Thursday, 29 May 2014

Very Red Hibiscus

As promised, here's my review of Fruity Fresh Hibiscus tea, sold by LuLin Teas:

"This caffeine-free infusion is a fresh, hydrating blend of flowers and fruit creating a sweet and floral brew.  It brews the most amazing red/pink colour and is the perfect blend to make sweet iced tea or add a cinnamon stick and drink warm on cold winter nights!"

I really enjoyed this tea and think it looks stunning too.  I've tried hibiscus before and found it to be very tart until adding some sugar.  I tried this without sugar first of all and was surprised to learn I didn't need to add anything as it wasn't sour at all, even though I left it to brew much longer than the recommended time of 7-10 minutes for 3g. 

Looking on the LuLin website, I see the reason for this well-rounded taste.  The blend contains sweet rosehip and sea buckhorn berries, which is why I didn't need to add sugar, as well as orange flowers and lemon verbena.  LuLin seem to promote the health benefits of this tea, comparing hibiscus to cranberry for its mild diuretic effects as well as vitamin C from the buckhorn berries.  Can't say i've heard of them but great!!

I think this tea is lovely with boiling water, especially through the spring and summer months as a refreshing pick-me-up.  However, I chilled it in the fridge and tried it cold as well and found it to be a great iced tea flavour!  I think i'd add some sugar to the iced version though, as felt I needed it some for some reason.

I have reviewed some of LuLin's teas before in a post called 'Don't Read This Unless You're Posh' where I became a fan of their Earl Grey - and this tasting confirmed to me they aren't a one trick pony.   Again this tea surpassed my expectations and I'd be more than happy to drink LuLin teas again!  

£6.50 for 100g and free delivery on orders over £25.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Caffeine Intolerance??

So there I am drinking lovely teas and writing about them on this very blog... when guess what happens?  The return of my caffeine-intolerance! Oh great!! 

I've actually had a sensitivity to caffeine since having M.E and although I will usually feel a bit rubbish after drinking a whole teapot, it's been a lot better over the last few years.  However, it seems to have got out of hand again recently with symptoms appearing after even one cup.  So i've had to take a tea break - literally!  Symptoms are probably a little different for everyone, but for me, it's stomach cramps, nausea, faintness and shakiness (attractive).  Not the effect you want to have after a lovely cup of your favourite tea or coffee!

So what was I to do?  I tried a Mocha last weekend and it all came on again so I think i've got to persevere with my tea break for a while until it sorts itself out again.  In the meantime, I've stocked up on decaf teabags and decaf coffee, which tastes the same as regular teabags and coffee to me.  Now they do say that even de-caff alternatives have a small amount of caffeine in them but I feel ok drinking them, so it's worth experimenting if you have a sensitivity too.

It is still a little disappointing though because I don't always 'do' teabags and my favourite quality loose-leaf black and green teas aren't the sort to have de-caff alternatives!  So i'm going to have to concentrate on Herbal teas/Tisanes for now, which really shouldn't be a consolation prize, as there's some lovely ones out there.  Rooibos tea is hugely popular now as well as ginger and peppermint teas and there's some more obscure ones to try as well.  To start off my herbal phase, i'm going to look at a Hibiscus blend from LuLin teas in my next post.  I've tried it already and it's lovely, so call back soon for my write up!