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Health & Nutrition, News, Recipes

Did you know that after water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world? According to the UK Tea and Infusions Association there are over 100 million cups of tea consumed in the UK per day[i]. There is a really cool counter on their website showing the number of cups continually being devoured – the counter leaps about 1200 per second. This accounts for all types of tea: black, green, white, yellow, herbal.

 

First drink of the day? A cup of tea. Approaching a state of hypothermia? Reach for that thermos of tea. Feeling hot? I know people who swear a cup of tea will cool them down. Going into shock due to a traumatic event? You will be encouraged to drink hot, sweet tea. In need of comfort? You guessed it, have a cup of tea. Catching up with friends, yep, tea is the drink of choice. Unless it’s night-time and you are in a pub, but that’s another story…

 

Out of all the available types of tea, black tea is one of the most popular in the UK. What is the big deal about black tea? Why is it so popular? I do happen to know people (well, two to be exact) who do not like black tea, never have, probably never will. But they are in the minority in the UK. It is almost socially unacceptable to say you don’t want a cuppa, especially if you are British. Tea is our go-to drink in so many situations we don’t often give it much thought.

 

We might not all agree on what is the best time of day to enjoy tea but it is likely that we take the humble cuppa for granted. At Twist we decided it was high time that we addressed this by sharing our collective knowledge on all things black tea:

 



What is black tea?

Many people ask, is black tea the same as regular tea? Black tea goes by many names: a cuppa, a brew, builders tea, to name a few. In the UK, when we talk about a ‘cup of tea’ we usually mean a breakfast tea blend, whether it be English, Scottish, or Irish.

 

After water, black tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world[ii]. Black tea is a drink made from the oxidised leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This modest plant is responsible not only for black tea, but also green, white and yellow teas. To make black tea, the leaves are picked and withered before being rolled, oxidised (exposed to air), and finally, dried. The dried leaves are sorted and graded by size (whole leaf through to dust) and prepared for packaging. At Twist we select only the finest whole leaf tea and our tea is hand blended to ensure it reaches the consumer in pristine condition. The term ‘black tea’ comes from the colour of the leaves once oxidised. It is called black tea whether we add milk or not. In China black tea is called ‘red tea’, due to the colour of the drink that is brewed from these leaves.


History and evolution of black tea

First discovered in China, tea is now grown in several tropical regions across the world. It is no big deal to buy tea from your local supermarket or café. But it wasn’t always this simple. For hundreds of years China held the monopoly on tea growth and production and kept the entire process shrouded in secrecy[iii]. Following the Opium Wars and ceding of Hong Kong to Victorian Britain, Britain took stock of their rocky relationship with China and became concerned about potentially losing their precious tea supply. A plot was hatched to steal premium quality seeds from the best Chinese tea plantations and grow them in British India, to ensure an ongoing supply of tea.

 

Fortunately for Britain, the plot worked, and Victorians were able to continue their love affair with tea. Of course, the story of the evolution of tea doesn’t end here but we will move on to look at the various types of black tea available.



How many types of black tea are there?

Tea is now grown in many regions across the world and each region produces tea that has its own distinct colour, aroma, and flavour. Currently the largest producers of black tea are India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. The most well-known teas produced in these countries include Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling and Kenyan teas.

 

The two types of black tea used most often in Twist Tea blends are Assam and Ceylon.






What is Assam tea?

Assam tea is tea grown in the Assam region of India. Bordered by Bangladesh and Bhutan, the region has a climate ideal for tea production: cool, dry winters, and a warm, humid rainy season. Widely considered to be of a very high quality, Assam tea is often used in popular ‘everyday’ tea blends as it has a rich, full-bodied taste.

 

Assam tea is used in several Twist Teas blends including Twenty Four Seven, Double Black, Breakfast Boost, Orange Chai and Sweet Chai of Mine.

 

What is Ceylon tea?

Ceylon tea is tea cultivated on the island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon. Offering a variety of flavour and colour due to the range of altitudes that it is grown on, Ceylon tea is known for its versatility. Ceylon tea is traditionally used in English breakfast tea blends as it has the strength desired to accompany a full English breakfast.

 

Ceylon tea is a favourite at Twist Teas and is used in many blends including Afternoon Perks, Breakfast Boost, Classic Earl, Earl Great, Chocolate Chai, Orange Chai, Vanilla Chai, and All Day Decaf.



