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French Maid, Tease Maid
Bonjour, je m'appelle Susie et aujourd'hui, je suis la bonne française. Aimeriez-vous une tasse de thé chic ? OK that's stretching my French Maid O level skills to the limit so we'll continue in English if you don't mind.
Tea is after all quintessentially an English afternoon drink and what French maids may do to spice up an English beverage is probably a little off topic for this review. However you may read this in your best maid outfit if you want to add a little extra flavour to your tea.
A few weeks ago whilst doing the unusual task of wandering up and down supermarket aisles (usually the nice man gives it to me on the doorstep), I stopped to ponder the unusual teas and was specifically looking for a white tea flavoured with blackcurrant which a fellow reviewer had brought to my attention. All of a sudden out of nowhere I was accosted by the nutter in the store. He was male and I was quick to note he'd burst into flames if I struck a match anywhere nearby.
At this point I realized there was no blackcurrant white tea on the shelves but I was holding a packet of green tea and nettle as it stood out as a bit bizarre. The man decided to inform me that the red own brand tea was lovely and much cheaper. I smiled knowingly and said I fancied something unusual for a change. He came closer and proceeded to tell me that he was a Romany and that nettle tea gave him the sh*ts (his words not mine). Rather than hurriedly put the tea back on the shelf, I reckoned (in my own unconventional way of thinking) that this tea was probably lovely and that the vodka breath male had most likely brewed a few nettle leaves in his mug one day (that the local wild dogs had probably peed on). Thus, into my basket went a packet of Clipper Green Tea & Nettle.
The tea box itself is really rather pretty, featuring a large picture of a white lily-like flower (I'm sure it's not a nettle) and a maroon strip with white writing to the left of it. It looks classy in an environmentally friendly sort of way (the box is biodegradable and can be recycled).
There are 25 tea bags in the box and the sell by date indicates that they remain fresh for about one year. They are contained within a foil pack inside the box.
Strange Cup of Tea?
You can listen to a little audio clip if you want to make this review a little more multi faceted and be distracted by the lovely David Tennant at the same time: (http://youtube.com/watch?v=tWhV_He_sqU). What a carry on, ah back to the French maid are you sitting comfortably, then I'll continue.
Green Tea with Nettle is a bizarre cup of tea, you can tell that by looking at the tea bag. The bags look as though they've already been brewed and dried out, with a yellowy tinge, distinctly offputting but they give off a very earthy, mother nature ambience if you are entertaining any organic / vegan / greeny guests. It says on the box that the tea bags are this colour because they are not bleached. Here I must dutifully note that Green Tea & Nettle is not organic or Fairtrade although many of the Clipper tea and coffee range are either or both.
Clipper Green Tea with Nettle is advertised as light and refreshing and a natural source of antioxidants. It says nothing on the box about making you run to the toilet (honest). It is however widely known that green tea does act as a diuretic and will have you rushing to empty your bladder faster than normal. Don't take this tea in a flask on a works outdoor activity weekend unless you are happy to pee in a bush at short notice.
Green tea should always be drunk without milk because milk apparently ruins the flavour completely. You can add sugar or sweetener though, that's OK.
You can use the 'dunk in a cup of boiling water method' which I do, or you can enhance the quality of the tea by brewing it in a teapot. Of course you should use china cups as well but my Tinkerbelle mug will have to suffice since our china cups are on the very highest shelf and I can't reach them without getting the ladders out (and then you might get a glimpse upskirt, ahem ooh la la).
The on pack instructions suggest you should infuse for one to three minutes. Green tea can be quite bitter if you are not used to it, a short infusion is a good idea the first time you try it. I have tried several green teas in the past and found this particular green tea the least bitter of them all. I can even leave the teabag in the cup and drink it all without having to spit it out at the end.
The reason for the lack of bitterness in this green tea may be the added peppermint which is not at all obvious on the pack. If it had been I would have been inclined to put it back and take the advice of the drunkard. I never did fancy toothpaste flavoured tea. However, serendipity had her way and I really do quite like the mild pepperminty taste of this tea. You may be wondering where is the nettle? I wondered that too but having never tasted raw nettle I wouldn't know it unless I fell into a bush and got a mouthful as well as a body stung to hives. Sorry there are some lengths I will not go for the sake of a thorough review. You can go taste some nettle leaves yourself if you must. This tea is however made up 35% nettle, green tea and natural peppermint flavour.
The one big question I wanted answering when I purchased this pack of teabags was 'does it contain caffeine'? Having read the box writing several times over, I am non the wiser. A search on the clipper website informs me that both white and green tea DOES contain caffeine, the amount being dependant on the strength of brewing. If you don't believe me you can go ogle yourself at website (www.clipper-teas.com). I was a little disappointed to discover this, so much for my attempt to be a little less hyper. Still, I know you all love me just the way I am and at 99p for a pack of 25, you're not really going to get too badly stung if you try it yourself.
Thanks for reading.
Combining the cleansing, detox action of Nettles with the well know anti-oxidant benefits of green tea, this tea is both a refreshing drink and a boost for the system.