Teapigs Chocolate & Matcha Teas – A Review
Quite some time ago, Teapigs sent me a small sachet of matcha tea to try, along with three chocolate flake tea temples (otherwise known as funny shaped teabags). The matcha I tried straight away, but the tea temples I managed to mislay until this week. The weather was thoroughly cold, wet and unpleasant so it seemed like a good day for a tidy up and that’s when I found them.
Tea temples are Teapigs’ answer to loose leaf tea without the bother and mess that comes with teapots, tea strainers and associated paraphenalia. The bags are see-through allowing good visibility of the tea leaves within. They are tetrahedrons with plenty of head room for the tea to infuse properly rather than being straight jacketed in a teabag. And on top of all this, they are also biodegradable – genius.
Chocolate tea sounded like an exciting concept and I was keen to try it – once I’d found the lost tea temples. The tea smelt both fruity and chocolatey and looked as though it contained black tea leaves as well as flakes of chocolate. I placed a temple in a teapot, poured on two cups of boiling water (I like my tea weak) and left it to brew slightly longer than I meant to. By the time I’d managed to find somewhere light enough to take a half decent photograph, the tea was cool enough to drink. On first slurp, the overriding taste was fruit and quite sweet fruit at that. Second slurp, I tasted chocolate – aha – but still not coming through as strongly as the fruitiness. Third slurp and the distinctive astringent drying quality of black tea was there. When I had a look on the Teapigs website for ingredients, I found the tea consists of black tea, chocolate chips, cocoa bean and natural flavouring. Ah, natural flavouring, that’s what must give it the predominant fruity flavour. Unfortunately there were no more details than this, so I was unable to ascertain what type of black tea was used or what the chocolate chips consisted of. I think it’s a shame fruit flavours (if that’s what they were) were added to the tea; it would be far better without and would allow the chocolate to come through a little more. I have to say I was not overly impressed with this particular tea.
I was hoping to make a cake with the matcha as I really like it in cooking – do have a look at some of the matcha bakes I’ve made so far. But there wasn’t enough for that, so I consoled myself by drinking it instead. Matcha as I have mentioned on numerous occasions is meant to be very good for you. I also like it – both colour and taste. I had no complaints about the matcha powder from Teapigs. It was ground beautifully fine (by granite rollers) and tasted as good as the matcha tea that CT brought back from Japan when he went there a few years ago. It got additional bonus points for being organic too. This tea I was very happy with.