A Love Affair with Green Tea: Discover my Picks

Despite going on and on about coffee, I am actually a big tea lover. Green tea, that is. I don’t drink black because a) I don’t like it and b) it makes me feel sick and nauseated. The only exception is my beloved Earl Grey, not too strong though and only once in a while with a huge plate of eggs royale and a nice avo toast for brunch.

Of course one of the perks of living in London is having a wide and diversified selection of teas and tea shops: whether it is the little Whittard of Chelsea shop in Covent Garden or the iconic and elegant Fortnum & Mason or the modern interior design of the Austrralian T2, tea shops are my happy place, where I usually spend at least one hour trying to decide very carefully which tea I will be purchasing. And of course that includes a good amount of time spent in smelling and testing.

I have been a huge lover of green tea for some time now, but it was only after I lived in Japan that I discovered all its varieties and true benefits. Personally I find green and white tea more sophisticated and more delicate than black tea (sorry for the Brits reading this) and it does wonders to my digestion. I religiously drink one cup of green tea after dinner: it’s like a ritual, a way of pampering myself from inside and preparing for a nice and relaxing evening with my comfy clothes sitting on the sofa and simply enjoying the moment. Pure bliss!

Here is a list of my current favourites:

Tea Discoveries Mango & Bergamot Caddy – No. 07 by Whittard of Chelsea (£15)

DSC_0235DSC_0243Ingredients: green tea, mango flavouring, lulo flavouring, 1.5 % petals (cornflower, sunflower and rose) and bergamot flavouring

This is the tea I am most obsessed with at the moment as it takes me straight into summer mood. It’s fresh, delicate and exotic and it tastes amazingly good both when served hot or cold. Once you open the lovely Whittard jar, which has been made as a celebration of the British countryside, there is an overwhelming almost citrus-y aroma that spreads in the air and the same essence can be tasted also once the tea leaves are brewed. And insignificant note aside: the 07 on the tea caddy looks like 007 from the Bond movies, which I am the biggest fan. I simply had to have it.

Shop it here and here.

Exclusively Blended Green Tea with Bergamot by Harrods (£6.50)

DSC_0253Ingredients: Sri Lanka green tea (97%) and bergamot flavouring (3%)

There is something about bergamot that I simply can’t explain. It’s like with roses or vanilla … give me something that has any of these ingredients in it and I would have it. It might be the intensity of the bergamot or the fact that its scent combines both sweetness and spiciness, whatever that is, it is mesmerizing and it makes my tea time extremely enjoyable. I have come across this variety from Harrods once when I was tea-as-souvernir-from-the-uk-shopping and when I opened the package at home it was love at firs sight: it has a much more stronger taste than the Whittard one and I would probably have it rather for an afternoon tea than in the evening. Currently sold out online, but you can easily find it at the Food Court in Harrods. If you live abroad, this is the link to shop it on their website when it gets re-stocked.

Sencha Vanilla by T2 (£7.50)

DSC_0261Ingredients: Sencha green tea and vanilla flavouring

{Note: the tin pictured above is not the T2 one. I have simply replaced the original tea package with the Japanese one, as it was prettier and more appropriate for the tea itself.}

T2 is an Australian tea brand that sells ALL the possible combination of teas: fruity, spicy, green, organic, herbal, white, yellow, hand picked Jasmine pearl, Rooibos, you name it, T2 has it all. The store looks almost like a modern library with packages of tea displayed on the wall and each of them comes with a small black tin on the side that allows you to smell the tea before purchasing it. The only downside is their standard packaging, which I am not really a fan of, as they are pretty standard, nothing fancy. The Sencha Vanilla variety is very sweet and it goes perfectly well with cookies on a Sunday afternoon or as a simple ‘sweet treat’ in the morning. And since we are talking about morning … in case you might be bored with your typical English Breakfast tea, T2 offers breakfast in all cities of Australia: on Monday you can start your day in Brisbane, move to Sydney by Wednesday, Melbourne on Thursday and Perth over the weekend. And all of this at the reach of a cup of tea. Who said travelling is expensive?

Lipton® Spectacular Sencha and Green Tea Orange by Teekanne (both approx. £2)

DSC_0216Ingredients of the Lipton® Spectacular Sencha: green tea and flavoring

Ingredients of the Green Tea Orange by Teekanne: green tea (92%), orange flavouring (7%) and orange zest (1%)

Before moving to London my main resource of green teas was, and still is to a certain extent, Poland, whose tea culture is not as deeply rooted as in the UK, but it has its sort of tradition

Both the Lipton® Spectacular Sencha and the Green Tea Orange by Teekanne come in tea bags and despite trying to buy and drink only loos leaf tea, the former comes quite in hand at work. The flavour of the first tea is difficult to explain: it’s vert mild, flower-y and sweet, perfect for grey and cold mornings and rainy days. I managed to find some sample both on Amazon and Ebay, in case you fancy trying it. Follow links here and here.

My second choice is the Green Tea Orange, which again reminds me of summer and sunny destinations (hey Sicily, I am looking at you … see you in a week time!). The orange flavour is really strong and that tea tastes absolutely divine both hot and cold. And since it is quite difficult to find the exact one in the UK, just add the zest of one orange to your green tea leaves, brew it and you would end up with the same citrus-y tea.

DSC_0284

While I am writing this post I am sitting on my sofa, eating cherries and sipping a big cup of green tea and hand picked dried roses that I bought when I was in Dubai last year. Life can truly be sweet and luxurious sometimes and you don’t need 6 zero bank account to make it happen. And since I am quite posh (laughs) I will leave with an A-to-Z guide to British Tea Drinking Etiquette.

Enjoy the rest of the week, drink a lot of green tea and stay tuned for what’s coming up next. I might take you to an exotic journey to one of my favourite places in the entire world.

Thanks for reading.

Giulia

Note: this post is not sponsored by any of the companies aforementioned. Those are the brands that I genuinely like and buy on a regular basis and all opinions and pictures in this post are my own.

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