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News

But hold on! What’s the difference? 

Well, all our teas taste great hot or cold but when it comes to Iced Tea, slower really is better.   Thanks to the gentler extraction process of cold water rather than hot, cold brewed tea has sweeter notes and better clarity of taste.

So, this summer there’s no need to wait for the kettle to boil, simply do what it says on the caddy – add one of Twist’s infusions to your glass or bottle of water and you’re good to go. 

We think they taste perfect after a couple of minutes, but you can brew them for as long as you like – and you can keep topping up throughout the day. 

If you’re trying to give up sugar, our Cold Brews are the perfect solution with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.  They’re also a great way to drink more water.

That isn’t all!  Because here at Twist we’re all about innovation, our latest Cold Brew – Creme Brewlee, a rooibos blends with tumeric, desiccated coconut and ginger – won us a headline in The Grocer [26 June 2020]. If you are after a real Twist, this blend tastes fantastic brewed in cold milk.

The Grocer article also features our Cold Brew Tasting Menu containing our six best selling cold brew blends,  each one is full of little surprises that make them different be it an ingredient with a functional benefit or an unconventional flavour pairing.  These innovative blends taste as good hot as they do cold.

What are you waiting for?

 

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News, Recipes

Made with premium grade Japanese matcha leaves, our matcha contains a host of supernutrients said to help drinkers antioxidise, energise, concentrate, rejuvenate, stay calm and lose weight.  Its really easy to make and best of all it tastes great!

  • Water temperature should be less than boiling to maintain natural, mild sweetness and health benefits (approximately 180F/80C)
  • Put a teaspoon of matcha in mug/milk jug.
  • Stir vigorously/whisk in just a small amount of heated water/milk with the matcha at first – until it is a smooth paste. 
  • Once all of the powder is dissolved, add the rest of the water/milk – again stirring/whisking vigorously until the powder is smooth/foamy.
  • Serve as is, or with a small sprinkling of matcha powder on top.

Enjoy!
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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.
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Health & Wellbeing

No specific food or supplement will prevent us for catching a serious infection like COVID-19/Coronavirus.  Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.  However there are plenty of small things we can do that may strengthen our immune system. 

From supplements to exercise to nutrition, we thought we’d share some of the natural ways we’ve been making sure we stay fighting fit at Twist HQ – or rather Twist WFH (Working From Home).

We’ve been eating our fruit and vegetables.  These foods are fantastic for increasing your immune system.  They contain various antioxidants that help fight against free radicals which can instigate inflammation within the body.  Most fruit and veg contain a variety of macronutrients your body needs, for example, vitamin C which is required for development, repair and growth of all bodily tissues.  It also produces antibodies which counteract hostile microbes and helps stimulate many types of white blood cells which help in fighting off illness.  There’s an abundant of vitamins in tea, especially vitamin C, which is fantastic news for us at Twist Teas!


We’ve reduced our added sugar intake.  There is of course a significant link between added sugars and being overweight or obese.  Being obese may lead to a higher potential of getting ill.  Studies have shown this whereby people who are obese are twice as likely to get the flu, even if they have had a vaccine.  Reducing sugar intake can aid weight loss and reduce inflammation within the body.  Your daily sugar intake should be no more than 7.5% of your daily intake, therefore, for someone who has 2000 calories, they should only have 32.5 grams of sugar.  However some of us are finding it incredibly hard to keep to these levels during lockdown.  So we’ve been drinking copious amounts of tea from our Puds Without Sin range including Mint Humbug, Lemon Drizzle, Banana Shake and Minty Allsorts.  They don’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners and really deliver on flavour.

We’ve been exercising.  Now this doesn’t mean we’ve all been doing crazy intense sprinting or weight lifting.  Moderate exercise is a brilliant way to help boost your immune system.  Physical activity helps antibodies and white blood cells become more active, meaning they’re more ready to fight illness.  Exercise may also help your immune cells regenerate more regularly.  We’ve all been making the most of our limited time outdoors by doing moderate exercise like walking, jogging and cycling – whilst keeping a safe distance from anyone we meet.

Decrease stress.  Being able to manage your stress is a great way of reducing the chance of illness but it’s not easy especially at the moment.  Increased stress levels may cause imbalances in immune cell functions which inhibit the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens.  This is because the stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system.  Stress will also see a growth in inflammation within the body.  Easy and fun ways to reduce stress is to do some exercise and stretching.  This releases endorphins which activate the opioid receptors within the brain making you feel a sense of euphoria and accomplishment.  It also helps minimise discomfort.  Stretching is particularly helpful because it increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which enhances relaxation.  We’ve found it easier to complete a 20-minute stretch session whilst WFH.  But beware, if followed by a cup of Chamomile Yawn it can lead to a daytime nap as well!

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Health & Wellbeing

The next time you need a ‘pick me up’, go for the tea bag, not the coffee. There’s more to tea than meets the eye, or should I say the taste buds!

All tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant which contains caffeine.  Other than being naturally low in calories and sugar free its other antioxidant properties, hydrating effects and detox abilities are all well documented.  But if you want to know the other specific benefits different types of tea can have on your health and fitness, put the kettle on and read this quickly before deciding which brew to chose!

Black Tea has many benefits, but perhaps a less known one which can improve health and fitness is that it contains an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine has been proven to help focus as it facilitates alpha activity within the brain. It is one of the main reasons as to why it is often reported that tea gives a more stable boost of energy in comparison to coffee. Our most popular black tea is Twentyfourseven which is an Indian Assam and Kenyan black tea, so if you are needing that tasty boost of lasting energy look no further!