At Twist we are passionate about creating top quality premium teas that offer something different than our competitors. Every Twist Tea blend is created from the finest, ethically sourced whole-leaf ingredients, not the dusty dregs you often find in less premium tea brands. Our plastic free tea bags are hand blended in the UK and hand packed in plastic free packaging. Clearly, we believe our black tea is the best available, but which black tea blend is the right one for you?



At Twist Teas we have close to 20 black tea blends to choose from and even we sometimes struggle to decide. Here is a selection of our favourites:

 

Best English breakfast tea

English breakfast tea (or Scottish or Irish) is often a blend of full-bodied teas such as Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan. Usually taken with milk, English breakfast tea is believed to be the perfect accompaniment to a full English breakfast.

At Twist Teas we have raised the bar with our Breakfast Boost by hand blending Assam and Ceylon black teas, with yerba mate for enhanced mental performance and Siberian ginseng for an additional caffeine hit. The ideal luxury black tea brew to get you up and running in the morning, Breakfast Boost will provide you with an energy lift minus the energy crash that inevitably follows a strong coffee.




Best all-day black tea

Looking for a black tea blend to give you an energizing boost at any time of the day? Twist’s Twenty Four Seven is a blend of the finest, organic Assam and Kenyan black teas carefully cut to produce a strong and delicious tea in just two minutes. One of our most popular black teas, award-winning Twenty Four Seven has been designed for all-day enjoyment. Think of it as your new go-to black tea blend! Not only is Twenty Four Seven the ideal brew to turn to for a hot cuppa, it also makes the perfect Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail.

 

Best Earl Grey tea

Earl Grey tea is a black tea, traditionally a Chinese tea such as Keemun, that is flavoured with bergamot. Thought to be named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, and British Prime Minister during the 1830s[iv], Earl Grey tea is reputed to have been created to disguise the flavour of the water at the Earl’s home.

Classic Earl is Twist’s take on this all-time great tea. Our award-winning brew combines high-grown Sri Lankan tea with smoky Chinese Keemun black tea and natural Bergamot flavouring. Infuse in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and enjoy with or without milk.

If you love Classic Earl, you will also want to try Earl Great to see how Twist takes this elegant tea to the next level.





Best Chai tea
Chai, or spiced tea, became popular in South Asia in the early twentieth century. It is made from boiling black tea, ideally a full-bodied type such as Assam, in milk and water with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns.

 

To create our aromatic Sweet Chai of Mine we hand-blend Assam tea with traditional spices as well as turmeric, for a modern Twist. Simply immerse a Sweet Chai of Mine tea bag in boiling water for 3 minutes and serve with milk and sugar or honey. Alternatively, you can make a chai latte by brewing the tea in a third of a cup of boiling water and topping with frothy milk. Delicious!

If you love Sweet Chai of Mine, you will want to try our other chai teas.



Best smoked black tea

Lapsang Souchong is black tea that has been smoke dried over a fire. Believed to have been created in China during the Qing Dynasty as early as the mid-1600s, Lapsang Souchong has a distinctive aroma and flavour and can be served with or without milk.

 

At Twist we describe our Wholly Smoke as the Marmite of our teas: people either love it or they hate it. If you fancy drinking a bonfire, this is the perfect smoky blend for you! Add some cold Wholly Smoke to a measure of whisky, a touch of maple syrup and a splash of bitters, for a fiery, smoky Old Fashioned.

 

Best black tea with a Twist

Sometimes a special occasion arises that calls for an exceptional tea blend. At Twist Teas we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to pairing flavours that some may consider unusual. Many of our tea blends feature a Twist, but we think this particular blend is something really special. Raspberry Choc Kiss is a heady combination of Ceylon 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.

 

Best de-caffeinated black tea

While caffeine is certainly helpful in giving us an energy boost when we most need it, sometimes we need to reduce the amount of caffeine we consume for health reasons, such as during pregnancy, or if we are finding it difficult to sleep. Decaffeinated tea makes it possible to reduce our caffeine intake without abandoning black tea altogether.


