When is a cup of tea not just a cup of tea? The answer of course is when it is an experience. Harpenden based Twist Teas founders, mother and daughter duo Nicky Kavanaugh & Claire Ayers tells us about the Twist Teas journey. Based at Pollards Farm in Harpenden, Twist Teas are a family business creating beau-tea-ful tea for tea lovers across the globe. We will stop with the puns as it will become tea-dious.
Where did you start? A Tea Story with a twist
“We’ve always loved tea and knew that the tea from a pot with loose leaf always tasted better than tea in a mug made with tea bags. The lovely loose leaves floating in the pot released the flavour but powdery tea in tea bags didn’t have quite the same hit . We could see no reason why tea in a bag should be different from tea in mug and, in 2017, set out on a mission to change that.”
Fast forward to 2020 and Twist Teas now have over 50 blends and 10 “Great Taste” awards. All their blends are made from the finest, ecologically sound ingredients and are hand blended and hand packed in the UK. Leaves in their corn-silk biodegradable pyramid tea bags are the same as the lovely loose leaves that are brewed in a pot – whatever the leaves: black, green, rooibos, chai or fruit and herbal.
Tea time is now me time
While traditional black teas will always be popular, there have been some changes in terms of who is drinking tea and why. 25 to 40 year olds are drinking tea at a rate faster than ever before. More and more consumers are looking for drinks that give them specific health benefits and demand for healthy green and herbal teas is growing. The wellness trend is also being driven by previously hard to acquire products being made accessible in the home.
‘The Tea Maker’, a product from Sage Appliances for example, steeps tea leaves at the right temperature for the required amount of time at the push of a button. This trend has seen consumers take note of all aspects of the tea making experience. Even water filter brand BRITA have seen increased engagement from the tea community by integrating a filter into kettles. There are exciting times ahead in the tea market and this is exactly the landscape that shaped the Twist Tea offering.
Sweet dreams are made of teas
Twist Tea have a wide range of uniquely crafted blends, with new, versatile ways of brewing and serving: lattes, cold brews, in milk, in water … and Twist Tea continuously innovate to meet the growing demand from contemporary tea lovers. Their premium leaves capture loose leaf flavour with the tea convenience of a biodegradable tea bag. Just as consumers moved from freeze dried granular coffee to freshly ground artisan coffee, so they are moving from dusty black tea in plastic laced tea bags to premium teas in biodegradable tea bags.
Twist Tea were first to market with their Cold Brew range. They are also taking the lead on popular sweet-but-sugar-free flavoured rooibos and herbal infusions with added functional benefits in their Puds Without Sin range: blends such as Lemon Drizzle, Creme Brewlee, Mint Humbug & Banana Shake have proven to be a very popular and offer the sweetness of a pudding without the calories.
Twist Teas are continuously focusing their marketing efforts on brewing and serving ideas for their premium blends and believe there is a lot of scope for more innovation and development in this area. For Twist Teas, it is a fabulous time to be a player in the premium tea sector and great for consumers too.
Not only are Twist Teas passionate about great tasting tea, they fully understand their social responsibility and are passionate about the environment. Twist Teas pride themselves on great tasting tea that’s environmentally sound. All their teas and ingredients are ethically sourced from sustainable growers and producers. The card used on their beautiful designed packaging is forest stewardship certified. If that was not enough, their storage caddies are made from recycled tin and are reusable.
Enjoy St Albans Food & Drink Festival returns this September
The St Albans Food & Drink festival, now in its 14th year, features an exciting programme of events across September including Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Stars at the Bars and the Oaklands Farm to Fork.
St Albans, in Hertfordshire, has a remarkable history and reputation for food and drink and the month-long event is hugely popular with locals and visitors looking for an incredible foodie experience.
There will also be a 24-hour photography challenge, pub quizzes and iconic film nights, livestock events, street food nights, Bollywood dancing, live radio events and pop-ups a plenty – it truly is a jam-packed festival with something for everyone.
Manager of St Albans Bid, Denise Parsons, said…
“We are delighted to sponsor the festival which celebrates our food and drink heroes who have gone above and beyond during lockdown. There is something for everyone to enjoy, including live music which is hugely welcomed and adds to the vibrancy of our outdoor events.”
Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park event on 10th-12th September in Verulamium Park brings together special chefs, artisan products and top musicians for one big party- with live music from big names such as All Saints, Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle and the Lightening Seeds.
The awards for the district’s best food and drink businesses are one of the festival highlights but due to the pandemic have been scaled down to one prestigious award this year. Nominations for the Kate D’Arcy Award, recognising an individual who has given exceptional customer service to their community during the pandemic, are open until Monday 23rd August and the nominees will be invited to a presentation event on Monday 20th September at St Michael’s Manor Hotel.
The festival culminates with the incredible FEASTIVAL street event on Sunday 26th September. The central streets in the town centre will be peppered with over 100 food and drink stalls, street entertainment, bars with live music, art and crafts activities, cookery demonstrations, face painting and fun for all ages.
