Long before I had ever dreamed of visiting England and tracing my family’s deep history there, I have been drinking tea. It’s a little bit odd to hear that an American has been drinking tea for over half her life but it’s true. It’s about 19 years and counting now…
Just how on earth did a full-blooded American like me (complete with the coveted neutral accent and fancy US Passport) grow up drinking tea in the Midwest? Isn’t my country obsessed with coffee?
Well, we are but on the paternal side of my family, we don’t have a long history of living in the US.
In fact, I’m only a third-generation American on my dad’s side. My great-grandparents were born and raised near London but left voluntarily in their late twenties. They even did long-distance and were on the verge of breaking up when my great-grandfather had to take the boat back to England and marry her! (That’s a story for another day.)
So, having direct relatives from the United Kingdom -historically known as the land of tea drinkers-, meant that tea made its way over to the U.S. once again but this time about two centuries later. Both my dad and my grandpa remember drinking tea with their family and how my great-grandmother served it. Sadly, her famous sugar cookie recipe got lost because she never wrote it down. Moreso, no one in the family to this day has been able to recreate it.
While I never met my great-grandparents in person as they died several years before I was born, I grew to love tea as much as my great-grandma did.
Although shortly upon arriving in the U.S, she demanded to return to England because she claimed that the Americans didn’t know how to make a good cup of tea, as the story goes. This was because she was served green tea and never had it again!
Awkwardly enough, green tea is one of my favorites. Please forgive me, Great-Grandma Willats.
The main reason why I love tea is only partially the bold and unique taste of it but mainly the people with whom I spend time drinking the tea. Or the fact that I can warm my hands with the big mug that I drink from or how I can tickle my nose with new scents and aromas.
And that’s exactly how I shopped for a couple of teas on this list…with my nose!
As you read through this list of Twinings teas that I’ve been enjoying for the past several years now, I hope the descriptions will heighten your sense of smell and whet your taste buds as you discover my top five Twinings teas.
Disclaimer: If you don’t already own an electric kettle, teapot or pot to boil water in, you need to stop reading this post and go out and buy one immediately. DO NOT, I repeat, I do NOT microwave water for any hot tea, let alone the ones below. The taste will not be the same and you won’t get the full experience of these flavors. *This has been a Public Service Announcement.*
5. Chamomile and Spiced Apple
I was introduced to this tea by a fellow tea lover (turned love of my life after a short period of time) a couple of years ago in the summer and fall. He claimed it was the perfect summer tea but after drinking it for a while now, I actually think it can complement a couple of seasons just perfectly.
If you can’t already detect hints of chamomile wafting around as you slip the teabag out of the box, your nose will definitely pick up on the strong apple and cinnamon undernotes. You won’t need to steep this tea for very long which is great if you want a quick cup.
This tea is quite versatile and while I mainly enjoy drinking it during the early to late fall, it’s actually quite a pleasant tea to have in summer or springtime. It’s light enough but bursting with flavor and it’s naturally sweet, too. I’ve found that if you add sugar or honey to this tea, it oversweetens so ditch the sugar in this case. Savor this tea on a fragrant spring night or a chilly autumn evening and your tastebuds will love it!
Caffeine content: 0 g
Average cost per 100g: £6.80 or ~$8.90
4. Moroccan Mint
As soon as you crack open this box, the powerful flavors of spearmint and cardamom burst out and invade your senses. And in a flash, you’re transported to the main medina in Marrakech where shop owners are bagging up fresh batches of their famous mint tea and bartering with potential customers. In the markets, it’s loud and everything moves fast but inside your home, and once you take a sip of this warming Moroccan mint tea, your stress will melt away.
I haven’t been to Morocco again in nearly a decade but the colorful and vibrant culture left a big mark on me. And it left me with the desire to return every time I drink this tea or any sort of Moroccan green tea with fresh mint boiled in it.
The spices, the flavors, the sights, the sounds.
It’s a highly underrated country that should be frequented more due to its rich, sweet mint teas and delicious, simple dishes.
So if you can’t hop on a plane or a ferry and dive right into Moroccan culture, why not jump straight into it by brewing up a cup of this lovely mint tea?
Caffeine content: 25mg
Average cost per 100g: £1.70 or ~$2.22
3. Cranberry Raspberry
There’s a huge lack of cranberry flavored anything around Spain and cranberry juice is insanely expensive compared to the US or the UK. It’s probably the reason why I crave it and peanut butter more than anything other American products ever since I moved abroad long-term.
So when I was presented with the opportunity to choose cranberry flavored teas, you can imagine my delight and how I jumped at it!
I had iced tea in mind when I picked up a couple of boxes of this particular tea and a blazing, hot summer in Madrid was the perfect time to debut it. Summertime in the Spanish capital is unbearable but it’s the perfect time of year to drink ice-cold beverages, including ice-cold tea. (Much to a loyal British Twinings tea lover’s discontent.)
The trick was to boil about a liter of water on the stove (back when I didn’t have access to an electric kettle) and then add five bags of Cranberry Raspberry tea until steeped.
