Today’s another review post, and this one goes out to all my tea-loving friends! Now, I know I seem more like a coffee person (what with my barista experience, and my “Coffee” series) but, I am not a proper Asian/British, without my love for tea too! I absolutely love good tea, and I don’t just mean English Breakfast (which is the standard go-to for many of my tea loving friends), but I mean a whole range of teas.
I’m talking about Jasmine, Earl Grey, Countess Grey, Matcha Green, Black Chai, you name it! I love them all, but what has me really hopping off the walls…or at least relaxing with a good book, is my favourite Jasmine Green Tea, and it’s not just any Jasmine Green, I’m actually pretty obsessed with the one made by Birchall Tea.
I was introduced to this brand, when I was back at work in the office, as a customer services assistant. They came in, to give us a little demonstration of what they had on offer, and needless to say, I fell in love with their brand. Now, I don’t know if they do international shipping, but if you live in the UK, you can definitely buy it for yourself!
What Defines Good Tea
Alright, here we go. In my opinion, good tea is devoid of leaf, leaf bits or offshoots, the tea itself is clear, and the colour of the tea is bright. Now, if you went to a professional teashop, you’re guaranteed to get that quality, because they make sure your tea is perfectly brewed. If you’re buying off the shelf, you might be fine with what you’re getting, because it’s cheap, but that doesn’t mean it is good quality.
You see, I learned that those branded teas you’ll find in supermarkets are just as bad, or worse than the supermarket brands, purely because they don’t filter out the offshoots in their teabags, so your tea might be more bland or bitter, than the really good quality tea.
What Do You Mean By Offshoots?
Ok, so we’re going to get a little technical here. If you want really good quality tea, the best always offers the pure leaf, what I mean is take a look at the picture of a tea stalk below.
Now, proper tea is made from the leaves. ONLY THE LEAVES. Do you get where I’m coming from? That’s right, the stalk and the stem of the leaves are basically what needs to not be in a tea bag to make it good quality. That’s why it’s called offshoots, because you need to take them off the leaves. Of course, factories don’t really care about that. As long as it’s part of the tea plant, it goes in the bag.
That’s why you’ll probably get tea that looks a little more greyish, than others, or the taste isn’t quite what you’re after. No matter what brand you go for, you’ll find they’ll use offshoots in every tea bag. The more offshoots there are in your tea bag, the cheaper the quality.
How Can You Tell?
Ok, so this might be a waste of tea bags, but if you really want to know, take a tea bag out of your stash and rip it open. I know, I know, it’s a waste, but it’ll help you understand what I’m talking about. If you open it over a piece of paper, or a kitchen towel, it’ll help you see what I mean.
Now, you see the black parts of the chopped leaves and stuff? Yeah, that’s supposed to be in there, but do you see the lighter brown parts? That’s not meant to be there. These are the offshoots. Those offshoots are the things that give your tea that woody flavour and lessens the brightness of your tea.
Of course, it’s not just that. There’s also a difference when you choose a paper tea bag or a silk one. In many professional opinions, the silk tea bags offer higher quality tea than paper ones. That’s because, when you use paper tea bags, the residue from the paper comes off, as the tea is brewed, so you’ll get a film on the top of the tea. Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s those little dark circles you see floating on top of the tea.
It doesn’t harm you; it just makes your tea less appealing. Of course, that’s not the only thing that causes them, the quality of the water you’re using could also contribute to it. So, that’s why silk tea bags are better quality. Yes, they’re more expensive, and harder to find, but you’ll find your tea tastes much better if you do.
Although, nothing beats loose leaf tea!
Back To The Review
Ok, I could go on and on about how to brew the perfect cuppa, but I won’t do that here. That, I will save for another post. Anyway, back to the review…If there’s anything I want you guys to understand about Birchall, it’s this. The quality is one of the best I’ve ever tasted, especially for a tea bag. When I say this, it’s because I mostly drink loose leaf tea. It’s one of the purest qualities of tea you can find.
However, for a tea bag, Birchall has the best quality. I’ve not tasted anything better, especially for jasmine tea. Not to mention, if you buy their English Breakfast, or their Great Rift brand, you’ll find that the tea is the brightest you’ve ever seen, and it is absolutely beautiful.
Now, since I’ve bought from them myself, I encourage you to buy your teas from them. That’s why, I’ve attached a discount code for all of you! That’s right, you’ll get 25% off your first order with them, if you add in the code below!
Oh, and if you’re worried about how environmentally friendly and how sustainable they are, believe me they are the most sustainable brand I’ve ever heard of. Their packaging (apart from their everyday tea bags) is 100% plastic free, and some are even compostable. So, you won’t have to worry about damaging the planet with plastic!
Not to mention, they are the first tea factory that is powered by solar panels! That’s right, they are using renewable energies to power their manufacturing process, so they don’t release carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gases!
Ok, I’m not going to go on and on about them, but if you want to know more, check out their website, at the link below! I promise you; you’ll want to try them out! Just don’t forget your 25% discount code!
Well, that’s it from me today. I’ll see you guys later with another review post. I might talk about another Korean skincare, or maybe a haircare product…who knows! I’ll see you then!