions to create new and exciting blends!
We’ve recently been putting on our very best wellies and hanging out with the good folk at the swanky Soho Farmhouse in the Cotswolds. Here’s the story…
One of the Pilates teachers at Soho Farmhouse, Chloe Hodgson, is a massive fan of Twist. She was running a Pilates course at Soho Farmhouse, and happened to take her stash of Twist with her. Like so many others, she just can’t function without it! She got talking with various members of staff, who quickly became enamoured with it too. She left some samples of tea with them, and next thing you know, we get an email saying that they LOVED it, and wanted to stock it in their deli:
“Refresher Green is incredible, it is the first green tea I have ever been able to drink, let alone enjoy, I absolutely love it, I am addicted.”
With Twist now on the shelves of the Soho Farmhouse Deli, we were asked to go along and showcase our blends at their Farmers Market. It was absolutely wonderful to meet so many members, and even more wonderful that they couldn’t get enough of our blends. Which went down the best? Probably our Puds Without Sin range, they were incredulous that the blends could be so delicious yet not contain any added sugar or sweeteners. Little wonder caddies of individual blends and the Puds Without Sin Selection Box flew off the
shelves rustic farm table, while we got loads of orders for our bespoke Pick & Mix Selection Boxes.
Get free delivery on any of our selection boxes here (UK only).
We loved being there – and Soho Farmhouse clearly loved having us, as shortly afterwards, the events manager asked us to do a tea tasting session for some bloggers who were being hosted by the super health and beauty brand Birchbox. Sure, we said – so armed with a load of loose leaf tea, our specialist tasting equipment, and lots of bon homie, we set up in a pretty space just by the main barn.
We were delighted that the bloggers really liked the tea and have said plenty of kind things about us on their social media channels. Hooray! They were all lovely; Thank you @livpurvis, @wonderful_u, @alex_cameron, @wishwishwish, @rachelhumphrey82, @meganellaby and @fellaby for joining us!
We’re talking to the Soho Farmhouse events team about doing more member tastings, so we won’t put our wellies back in the cupboard just yet…
It’s been a busy month here at Twist HQ, as our first Christmas approaches. Our range of Christmas products has gone down a storm, while our core range continues to get more and more fans as word gets out.
Saturday saw us do our bit for the community by supporting our local Primary School’s Christmas Fair. We donated loads of tea to the cafe, which was selling a truly impressive range of homemade cakes, that’s for sure. We will confess to going a little overboard on the cakes ourselves – so it was lucky that the Twist stall was right next to the lovely Louise Condon from Jump ‘n’ Juice. She’s a personal trainer with a great online fitness/health/wellness regime that is great value at only a fiver a month and seems to get great results. We’re going to be subscribing to work off the Christmas excesses!
It was lovely to meet so many customers at the fair, many we knew by name having seen their orders online but we’d not met. Hearing which teas they liked and, why, was super – certainly makes it all worthwhile when a customer says our tea is the best they have ever tasted. And we met loads of new customers who were not familiar with us, but after a sniff of our lovely blends and a few tasters, they’ve joined the ranks of Twist fans. It was interesting that around half of those who bought teas were doing so for themselves, half were buying gifts for friends and family – the Selection Boxes were incredibly popular in this regard. We’ve got another fair coming up next week, the Harpenden Collective Christmas Pop Up, so here’s hoping to meeting more potential Twist fans there!
The highlight of the day? Without doubt, a message on facebook from one of the elves manning (elving?) the queue to Santa’s grotto:
“Santa enjoyed two cups of Twist Teas today and they kept his spirits up out in the chilly grotto! … I think it’s now on his Christmas list (if anyone remembers to get Santa a pressie!)”
An A-list celebrity endorsement if ever there was one. Merry Twistmas!
Here at Twist, we don’t like standing still. So, no sooner had we launched our website back in September, preparations were underway to enhance our product range with some new products to help create Christmas with a Twist in the houses of our customers, their friends and families.
And what’s more, many of these products are a direct result of feedback from our customers, which makes them all the more special.
“Your teas look amazing, but I don’t which to choose” you said. “Leave it with us”, we said.
And lo and behold, our Tasting Menu was born: one caddy, sixteen different teabags, one heck of a great way to try out the whole range. It’s been super-popular, both as a treat for customers and an innovative gift for their friends.
“Your teas make GREAT presents – do you do any gift sets?” you said. “On it”, we said.
And thus were born our Selection Boxes, in which our tea sommelier carefully curates four or six teas that work really well together. Absolutely Minted brings together (you guessed it) four minty teas, from our black tea, rooibos and herbal ranges. The caffeine-free Digestifs Selection Box is great after dinner, the Puds Without Sin Selection Box is perfect for some self-indulgence without the guilt, and the Fruit & Herbal and Black Tea Selection Boxes do exactly what it says on the tin. (That’s quite a nice turn of phrase. Wonder if anyone’s used it before?)
“I’d love to buy a big box of all my favourite brews” you said. “We’ve got you”, we said.
Everyone likes something made just for them, and that’s where our Pick & Mix Selection Boxes come in to their own. You choose which teas you’d like, whether you’d like loose leaf or teabags, and we create your own bespoke Selection Box with an elegant, personalised label on the caddy. These are flying off the shelves at the moment (not literally, that would make a right old mess of our stock room), as customers look for innovative, high quality, affordable gifts for friends and family, teachers, colleagues, employees and clients.
