UNITEA BLENDS: TEA REVIEW

I was thrilled to be invited to review the Unitea Blends tea range. The company headed up by Jay sources tea leaves from Sri Lanka. Jay carefully sources authentic tea to create a premium range.  There are six flavour profiles each named after a mood or vibe, which I think is really clever.

All loose-leaf teas were steeped in a teapot infuser as suggested for 3-4 minutes with two teaspoons of tea. There were tea-bags in the care-package too, which looked like this. I loved the gossamer texture of the tea-bag fabric, making this feel like a luxury product.

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I have a naturally sweet tooth and usually have a sweetener in my beverages. For the first few sips, I tasted the teas without sweetener, to get a true taste. I then added a few drops of trusty Agave syrup. Here are my thoughts on the tea range by Unitea Blends.

Fitness

(Sencha green tea, red berry, apple, hibiscus, lavender)

fitness

One of the more fragrant teas with dominant notes of apple. I can taste citrus reds, with a hint of raspberry and strawberry. This tea boasts botanical benefits, and in conjunction with the tart apple, makes for a healthy fruit punch. Hibiscus is a faint flower in the background, marrying well with the berries. Produces a pale, barely-there blonde colour when brewed.

What I thought

The slight tartness from the hibiscus and berries is refreshing, think of a tempered version of the juiciest cranberry and you’re there imagining how this delicious tea tasted. A glug of sweetener (you can use honey) brings out the flavour of the different components, especially the hibiscus. This tea is great to sip after a gym session (I decanted it into a flask and drank it chilled for a healthy post-gym workout treat.

Energy

(Green tea, ginseng, ginger)

energy

Whole leaf Sencha green tea with ginger and ginseng produces a golden amber colour with hint of sepia when brewed.

There are dominant notes of fragrant Sencha, similar to freshly cut grass (but a milder aroma) mingled with refreshing ginger, which is warming on the swallow.

Sencha tea is rich in antioxidants thought to have many health benefits including keeping the heart healthy and aiding general wellbeing. Ginseng used prolifically in Chinese medicine is known to be an effective energy booster. Reduces tiredness and peps you up without the aid of caffeine.

What I thought

I really like this tea. It makes you feel as if you’re giving your body some TLC. The ginger isn’t over-powering, which stands up well to the higher concentrate of green tea. Green tea is an acquired taste, but please don’t be put off by this wonderful concoction. It really works.

Awake

(Black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorn)

awake

Whole leaf Ceylon black tea with chai spices. Traditionally sipped with a milk latte style, a gigantic pot of this tea is kept brewing from dawn till late evening in many Indian households. Having infiltrated the UK conscience since Starbucks, Costa et al started serving chai latte, chai is now readily available and sought after in the UK. A savvy and great flavour profile in the Unitea Blends range.

What I thought

I love my masala chai first thing in the morning, and this is the closest thing to an authentic chai from the Unitea Blends range. If you dig warm, aromatic spices, this is the one for you. Gentle heat from the cinnamon is the perfect partner to scented cardamom. I can taste the actual cardamom pods, not just the outer husk. You have to really concentrate to get the nutmeg, but it’s definitely there. Produces a pale amber tea. I tasted the tea sans milk and sugar for the first few sips, which is where I made the notes above. I then decanted some in a pan, added milk, heated till small bubbles appeared and added Agave. I loved this tea with milk and sugar, and it beats any chai latte I have tasted anywhere else.

Refresh

(Ginger, lemongrass, Sencha green tea)

refresh

Use of ingredients vaunted for their health boosting qualities is a cool, clever move by Unitea Blends. Ginger is used to keep colds at bay, whilst lemongrass is popular in Ayurvedic medicine. Green tea is the base for this zingy tea that will make you feel as if you’re ready to face the world. Produces a pale cup of tea.

What I thought

This ginger heavy tea with a delicious dose of citrussy lemongrass is another fragrant tea. I find lemongrass the sweeter version of lemons, with an earthy kick that goes so well with the green tea. One for ginger lovers and those who want a drink that will wake up the senses. I’m not a frequent drinker of green tea, but this concoction renders the green tea more palatable.

Rest

(Chamomile, ginseng, rose petals)

rest

Sweet rose petals caress a fragrant chamomile. The latter is popular for its healing properties, being used to alleviate hay fever, insomnia, ulcers and skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.

What I thought

Produces a clear tea; the only inkling it is a tea, is the wonderful aroma emanating from the cup. This is the one drink that I am happy not having sweetener in. This is down to the sweet aroma of the rose petals, which is uplifting and comforting in equal measure. Great if you’re relaxing at home, or if you’re having an at-home pamper session. This tea has a natural home in a spa and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this in establishments providing holistic treatments across the country.

Essential

(Ceylon black tea)

essential

This full-bodied black tea produces a deep tea and is the darkest from the range. It is intense, delivering a profound tea hit and as such, is the perfect breakfast tea.

What I thought

This is one of the smoothest teas and the base is perfect as it is. It is uncomplicated yet delicious. If you’re feeling creative, you can add whatever breakfast spice you want (cardamom, cinnamon the usual suspects), although it is wonderful as it is. I had mine with a splash of milk and sweetener. Great for those craving a “kadak chai” (or strong tea).

Unitea Blends is a UK producer based in Nottingham. For more information about Unitea Blends and to buy their tea, check out their Facebook, Twitter or website.

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