With the hotter weather we’ve been getting in summers I wanted to try to make sure I drink enough liquids, water by itself can get a bit boring and I’m trying to cut down on sugar when I’m home so was on the lookout for a low sugar way to get some variation in my drinks. I’ve seen these cold brew style teabags in magazines and really wanted to try them so when I saw the Twining’s Cold Infuse tea bags in Holland and Barrett for buy one get one half price I had to give them a go. They’re available in a lot of stores in the UK so you’ll probably find them in your local supermarket for around £3.80 per tub, though they are on sale at half price in Holland and Barrett at the moment.
I like fruit teas hot and often make them and let them go cold but there are some flavours in this range that you don’t see as a hot tea. The two I chose were Watermelon, Strawberry and Mint and the Rose Lemonade. They have a few others that I’d actually like to try but these seemed the most unusual to me and I really wanted to try the Rose Lemonade one to see what it was like.
The tubs for these are pretty good at keeping the scent in, they have a decent seal so you’re not going to end up having a cupboard that smells of fruit and leaves the scent on other things, something that sometimes happens with fruit teas in card boxes for me if they’re not individually sealed. You get 12 of the infusers in each tub and the infusers themselves are biodegradable, so you can pop them in your food recycling bin. They’re a fine mesh rather than the paper of a lot of teabags, so they don’t disintegrate if you leave them in the water while you drink it.
The way you’re supposed to do this is to add 500ml of cold water to the tea bag, let it sit for five minutes, give it a shake (or stir if it’s in a glass), add more water to taste if you need it, and then drink it. You can leave it pretty much as long as you want, the longer you leave it the stronger the flavour, but you should drink it within eight hours. I found that leaving it for half an hour in my big water bottle thing was best, it’s about as strong as it gets, you just give it a shake and it’s evenly mixed. It does work in a glass but you have to stir it and I liked the taste more leaving the teabag in there till it’s finished and it just gets in the way in a glass. If you’re planning on reusing the kind of bottle you get bottled water in then infuse the tea in something else and pour it in there, it’s almost impossible to get the infuser out afterwards!
As far as flavour goes these are pretty strong for a fruit tea. I often end up doubling the amount of tea I put in when it comes to fruit teas, but it may be because you can leave it in there for so long that the flavour has more time to come out. These are sugar free so they aren’t sweet, but I wouldn’t say they’re particularly sharp either, they’re refreshing more than anything.
The rose lemonade one is really nice, it does taste like the scent of fresh rose petals, not as sweet as a typical rose lemonade you’d buy in a bottle, but it does work well in fizzy water. It would also work in a glass of normal lemonade to give it a rose hint.
The Watermelon, Strawberry and Mint is one I thought would have more of a strawberry flavour. It’s a hard one to describe as I’m not sure any of the flavours stands out more. It’s probably mainly watermelon to me, like a real watermelon rather than a watermelon flavouring. It’s definitely refreshing and works best with plain water for me.
I love these and will probably be buying some more when these run out. I think they’re a great way of flavouring water, or anything really, without adding sugar so good if you’re on a low sugar diet for whatever reason. They make a change from just plain water and I’ve found that I am actually drinking the same amount faster when I have one in there.
My water bottle holds around 700ml and it’s decently flavoured so the 500ml is a guideline. I did find that if I put it in a smaller glass it wasn’t all that noticeably stronger but you might be able to use it for two if you use a smaller glass and take the bag out. I found that using it in a bottle there was no flavour at all when I tried making them last for two so they are really a one use thing, rather than being one that says one use but you could actually reuse if you want.
I think if you’re looking for something that will flavour your drink without adding sugar then these are worth looking at, or if you like fruit teas but want something a bit different in the summer for cooler drinks. I will definitely be getting more when these run out and will probably try some of the other flavours. I went for these as they seemed the most unusual but they have Passion Fruit, Mango and Orange, Lemon Orange and Ginger, Pineapple and Coconut and a Blueberry, Apple and Blackcurrant so they have some alternatives to common fruit squash flavours as well as the more summery ones.
Have any of you guys tried cold fusion fruit teas? I’m definitely interested in trying some others and they seem to be appearing from different brands now, it seems to be a new product out there and I’d love to hear if there are some that are especially good. Or even hot fruit teas that would work with cold infusion and have a good amount of flavour to them.
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