This fruity little number appears in the Fruit Selection box by Twinings, which is on my list to review this year. I know that I often give Twinings a hard time on my blog, especially when comparing their teabag range to superior loose leaf teas from online merchants.
But to be completely honest, as a brand they’re not all that bad. Besides their typical black teas, I think their fruit and herbal range is what they’re next most known for.
This is my review of Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry tea. You can find other Twinings fruit tea reviews by using my Tea Review Index or using the tags at the bottom of this article.
Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Hibiscus, rosehip and liquorice with blackcurrant and blueberry flavourings
- Flavour: A sweet and smooth hot blackcurrant tea with blueberry sweetness
This tea is pleasant and very sweet… but it can be summed up as simply Ribena for adults. If you are unaware, Ribena is the blackcurrant flavoured fruit juice from concentrate that we all drank as kinds. It’s fruity and flavoursome but with Ribena available to buy, why would you buy this tea instead?
Full Review – Blueberry & Blackcurrant Tea
- Type: Tagged paper filter tea bag
- Ingredients: Hibiscus, rosehips, blackberry leaves, liquorice root, natural blackcurrant flavouring, natural blueberry flavouring, other natural flavouring
- Health Benefits: Soothe sore throats and colds
- Flavour Notes: Hot blackcurrant squash, subtle blackberry, blueberry sweetness, hibiscus tartness, smooth
- Aroma: Hibiscus, Ribena, sweet blueberry, redcurrants, blackcurrants
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Twinings Official Teashop, Amazon
Ripping open the packet, the first unmistakable note to hit your nose is hibiscus. The tart, fruit-like aroma is very distinct and dominates a tea that (at this point) really doesn’t feel natural. The hint of sweet blueberry and vibrant blackcurrant aromas are quite fake. And it’s here that my comparison with Ribena began.
It brews into what looks like hot Ribena squash – a dark red with a purplish tinge. Very attractive to look at, however the aroma is lacking. The blueberry notes vanished to be replaced with the redcurrants and blackcurrants of Ribena squash.
And yes, you guessed it. The flavour is very Ribena-esque as well. It takes me right back to that childhood memory of watching a classmate paint the carpet with red Ribena vomit and forever ingraining the sickly-sweet scent in my mind.
Of course, for many people the memory of Ribena is a happy one – in which case the smooth blackcurrant squash flavour of this tea will be pleasant… but then I find myself asking, if you could just buy Ribena squash, why would you buy Ribena tea that requires steeping first?
How to Brew Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry Tea
I brewed according to instructions, with freshly drawn boiling water. The 2 minute brew time resulted in a medium-strong cuppa, so for Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry tea I recommend erring on the side of caution when brewing. Start with a minute or so, then taste before steeping further.
As for what to drink it with, something creamy would cut through the berry sweetness well. Like pairing meringue with summer berries and yoghurt with granola and tart fruits, you need a little creaminess to provide contrast.
Why Twinings Fruit Infusions?
As with all fruit and herbal teas, my attention is usually on the quality of ingredients included rather than how finely chopped or dusty they are in the teabag.
The base of this tea gets a thumbs up. Hibiscus, rosehip, blackberry leaves and liquorice root are all natural, flavoursome ingredients that contribute to the tart berry flavours that should be in a blueberry and blackcurrant tea. Unfortunately, there’s no blackcurrant or blueberry in Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry tea. What a let down.
And while the flavourings are described as natural, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the processes used to create those flavourings from natural ingredients is good. As I discovered when writing my article about Soil Association Organic Certified tea requirements, some natural flavourings are created alongside potentially toxic bi-products or in environmentally unfriendly ways.
Twinings also tell you the calories in their teas (most tea companies avoid this as the calories depend on how strongly you brew) and indicate that there are 2kcal per 100ml – this works out as about 5kcal per cup.
Blueberry and Blackcurrant Health Benefits
Usually when you think of cold busting teas, you think of orange, lemon, ginger and honey ingredients. But actually, hibiscus and rosehip contains a staggering amount of vitamin C, making this tea just as effective as those lemony flu favourites.
This tea also contains blackberry leaf, which is a fantastic remedy for sore throats.
The only health benefits you won’t find in your cup are those from blueberries and blackcurrants… as there aren’t any actually included!
I put aside my own personal thoughts and Ribena memories to score this tea, leaving it with a very respectable 2.6 out of 5. It’s certainly not a bad tea – it’s not too weak, bitter or hard to brew right – but it could certainly be improved with blackberry and blueberry pieces rather than flavouring. Check it out in Twining’s official store using the button below or scroll back up to find this tea on Amazon.
I gave it a lot of thought and I’ve decided to go out on a limb with this tea recommendation. Check out King Tea Mall’s Yi Wu Ma Hei Sheng Puer next. Yep, it’s a strong, specialist tea from an independent seller. But rather like this fruity tea, it’s very distinct and offers a full, flavoursome experience. If you ever wanted to get into traditional teas, this is your chance.