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Food review: kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers

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It’s that time of the year when everyone starts making New Year’s resolutions and for the most part people aim to lead a healthier lifestyle in the upcoming year.  One great way to do this is to upgrade your usual daily coffee or regular tea for a healthier green tea instead.  Green teas are full of health benefits and loaded with anti–oxidants.  Plus, if you think you’ve tried green tea because you’ve simply purchased a box of tea bags from a supermarket, think again. 

The Tea Makers of London have a huge selection of high quality loose green tea leaves in all sorts of amazing blends, meaning the bitter green tea you once tasted can now be a thing of the past.  Start the New Year with some delicious green teas from The Tea Makers and your taste buds may just be pleasantly surprised.

I was very kindly sent samples of five different loose green teas to try and below you’ll find my taste testing notes.

After a busy lead up to Christmas Day and with a full on week of family and friends visits, we decided to keep Boxing Day to ourselves this year to do as we please.  I’d imagined a chilled out day before the rest of the Christmas holiday madness commenced.  Whilst the kids lounged around watching films, playing on iPads and trying out their new toys and Ben spending a chunk of today in his workshop (aka man cave), I’ve been busily blogging or doing blog related tasks since 9am.  This rather enjoyably included taste testing some loose green teas from The Tea Makers.

I’m no stranger to The Tea Makers.  In fact, they not long ago sent me a selection of warming autumn teas to sample.  You can read that review here: Warming Autumn Flavours: The Tea Makers Review

Boxing Day for me has today turned into a tea tasting day!  I know many of my alcohol drinking friends enjoy a wine tasting day, so if there is such a thing as an alternative for an alcohol-free person like me, then a tea tasting day would be right up my street!  And for me it’s even better if it’s green tea, my tea of choice.  I’ve had the most enjoyable afternoon sampling five delicious teas from The Tea Makers and scribbling down my thoughts.  I’m now trying to decode my rushed writing and transfer them into this here blog post so you know exactly what I thought of each tea as I was drinking it.

Kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers (

Japanese Genmaicha

A combination of Japanese Sencha and roasted rice.  It has a smell not dissimilar to popcorn!  I can’t say I’ve ever tried a tea with rice, so no idea what to expect.  Given the smell I wasn’t holding out much hope for an overly pleasant taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It tastes a lot nicer and milder than it smells.  The packet recommends to sip in the evening and I can see why.  It’s a soothing calming flavour with warm toasty hints.  It’s benefits include reducing cholesterol and increasing metabolism.

Kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers (

Jasmine Green Tea

I’m not usually a fan of fragrant teas as they often taste like drinking perfume to me.  So I didn’t have high expectations for this tea either.  It had a light floral smell, almost how I’d like my laundry to smell when it comes out of the wash, so with this is mind I again had lowered expectations for wanting to taste this!  Now, either my taste buds are changing as I get older or it’s the high quality of The Tea Makers teas, but this tasted nothing like previous fragrant teas I’d sampled (and wanted to spit out).  It was quite delicious!  I could sip away and looked forward to the next taste.  It didn’t taste anything like spraying air freshener in my mouth, which if I’m honest was what I was expecting.

If, like me, you usually avoid fragrant flavour teas, this could be the one to make you change your mind!  It certainly has mine.  It’s a pleasing pick me up tea, perfect for mid-afternoon or soon after lunch.  This tea was particularly soothing for my palate after a way too spicy lunch!  I did brew this in slightly cooled boiled water i.e. not immediately after boiling the kettle, so perhaps this released just enough fragrance for my liking.

Kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers (

Ceylon Organic Gunpowder

As I sit here drinking my third cup I’m starting to think I won’t be sleeping tonight.  I’m really sensitive to caffeine and usually reserve most of my tea drinking for the morning only!  I’m also wondering if the name ‘gunpowder’ is any sort of giveaway to the flavour and if it will blow my head off.  I hope not as my head has just been blown off by the spiciest pasta dish in the world my husband Ben just made me!

I had high hopes for this tea though as I’ve drank Ceylon tea previously and remember it being expensive and high quality.  This green version is the only tea I was sent which has an organic certification.  I much prefer to choose organic produce whenever possible for my own health benefits and to help protect the environment.

There wasn’t much to go on with the smell which was a very light green tea scent.  It had an undeniable green tea taste, but with less bitterness than most normal green teas.  It had a green tea taste that I could drink all day long.  I found this one delicious, but perhaps because I’m used to the green tea taste.  If you’re not, then simply brew the tea for a shorter time until your taste buds are used to the flavour.

Kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers (

Zhejiang Supreme Dragon Well

This had the most unusual sweet smell.  The packet describes the taste as nutty, creamy and sweet, which sounds like the description of a cashew nut to me!  Either my taste buds have now numbed to the flavour of green tea after so much sampling, or true to its description this tea has a subtle flavour.  There is none of the usual bitter green tea taste at all.  It’s a tea I could quite happily sup all day long.

Even as I drink it I cannot detect any obvious aroma.  As much as I can’t quite put my finger on a distinct taste or smell, it’s still warming and delicious and highly moreish.  This makes it the perfect introduction to green tea thanks to its mild and enjoyable flavour.  This tea is high in catechins which are disease fighting flavonoids and anti-oxidants.

Kick off a healthy new you with loose leaf green teas from The Tea Makers (

Japanese Sencha

The first tea I tried, Japanese Genmaicha, contained this Japanese Sencha with roasted rice.  Yet this Sencha by itself tastes very different.  It’s the most like green tea I’ve tried, by which I mean regular green tea bags I buy from the store.  The rice in the first tea must have totally stole the Sencha flavour.

This tea has the most grassy green tea smell in which you can almost smell the bitterness.  It also has the most luminous green colour!  It tastes most like the regular green tea I’m used too and I think for that alone it’s my least favourite of the five samples.  Not because it’s not a good green tea, but because I think I’m actually quite taken by the alternative green teas as they’re so unlike the green tea I am used to drinking every day.

Personally I’d brew this tea for 1 minute instead of the recommended 2 minutes as I don’t like the really bitter green tea taste.  If you love a green tea that packs a bitter punch, then brew for the 2 minutes or more.

This tea is rich in vitamin C and low in the stimulant theophylline.

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Even as a self-confessed green tea addict, I still get sucked into a routine of buying the same bog standard green tea bags from the store.  The Tea Makers have taught me there is so much more to enjoy about green tea.  They offer a huge variety of green tea blends, each with their own unique flavours

For those who think they don’t like green tea, they must try The Tea Makers selection before confirming their decision.  I’m certain there is a green tea for everyone on their website where there are currently a humongous 34 green tea choices:

For someone like me who regularly enjoys green tea on a daily basis, The Tea Makers have made this highly nutritious and beneficial drink exciting again.

* I was sent tea samples in exchange for my honest review