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I'm a big fan of the Teapigs brand. I think the quality of their teas are second to none, and they make some really healthy, delicious, and original blends. Their packaging is eye catching, and, importantly, bio degradable. Today I wanted to take the time to review my most recent purchase, their 'Super Fruit' tea.
First of all, I want to agree with one of the other reviews on here which states that the name 'Super Fruit' is simply a marketing tool. Whilst certainly a healthier option than a normal tea with milk and sugar, there are far more beneficial blends of tea out there than this one. Indeed, it isn't really 'super' at all when you look at the ingredients - 'hibiscus, elderberries, currants, blackcurrants, natural flavouring, cranberries, blueberries'. Granted, these berries are extremely nutritious when eaten, but I can't imagine the health benefits are harnessed when drinking a very small amount in the form of a tea. That being said, the hibiscus is very relaxing and has been proven to have beneficial impacts on blood pressure.
On the box, it says to infuse the tea for at least three minutes. Having tried this tea, I would point out that 3 minutes is nowhere near enough if you want a full flavoured tea. I would suggest leaving it for at least 10.
Now, on to the taste. As a hot drink, this makes quite a refreshing change to some of my other favourite teas - green, peppermint, and rooibos to name a few. That being said, the novelty quickly wears off and it soon tastes just like hot, weak fruit juice. For me, my eureka moment was when I tried making an iced tea with these teabags. It was like drinking a completely different drink! It was extremely refreshing, especially when I served it with a wedge of cucumber and a squeeze of lime. Note - here I infused the tea for 20 minutes to bring out an even fuller flavour.
Price wise, its on par with other Tea Pigs teas - I paid £2.19 for a box of 15. This puts it at the premium end of the teas I buy.
On the whole, I would recommend this product to anyone who intends to use it as an iced tea. I wouldn't recommend it if you are going to drink it hot, as there are far more exciting blends out there for better value. I also wouldn't buy it for any supposed 'super' health benefits; you'd be better off with a simple green tea!
While I'm finding it a bit annoying how absolutely freezing outside it is at the minute, it does mean that I enjoy having a hot cup of tea when I get home all the more. My tea selection spans an entire shelf but mainly comprises fruit and herbal teas, as I'm not allowed caffeine on the diet I'm currently on. I love Tea Pigs teas but at £3.99 per pack of 15 tea temples, it's a bit pricey. I have a few but they're only an occasional purchase due to their price and so I hadn't tried this fruit tea despite coveting it for a while. I was therefore very grateful to receive it as a present for my birthday from my friends who know how much I love tea. I've been rationing the pack as much as possible as it'd be expensive to buy a second pack but have been really enjoying it.
== Tea Pigs ==
Tea Pigs is an expensive but high quality company, which unsurprisingly specialises in tea. They don't do tea in tea bags, as such, but rather in tea temples, which are pyramid shaped bags made of mesh. They contain whole leaves of tea or pieces of fruit rather than powder, which give the tea a richer, better flavour when it's brewed. This accounts for their higher price but also their better quality compared to other tea brands.
== Super Fruit Tea ==
This is purely a fruit tea and contains no tealeaves at all. Its ingredients are: hibiscus, elderberries, currants, blackcurrants, natural flavouring, cranberries and blueberries - quite a lot of berries, then. Super Fruits is so named as two of the fruits contained (blueberries and cranberries) are superfoods, which means they're particularly healthy. You prepare this tea by steeping the tea temple in hot water for three minutes, using one temple per person.
=== Taste ===
This tea unsurprisingly tastes of berries and has a very pleasant flavour. It's sweet without being overly so and tastes quite fresh. I've had quite a few berry teas and would say that this is one of my favourites in terms of taste. None of the individual berries come through strongly but the combination is a pleasant one.
== In Conclusion ==
This is a very nice tea and I'm glad that I got it for my birthday. I would say, however, that it's not as worth the price as other Tea Pig varieties are, as although it's lovely, it's not miles ahead of other berry teas. I think that I'll still continue to buy other Tea Pigs teas, such as Liquorice and Peppermint, but that I'll probably stick to cheaper brands for fruit teas after this. That said, if you've got money to spare and you fancy a properly nice fruit tea, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this. If that's not the case, however, it's probably not massively worth buying.
A cup of Teapigs tea is always a beautiful experience. I have flavours I prefer, flavours that set my taste buds alight and some I have just never tried. I have yet to find one I don't like! Recently, I was lucky enough to win a competition through their website that won me 6 boxes of their speciality fruit and herb teas. So I have been conducting the 'hard' task of deciding which ones I like best!
