• Lisa Hodorovych

Teatime with Mrs. Joho - Twinings Sample Box

During a difficult time in my life, a dear friend of mine decided to surprise me by sending me a gift. She didn’t send me flowers. She didn’t send me chocolates. No, she sent me a box of tea! But it wasn’t just any tea. It was a sample box of Twinings tea, one of my favorite brands out there. It truly brightened my day and now I want to share those teas with you, my amazing readers!


However, this post will be different. Instead of writing separate articles on each tea that’s in the box – which, by the way, there’s forty-eight (48) in it – I’m going to do a “mini” discussion under each. I’ll say how it tastes, what I think of it, and mention some of its benefits. I think that’ll be easier than writing 48 separate articles for each and linking them to this article.


Make sure to check back to see which tea I tried, what I thought of it, and its benefits.


If you’ve tried any of these teas, please let me know what you think. You can contact me at qtwreviews@gmail.com. And don’t forget, I'm not getting paid to promote this product, or any articles or books mentioned in this post. To learn more, please check out my Policies page. Lastly, the photos seen in this post are mine, unless noted.


Take care and drink on!


Premium Black Tea – Blackcurrant Breeze

My Reaction: As I poured hot water over this tea, the aroma that wafted up from it was amazing. All I smelled was the blackcurrant and it was like I had a piece of that fruit already in my mouth, it was that strong. I couldn’t wait to take my first sip and when I did…holy crow, I just melted. It’s delicious! I didn’t even taste any black tea, at first, I just tasted the sweetness of the blackcurrant. However, as I let the tea sit (because that’s what I do, I forget I even made the tea) the black tea started to come through and it was still so good.


Benefits: According to an article on healthline.com, black tea has a plethora of benefits as it contains antioxidants and compounds as well as caffeine, but not as much as you would find in coffee. Some of the benefits include: removing free radicals and decreasing cell damage, reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reducing risks for heart disease, and increasing focus and alertness.

Healthline.com also has an article on the benefits of blackcurrants, which, surprisingly, states this amazing fruit is actually “forbidden” in America. According to the article, “They help spread a fungus that infects white pine trees. For this reason, blackcurrants have been removed from many areas…” However, this fruit is jam-packed with benefits, including: aiding with blood flow, helping your immune system, and improving your eye, gut, and kidney health.



Pure Rooibos Red Tea

My Reaction: This was my first-time trying Rooibos tea on its own and I must say, it was interesting. I can’t describe its taste because I can’t really pinpoint its flavor. It didn't remind me of a certain fruit or a certain spice or a certain flower nor did it have a bitter taste or a salty taste. All I can say is it was really good. Even when I let the tea sit (because it’s me, I forget I even made the tea), it was still good.

Benefits: Rooibos (also known as “red bush tea” and “red tea”) is classified as an herbal tea. One of the many benefits that people love about this tea is the fact that it is caffeine-free. Even though many need caffeine to get through the day, there are just as many who can’t have it for various health reasons. That’s why this tea is perfect for anyone who can’t have caffeine.

Rooibos tea also contains antioxidants, which can help prevent heart disease and cancer. According to teapursuit.com, “red tea” contains a plethora of other benefits including anti-spasmodic properties to help with stomach cramps. It can also help with digestive issues and even help with sleeping. That may explain why right after drinking it I felt so sleepy and was ready for a nap.



Cold Brewed Iced Tea - English Classic

My Reaction: I like this one a lot! To me, it is the iced tea version of an Earl Grey tea and I love Earl Greys. It doesn’t have an extremely strong taste (or smell for that matter), but you do get that subtle hint of flavor as you drink it down and it’s perfect. I feel like that’s how an iced tea should be. It shouldn’t have an overpowering taste or an overpowering sweetness to it as it’s supposed to help you feel refreshed during a hot summer day. This is the perfect tea for that!

Benefits: This particular iced tea is mainly black tea and I have to say, I think black tea has become my new favorite. The benefits of black tea are amazing, especially since it contains caffeine to give you that nice little jolt you may need to get yourself through the day. As we learned from the Blackcurrant Breeze tea (which is the first entry in this post), black tea has a plethora of antioxidants and compounds to help reduce cholesterol, reduce the risks of heart disease, and stay focused, among other great benefits.



