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Twist Teas submitted some blends to the Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards.  The awards are judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists.

These experts know their tea and the Great Taste Awards are widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and specialty food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product. 

Twist Teas is delighted to share the news that we have added 5 Great Taste Awards to the 10 we already hold giving a total of 15.

Our award winning blends not only sound interesting (see list below) but all are plastic-free, ethically sourced and contain added functional health benefits.

Award winners are: Twenty Four Seven, All Day Decaff, Passionfruit and Rose, Pure Matcha, Crème Brewlée, Minty Allsorts, Chamomile Yawn, Summer Berries, Mint Humbug, Mint Choc Chip, After Eat; Banana Shake; Classic Earl; Pure Rooibos and Lemongrass & Coconut they also taste great.

Twenty Four Seven and All Day Decaff both won two star with the judges commenting that:

‘Good colour and a strong liquor. Very bright with nice briskness and quality. Good with milk, very bright.’  [TwentyFourSeven]

Light, bright and with a little briskness.’ ‘If you need a decaf, this is for you. [All Day Decaff.]

Minty Allsorts is described as:  ‘A great contribution to the market.’ ‘One for liquorice aficionados: its sweetness running as a baseline throughout. Mint plays its part, albeit softly. The overall effect is lifted and refreshing, while providing a soft, rounded, gentle mouthfeel. A pleasing blend.’

With Great Taste Awards regarded as a stamp of excellence by Twist Teas’ consumers and retailers alike, we are delighted that we continue to add to our line-up of stellar blends – proof that, ultimately, Twist Teas are all about taste. The fact that our packaging is so lovely and all recyclable or compostable is just an added bonus.

Pure Matcha is described as brewing: ‘Powder-soft, nicely verdant matcha powder, pleasantly zesty on the nose.’ ‘Brews to a deep green, with a nice consistency. Vegetal, mineral aroma is present as expected from a Japanese matcha.’ ‘Well-rounded and smooth on first taste with some sweetness followed by a clear umami aftertaste. Delivers on the foundations of a good matcha, including depth of flavour and astringency, without being overpowering or bitter.’

The Judges describe Crème Brewlée as ‘an award-worthy infusion.’  ‘The aroma is of turmeric and rooibos but nicely balanced. There is coconut, turmeric, rooibos and ginger on the palate, all balanced nicely with a pleasing sweetness.’  ‘With the aromas of creamy coconut combined with woody rooibos and earthy turmeric the dry ingredients were imaginatively combined. The amber brewed liquor had coconut allied with ginger as the main aromatics. The infusion was creamy smooth coconut and had the subtle flavours of rooibos, turmeric and the gentle heat of ginger. Overall a pleasing infusion which delivered on all aspects, and worthy of star rating.’

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Health & Nutrient Blogs and Serving Suggestions / recipes by Dan Rose, News

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 Tumeric Matcha, but mostly because of its many reputed health benefits.

What is it?

Tumeric is a spice found within the Tumeric 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 Tumeric 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 tumeric 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. So don’t delay:  see our Serving suggestions for Tumeric Matcha 

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Health & Nutrient Blogs and Serving Suggestions / recipes by Dan Rose, 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!

 

For Serving Suggestions please click here

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Health & Nutrient Blogs and Serving Suggestions / recipes by Dan Rose, 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 blog 

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!

For Serving Suggestions please click here

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Health & Nutrient Blogs and Serving Suggestions / recipes by Dan Rose, 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!’


For Serving Suggestions please click here.

 

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Health & Nutrient Blogs and Serving Suggestions / recipes by Dan Rose, 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:  its skyrocketed in popularity due to its unique nutrient profile:  with consumers drinking shots, lattes, 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.  Now for the different ways you can consume it, for Serving Suggestions please click here.

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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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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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