Twist’s All Day Decaf, another award-winning tea comprises premium, organic Sri Lankan Black Tea treated with liquid carbon dioxide to remove caffeine. This harmless process does not diminish the flavour. Other decaf teas are rinsed in Methylene Chloride, primarily used as an industrial solvent and paint stripper. Fancy a cup? No, us neither…

 

If you think there are too many to choose from, why not try our pick and mix tasting menu. These offer a great opportunity to try six delicious teas of your choice and they make fabulous gifts for lovers of premium teas.

 

How good is black tea for you?

You may ask is it healthy to drink black tea every day? Of course, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking 8+ glasses of water per day, but did you know that tea in moderation (maximum of 3 cups of caffeinated tea) can count towards this requirement? Black tea doesn’t hydrate as well as water, but it does help us to increase our liquid intake, which can only be a good thing.

 

Aside from quenching our thirst, a simple cup of black tea can also have some amazing health benefits[v]:

 




Health benefits of black tea
  • Heart health – animal studies have shown that an antioxidant present in black tea called theaflavin can help reduce cholesterol, thereby supporting your heart health.

  • Blood sugar – theaflavin also helps to lower blood sugar levels, good news for those at risk of diabetes.

  • Gut health – black tea has antimicrobial properties that can help improve your gut health, thereby strengthening your immune system.

  • Anti-cancer properties – the polyphenols contained in black tea are thought to reduce the risk of developing cancer as they can have an inhibiting effect on cancerous cells.

  • Energy boosting – black tea also 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.

 

Are there any side effects of black tea?

Black tea naturally contains the stimulant caffeine. Excessive consumption (more than 4-5 cups per day) may result in symptoms including jitteriness, headache, difficulty in sleeping or an irregular heartbeat. If you think you may be sensitive to caffeine, or if you are pregnant, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional about the quantity of black tea you should consume.

 

How to make the perfect brew

Hot

There is much debate around how to make a good black tea. Is loose leaf best, or are bags just as good? Milk first, or water? What type of milk? Is it ok to sweeten your tea, or completely sacrilegious? We try not to be too judgmental at Twist Teas, but we believe the best way to make the perfect brew is to start with premium tea. After that, all bets are off, but this is how we think the perfect brew is made:

 

First, fill your kettle with fresh water to boil. Filtered water, such as with a Brita filter as used by the UK Tea Association[vi], will give the best result, but plain tap water is fine too. Fresh water is better than re-boiled water as boiling removes the oxygen from the water and affects the flavour of the tea. Once boiled, pour the water into your tea ware (teapot, cup/mug or travel cup) to warm it up.

 

Once your tea ware is warmed (within 1 minute), tip this water out and measure your tea carefully (1 tea bag, or 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf tea per cup). Pour the hot water onto the tea and infuse for the recommended brewing time. Some people may be concerned that putting hot water directly onto tea will burn it, but if you have waited the 1 minute after the water has stopped boiling, the temperature should just about be perfect (approximately 95°).

 

Once brewed, remove the tea, and add milk if you prefer. If you have brewed your tea according to our recommended time, there won’t be any bitterness, but if you do like to sweeten your tea that is up to you!

 

Tea Lattes

Twist has several teas that work well as tea lattes, particularly our Chai blends.  Tea lattes are made by brewing the tea in frothy milk and can be enjoyed both hot, or cold over ice.  Recently we converted our Mint Choc Chip into a latte with Sproud, a plant-based milk It was delicious!











Cold

Black tea can also taste great cold, especially during the warmer summer months. It can be made easily enough into an iced tea, and with a little extra effort, can be transformed into a Long Island Iced Tea.

 

Kombucha is another option that uses cold black tea. A fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a culture of bacteria and yeast called a ‘scoby’, kombucha is known to contain probiotics and thought to improve gut health.

 

Cooking/baking with tea


When we think of biscuits or cake and a cuppa, usually we think of these as being the perfect high tea partnership. But what about using tea in the biscuit? Our Earl Great shortbread biscuits use tea as the hero ingredient and the result is gorgeous.














[i] https://www.tea.co.uk/

[ii] http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-commodities/tea/en/#:~:text=Tea%20is%20the%20world’s%20most,first%20grew%20is%20not%20known.

[iii] For all the tea in China, Sarah Rose, Arrow Books, 2009, p. 29

[iv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Grey_tea

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6512146/

[vi] https://www.ukteaacademy.co.uk/images/UKTAwhitepaper.pdf

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Health & Nutrition, News

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

Ginkgo biloba

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.