Cold Brewed Iced Tea - Mixed Berries

My Reaction: This iced tea was delicious! The mixture of the different fruits in this tea was a lovely wake up call for my taste buds. Even though I mainly tasted raspberry (and it reminded me of this amazing raspberry iced tea I used to get at a restaurant, which now, of course, I can’t remember its name), you still tasted a mixture. It was like I was drinking a fruit cup. Again, so delicious and so refreshing!


Benefits: This is another iced tea made with black tea, but with the added flavors of cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant, and raspberry. We already know the amazing benefits of black tea thanks to Twinings Cold Brewed English Classic Iced Tea, Twinings Blackcurrant Breeze tea, and Barry’s Irish Breakfast tea, among so many others.



Cold Brewed Iced Tea - Peach

My Reaction: If you love the taste of peach, then you will love this iced tea. Like the Mixed Berries and English Classic iced teas, it is made with black tea; however, you barely taste it. The peach flavor Twinings added to this tea is strong! Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing! Again, if you love peach then this iced tea is for you. I do like peach, but in small increments.


This was still a great and refreshing drink to have, especially during a hot summer day.


Benefits: I don’t think you all need (or want) me to explain the benefits of black tea for the umpteenth time. 😊 But I will say this, according to Healthy Teas: Green, Black, Herbal, Fruit by Tammy Safi (an excellent find at my local thrift bookstore), black tea is “a stimulant and a digestive; also an eye wash [that] assists when you are feeling tired and out of sorts; gives you some get up and go.”


Okay, yes, we already know about the “get up and go” part because I can’t stop praising black tea for that, but a digestive and an eye wash? According to Harney & Sons “Tea 101” on their site, “Black tea is teeming with tannins and other chemicals that can have a relaxing effect on the body’s digestive system.” And I’ll never forget how every time I got a stye in my eye, my mom would put a black tea bag over it and it helped tremendously.


I’m sorry, but black tea is truly one of the greatest teas out there!



Green Tea - Pomegranate, Raspberry, & Strawberry

My Reaction: Just smelling the tea bag, I knew I was going to love this tea! The berry scent that wafted out made my mouth salivate. Then, it salivated more after I poured the hot water over it. When I finally got to taste it, it was Heaven! At first, it reminded me of a strawberry smoothie, but as I let it sit (as I always do with my poor teas), for some reason the raspberry flavor came out more and it reminded me of raspberry iced tea (since, at that point, my tea was cold). However, the burnt/bitterness of the green tea was not lost. I was able to taste it as an “endnote”, but it didn’t taste bad. This was a great combination and I need more of it in my life!

The front of the tea bag wrapper says, “Take a break and delight in the naturally sweet and juicy fruit flavours of this irresistible tea.” That’s exactly what I did, and it was nice to sit back, relax for a hot minute, and enjoy this delicious tea.


Benefits: I’ve already discussed the benefits of green tea when I talked about Tazo Zen tea but let me dive into it a little bit more here. According to Tammy Safi’s book Healthy Teas: Green, Black, Herbal, Fruit, “Green tea provides the richest health benefits of all teas. It is the most potent, retaining more vitamins and minerals than other teas. Polyphenols, vitamin E, vitamin C, fluoride, quercetin, tannins, and volatile oils work together as strong antioxidants to help the body ward off carcinogenic mutations. Green tea is cooling and cleansing, with low amounts of caffeine, and is rich in vitamins A, B2, C, D, and E, and flavonoids. Green tea helps to reduce cholesterol by lowering blood lipids. … Drinking three to four cups a day of this liquid is worth its weight in gold.”


That may be a pretty bold statement, but I truly believe it! Ever since I started my tea drinking journey, the main tea I’ve been drinking is green tea and I’ve seen – and felt – a difference in my body. I feel healthier and I know as I start including other variations of green tea plus other teas into my life, I’ll feel even better.



Honeybush, Mandarin & Orange

My Reaction: Upon taking my first whiff of this tea, I, of course, got the strong small of citrus. It reminded me so much of when you peel an orange; just that strong, sweet, citrus scent. Then I took my first sip and I melted. It tasted just like Celestial Seasonings Citrus Sunrise, which was pretty much like drinking a hot glass of orange juice. You get this amazing citrus flavor from the orange and mandarin, but there’s a hint of something else, as well. That would be the honeybush! However, it’s so subtle that you don’t really notice it unless you’re searching for it.


