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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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News
Whether it was customised Quality Street tins, made-to-measure kit kats, or bespoke Marmite jars, one of the big trends this Christmas was personalised products. And, crikey was that the case here at Twist, when our new Supercaddybaggytwisted personalised tea caddy absolutely flew off the shelves.

What can be better than Twist Tea? Twist Tea in a caddy with your name on it, that’s what. We thought we were on to a winner here, but were really chuffed when the Mirror listed it as their top Food & Drink Gift for Christmas, and friend of the brand, broadcaster and journalist James Delingpole bigged it up on his vlog.

The result? Loads of orders, and lots more people tucking in to Twist Tea! Customers told us they loved the idea of demonstrating that some thought has gone in to the gifts they’re giving. We had:

• Customers giving them to members of their teams at work, to say thanks
• Parents giving them to their children’s teachers
• Business owners giving them to their most valued clients
• … and Twist fans just giving them to friends and family to say ‘Happy Christmas’

It’s not our first dalliance with personalisation, of course. Our four-pack and six-pack Pick & Mix selection boxes have gone down a treat for a while, and of course our popular Twist Tea Club lets members choose whichever blend they like each month, so no two subscriptions are the same.

The popularity of Supercaddybaggytwisted contributed to a really great Christmas for Twist. Yes, we’re still grafting all hours and yes, it’s blummin’ hard work! But, word is getting out there and we’re really excited for what’s in store for 2020.

We love hearing from Twist Customers about what we’re doing well, and what we could do better. We love seeing your photos on instagram, twitter and facebook. We love when a coffee shop decides to replace the bog-standard brands you can pick up in Tesco – you know, the ones that look all cutesy like they’re handmade but are really owned by global multinational conglomerates – with little old Twist.

Because, like Supercaddybaggytwisted, for us it’s personal.
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Events, News
No cameras please!  Speak to our agent!  Have your people speak to our people!
Pretty sure that’s how it works now we’re big time celebrities after our prime-time interview on the radio last week, on the BBC 3 Counties Radio lunchtime show. 

Okay, that’s a little tongue in cheek, but forgive us for feeling quite excited as we were invited onto the Nick Coffer show to have a tea tasting and tell the story of good ole Twist.  It’s funny how things pan out…  Nick and his producer Jonny found themselves at a colleague’s leaving party at a pub in Flamstead, Herts, pretty much halfway between the studio in Dunstable and Twist HQ in Harpenden.  This pub (The Spotted Dog, highly recommended) serves Twist, and our blends were really well received.  The show likes to talk to local brands, so we got the invite to do a tea tasting, live on the radio. Cool.

So, two of the three founders, Claire and Fraser (someone had to mind the shop back at base so Nicky got that particular short straw) headed off to studios armed with loads of blends and a kettle (which we left there – d’oh).  We were feeling fairly relaxed until a chat with producer Jonny just before we went on air, when he mentioned that the show gets about 100,000 listeners. So, no pressure there then.

So, how did it go?  Find out for yourself, here . We’re on from about 1hr 18mins, just after the Beach Boys. (A Beach Boys record, not them actually live in the studio, obvs.)
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News
You may have seen some unpleasant reports in the media about hidden plastic in teabags. Nasty stuff.
Rest assured, our teabags don’t contain any plastic at all, and haven’t, from day one. None. Nadda.

The survey – or, at least, the way its findings were reported, were rather misleading. It was conducted using  pyramid teabags made from nylon. Twist teabags however, and the string attached, are made from cornsilk, the little threads that come from the top of an ear of corn. Perfectly natural, no badness involved.

The tags are paper, and these get heat-sealed onto the string, so no glue required. And the teabags are sealed using ultrasound, which causes vibration and fusion as a result. Clever huh? This means that it’s all biodegradable – although this can take quite a while. Sam, who is husband/dad to Nicky and Claire, our mother/daughter founder combo, put some on his compost pile and it took three months to biodegrade. (And, when he went outside to show Nicky that they had nearly gone, she went off on one about the weeds elsewhere in the garden so he’s not tried it since in case it happens again.)

Instead, it’s best just to put them in your food waste and let your council deal with it, as their industrial waste systems have the right micro-organisms to help the process along. Our inner bags are made of Natureflex, which is compostable, so that can just be put in your compost bin.