  • Circulation

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.


Gotu Kola

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!




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.‌  
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Health & Nutrition, News

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
The sleep-inducing benefits of Chamomile tea are well documented. Chamomile contains a phytonutrient called apigenin which is believed to have a sedative, relaxing effect. It does this by binding to your brain receptors that are associated with inducing sleepiness and reducing insomnia. So, give it a go the next time you fancy a relaxing snooze.


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.chamomile tea bags

 

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!

 

4. Heart

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. 


¹
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322858/

 

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Health & Nutrition, News

With the phrase ‘New Year, new you’ flooding our airwaves, and lots of talk about adopting healthier habits, we thought we’d take a look at the benefits of drinking Green Tea. One of China’s favourite teas is Sencha Green Tea which makes up the majority of our delicious, Refresher Green blend (73%) and provides a myriad of health benefits. Sencha Green Tea is made from the Camellia sinensis leaf, which is steamed, rolled and dried to give it that refreshing touch. The other ingredients which give this green elixir our ‘twist’ include Ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, Siberian ginseng, and sunflower. 

In this post we are focusing on the health benefits of Sencha Green Tea.

 

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances which may protect our cells. Sencha Green Tea contains a high amount of polyphenols which are proven to halt cell damage and fend off free radicals, which in turn can help prevent cancer. Additional benefits of polyphenols include aiding digestion, weight management and cardiovascular diseases.

Refresher Green Tea Blend by Twist Teas

Energy-boosting

Sencha contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can actually give a sustainable boost of energy. So if you’re looking for mouth-watering brew to get you through the last part of the day then look no further. And don’t worry, although Sencha contains caffeine, a cup of Sencha contains around 20-30 milligrams, whereas its counterpart, coffee, contains upwards of 200 milligrams, so you won’t have a caffeine crash!

 

Rich in Vitamin C

Sencha is rich in vitamin C which is an essential ascorbic acid. The main benefits of vitamin C include supporting a proper immune function and the healing and formation of collagen, and, therefore, its importance in our diets cannot be understated!

 

Fat Burning benefits

I am sure you will have seen many fat burning kits and supplements which probably include Sencha and other Green Teas. This is because the properties Sencha Green Tea can increase metabolic rate, and therefore increase fat burning.

 

Sweet breath 

This is a peculiar benefit, but also a very practical one. Sencha Green Tea can actually improve the breath. This is due to the catechins present in the tea. Research shows that catechins reduce the growth of bacteria in the mouth, such as streptococcus mutans resulting in improved mouth hygiene and the prevention of bad breath. 

So, what are you waiting for? Stock up on our revitalising super brew and enjoy all the great benefits of Sencha Green Tea packed into a simple tea bag!

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Health & Nutrition

Turmeric, the vibrant spice so prominent in Indian cuisine, has been gaining in popularity and not because of a rise in curry cravings. Twist Teas’ infatuation with this knobby root is thanks in part to how inviting it makes the idea of a Turmeric Matcha, but mostly because of its many reputed health benefits.

What is it?

Turmeric is a spice found within the Turmeric plant, farmed in parts of Asia and is traditionally the main spice in curry, giving it that golden-yellow colour. Not only does it encompass a flavourful taste, it also contains compounds associated with various health benefits.

Health benefits

It contains Curcumin

Curcumin is a key ingredient found in Turmeric and has great anti-inflammatory effects, that are said to rival the effectiveness of some over the counter drugs.  It does this by preventing the NF-kB molecule from entering into your cells, which commonly sparks significant amounts of inflammation.

Increased brain function

Curcumin increases a growth hormone found in the brain associated with heightened awareness. This allows people to obtain better levels of focus and may even help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Heart health

Again, the nifty curcumin plays a role in increasing the effectiveness of the heart, specifically by improving the function of the blood vessels through the endothelium.  An improvement in the Endothelium’s role in regulating blood pressure can see heart health increase as a result.

Antioxidants

Curcumin has been found to destroy free radicals in the body, which can be extremely harmful and even cancer causing.  It does this by boosting the production of antioxidative enzymes.  For more information on antioxidants, read my blog Matcha Ado About … Pure Matcha

Now that you know about the amazing potential turmeric has, you won’t be surprised that we have added it to our Matcha!  The combination of these two super foods can see them both heightening the effectiveness of each other’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. 




