Sunday, 16 April 2017

A masterclass with T2 Tea


Ever walked into a store and been in complete 'awe' with its branding; bright and vibrant, with friendly staff that know their 'stuff' inside / out, and know how to do business? That's exactly what I experienced during my afternoon masterclass with T2 Tea. ''T2 Tea?'', I hear you say?


Originally from Australia, T2 Tea are a company that have over 50 stores in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. With over 200 variations of teas, ranging from black, green, herbal and fruit teas, there is a flavour to cater for all tastebuds.
I have walked past this store numerous times, but never really investigated further, due to short lunch breaks. But having spent time after the masterclass perusing the store, I was absolutely amazed at just how much there is on offer. Not only is the variety in teas immense, but also the wide selection of accessories, such as beautifully crafted tea sets, special brewing instruments, plates, & teapots. All very funky in design, but also quite vintage.

We are tea done differently. All we do, all we are, revolves around our love for reimagining and reinventing the humble tea leaf.


Upon arrival in store, I was greeted by an array of smells, bright colours, and 3 walls stocked from floor to ceiling with tea! Literally tea tea tea everywhere. I did not know where to look or go, but was greeted by a lovely lady who would be doing the masterclass. I've always taken for granted the tea I drink is just that, tea, but never fully appreciated the process that goes into producing it.
We may think it's a case of picking a few tea leaves, a shake here, a shake there, and hey presto!, there's the tea, no, at T2 Tea there are in fact 5 stages to the process; Picking, Withering, Rolling, Oxidising and Drying, which are important in order to get the best from the sourced tea. In fact the teas are sourced from all over the world, and some are even sourced from the same region year after year, i.e. Darjeeling / Assam.

There are currently 8 types of Tea available:
  • Black Tea - undergoes the most processing, resulting in a robust, fragrant, and full bodied brew.
  • Green Tea - no oxidation, and mainly produced mainly in Japan and China, with slight changes in flavour
  • White Tea - least processed, and is the closet tea that comes to its natural state
  • Oolong Tea - comes in two varieties, with flavours that range from floral and vegetal, to sweet and woody
  • Herbal & floral - not technically a tea as they don't come from the Camellia Sinesis, herbal and floral tisanes are a collection flowers, herbs and leaves
  • Rooibos & honeybush - a hearty brew, similar to black tea, but without the caffeine
  • Fruit & Veggie - from tropical to treet fruit to wholesome veggies, dried and then combined for complex fruity sips
  • Matcha - tea originating from Japan, which is a green powder

I was incredibly surprised but impressed with how much effort and time has gone into  processing of the products, ensuring it is accurate / perfect for the consumer. Also the knowledge the young lady was able to tell me about T2 Tea, was amazing. Now the understanding of the process / production of tea full understood, it was time to brew and sample some tea, and boy was it good. I think I tasted about 10 different teas, but the 3 I liked the most were; Jade Mountain, Lemongrass and Ginger, and Sweet Dreams.


Jade Mountain*

'' .  . . . .A utopia of cocoa, brittle pieces and green tea. A hint of chocolate and sweet hazelnut praline is totally worth it.''

If you love nuts, you'll love this. This immediately reminded me of Ferrero Rocher. A loose green leaf tea, which is light, with a slight sweet chocolate after taste. Surprisingly not overpowering or sickly either. However warning this is NOT for those with nut allergies!!

Lemongrass and Ginger

 ''With a hint of zest and a whole lot of spicy bright lemongrass – this brew smacks you sideways with a refreshing sensation that's as vibrant as it is engaging. Pucker up!''

If you fancy something that starts off mellow, and then BAM has a bit of a kick, then this is for you. As the loose tea infuses, the light aroma of the lemongrass comes through, with a sharp ginger kick thereafter which is strong whilst leaving a refreshing taste. 

Sweet Dreams

''Chamomile, apple, linden and lavender create a beautiful aroma and pretty brew that's bursting with sweet floral notes.''

Have trouble sleeping? This will soon send you off to the land of nod. Another loose tea, which is sweet, but a delicate floral taste. The chamomile, apple and lavender flavours, all fight to come through, but it is the lavender that leaves a calming, relaxing after taste, helping the body to unwind / settle. Not overpowering in scent or taste, or sickly. 

All teas have special instructions on how best to brew them. Basic information, and perhaps self explanatory, but it is important to follow the instructions correctly. Under / over brewed, you've ruined the tea!
You're probably wondering how are the teas brewed? T2 Tea now have a remodelled, restyled teamaker*. With its 'easy peasy' state of the art 'shut off' system, this little teamaker easily sits on your cup, and hey presto! you have tea! There is a mechanism at the bottom of the teamaker which effectively opens when placed on top of the cup, and closes, when it is taken off the cup. Simple or what?! . . . . The teamaker has a strainer inside so no tea leaves end up in your tea cup. Clever huh! . .



T2 Tea is the ultimate tea-o-holic store. With its bright, colourful, inviting store, and staff who can provide in-depth knowledge about the brand and its teas, you can guarantee a pleasant experience on each visit. What makes T2 Tea that more unique is the 'try before you buy'; you can sample as many teas as you like before purchasing, which gives opportunity to delve into flavours and discover more about the brand. 

I came away from the store educated; understanding T2 Tea and its purposes, the process of gathering the tea leaves, and understanding the technique of brewing a perfect cup of tea (thank you T2 Tea Cheltenham for the masterclass).
Having now unearthed what exactly is behind those glass doors at T2 Tea, I most definitely will pop in again . . .after all, there are still over 200 teas to discover! 😀

Have you ever been into T2 Tea? If so, what is your favourite tea and why?

Would love to hear your thoughts?





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*Disclaimer: Invitation to the masterclass, and gifted complimentary items. Opinions and photographs are that of my own. 
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4 comments

  1. Oooh nice! I love tea! I love trying out different flavours of herbal tea, I think I'd try lemongrass and ginger.

    :)

    Chichi
    chichiwrites.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This place is literally a tea-o-holic haven :) It's like walking into a 'sweet shop' lol

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  2. Wow, your photos are absolutely beautiful and really capture the vibrancy of this brand! The fruit and veggie offering really intrigues me, I'm not usually a big tea drinker but that looks like something I'd love to try!

    Abbey ❤️ www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :)

      I'd always walked by this store, never paying it any attention whatsoever. But you go inside, it opens your eyes to so much.

      Definitely worth a visit, even for a little nosy instore :)

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