Hoogly Blogs / Berry tea

Well, I never brew that!

Well, I never brew that!

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys, but tea is extremely popular. Our favourite beverage is consumed at a ridiculous rate in the UK—some 165 million daily cups, which equates to over 60 billion a year. Worldwide, tea grows in fifty-two countries—and the oldest Chinese tree is over three thousand years old! Did you know that all teas come from the same plant? The sub-tropical evergreen camellia sinensis is native to Asia and is the origin of green, white, oolong and black tea; the difference being how the leaves are withered, rolled and heated—and which additional steps are taken before packaging. Black tea leaves are left to ferment until they become the required dark colour. Oolong’s process is similar, but each stage is quicker. Green tea is steamed or pan fried rather than fermented. White tea is the least processed, mostly being left to dry briefly in the sun before packaging preparation.

But what about herbal teas like peppermint, I hear you ask?! Herbal drinks are technically called ‘tisanes,’ which describe any tea-like herbal infusion made from seeds, nuts, berries, flowers, roots and leaves. Mint and lavender are amongst the most popular herbs used for tisanes, but they are called ‘tea’ more often than not. Combinations of tisanes and teas are very popular, infusing tea leaves with herbs and spices, like fruit in iced tea or cardamom chai. Many of Hoogly’s delicious recipes are made in this way, as we aim for the best possible combination of comfort, scent and taste!

Do you have a penchant for the finer things in life? The priciest teabag ever was created by Boodles jewellers to celebrate PG Tips 75th birthday. The diamond-encrusted bag was valued at £7000 and sold at a charity auction! In terms of expensive cups, China’s Tieguanyin oolong will set you back a wee bit, coming in at £1,500 per pound. On the plus side, the leaves can be brewed up to seven times before the flavour is lost. The reason for the high price is the leaves’ bright colour, their thick, crisp texture, the unique ‘ringing’ sound when the tea is poured, the nutty aroma and the extremely rich flavour!

Until the Victorian era, the English upper classes pronounced tea ‘tay.’ It was seen as being exclusively for the rich, and wealthy ladies would even resort to hiding the key to the tea caddy, or carrying it around their necks in an attempt to keep it away from the maids. Thankfully, tea nowadays is for everyone—but some of us are still extraordinarily particular about the way it is prepared. It is thought that 7% of people are so fussy about how they take their tea that they wouldn’t let anyone else prepare it. Are you a milk-first or bag-first person? Well, milk wasn’t even a factor for a long time. Early tea drinks only happened upon the famous combination as a result of trying to protect their fine porcelain: milk was added to remove some of the tea’s heat so that the cups wouldn’t crack. 93% of tea drinkers now add milk in the UK. In the Himalayas, it’s traditional to add yak butter to a milky black tea. The salt helps high-altitude inhabitants stay hydrated, and it’s so popular that po cha has become the country’s unofficial national beverage!

Tea has also had some surprising uses outside of brewing. Slightly damp tea leaves are sometimes rubbed on uncovered skin as a mosquito repellent. Tea has also been utilised as a natural dyeing cloth, a floor cleaner, meat marinade and to patch up shaving cuts! As if that wasn’t enough—gardeners can often be found using tea leaves for their roses, which love to absorb the leaves’ nutrients through the soil. Tea can also accelerate the process of decomposition on a compost pile. And you thought a Swiss Army knife was versatile!!

Now allow us to recommend our very own versatile selection of relaxing and cosy brews to carry you through the tail-end of winter and lead you into the promise of sunnier skies and happier times ahead! For those of you still shivering and dressed in sixteen layers, stick the kettle on and settle yourself down with a cup of Around the Fire Oolong tea. This reliable customer favourite is cockle-warming combination of smoky tea leaves and hearty spices, licked by flames of safflower and complemented by the fiery charm of crushed chilli. The unique taste will dazzle your senses and the calming warmth will help alleviate the stresses and strains of everyday life.

For those who like to unwind with a sweet treat, why not indulge in our delicious Blueberry Muffin tea? This gorgeous toasty rooibos, infused with succulent fruity delights, is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The perfect companion to a good book or TV show!

And finally, for those who enjoy zen and balance in all things, we invite you to discover our amazing Vanilla Chai black tea. In this tantalising brew, bold and fiery chai spices are tempered by smooth and luxurious vanilla, creating the perfect measure of calm, warmth and relaxation. Once you’ve finished the first cup, you’ll want to experience the thrilling sensation again and again.

Until next time, Hoogly lovers… stay safe, enjoy your teas and tisanes, and remember to create a little hygge in your life!

Written by Chris Bedford


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At Hoogly, we are always looking for ways to give our customers a true feel of our Danish ethos Hygge through our teas—even though this is a little tricky to pin down. Essentially, Hygge should feel like home. It should feel like the first time you sit down after a long day on your feet. It should feel like the comfort PJs and fluffy socks. Hygge should feel like warm memories of childhood and sunlight on your eyelids. It should feel like laughing with your best friends. It should feel like fresh air and open spaces, with nothing but hope on the horizon.

As one of the happiest nations on Earth, the Danes are unsurprisingly good at incorporating these feeling of Hygge into their everyday life—especially their culinary experiences. Take, for example, one of their signature desserts: rødgrød med fløde (red berry pudding). This tricky-to-pronounce national treasure has been a staple of Danish homes since the late 19th century, incorporating a selection of sun-ripened berries thickened with potato starch or arrowroot (to make rødgrød—red porridge) and served with heavy cream. It offers a deliciously sweet taste with a soup-like consistency that gets better with every mouthful. The combination of red and white also references the Danish flag, making it even more special to our Scandinavian friends!

Tapping into the simple beauty of berries has long been key to summer culinary success. But these little squishy treats are not just yummy, they’re also very good for us—which is always a lovely bonus! Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all high in fibre, which is great at keeping our digestive tracts working efficiently. One cup of strawberries contains an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, which helps boost our immune system. In addition to this, some berries contain antioxidant properties, which can help protect the body against damage and disease.

Looking after your body and mind is key to Hygge—focusing on the things that bring you health and happiness are the central pillars of our Danish ethos, and live at the heart of our teas (with the odd indulgence here and there, of course!) And so, with happiness and Hygge in mind, we’re extremely proud to introduce our latest tea blend: Berrylicious berry tea! With no added sugar, this summer spectacular combines the natural sweetness of strawberries, raspberries and apple pieces with rosehips, hibiscus and roasted dandelion root to bring you a wonderful feeling of comfort and joy—mixed with a little bit of sunny adventure!

Feel free to enjoy our yummy new-comer hot or cold as the weather dictates—and for the peak of the heatwave—why not try popping the tea in a lolly mould in the freezer overnight for a icy and refreshing treat to keep the sweltering skies at bay!

So, there you have it—if you want something new and exciting this summer, go with Hoogly Berrylicious, and keep the good times rolling!

Try it at www.hooglytea.com

Written by Chris Bedford.

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