Serving Suggestions

Smoothie: Simply add a teaspoon to a smoothie of your choice. It works particularly well if you’ve got a fairly bland, unsweetened, smoothie that needs something with a distinctive flavour to turn it into to a really delicious, mega-healthy treat.










Matcha latte: Now this is a really delicious, fiery drink that is great to wake yourself up on a Monday morning.  Simply add one teaspoon of Turmeric Matcha to a cup, add enough hot (not boiling, 80 degrees centigrade) water, milk or milk substitute to turn it into a paste.  Then add the rest of the liquid, stirring vigorously until fully combined and frothy.  Now you’ve made yourself a lovely healthy pick me up!









Savoury dishes:  Sprinkle a teaspoon of turmeric matcha onto a dish that could use a bit of spice. Some of my favourites include immune-boosting carrot and ginger turmeric soup or using it to spruce up plain old chicken and rice.









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Health & Nutrition, News

Peppermint has been a staple tea for many generations and for good reason.  Native to the UK and the rest of Europe and across Asia, its delightfully fresh, minty taste, together with its myriad of health benefits, has made it one of the most popular teas across the world.  At Twist Teas, we thought instead of replacing the old with the new, why not combine the two – Peppermint Matcha!  Not only have we united these two super nutrients for their unique health benefits, but they also taste wonderful when combined!  Peppermint Matcha makes for an incredible super brew!  For information on Matcha, take a look at the Matcha blog as today we are going to be solely delving into how amazing peppermint can be.

Health benefits of peppermint

Inflammation reduction

Peppermint can act as a relaxant as the compound methanol allows for easier blood transportation as it increases blood flow.  This can see reductions in aches, pains and may even help things such as headaches and migraines.

Mouth health

It freshens your breath, and contains antibacterial properties to help fight off germs.

Increased focus and energy

The natural properties in peppermint have been shown to help with perceived levels of energy and increased levels of focus.  Peppermint, combined with our Matcha, will definitely sort out those midday work blues.

Allergy symptoms

Peppermint contains acid rosmarinic, which has been shown to be a reliever of allergic reactions associated with things such as hay fever, asthma causers and pet allergies.

Sinuses

Peppermint contains methanol, an anti-inflammatory compound, which increases the level of nasal airflow, helping you to breath more freely.  If you drink your Peppermint Matcha steaming hot, it can really help your sinuses.

So, that in combination with our Matcha will certainly give you that health kick (you might not know) you needed!


 

Serving Suggestions

Refreshing hot (or cold) brew: This will undoubtedly give a kick to your day and is incredibly simple to make.  Just add a teaspoon of Peppermint Matcha to a cup, stir in a small amount of the liquid (slightly cooled boiling water, milk or milk substitute, approx. 80 degrees centigrade) and make a smooth paste.  Then slowly add the rest of the liquid, stirring vigorously.  At Twist Teas, we especially enjoy it cold on ice with a sprig of fresh mint.









Protein Shake: If you are looking to change up the taste of that protein powder, add in some revitalising Peppermint Matcha and give it that uplifting minty flavour!  Just make your shake as you usually would, add a teaspoon of the powder and shake away!










Blueberry porridge with a Peppermint Matcha kick start: Now for one of my favourite breakfasts, with a twist (we are called this for a reason!). Make your blueberry porridge as you usually would – oats, water, milk or milk substitute and blueberries.  Then mix in around a teaspoon and a half of the Peppermint Matcha.  The peppermint gives a massive kick to the flavour of the porridge and to my brain. Also works well sprinkled on granola with a dash of yoghurt or Kefir. Kickstart your day with this super-nutritious breakfast!







