What a dream! Why wait for the afternoon to enjoy this beautiful brightly coloured, smooth, flavoursome tea? The 100 tea bags come in a gold foil pack – once opened I keep them in a tin. I scanned the box, so the colours do not show up as well as they might.

As you can tell from the picture above, the design of the box is attractive in its own right: a mixture of black, yellow and different shades of green – all very summery, born out by the  (should be yellow) kite fliers and the suggestion of waves, light breezes (and is that a green flower peeping out from behind the black box on the front).

Then, of course, there is the ethical bit – the ‘feel-good’ factor to enhance your tea-drinking enjoyment:

What I find interesting – apart from the refreshing flavour and the lightness of the tea that has one reaching out to pour a second cup, is the blurb on the back of the box: Master blenders use all their knowledge to choose just the right teas at just the right time. They select the best teas from Africa (they don’t mention from where exactly but, note this, they use only the brightest, freshest African leaves) and assure us tea drinkers that it is the bright freshness of the African leaves that makes this tea so refreshing. Other leaves are from Assam, obviously picked when they are at their best, and high-grown Ceylon, which originates in Sri Lanka.

I am not mocking this tea – I love it and highly recommend it to anyone who has easy access to it (mine was a gift from England) – I am amused by the marketing hype (as if the tea needed it – the taste alone is a winner). It is the slightly patronising nod to the African tea that raises an eyebrow. No mention of African tea leaves is made on the website

Our English Afternoon tea combines carefully selected Keemun tea from the Anhui province in China with Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka. Keemun teas are light-to-medium bodied, smooth and slightly sweet in taste. Ceylon teas are bright in colour, crisp and refreshing. Blended together, these two varieties provide a modern twist to a storied tea that is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or whenever you need a little lift.

Forget about what is on the box and focus what is in the box – brew it for two or three minutes and enjoy your cup(s) of Twinings English Afternoon tea!



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