Just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London St Pancras International and excellent road connections, St Albans is easily accessible, making it the perfect day or staycation destination.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in the city centre ranges from small and intimate bed and breakfasts to large hotels including the stunning country style Manor hotel, St Michaels Manor, the luxurious Sopwell House and the Victorian Grade II listed Torrington Hall.
Find out more details about the St Albans Food & Drink Festival and where to stay at EnjoyStAlbans.com
Foodie Related Notes:
- An historic inn-keeping city, St Albans has the most pubs per square mile in the country and is home to England’s Oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, as confirmed by The Guinness Book of Records.
- Did you know the hot cross bun originated in St Albans. The ‘Alban Bun’ was created by Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century Monk at St Albans Abbey, who developed the recipe and would feed the poor on Good Friday.
- The city is famous for its café and pub culture with a fantastic range of award-winning eating and drinking establishments.
About St Albans:
- St Albans is one of the best-kept secrets in UK tourism. A historic gem of an English Cathedral City just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London is easily accessible by road with links to the M25, M1 and A1(M).
- The city’s colourful history and heritage can be seen in the Roman remains and the beautiful medieval architecture and picturesque buildings that look spectacular all year round.
- A fabulous shopping destination, St Albans is home to an array of innovative independent retailers and well-known chains.
- There are lots of green, open spaces and parks, making St Albans a family-friendly destination.
German Doner Kebab opens in High Wycombe with dine-in & takeaway
German Doner Kebab has opened its doors in High Wycombe, bringing a new fast-casual dining experience to the town. The restaurant is located at 27-31 White Hart Street and opened on August 2nd, creating in the region of 40 new jobs in High Wycombe. German Doner Kebab High Wycombe will offer a full Dine-In experience, plus Takeaway with Click & Collect and Delivery coming soon.
German Doner Kebab is revolutionising the kebab in the UK, bringing a fresh, high-quality taste sensation that has made it the number one spot to enjoy a kebab.
Freshly prepared in front of customers, the game-changing kebabs are made using premium, lean, succulent meats and fresh local vegetables, served in handmade toasted breads with unique signature sauces.
The brand has recently confirmed its position as the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant chain after announcing that it will open 47 new restaurants in the UK during 2021.
The new restaurant in High Wycombe is the brand’s 67th site in the UK as it continues to bring the GDK experience to more locations throughout the country.
Daniel Bunce, GDK MD for UK and Europe, said: “We’re delighted to officially open and bring the German Doner Kebab experience to High Wycombe.
“Our game-changing kebabs are revolutionising the kebab in the UK and we are excited to be bringing a new fast-casual experience to the area, offering great tasting fresh food in a relaxed and modern setting.”
As part of its commitment to exploring new products that excite and capture the imagination of its loyal customers, the brand recently launched the new Boss Box to consumers across the UK.
Conceived during Lockdown initially for Delivery and Click & Collect, the Boss Box is proving to be a huge hit with customers throughout the country.
Love Brownies opens new cafe and shop in St Albans
Love Brownies, a Yorkshire Dales-inspired chocolate brownie company, is to open a beautiful café and brownie shop in the heart of St Albans,creating a number of jobs and adding a premium brand to St Albans’ bustling high street.
Established in 2009, Love Brownies is known for its decadent brownies and delicious seasonal menus. Originating in the Yorkshire Dales, the brand has a growing network of brownie shops and cafés, with St Albans being the fifteenth to open in the UK. So what makes Love Brownies so outrageously delicious? It’s no secret: they bake each one individually, by hand, using the best ingredients possible.
The Love Brownies Range
The new Love Brownies shop in St Albans will offer a mouth watering menu of indulgent handmade chocolate brownies in a variety of tempting flavours, magnificent brownie milkshakes (with vegan alternatives), a range of premium, freshly-brewed coffees and the bold flavours of Northern Bloc ice cream.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal said: “The St Albans shop will be our first to open in Hertfordshire and we’re so excited to bring our award-winning brownies and delicious Dales-inspired menu to a brand new audience.
Inside Love Brownies St Albans
The inside of a Love Brownies is a unique blend of a cafe and shop. St Albans residents can pop in to the cafe for a drink and one of their fabulous brownies. Love Brownies merchandise and products can also be purchased in store. These include Love Brownies tea towels, Love Brownies mugs and Love Brownies aprons.
For those on the go, a delicious ‘Dales Kitchen’ breakfast and lunch menu with pastries and jam-packed sandwiches will also be available for St Albans residents.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal also said “The shop is in a fantastic location and we’re anticipating a busy summer! We’re so pleased to be bringing business into the area during a time that has been so difficult for so many and can’t wait to be a part of the St Albans community.”
Where to find Love Brownies in St Albans?
The new Love Brownies café will be located at Number 1, Market Place and will open to the public at 8am on Wednesday 21 July. For more information about Love Brownies or to see a sample menu visit www.lovebrownies.co.uk or follow @lovebrowniesbakery on Facebook and Instagram.