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Health & Nutrition, News

Does it really taste like chocolate? ABSOLUTELY! But not only that, you’ll also benefit from the super nutrients in the matcha and the cocoa.  Yes, cocoa powder is also incredibly healthy for you when it’s in its basic powder form, absent of all the sugars and sweeteners you find in chocolate bars. Now, let’s delve into why cocoa powder is so great and why we have added it into our matcha (it’s not just for the taste!).  If you’re not caught up on incredible benefits of pure matcha, check out this post

Cocoa

I’m sure you don’t need a lesson on what cocoa tastes like given that it’s the essential ingredient in chocolate, but let’s start with a little more about how it’s made.  Cocoa trees produce large cocoa pods which contain around 20 to 30 seeds sitting in a sweet white pulp – these are the cocoa beans.  It takes a whole year’s crop from one tree to make half a kilo of cocoa.  When harvested, the ripe pods are cut open and the beans are taken out, fermented, dried, cleaned and roasted.  They’re then cracked, the nibs are grounded, and dried again, and then grounded into the powder.  Phew!  I’m exhausted just writing about it.

Now for the benefits!

Reduction of potential blood and heart problems

Cocoa powder contains flavanol which increases the level of nitric oxide present within the blood.  This is beneficial as nitric oxide allows for easier transport of blood as it dilates your arteries and relaxes blood vessels. This can result in a host of benefits including a reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) and inflammation.

Brain function

Polyphenols found within cocoa powder can protect neurons within the brain against injury that may be instigated by neurotoxins, and can suppress neuroinflammation, seeing a promotion in memory and general cognitive functionality.

Weight control

Although not completely proven, it has been suggested cocoa powder is satiating as it reduces appetite and inflammation.  Further, it has also been advocated that it increases fat oxidation, which increases the rate of fat burning within the body.

Asthma and breathing difficulties

Theobromine and Theophylline are present within cocoa powder and both can relax the body’s airways, widening them by dilation of the lungs and, as a result, allowing you to breathe more easily.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should eat a ton of chocolate! As it contains significantly high amounts of sugars and fats, that would be a pretty bad idea. Rather, try adding cocoa powder to your diet and try out our Cocoa Matcha to get some serious health benefits at the same time.

Also, check out our Tumeric Cocoa Matcha for a delicious combination of sweet and spice with the added advantage of also having Tumeric in your diet.  Please see my blog on Tumeric to see how remarkable it is!



Serving Suggestions

Sprinkle it onto your breakfast cereal:  Cocoa Matcha turns your granola or morning porridge into a delicious, rich chocolatey feast. It provides you with a morning full of energy and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

At Twist Teas, we’ve gone one step further and added it to our homemade granola mix which gives us a great start to our day.









Hot cocoa.  Instead of a high calorie hot beverage, why not have a low calorie, equally delicious treat! Just make the matcha by putting a tea spoon full into a cup, adding a small amount of slightly cooled boiling water, milk or milk substitute (approx. 80 degrees centigrade) and stir into a smooth paste. Then add the rest of the liquid stirring vigorously.   And there’s your fusion cocoa goodness to warm you up on a cold winter’s day.










With fruit and yoghurt.  Another delicious way to enjoy our cocoa matcha is to combine it with some yoghurt, exactly as you would when making a drink.  Then simply add some fruit.  Now you can have healthy chocolate-dipped fruit for breakfast.  The Twist Teas taste team made this delicious chocolate dip with coconut yoghurt – our healthy version of a chocolate fountain!










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Health & Nutrition, News

If the idea of Beetroot & Acai Matcha gives you pause for thought, rest assured that at Twist Teas we do things a little bit differently and a whole lot better.  And this blend is no exception:  it’s absolutely delicious and boasts serious amounts of nutrients!  For extra information on Matcha take a look  to find out more about how magnificent it really is.  Now, onto the standout perks of adding Beetroot & Acai to your diet.

Beetroot

Beetroot is often considered somewhat of a super food, here’s why:

High nutrient profile

Beetroot contains pretty much all the nutrients required in your diet including Folate, Potassium, Iron and Manganese.  So if you are looking for a natural source of multivitamins, you’ll find one here!

Nitrate concentration

The high nitrate concentration found in Beetroot paves the way for an improvement in blood flow.  This is because it’s a vasodilator, making your blood flow more easily.  It affects the muscles in the walls of your arteries and veins, preventing them from tightening and the walls from narrowing. Although Nitrate concentration is temporarily high after consumption (up to 6 hours), this can boost mental and cognitive brain function, helping to remove ‘brain fog’ and can reduce blood pressure, endorsing better mental clarity and concentration.