Green Tea is one of the most popular teas due to its health benefits.   Like all tea it contains antioxidants and L-theanine which increase metabolic rate and fat burning as they mobilises free fatty acids (FFA’s) from tissues in the body allowing them to be burned as energy. The caffeine content helps physical performance by helping the flow of blood back to the heart allowing muscles to receive more oxygen and perform optimally.  Some of our most popular green teas include Refresher green which also contains some ginseng, Sencha green (Japanese) and our Beetroot Acai Matcha.

White Tea is rich in antioxidants as its full of polyphenols called catechins.  These help protect cells in the body from free radicals which can be harmful leading to increased potential of chronic inflammation and a deficient immune system.  Our favourite white teas at Twist are Strawberry & Rose and Passionfruit & Rose which are rich in flavour as they contain quality freeze-dried pieces of strawberry and passionfruit. They can be used as cold brews, brilliant for a delicious and healthy summer refreshment!

Herbal Tisanes are commonly called ‘teas’ although they don’t contain leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.  They are made from a wide variety of fruit and herbs  with many having differ health benefits, so, I’ll give a brief insight into the benefits of a few of our most popular blends.  Our peppermint tea, Propermint contains menthol, which is a natural substance which assists muscle relaxation, and gives an almost cooling sensation.  Rooibos contains significantly high amounts of antioxidants, actually 50% more than Green Tea, and our delicious Pure Rooibos, Banana Shake, Lemon Drizzle and Mint Humbug blends all which contain rooibos taste delicious too.  Finally, our ginger tea, Ginger Snap contains around 60% pure ginger, which helps stimulate better digestion, cinnamon and liquorice which both have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

We don’t say ‘blends with benefits’ for no reason! Now, what benefits do you want in your next cuppa?

By Danny Rose, Health & Well Being.

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Book Reviews

We all know that small changes for the better can make a big difference. That first cup of tea in the morning? Game changer!  The millions of tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year are killing seabirds and marine mammals.  And David Attenborough is right when he says that ‘We have a responsibility, every one of us’.  But knowing how we can make a difference isn’t as straightforward as it seems. 

Our teabags don’t contain any plastic and we do our upmost to use the most environmentally friendly packaging available.

As a team we promote reusable cups – we even sell them on our website.  We help clean up on the Common outside Pollards Farm and frequently share tips on giving up plastic include washing clothes in a wash bag to catch plastic microfibres (the cause of 30% of plastic pollution in the ocean) and using bar shampoo.  But plastic’s not going away without fight, so what else can we do to help?

So we bought this accessible guide, written by the campaigner at the forefront of the anti-plastic movement, for some practical tips.  And it doesn’t disappoint.  Martin Dorey, anti-plastics expert, has been working to save our beaches from plastic for the past 10 years. His Beach Clean Foundation and global call to arms #2minutebeachclean has been taken up by people all over the world, and has proven that collective small actions can add up to a big difference.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what you can do to save the planet from plastic – this book’s definitely worth a read.

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News
I won’t lie. I’ve always loved John Lewis.

As a child, Mum and I spent pretty much every Saturday afternoon in John Lewis Brent Cross, browsing fabric in the haberdashery department, meandering through the rails of children’s clothing and treating ourselves to tea and cake in the cafe (invariably Victoria sponge for mum, something chocolatey for me).
When I got my first flat, it was basically filled from top to bottom (well, it was only one storey, so it was top and bottom) with John Lewis furniture, crockery, glassware and everything else. And now, with a busy lifestyle, three kids and a business to run, it’s my go-to for presents, cookware and clothing.

So, you can imagine how excited I was to get a call at the start of the year inviting us to set up a Twist pop up shop at our local John Lewis in Welwyn Garden City. They’re looking for local, independent, high quality brands with products a little different to the norm, so obviously we fitted the bill to a tee (no pun intended.)

Fast forward six weeks, and there we were, in the gift section for a whole week, with literally hundreds of John Lewis customers dropping by to sample some of our blends. Our Twist ‘candy cart’ looked great and created a focal point for shoppers. And, most importantly, the customers loved it. We sold caddy after caddy of pretty much each and every blend; Refresher Green and Lemon Drizzle were the most popular, with Twentfourseven a close third. We also sold loads of our personalised caddies as shoppers jumped at the chance to get an innovative, top-quality, personalised Valentine’s Day present for their other halves.  

What was also great was that seemingly every John Lewis Partner came for a brew during their tea breaks, and the feedback was incredible. “Best tea I’ve ever tasted” said one, “You should be in the John Lewis cafe” said another. (We’ll drink to that…) Our teas went down such a storm that they’ve asked us to go back over Easter. If you’re in the area, do drop by and say hello!





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Recipes
You’ve met your matcha…now show your Valentine how matcha you love them with this mouthwateringly good, quick and easy recipe.
Print Recipe
Chocolate Matcha Strawbs
You’ve met your matcha…now show your Valentine how matcha you love them with this mouthwateringly good, quick and easy recipe.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes to chill
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes to chill
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry 20 strawberries and put them in the fridge.
  2. Melt 6oz white or milk chocolate - easiest in the microwave for 1 minute and then in 20 second increments until melted. Alternatively melt in a heat proof bowl over boiling water on the hob. Stir in our Pure Matcha (or Peppermint/Beetroot Acai/Tumeric Matcha). Hold the leaves of the strawberries and dip into the chocolate until 2/3 evenly covered, then place on greaseproof paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes until firm.
  3. Then melt 2oz milk or dark chocolate in the same way and add our Cocoa Matcha (or Tumeric Cocoa Matcha). Use a fork and drizzle this chocolate matcha mix over the strawberries using your creativity to decorate them to impress!
  4. Cool for 10 minutes in the fridge, dim the lights and serve!
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Health & Wellbeing
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.

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)
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