What is in it/What does it look like
The Superfruit tea is a mix of an inviting blend of fruits and herbal things:
Hibiscus, elderberries, currants, blackcurrants, flavouring, cranberries, blueberries
Hibiscus acts as the very herby tasting yet mild base for the other flavours, creating a kind of earthy undertone. If you have ever drunk a cup of straight hibiscus tea then you might know that it has a deep red colour, which I think is possibly used as a blend in this tea for this effect. The overall colour of the tea, once stewed for a few minutes, is definitely a reddish purple, aided no doubt also by the blackcurrants and blueberries.
It is packed with antioxidants according to the box. We hear this all the time- blueberries will stop a heart attack or 'superfoods' will help you live longer. Who knows if it is true? Apparently in 3 cups of tea, such as this Superfruit tea, you will get the antioxidants of 6 apples worth. That is pretty good! Though who knows if these are actually mopping up our free radicals and preventing cancer, or if we just get a smile on our faces when we drink a yummy cup of tea and our state of mind helps our body to heal. I like the sound of the latter, take the former with a pinch of salt, but feel great when I drink tea so know I must be doing something right!
So, unless you went wild and bought the loose leaf tea online or from somewhere special, the Superfruit Teapigs blend comes in a standard 37.5g box containing 15 tea 'temples'. These pyramids are made of a biodegradable material that because of the 3D tetrahedron shape allows for maximum room for the tea leaves (or fruit in this case) to expand, packing a fuller flavour into your drink. Teapigs beats its rivals by supporting a biodegradable pyramid rather than, as Liptons and PG tips have done, adopting a synthetic material that biodegrades less easily than paper tea bags. I wonder how long before other companies follow suit! Interestingly, the pieces inside the tea bag are larger because have more room, and are not 'dusty' like other brands of tea, this has the added benefit of meaning that the tea will tend to last longer. Little pieces of broken leaves and fruity bits in smaller pieces would have more surface area exposed to the air and thus go stale faster. The box is a simple brown cardboard design, with a little window showing the temples inside and a little image in pink of a lady with a huge fruit-hat. It just says, 'bursting with superberries' and then a little note about being caffeine free and a brownish/black teapigs brand. The box can be recycled, which is great. A wealth of brownie points for Teapigs! However, unfortunately the interior is a plastic bag and thus this doesn't help their green credentials, though I am not sure what the alternatives could be to keep the tea sealed and fresh. This could be a new innovation that some tea company, including Teapigs could try? Come to think of it I think Celestial Seasonings use a paper sealed bag inside a cardboard box. So this is a downside of the packaging.
I have a habit of always leaving a herb teabag in the mug the whole time I am stewing or drinking it. I like the way this gives a rich flavour, even if sometimes a bit overpowering or bitter. This way you never get a watery cup! Yuck!
So I dowsed the bag with a cup of boiling water, let it sit for probably five minutes or so and then took a first sip. It has quite an astringent bitterness, which you notice when it hits your tongue. This is perhaps an acquired taste but nothing unusual if you are used to herbal teas in general. You then get a wealth of flavour that is just so beautiful. It has a hot blackcurrant jammyness that your grandma might have made.
The hibiscus helps to carry the other fruity flavours without overpowering them, though I have to say I think blackcurrant is the most prominent flavour. I don't taste individually the currants or elderberries, but the tea stews such a rich brew that you can savour the taste like a wine connoisseur and dream up wild descriptions of the 'hint of this' and a 'hint of that'. Elderberries probably give floral notes.....
Teapigs suggest on the box you serve it with honey or cream (!). Would be delicious I am sure! Sugar would make it very jam like. But it is super-sweet already so I wouldn't say it needs it. I don't like sugar in my tea, but if you do, it would go nicely, just don't sweeten like you would black tea. This is a mild, earthy bitterness rather than something harsher.
This is where it literally becomes like a winery. This is, in my opinion, some of the best tasting tea in the world. Herb and fruit teas don't get much better than Teapigs. But, you pay a premium. Online it costs £3.99 for a box of 15 tea bags, equating to 27p a cup. That is quite a bit. And you certainly get a taste for it and become a bit spoiled with the depth of flavour. It might be nice to have in the cupboard for special times though or when you really feel like it.
Teapigs are quite unique amongst the companies out there selling teas. Each cup is a delight, but you pay a price for it. Once I run out of my post-competition supplies, I won't be getting any again for quite some time. But the memory shall live on...my taste buds shall yearn for superfruity deliciousness!
I like the cute tag on the website too- advertising it as "Good if you're feeling slow and lifeless. The antioxidants will help stave off "Squashed Hedgehog Syndrome" (i.e. "feeling run down" Get it? Sorry).
Way to go Teapigs!
Brand: Tea Pigs / contains blueberries and cranberries.