Acai

Acai berries are native to South American rainforests and have grown in popularity in recent years.  Whilst relatively expensive, this  ‘jack of all trades’ is a worthwhile investment because of its numerous health benefits:

Immune system

Studies show that a Polyphenolic compound found in the acai berries prevent cells from malfunctioning which may in turn reduce the possibility of tumour growth.  The berries also contain Anthocyanin, which is reputed to reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which have an adverse effect on the immune system.

Heart and brain health

Anthocyanin has also been shown to strengthen memory by improving blood flow efficiency to the brain and reduce neuroinflammation.

So, when combining Beetroot, Acai and Matcha ,you have… well not just super, but super, super and you guessed it, super food, so you are certainly getting bang for your buck!’




A warm brew: I wasn’t lying when I said it was delicious! On its own as a brew, it’s jam packed full of flavour! Simply turn the powder into a paste and then slowly add the rest of the hot water, milk or milk substitute stirring vigorously as you go.  And there you have it:  your triple super brew!










Mixed with porridge:  You might want to alleviate that annoying brain fog in the morning, or just fancy a change.   If so, add around half a teaspoon of the powder and mix it in.  This tastes really delicious.  Enjoy!

Make a super smoothie: Now I know I’ve said super many times, I promise, just once more. Just add around a half a teaspoon to whatever smoothie you’re making:  I like a mixed berry one, and make it even more… SUPER than it already is!








Add to salad mayonnaise, yoghurt or vinaigrette salad dressing:  This is a great way to add health benefits to your salads. At Twist Teas we enjoy it on beetroot and goats cheese salad and especially love Leon’s Original Vegan Mayonnaise with a Matcha twist!

 










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Health & Nutrition, News

If you haven’t already heard about Matcha you will do soon!  It’s the new super tea creating waves in the health and fitness industry:  it has skyrocketed in popularity due to its unique nutrient profile, with consumers drinking shots, lattes, and tea, all made from Premium Grade Matcha with the promise of health benefits, ranging from enhancing weight loss to decreasing the risk of heart disease.  And to top all that, Twist Teas’ Pure Matcha Great Taste Award winning blend tastes delicious too!

 

 

What is it?

 

Matcha green tea powder is a refreshing alternative to traditional tea, a bright green elixir that’s packed with antioxidants that enhances your mood, health and energy level.

 

You’re probably already familiar with green tea.  Matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, but it’s made from the entire leaf, it packs in a more concentrated number of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.  Farmers grow matcha by covering their tea plants for between twenty and thirty days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight.  This increases chlorophyll production, boosts the amino acid content, and gives the plant a darker green hue.  Once the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are ground up into a fine powder known as matcha.  Due to its multistage process, it is much pricier than your regular teas, and for good reason!

 

What are its benefits?

 

The increased levels of Chlorophyll in matcha can reduce inflammation within the body, which can be great for aches and pains, and things such as acne and swelling.  Peculiarly, it’s also a natural deodorant, so for people like me who like to get a sweat on, it stops my partner, and mum, keeping their distance from me when I’m back from the gym!

 

Matcha is also generally high in antioxidants, stabilise harmful free radicals.  (For more about this read my blog tea for fitness and health ).  Other benefits of matcha include:

  • weight loss as it has the potential to increase fat burn during exercise,
  • heart health development as it can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol allowing easier transport of blood flow, and
  • improved brain function due to the high levels of L-theanine present in the leaves.

 

Best of all, the tea is simple to prepare, so you can incorporate it effortlessly into your diet and give your day a burst of extra flavour.  



Serving Suggestions

  • As a tea, you would use one tsp of the Pure Matcha powder, add a slight amount of water to it mixing it in creating a paste. Once the paste is made add the rest of your hot water and there you have it, your green super brew!

 

  • Due to the way it boosts brain function, having a quick shot of it before a workout would be an excellent way to boost your concentration! To do so, make a small paste like you would making the tea, then add around 100-200ml of cold water, mix it together and there you have it, a healthy pre workout drink without abundances of caffeine and other unwanted additives!

 

  • Another quick way to get that Matcha boost is to simply sprinkle it onto some of your porridge or oats in the morning. That way you’re ready for the day ahead! I like to have our Twist Pure Matcha as it gives it a nice chocolatey taste which definitely satisfies my sweet tooth.

 

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Health & Nutrition

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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