By the way, this is classified as an herbal tea, which means it’s a tea that was created from different herbs, spices, or plants (doesn’t necessarily have to be a tea plant) to help with certain ailments (stress, sleep, etc.) and usually contains no caffeine. To be honest, I’m just learning about this because I’ve always wondered which type of tea plant (green, black, white, etc.) is in certain herbal teas as they never list them in the ingredients. Well, that’s why! Because those plants aren’t mixed in! Really is fascinating what you learn!


Benefits: I think we all know the extraordinary benefits of oranges and mandarins by now as we were taught about them when we were kids. Of course, their main benefit is containing Vitamin C, which helps protect and support our immune system. However, do you know anything about honeybush? Neither do I, so let’s learn together!


According to an article I found on healthline.com, honeybush is a plant from South Africa and it is “closely related to rooibos”, a.k.a. red tea. If you scroll up a little bit, you will see that I discussed rooibos tea not too long ago. It also has a “honey-like scent and taste” which is where it gets its name from.


Honeybush is packed with antioxidants, which can help with cell damage, can help fight cancer, and can be an anti-inflammatory. These antioxidants can also help with type 2 diabetes by preventing it, managing it, or even treating it. It may also help with bone health, skin health, obesity (“may inhibit fat accumulation in young fat cells…[and] may also lower the fat content in mature cells by stimulating fat breakdown.”), and menopause (“The tea’s isoflavone content…may help alleviate menopausal symptoms.”).


Between its Vitamin C content from the orange and mandarin and its other antioxidant content from the honeybush, you have an incredibly beneficial – and delicious – tea to enjoy!



Green Tea - Decaffeinated

My Reaction: So, here’s a quick story – a little behind the scenes action, if you will. The way I’ve been choosing which tea I try next is I, first, empty the box of teas on my bed. I, then, mix them up a little bit, close my eyes, and grab. Whichever one I pick up will be the one I try and talk about here, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. On August 18th, however, I was a little disappointed, but only because I was hoping to have a tea with a lot (and I mean a lot) of caffeine in it, like a black tea. Instead, I picked one of the few decaffeinated teas in the box. Story of my life!

Still, this tea was really good. I enjoyed it to the very last drop. I mean, it was different from the green tea I’m kind of used to, like the Tazo Zen tea that got me started on this journey. However, it also wasn’t like I was drinking a cup of spinach water. I know that might sound disgusting and dramatic, but there are some green teas I’ve had that taste like that. This is one I will definitely add to my collection and drink when I don’t need a pick me up.

Benefits: There are a couple of posts I’ve already published about green tea and its plethora of benefits, like my post on Tazo’s Zen tea, Bigelow’s Earl Grey Green tea, and when I recently discussed Twinings Green Tea with Pomegranate Raspberry & Strawberry right here. However, I read through, on Harney & Son’s website, their Tea 101 article and learned “Tea buds and leaves contain antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. Because of how it is processed, green tea undergoes less internal change…which means it contains the largest quantity of intact catechins. Green tea catechins – a substance that protects our cells from damage by free radicals – consist of four antioxidant compounds, which is why green tea has long been believed to have many health benefits.”

It also states that the “antioxidant levels in green tea have been reported to be 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 24 times better than vitamin E in protecting our immune systems.”

I swear every time I continue my research on teas, I love them more and more! I can’t wait to continue this journey and not only learn more about green tea and black tea, but also white, oolong, matcha, and a plethora of other teas that are out in the world!



Pure Camomile

My Reaction: When I did my “routine” for choosing which tea is next to try and I picked up this one, I actually breathed out a massive sigh of relief and did a little dance. Recently, I have been so stressed out and my body knows it, so it grabbed one of my favorite teas to help me calm down.

If memory serves me correctly – which it probably doesn’t – I think camomile (or chamomile, as we know it) was the second tea I tried as I started my journey and I immediately fell in love with it because it doesn’t have a strong taste. It’s very light and very calming and Twinings Pure Camomile was no different. It still had that light, earthy taste; it wasn’t overpowering at all. The best part, the second I sipped it, I melted in my chair. I was in Heaven. I literally sat back, held my cup of tea in my hands, and continued sipping it for a moment or two before getting back to work. It was a nice reprieve that I needed!

