* Prices may differ from that shown
The Punjana/Thompsons family brand has been a constant brand name featured in my home and my dear departed granny's for as long as I can remember. In saying that the ladies on my mothers side are very fussy about their tea, so much so that my mum had me fill my hand luggage full of this tea when I came over to London to visit her from Belfast. My granny would also claim that you were a heathen for drinking any tea bag that wasn't square. (Although she would also claim you were a heathen if you put milk into the cup while the tea bag was still in there).
In terms of the packaging Punjana can be recognized by the bright metallic red exterior with a picture of whom I am assuming is a picture of Mr Thompson himself and his son as well as the declaration that they are an award winning tea. It also has a resealable lid in the form of a sticky tape like tongue similar to those of sweetie share bags. They also provide you with their website, address and sell by date on the sides and bottom of the packaging. Though I personally would not buy this range down to the packaging itself as I think its a little old fashioned and the people look a little bit "night of the living deadish" and although they would look great on a low budget horror movie set it I don't think they belong on a packet of tea. It is only because my mum and granny fed me this tea from an early age that I know the high quality of the product within.
Like all tea however preparation time only takes a few minutes, you get your favourite cup out of the cupboard (in our case the Laurence llewelyn Bowen bone china, yes aren't we tea snobs), Drop the substantial square tea bag in, boil the kettle (don't fill it all the way to the top if you are only serving yourself as it costs extra energy), Pour the bowling water in and watch the tea diffuse. Personally I like my tea as black as night so I sometimes take a tea spoon to it and give the tea bag a squeeze if I am rush, I know its readywhen you can't see the tea bag or teaspoon anymore and then after I remove the tea bag I add my milk (creature of habit dare not want to be a heathen granny!). Add sugar to taste if you feel obliged, I don't take sugar anymore in a bid to lose a little weight.
The colour is nice and strong really dark tea like very dark maple or treacle syrup, with a toffee colour once milk is added. The scent is a medium herb which is not over powering and perfectly blended for any occasion from breakfast to coming in after a night out, it can have an very strong bitter flavour if it is stewed to death in a tea pot or left too long but this can easily be diluted with more water or milk which is a great property if you are having loads of people over for a coffee/tea morning. Prices at our local shop vary between £2-£4 for the average sized family pack from 80-160 but you know you are paying for a quality tea.
If you accidentally spill a bag or intentionally cut it open to make your own blend or to have loose leaf tea you see that these tea bags actually contain tea leaves. Some of the cheaper teas such as Tesco's own brand or the cheap brands you can buy in the pound shops contain only the lower branches of the tea plants with no leaves on them which explains the weak grey dishwater like tea you get when you scrimp on the price. It's any wonder they can still call it tea at all when there are no leaves in it and it looks like dust should you accidentally spill it open.
Needless to say that Punjana doesn't fall into this category and will remain a permanent fixture in our home for years to come even if the packaging isn't to our taste and we usually keep the bags in a separate tin.
OK, I admit it, I'm a caffeine addict! Hey, as a mother of 6 kids I think I'm allowed to be. Life can be fairly non-stop in our house, and in the mornings everyone knows not to talk to me till I've had my coffee! But I only have that one coffee a day. At all other times it is tea that I reach for as a quick pick-me-up. I have a whole hour in the afternoons when my youngest son is napping, and the others are at school and nursery,and that is my time to sit and re-charge my batteries with a nice cuppa!
For a long time we used to buy Yorkshire Tea(being northerners you see!) and it was fine. Then we got into the habbit of buying which ever tea was on special offer from our local supermarket. Again,mostly it was OK, but not something I would ever feel too enthusiastic about.
Then one day, having been sent out on a mercy dash for tea bags,my hubby came back with the small shiny red packet of posh looking tea bags.Initially I was annoyed ("How much were THOSE?") but he assured me they had been on special offer.....It took me a few cups to realise that I was actually enjoying drinking tea much more than before. It was as if my cup of tea actually had a proper flavour to it for the first time ever! They make a greta full bodied cup of tea, even when used just in amug. They have no unpleasant after taste,and give you a lovely cup of tea that leaves you feeling refreshed! The packaging is sylish and pracitical, and best of all the price is reasonable, even when not on special offer. Now we always buy Punjana. In fact the only downside is once you get used to these, you won't be able to drink a cup of tea anywhere else without it tasting of warm milky dishwater!!
Both me and my father love our tea and I brought these tea-bags after having quite an in depth discussion with him over the telephone about them ( we really do talk about all-sorts! ) Both of us had previously been discussing how we found that the taste of the tea we normally drink had started to leave a bitter/tangy after taste and somewhat left our mouths quite dry, so he had been looking around for something different when he come across these. He told me how nice they were, even read the little quotes on the packet to me as-well and I thought they sounded rather nice, so when I did my next shop online, I decided to add some to my basket and I gave them a go. I'm honestly really glad that I did.
Now it's my turn to tell you what it says on the packaging! ....
This is written on the front of the packet....
"It was my father who perfected the Punjana blend. We pick the best Assam and Kenyan leaves to find it's full flavour. We love it ... We think you will too!"
And the back ....
"For over 100 years our family have been buying and blending the worlds finest teas.
In 1887 Robert Thompson trained in the art of tea tasting and soon become known for his uncompromising devotion to quality.
His search for the finest teas led him to the fertile Assam valley in the foothills of the Himalayas.
As the third generation of the Thompson family, we stay true to our tradition of bringing you a better cup of tea."
David Thompson & Ross Thompson
"We trade only with tea farmers who share our ideals, treating their workers fairly with proper wages, healthcare and education."
"There are no stalks or fibres in this pack .... Just pure leaf."
On the side of the packet, Thompson gives you his top tips ....