Our boxes and labels are made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, and our caddies are made from tinplate and aluminium. So, if ever you decide to stop filling them with Twist Tea refills (which would be madness, why would you do that?!), they can be reused for storing buttons, pens, sweets, shoes*, or failing that put out with your recycling. Another way in which the media coverage was misleading was by suggesting that traditional tea bags are composed only of paper.  #FakeNews (although in this case it actually is fake news, rather than the type of fake news that is actually not fake but an orange buffoon with a shredded wheat on his head says it’s fake): traditional tea bags contain around 25% plastic, which is needed to fuse the material together, as this is done by heating the plastic so it melts and sticks together.

So, the bottom line. Our tea tastes great, but doesn’t harm the environment either, so you can enjoy it absolutely guilt-free.

*not shoes. Unless you have really small feet, like my mate Paul.
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News, Uncategorized
A few months back, we submitted a few of our 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 folk know their onions – and their teas – so Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality 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, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting by hundreds of judges.   

So, in addition to those that won awards last year (check them out here), here are the new blends that have shot to the top of the class.

Lemongrass & Coconut


This caffeine-free blend smells, tastes and looks stunning, and is delicious whether served hot or cold. (Or even when made into a jelly – check out our recipe here).  The judges said “A stunning blue colour, very unusual and novel, very fresh and lively with a hint of fruitiness and a strong lemon which give it a good balance. Intriguing for sure.” Aw, thanks judges!  Order Lemongrass & Coconut here.

Pure Rooibos

Pronounced ‘Roy-Boss’, this rich, nutty brew with a dark copper hue is naturally caffeine-free. According to the Great Taste Judges, it has a “nice bright smell with hints of vanilla and the liquor is a deep copper/amber colour. The aroma is lovely.” And they should know, right? Order Pure Rooibos here

Classic Earl

We’ve taken our popular Earl Great and given it more oomph by increasing the amount of high-grown Sri Lankan tea in each cup. Said the judges, “A bright, brisk and astringent base tea. Not a typical Earl Grey expression, almost jasmine-noted, but the overall feel was pleasing.” Order Classic Earl here

With Great Taste Awards regarded as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, we’re so chuffed to now have awards for 10 of our blends. Ultimately, our teas are all about taste and it’s for this, rather than branding and packaging, that these awards recognise. (The fact that our packaging is so lovely is just an added bonus.)

Winning awards is lovely, no doubt about it. But ultimately. we just create teas that we hope that our customers will love.  That, rather than gongs and medals, is what it’s all about. Chin chin!

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News
Here at Twist HQ – like so many others across the UK and beyond – we were delighted to welcome the arrival of Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Harry and Meghan’s little boy. 
 
And, with the Royal Family back in the spotlight, we thought it would be a good opportunity to launch our delicious Royal Tea’ blend, created at the personal request of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, and share how it came about.
 
It’s a long story, but it starts with us sending some samples of our tea to a number of publishers and broadcasters in London, in the hope that they’d like them and mention them to their readers.  Luckily, they pretty much all did.
 
The editor of one magazine we approached was SO impressed that he went on a bit of a crusade on our behalf. He just happened to be an acquaintance of Princess Michael of Kent – it’s fairly standard to have members of the royal family on speed dial, right? – and said:

“Ooh, I’ll tell you what, that Princess Michael of Kent loves her tea. Can’t get enough of it. How’s about I take her some to try, see if she likes it?”


(Or words to that effect. He’s a top journo so writes much better than this, obvs.)

He does.. and she does.  Next thing we know, we’ve been summonsed to Kensington Palace to give her a proper tea tasting.  We put on our finery, get our hair done, practice our curtsying and bowing and there we are, in a beautiful drawing room, talking through some of our collection.  We were absolutely delighted that she really loved what she tasted – so much so that she decided to serve them at a garden party last summer.
 
During our discussion, we asked her what scents and flavours she liked, and it turns out she’s a big fan of rose and cinnamon.  She asked if we could create a blend that combined the too, and we duly did.  What else could we call it but Royal Tea?
 
Initially, we only created a small batch, and have been sending samples to members of our Tea Club or to a handful of the hotels, cafes and restaurants we supply.  But, feedback has been so good so we’ve ramped up production and added it to our range. It’s a caffeine-free fruity and floral blend that includes pear and apple, orange peel and hibiscus as in addition to the Princess’s favourites, rose and cinnamon. Why not try some and see if you like it; you’ll be moving in lofty circles if you do!
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News


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 know 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 into 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!  

 
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