Close your eyes and imagine the delicious smell of a sunny Mediterranean hillside overlooking the sea. The scent of numerous fragrant herbs are being wafted to you on the ocean breeze as the sun warms you from above. This is where I’m transported when I’m looking out at an overcast London sky and I smell the gentle steam rising from the pan as I steep the Tees & Trees ‘Mountain’ blend on my hob. These fragrant flavours take me back to my childhood of summers spent in the Pyrenees with nature in full bloom - a welcome memory and a promise of the warm seasons to come on a dark February day.
I had the pleasure of testing out Teas & Trees selection of 5 Cretan tea blends: Mountain, Mornin’, Achooo, Luisa and Love Potion. With innumerable benefits ranging from being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial to soothing menstrual cramps and sore stomachs, these teas present themselves as an exciting change to the supermarket staples of tea that we’re accustomed to.
Upon opening a packet, you will soon see just how natural these teas are as you are presented with an attractive, fragrant clump of twigs and dried leaves. Just one tablespoon is plenty for a flavoursome brew when boiled in a pan for around a minute, and the flavours are strong enough that the tealeaves can be used more than once, which - if you’re like to use your teabags at least twice like me - is perfect!
Hand picked by local farmers, these organic blends of wild Cretan teas are also an answer to the dilemma of the impact the global tea trade has on the planet. Tea presents itself as somewhat of a conundrum when you’re trying to be environmentally conscious, with a long string of issues from habitat conversion and deforestation of the land to soil erosion and destruction of biodiversity. Though many companies tackle this with more efficient crop management and organic farming, the impact is still notable.
If one then considers the impact that the transportation of these teas can have, it paints a darker picture. With 9 of the top 10 global producers of tea being located in Asia, the other country being Kenya, tea has a larger carbon footprint than we would like to admit to be able to enjoy it thousands of miles away in the UK. No stranger to enjoying a cup of green tea or a chai here and there, it is exciting to discover that Teas & Trees are bringing about a change in the norm with their selection.
A worthy cause to support, I would recommend trying one of their blends to be able to experience the wonderful flavours without the guilt that comes with your average cuppa. Check out Teas & Trees website and support their current crowdfunding campaign by investing in one of their blends at an affordable price, my personal recommendation would be either the Mountain or the Mornin’ blend.
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