Benefits: Unlike black tea, which you know I love because it helps me wake up, chamomile is my tea of choice when I need to calm down and relax. Chamomile is well-known for its calming properties and the fact it can help you sleep, but what other benefits does this flower have? I did discuss it a little bit in my Celestial Seasonings Chamomile tea post, but let’s dive a little further, shall we?!


According to my new favorite book, Healthy Teas: Green, Black, Herbal, Fruit by Tammy Safi, chamomile is “a bitter sedative, relaxing to the whole body; anti-inflammatory [and] assists with insomnia and/or flatulence, cramping, and discomfort.”

I also learned on healthline.com that chamomile tea has a plethora of antioxidants that deliver their own benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help aid with your digestive system and protect against stomach ulcers, diarrhea, gas, etc. These antioxidants may also prevent certain cancers and protect against cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure or cholesterol. Chamomile tea could also help lower blood sugar levels for anyone who suffers from diabetes.

As you can see, chamomile (camomile) is an extremely beneficial tea. It not only helps you to relieve some stress and sleep at night, but it does so much more.



Lady Grey

My Reaction: God I love the smell of this tea! It seriously reminds me of Fruit Loops – and now I really want Fruit Loops!


I forgot how amazing and delicious this tea is. You get that burnt/bitter flavor of the black tea, but it’s not overpowering at all. It reminds me of their English Afternoon tea; however, the difference between the two are you also get a light citrus flavor in this one. Twinings decided to add orange peel and lemon peel to this already amazing tea and it’s such a wonderful combination. You might not think they would work together, but these flavors come together so well and make such a great tea.


Benefits: Alright, I think by this point you know how amazing black tea is, so I’m going to focus on the orange peel and lemon peel here, if that’s okay.


According to a plethora of different sources I’ve found online, the orange peel is actually healthier than the inside part that we normally eat. Now, that doesn’t mean the inside is not healthy, it’s just that the peel contains more Vitamin C and antioxidants than the inside. As stated in an article I found on stylecraze.com, “Some reports suggest that the orange peel is actually the healthiest part of the whole fruit. As surprising as that might seem, research tells us that orange peels are rich in flavonoids and several other important phytochemicals that offer various health benefits. Just to give you an idea – while the orange flesh contains about 71 milligrams of vitamin c, the peel contains over 136 milligrams.”

Wow!

This article then goes into great detail about the different benefits of the orange peel: helping to prevent cancer, improving your lung health, boosting your immune system, aiding with weight loss, and so much more. That’s just the orange peel! What about the lemon peel?

According to healthline.com, “Despite being eaten in small amounts, lemon peels are very nutritious. … Lemon peel packs a high amount of fiber and vitamin c… Additionally, it boosts small amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium.”

Some of the health benefits of lemon peels may include supporting your oral health, improving your heart health, and treating gallstones (which are like kidney stones, but in your gallbladder).

In other words, Twinings Lady Grey tea is not only delicious, but extremely beneficial to your health!



Green Tea - Mint

My Reaction: When I picked out this tea from the bunch, I wasn’t exactly happy. Even though, I’m a big fan of green tea, I am not a big fan of mint. I mean, I do enjoy chewing gum, freshening my breathe with a peppermint hard candy, and adding it to my water to help with weight loss, but that’s about it. I feel like too much of it can be very strong and just doesn’t taste well in other foods. However, this tea proved me wrong. The taste of the mint is not strong at all. It’s actually a pretty perfect combination of the earthy flavor of green tea with the cooling flavor of mint.


This is one tea I will definitely buy more of and have more often. Thank you, Twinings, for proving me wrong!

Benefits: Since I have discussed the benefits of green tea in the past (Tazo Zen, Bigelow’s Earl Grey Green Tea, Twinings Green Tea – Pomegranate, Raspberry, and Strawberry) I’m going to dive into the benefits of mint here.

According to an article I found on organicfacts.net, mint could help with a plethora of ailments. Anything from improving your digestion to helping with nausea and headaches to even helping treat asthma. Let’s find out more, shall we?!

One of the many benefits mint is known for is being a relaxant, which means it could help with nasal congestion. Now, it’s not a decongestant; however, it could help with nasal obstruction. Have you ever smelled mint and then feel like your nasal passageways have opened up, whether you’re congested or not? That’s the menthol in mint doing its job. But what’s really fascinating is “it might also be very effective in clearing up congestion of the throat, bronchi, and lungs, which might give relief from respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and common colds…it may also relieve the irritation which causes chronic coughing.”

