Following my post on TWG’s Singapore Surprise cake last year, TWG got in touch with me to learn more about their brand and products at their IFC store.
Of course, I was eager to find out what TWG is really all about, and got something of an education in tea in the process…To complement TWG’s staggering tea list (there really is a dizzying number of choices), the Tea Book (above) is packed full of tea-related literature and information to help guide you.Thankfully, I also had one of their representatives on hand to talk me through some of the traditions and techniques behind the making and consumption of tea.
Although this may not come as a surprise to some, I was humbled to learn that almost all tea comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis.
Before, I guess I just took different tea varieties for granted, never realising that each is a result of specific treatment of the plant. These include oxidation, frying the leaves, fermenting them and more…My tasting included the following:
1837: Black Tea
* Black tea is made using the plant’s leaves. They are sunned, and rolled to allow air to react and ferment the leaves. The colour then changes from green -> red -> black.
* Black tea has the highest caffeine content of all teas.
Silver Moon: Green Tea blend
* Green tea leaves are panfried or steamed – but not fermented!
* Green tea is high in antioxidants and has lower caffeine content.
White Spring: White Tea blend
* White tea is the least processed of all teas. Often it is only sun-dried, with no other treatments applied.
* White tea is taken from the closed buds of the plant and had distinctive tiny fibres
* White tea has the highest level of antioxidants, and lowest level of caffeine.
Red Chai: Red Tea with spices
* Red Chai tea is made from a blend of black tea and spicesDrawing from Singapore’s colonial-era tea trade, TWG (a Singaporean brand) incorporates traditional design elements with lots of colour – especially in its beautifully designed packaging.
Tea first originated in Asia but spread around the world over the centuries due to trade. Merchandise for sale reflects tea’s international influence with tea accessories from many different cultures…
What goes hand-in-hand with tea? The answer to that question is often: food. High Tea is the tradition of eating small snacks ( sweet and savoury) alongside cups of tea. TWG also offers tea pairings with their food, similar to how wine is paired with dishes at other restaurants.
I personally prefer savoury snacks, and got to try a delicious toast set that included smoked salmon, foie gras and roasted vegetables… Yummy.
On the other hand, TWG’s macarons are made using its own signature tea blends. I thought this was a pretty cool in-house tidbit – and the Earl Grey chocolate macaron was fantastic. I’ve been slowly transitioning into drinking less coffee and more tea after the encouragement of my brother (who only drinks green tea), as well as learning about the different types of tea that are out there.
For example: black and red teas are good for morning consumption due to their higher caffeine level, while green and white teas can be drunk later in the day without risk of keeping you up at night.
From product to packaging and presentation, TWG is a tea-lover’s paradise that feels like a candy store. And, when you consider the sheer variety of tea mixes, incorporating tea leaves with all kinds of flowers and spices, it makes sense why: tea here is taken seriously, and that’s the real tradition which sets it apart.Bakker x