Why are you called Twist?
We decided to call ourselves Twist as all of our teas and tisanes are a little different; they’re tea with a twist. An additional ingredient with a functional benefit, or an unconventional flavour-pairing that transforms something nice into something spectacular... A tea that’s as delicious chilled as it is hot, or one that tastes so good it must be bad (but isn’t). They’re full of little surprises that make them different. We like to think of them as Blends with Benefits.
What’s your story?
We’re a small company based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, run by mother and daughter combo Nicky and Claire. With a passion for a good cuppa, we decided to see if we could make something healthy, tasty and a little different, so enlisted the help of old friends Fraser (a marketer) and Nick (a former retailer), and tea sommelier Angela. You can find out a little more about the team here.
Where does tea come from?
All tea comes from the same bush, camellia sinensis. It’s grown all around the world, largely between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn where the climate is wet and warm. Most, but not all, tea comes from India, China, Sri Lanka and Kenya. It can even be grown here in the UK, but the conditions are far from ideal and our reliably unreliable weather makes it hard and, well, unreliable
Do you buy British?
We’d love to buy British, and we do where we can. If we could grow tea at our base in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, we would! But, the reality is that the best tea is grown in very different climates and conditions to ours, and we don’t want to compromise on quality
What’s the difference between a tea and a tisane?
If it’s not camellia sinensis, it’s not really a tea. So, drinks based on other herbs and fruit are normally referred to as a herbal tea, tisane or infusion. Rooibos tea, sometimes known as redbush tea, is a herbal tea
There’s lots to choose from. How come?
Tea is like wine; the soil, climate and altitude, the processes and the skill of the people involved, all impact the taste and quality. By changing the mix of these variables, there’s the potential for infinite different blends. Luckily, we’ve created a handful that we think are really great, to make your choice a little easier!
Are Twist teas organic?
We’re all about taste and quality. If we can find organic tea that’s up to scratch, we’ll use it, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. We’d rather create a great tasting tea that’s not organic than a poor tasting tea that is.
What about Fairtrade?
Again, taste and quality are paramount. The best quality teas aren't necessarily Fairtrade, and while we fully support the concept of fair trade, we don’t think that only tea traded under the Fairtrade banner is traded fairly. Our blenders pay a premium price for our teas, which come from sustainable, quality tea estates. sourced from quality estates which have a sustainable business model. They’ve personally visited nearly 150 such estates around the world, and every batch can be traced back to source.
Are your pyramid teabags biodegradeable?
Yes. They’re made of cornsilk, which biodegrades within a couple of months in an industrial composter. It will take rather longer on your own compost heap, so we recommend putting it in with your food waste collection. On the whole, standard square or round paper teabags are sealed with a glue that isn’t biodegrable.
Your tea seems rather expensive…
True, it’s possible to buy teabags way cheaper than Twist teas. But like most things, you get what you pay for. All our tea is made from whole leaves, rather than the dusty, powdery stuff normally found in teabags. As the leaves are bigger, they need more space to circulate to release the full flavour, hence the pyramid bags. Give them a go – we think once you’ve tried them, you’ll want to Twist again!
Why don’t you do a decaffeinated tea?
It all comes down to taste and quality. Our mission is to create a range of innovative, interesting, healthy, quality teas, and we don’t think it’s possible to do this while putting the materials through the processes involved in taking the caffeine out. If you’re steering clear of caffeine, why not try one of our rooibos teas like Mint Humbug and Banana Shake, which are delicious with a splash of milk, or one of our fruit teas?
Do you use artificial flavours in any of your teas?
No. End of story.
Can I drink tea while pregnant or breastfeeding?
It’s probably best to ask your GP if you have any concerns about this, and take their advice.