And then I would let it cool off for a few minutes before pouring it into a pitcher and letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours.
I’ve also added one bag of a lemon-flavored Twinings tea into the mix while I’m steeping it and its bold, zesty taste adds a nice kick to the mix. (That’s optional)
This tea is also great hot and steaming if you want a warm drink but you want something light and fruity to dance across your tongue. But, it would be best drank cold on a warm spring day or blistering hot July day in the dead of summer.
Caffeine content: 0 g
Average cost per 100g: £4.25 or ~$5.56
2. Lemon and Ginger
I don’t know what it is about this Lemon and Ginger tea in particular but it is a miracle worker.
It has all the right elements for chasing away a sore throat or finicky nose: zesty lemon, powerful, tingly ginger and a bit of a bite to it. A couple of cups of this Twinings tea and your allergies or slight cold will be kept at bay.
In fact, it’s perfect to drink all year round –whether you live somewhere with high pollen in the spring and fall (think pollen infested South Florida or Southern Spain during peak olive blooming season) or not. It works as a sore throat and allergy remedy or cold prevention.
For what it’s worth, I’ve bought (or requested that my personal tea shopper buy) tons of boxes of this fine Twinings tea over the past two years and I’m not stopping. It’s slightly on the expensive side but trust me, you want a lemon and ginger tea with a tangy twist, look no further than this spectacular find!
Caffeine content: 0 g
Average cost per 100g: £5.67 or ~$7.42
1. Turkish Apple
I can’t rave enough or shed enough tears over this tea but I’ll explain why.
It’s a bit cruel for me to put it at the top of this list when Twinings Turkish Apple tea has…in fact, been discontinued.
But it deserves the number one spot on a top Twinings teas list because it is one of two teas I bought only using my nose. I had never done that in my life before I walked into the Twinings store on the Strand in bustling London that January afternoon.
However, I did it and though I only got to cherish that robust black tea with a succulently sweet apple undernote for less than two years, I savored every cup.
And I shared it and mailed it to two people on two different occasions. One made its way to the North of Spain to an old friend and the other, to the South to a friend I was hoping could be something more than just an amigo. 😉
I’ve never been to Turkey before and I’ve tried a couple of different Turkish Apple teas before this one but Twinings got it right.
It’s warm and bold like black tea should be but playful and light on the tongue as apples should be. I don’t know their secret -nor why they decided to stop producing it- but I do have a feeling that I must go to Turkey sooner or later to discover it.
Caffeine content: ~30mg per serving
Average cost per 100g: (Out of stock and not produced anymore)
Jasmine Green Tea
I’ve never been to a tropical rainforest or walked the streets of an Asian spice market but one sip of this tea takes me to either place in the blink of an eye.
This is how powerful and bold the jasmine is in this Twinings tea. It’s incredible how rich and sharp this flavor is, and had I been drinking it for longer than just this year, it would’ve moved up on my list.
Contrary to my very British-only-drink-tea-with-milk-and-sugar roots, I love green tea. Especially when you add a good dose of lemon and honey.
I must say, though, trying jasmine flavored tea (one of my first flower flavored teas) has made me love green tea even more.
This is the perfect tea for any season really but especially the springtime when flowers and trees are all coming alive once again.
Sipping this tea makes you feel like you’re being whisked away into a tropical forest with exotic flowers and lush gardens.
It’s incredible how just one smell or taste can instantly transport you to a new destination, isn’t it?
Average cost per 100g: £5 or ~$6.55
Intensely Raspberry & Dragon fruit
I also snatched this one up from the Twinings tea shop itself merely because I fell in love with the smell of it.
And before I talk it up too much, I must also let you down and share that it too has been discontinued. My now mother-in-law kept an eye out for it both during her visits to London and when she was out shopping but she could never come across it in the UK. Much to everyone’s dismay.
It’s a shame because it’s the perfect spring and summertime tea. The combination of raspberry and dragon fruit was just a bang-up flavor combo that was out of this world.
I’m not a huge fan of Earl Grey but apparently the Queen is! Her former butler divulged in an interview that Earl Grey with a splash of milk is her preferred tea.
This tea made the honorable mentions list mainly because of a story behind the only box of tea of it that I’ve ever received. It was back before my friend at the time -now husband- revealed that he had feelings for me and was kind enough to bring me back some tea from the UK after I got stuck in Madrid all summer in 2017.
He picked up all of the tea I requested and wanted to buy a smaller box of Early Grey but his mum actually talked him into getting the 100 bag box for just 50p more!
(If you didn’t know whether a guy likes you or not, if he buys you all of the tea you wanted and gets an extra big box with 100 bags in it? I think he likes you! haha)
That tea expired earlier this year and while I had to throw the last pack of it out, it still brought a smile to my face. It may have long since gone but my memories that surround it have never faded.
Average cost per 100g: £1.40 or ~$1.83
Are you a tea drinker? Do you love Twinings as much as the next tea fanatic? If you can answer yes to either (or both) of those questions, I’d love to hear what your favorite Twinings tea is. Or if you have a unique history with tea yourself! Share your stories in the comments!