Use only freshly drawn water
(re-boiling takes the oxygen out and stops the tea from brewing properly)
Pre-heat the pot or mug
Make sure the water is boiling when pouring onto the tea ("off the boil" water doesn't infuse the tea properly)
Brew to taste for at least a minute, and don't be afraid to stir the tea (a tea bag floating on top, isn't doing it's job!)
.... Now does that taste better?
I love the design of the packaging and also the little quotes, the look and feel makes you think you are drinking something quite special! The colour scheme is burgundy and a grey/silver colour and the packet itself is made from a strong foil. Inside, the foil is a very shiny silver and although it's shiny on the outside, at different angles it has a matt look. I asume they have used this type of packaging to keep in the freshness. The teabags themselves are supported by a rigid piece of card and they are placed in such a way that you can take two out at a time. The pack is sealed with a big sticker which can then be used to reseal it once opened - mine hasn't got one any more so somewhere along the line, I must have lost it!
On the front there is a beautiful old photograph of James Thompson and his son who was only a small child at the time, this is in a light contrast of black and white, behind them both is a tea leaf bush - but in colour. I think all this looks rather nice as it gives it that personal touch which sets their packaging aside from others.
On the back there is another picture in colour, this shows a womens hand holding two tea leafs.
I don't usually think about the packaging that much at all but, I must say, it really is very attractive. The design has obviously been thought about very carefully and looks very natural.
The tea bag itself is rectangular - not quite square, and it seems a little larger than most too. The strength of the bag is very good and to this day, not one that I have used, has ever leaked or split.
This is a family tea and I am very happy with the taste, it's not particularly a very strong tea as it's for all of the family so has to meet the needs of various taste buds but the best thing about it, is it does not leave that horrible after taste in you mouth, like some others, neither does it make your mouth feel dry. The smell is tempting but also quite delicate, as is the taste - you can quite easily have two cups of this tea in a row.
I believe that it tastes like tea should (in this form anyway) and because the taste and smell is delicate and not at all overwhelming, I find you can appreciate the flavour of the tea much more. It does not taste synthetic, it's tastes natural, and I am very happy to drink this regularly and of course share that experience with you!
There are other varieties too; Punjana decaffeinated tea-bags, Punjana Fair-trade teabags and Punjana loose tea. I haven't tried these varieties myself so I am unable to comment on them but I am sure they are just as good if this is what you prefer.
If you want to find out more about the Company then they have a website, you'll find it written on the pack as-well. It is www.punjana.com. It's a nice site with quite a lot of pictures and information - I found some interesting information on here regarding the history of tea, and it gives you an insight into tea over many centuries. Tea, apparently was first discovered in 2737BC and here is a short piece from this page which explains how.
The origins of tea - 2737 BC
In ancient China, Emperor Shen Nung ruled that all drinking water must be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance to his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water. The Emperor drank some, and found it very refreshing, and so according to the legend, tea was created!
You can purchase this tea in most Supermarkets and you can also purchase these ones, along with the other varieties directly, via there website. They seem to sell them in packs of two or more, their price for two packets of 80 tea-bags ( the normal ones ) is £3.20. In Asda though, just the one pack of 80 is £1.35, so this is the most cheapest option by far.
Tea is really quite good for you, it has no calories when drunk without added sugar or milk and is a powerful antioxidant, there are also many other health benefits that tea brings with it and I personally think it's a much better choice than coffee. If you appreciate a good cuppa then I am sure you will enjoy Thompsons Punjana family tea bags.
Thank-you for reading!
"Pick Punjana tea, pick Punjana tea, savour the flavour, the big tea flavour, pick Punjana tea."
Punjana is my favourite tea, the usual one I buy for my home and the one I always prefer when I have a choice. I use the tea bags, but when I was growing up my Mother always used the loose tea, and actually to this day still does. My sister makes her tea by putting the tea bag in a cup and pouring on the boiled water, but this would not be my preferred way of doing it. My method for making the ultimate cup of tea is the one I learned from my Mother.
1. Boil the kettle, at the same time put the teapot onto the hob to heat, with a little water in the bottom to stop it burning. I don't use one of those fancy ceramic teapots, I like a stainless steel one that I can safely place on the hob.
2. Place 2 teabags into the teapot and pour on the boiled water. If there are more people for tea I would always add another teabag, the maximum number of cups my pot holds is about 4, 5 at a push.
3. Bring the teapot to the boil and then reduce the heat. Let the tea draw for a few minutes and then pour into the cup/mug. I always put the milk in first, my husband puts the tea in first, but I am not going to get into the scientific debate over milk or tea first!
4. Sit back and savour the flavour.
Punjana tea produces a golden liquid, it smells delightful, not too strong or overpowering. It smells sweet and just the way you would want the ideal tea to smell. I like to drink mine with milk, no sugar, quite hot and sometimes accompanied by that other old favourite the Rich Tea biscuit. For me sitting down in the evening after I have sorted the children and before bedtime I really enjoy my cup of freshly brewed Punjana tea, it tastes good and smells good and is easy to make.
The tea bags themselves are the traditional tea bag shape, square. I have never had any unfortunate incidences such as the tea bag splitting, I also only use my tea bags once. I usually store my tea bags in an airtight container and every time I open the container I get a lovely waft of the tea aroma.
Punjana is produced by the Thompson family. According to the information on the pack they have been buying and blending tea for over 100 years. Punjana tea is a blend of Assam and Kenyan tea leaves. More information on Punjana products can be found on their website www.punjana.com
Generally I buy the very large pack with 440 teabags, priced usually between £4.99 and £5.50, I sometimes buy the smaller box of 80 teabags, usually around 99p, Punjana tea can be bought in the usual places such as supermarkets, or online at address above.
Brand: Punjana / / Type: Tea