Finally, we couldn’t let Christmas pass without creating a couple of limited edition blends that are perfect for the festive season. So, check out Brewdolph and Mulled Wine – and get them while they’re hot!
Thanks so much for all your feedback, as without it we might not have created all these lovely products. Keep it coming, and enjoy!
We were delighted to support the recent Tyler’s Wonderland Ball, a fundraising event that raises funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The event is held in memory of local boy Tyler Reader, who passed away suddenly in November 2015 after developing Sepsis following what appeared to be a normal chest infection. Tyler suffered 6 cardiac arrests during his 8 hours in hospital care, passing away shortly before a heart-lung bypass could be performed.
Money raised on the evening contributes towards an initial fundraising total of £79,500, which will help provide Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Children’s Acute Transport Service with some of the vital equipment and training that they require in order to help treat severe cases like that of Tyler.
At Twist, we did our bit by donating a luxury tea hamper containing caddies and selection boxes worth over £150 to the raffle, and giving our micro-caddies to guests as going home gifts. We hope that our contribution helped and wish the charity all the best for its ongoing fund-raising endeavours.
We’re excited and proud to launch the Twist website. It’s been brewing for quite some time while we finesse the product range, but it’s now ready to go.
To celebrate the launch, we’re offering free delivery on your first order. No minimum order, no fuss. Just free delivery, simple as that. Just add ‘LAUNCHOFFER’ in the promotional code space on the order form and away you go.
We’d love to know what you think of our site in general, and our teas specifically. Logged-in customers can give their feedback on their favourite blends, so please do; if we know what you like, it will help us create more teas to bring a smile to your face.
It’s been a busy few months here at Twist. Much has happened since we last blogged, so here’s a bit of an update.
The feedback from our focus group in February reassured us that we were along the right lines with our product range and our branding. So, the next stage was to roll it out. Our design agency did a cracking job of designing our packaging, and the identity was rolled out across various formats, from boxes to pouches to caddies. We even had some branded mugs created, just because…
Then, the legwork began. Armed with samples, we took ourselves off to dozens of local delis and cafes.. And, we were delighted that, without fail, they all absolutely loved our teas and were confident their customers would too. Of course, some were already in long-term deals with other brands, which is fair enough. However, there many immediately decided we were a great fit with their customers and got us on board. How strange it was to drop in to the local bakery we’ve been visiting for years, to see it serving our tea!
Getting the teas ‘out there’ created a bit of a domino effect. Within a matter of days, we received an email from the manager of a local gastro-pub:
“I just had a cup of your mint humbug at Simmons and would love to serve it in the Engineer. How do I go about doing so?”
Soon, we were supplying them, and a number of other pubs too.
“Café Culture” has been a real phenomenon of late, with customers looking to recreate their experiences in cafes etc at home. So, it was nice but not overly surprising that a number of people who’d had our teas in such establishments got in touch, asking where they could buy it. Fortunately, some of these cafes were also delis, so they began retailing teabags in boxes for consuming at home too.
The plan has always been for Twist to be available to customers as widely as possible. Our website will be launched later in the year, and all our blends will be available direct from it. And, excitingly, we are in discussions with a number of national retailers and hope to be available on high streets across the UK soon. Watch this space!
Today was an exciting day for Twist, as we gathered a group of target customers and asked them to sample our teas. And – good news! – they really liked them.
Our Tea Sommelier Angela brewed up half a dozen blends from our range; two Classics (our everyday tea TwentyFourSeven and our English breakfast tea Breakfast Boost), two Puds without Sin (Mint Humbug and Banana Shake), and two Cold Brews (Orange & Lemon and Apple & Blueberry.
Our tasters blind-tasted the Classics against some competitor products, and ours were really well received. They liked the rich colour and the strong aroma, and said that they would have been more than happy to be served these teas in cafes and restaurants. When we mentioned the twists (in this case, the addition of ginseng and yerba mate to Breakfast Boost to help kick-start the day and a slightly smaller cut of leaf to brew TwentyFourSeven a little quicker), they were very impressed. They felt TwentyFourSeven could be a little stronger, so we’re taking that on board and are going to increase the tea content a touch so we get it spot on. Thanks for the input!
Next, the Puds without Sin, and these were a real hit. They couldn’t believe that there was absolutely no added sugar or sweeteners, and loved the playful blend of flavours. Some of our tasters were ready to buy loads of it right there and then (but they’ll have to wait until we’ve gone in to full production. Sorry!)
We then moved on to Cold Brews, which they tested comparison to the kinds of soft drinks they might ordinarily drink themselves or serve to their children. Again, these were a real winner, and with their mum-hats on, they were really excited to have an alternative to sugary drinks and smoothies that their children would absolutely love. We’re going to create another Cold Brew blend, as we think there are other flavour combinations that would work just as well, whether for adults or children.
Finally, we gave them a sneak preview of our brand name, logo and packaging. Another hit! They loved how unfussy and clean the packaging was, and thought the hidden T-mug in the logo was really clever and worked very well with the concept that our teas have a hidden something that makes them different from other teas on the market. Yay!
We’d like to thank all those who took part. We really valued your input… keep your eyes peeled for the finished product coming to a retailer or café near you shortly.