That’s not all, though. “Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser.” Just smelling mint could activate your salivary glands and your glands that secrete digestive enzymes, “thereby facilitating digestion.” However, once you eat it, it can do so much more. “It may also soothe the stomach in case of indigestion or inflammation. [And] It can be a potent remedy for relieving the symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome (IBS)…” as well as diarrhea.

There’s so much more mint can and will do for your health, but I will discuss that at a later time.



Lemon & Ginger

My Reaction: When I picked out this tea, I got a little excited because everyone loves this tea. I remember when I worked at Massage Envy and I would offer clients tea, this would be the one they most likely picked (or chai or chamomile) and I’ve always wondered why. I mean, yes, the benefits in this tea are extraordinary, but what about its taste? Does it taste that good that everybody raves about it? Thankfully, I finally got to find out and…yeah, I can see why people love this tea. It is really good!

After I poured hot water over the tea bag and I got my first true whiff of this tea, I was intrigued. You get that citrus lemon smell with the spice of the ginger. But then when I tasted it, my intrigued spiked even more. It was like eating a lemon Starburst with the spiciness of the ginger coming in like an afternote, but it wasn’t overpowering. It wasn’t like Celestial Seasonings Ginger + Probiotic tea where it’s purely ginger and after a while it kind of gets to you. It’s the complete opposite of that. The sour, citrus flavor of the lemon definitely subdues it, which makes it such a delicious tea; however, I did notice that when I let it sit for a bit and cool (because that’s what I do, I forget I even made the tea), the ginger came out more. In other words, if you prefer the taste of lemon, drink this tea immediately, but if you prefer the taste of ginger, then let it sit. Or, if you’re like me and don’t mind either, then enjoy at your leisure! 😊

Benefits: Not too long ago – when I had the Lady Grey tea – I discussed the benefits of lemon peel and I have examined the benefits of ginger in other posts, but I found on article on WebMD.com that considers the benefits of lemon ginger tea. It opens with, “If you’re looking for a warm, relaxing drink with health benefits and a strong taste, lemon ginger tea may be for you. It’s a favorite among herbal tea drinkers – in fact, people have been drinking lemon ginger tea for hundreds if not thousands of years.”


And I’m just learning about it now! Well, it’s never too late!


The article goes on to state that there are a plethora of benefits in lemon ginger tea including aiding with weight loss (“Lemon has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, helping to reduce the amount of fat stored in the body. Ginger has been shown to reduce hunger, which can help people lose weight.”), improving your immunity, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular and liver disease.


Another great tasting and extremely beneficial tea from Twinings!



Chai - French Vanilla

My Reaction: The smell of this tea is amazing! If it was a candle, I would make sure I stocked piled it in my house, so I could light it every single day. It reminds me of a bakery shop, but in the fall. You have that sweet French vanilla smell mixed in with the cinnamon and cloves and, to me, it’s just perfect! Then, I tasted it.

I was a little shocked by its taste, not in a bad way, though. I think because of its smell, I was expecting it to be sweeter, but it wasn’t. You definitely taste the black tea, at first, but here’s what’s interesting. As it sat for a minute or two, I took another sip, and it was sweeter than the first one. Then, as it continued sitting, it got smoother with the flavors truly coming out. The mixture of the sweet French vanilla with the spicy cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves is a really good combination. Not bad, Twinings, not bad!

Benefits: You can learn more about chai tea from my National Hot Tea Month post, but there’s a little bit of a difference between Tazo’s Classic Chai tea and Twinings French Vanilla Chai tea. The classic chai has black pepper and star anise in it while this one doesn’t, and I think it’s because the black pepper wouldn’t mesh too well with the French vanilla flavor. With that being said, instead of putting some of the benefits here as well as in my National Hot Tea Month post, I’ll just put everything there and if you don’t mind checking it out, that would be awesome! 😊

However, here’s an interesting fact I learned. French vanilla is not a form of a vanilla bean, like Madagascar or Tahitian. It is a specific way vanilla ice cream is made, which has expanded to other foods like creamers. According to an article I found on myrecipes.com, regular vanilla ice cream is normally made without the egg yolks while French vanilla is. Because of this, its taste is creamier and more custard like.


I guess the old saying is true, you truly learn something new every day!

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