Friday, 15 June 2012

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.

22 comments:

  1. Mmm.. looks interesting.. I have never tried this before. Have a nice weekend

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    1. Thanks Alida - matcha is wonderful stuff.

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  2. How interesting! I have a real love of tea and have been drinking the stuff since I could pretty well walk. I've never heard of matcha tea though, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled next time I visit my favourite tea shop! Pity the chocolate didn't come through strongly with your chocolate tea, that would be so disappointing!

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    1. Hi Juliet - matcha tea is not to be missed. In true Japanese style it should be whisked to a froth. It's one of my favourite teas but I also love it in baking.

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  3. I love how vivid the matcha is! Shame about the fruitiness of the chocolate tea - I buy a chocolate spice tea from Holland & Barratt - I think it's made by a company called Yogi Tea, I think it's really delicious!

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    1. Yes, the colour is one of the glories of matcha. The chocolate tea was disappointing, but I've had a fabulous one from another tea company which I shall be blogging about at some point in the future. I haven't tried Yogi Tea's version.

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  4. I've been wondering about Teapigs chocolate tea but haven't taken the plunge yet. I don't really fancy it now though, with the thought of fruit flavours in there as well. It seems an odd mix. I'll try the Matcha though, after your recommendation.

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    1. I'll be posting about another chocolate tea at some point which is really good. Matcha is well worth trying.

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  5. oh I had some chocolate tea from Whittakers and I didn't like it at all. I like my tea weak, but tried this weak, strong and medium, but just couldn't like it at all.

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    1. Interesting Janice - was it the chocolate I wonder or was it the tea?

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  6. I was also rather disappointed in the Teapigs Chocolate tea. The first packet i purchased was good and choclatey flavour came through, the second packet I bought, lacked flavour all together. I was going to send the packet back to them as they are not cheap - but never got roudn to complaining as the home moving was due. So for me its good to see, I wasn't the only one disappointed with this.

    I will check out the matcha in the future though, but only after I have opened the small expensive tin I picked up from a Chinese supermarket in Glasgow.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen, good to know it's not just me being picky and that others have also found it less than satisfactory. It's rather surprising because most of the Teapigs teas I've tried have been really good. And yes, matcha is very expensive, so it's not a purchase to be made lightly.

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  7. Look forward to reading your review about a chocolate tea that did hit the right note-so to speak!!

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    1. Yes, I must get onto that GD :-S

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  8. I've never tried chocolate tea and I'm not so sure that I will like it. I was at Whole Foods today and they were giving out samples of their matcha tea - delicious!

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    1. Well of the two I've tried so far, I've liked one and not been too keen on the other. Will have to try more :)

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  9. I've seen tea pigs before but don't think I've ever tried it before. I think it's an amazing name...certainly catches my attention. I like the idea of baking with Matcha your cupcakes look beautiful amazing shade of green.

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    1. Matcha is a joy to bake with and gives a lovley flavour as well as colour. Most of the Teapigs teas that I've tried have been really good, but I was disappointed by the chocolate one.

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  10. What a shame the chocolate tea was disappointing. Tea pigs make some really great teas but it seems that chocolate is maybe a bit of a gimmick? I love your teacup & saucer by the way!

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  11. I don't like sugar in tea so I don't think I'd like chocolate (although it's probably bitter). I agree, sounds gimmicky.

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  12. Still not tried chocolate tea and have not seen Teapigs yet.

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  13. I remember my brother drinking matcha when he was going through his Japanophilia stage (hmmm know that I think about it he's still going through it!) I never did get around to trying it myself though

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