It's no wonder the Pinestone Tea team is proud of their product. Not only are the varieties delicious, but they are also made from sustainably grown tea plants and prepared using traditional methods handed down through generations. The company generously sent me a quality green tea presentation box containing three types of teas so that I could try them for myself. It's quite a while since I took the time to make 'proper' tea in a pot, generally opting for teabags instead. Now, presented with these loose-leaf teas, meant it was time to bring the teapot out from where it had been languishing in a cupboard. Preparing tea provides the ideal reason to slow down and relax, something of an awakening for me and something I enjoyed and appreciated.
Pinestone uphold the following values:
• Everyone in the tea supply chain deserves to be treated with respect, paid fairly and afforded good working conditions
• Tea should be ethically sourced and fully traceable
• All Pinestone packaging is recyclable apart from the reusable and resealable inner bags
• Green tea has mental and physical benefits
Wellbeing and Health
Research shows how good green tea is for our mental and physical health. Even the act of brewing these meticulously prepared leaves can bring a sense of mindfulness and calm. Time and care are essential in the brewing process so this is an opportunity to allow yourself peaceful contemplation.
Green tea's health benefits are far reaching. It is high in protective polyphenols which act as antioxidants, amino acids help brain function and some believe that un-sweetened green tea can help with fat burning because of its thermogenic properties.
Did you know that Chinese tea drinking culture is an important aspect of any mealtime? Different teas are best drunk with specific foods, just like fine wines.
Rich and satisfying Chun Mee tea is good for digesting heavy dishes. This hand produced Pinestone tea has a sweet though slightly acidic flavour and is especially good with a main course.
Lung Ching or Dragon Well is a yellowy green coloured delicate all-rounder. It is an extra special tea which must be produced in the traditional, hand-panned style in order to be granted the world-renowned Lung Ching mark. it has a fabulously refreshing taste and is ideal to drink on its own.
Refreshing Jasmine tea is a well known favourite with tea drinkers. It's ideal when eating Dim Sum, light starters and desserts because of its fragrance. It is sweet and smooth and utterly 'yes, I'll have another cup please.' Jasmine is very calming.
And, did you know that tea is also a cooking ingredient in China? Back in the Tang Dynasty people would drink ground tea flavoured with salt and herbs. This type of tea is still common in some parts of China today while sometimes roasted rice and beans are added to make the tea more like a soup. The most famous dish cooked with tea is shrimp stir-fried with Lung Ching tea, a speciality of Hangzhou where the tea comes from. Kevin Sui, Pinestone tea founder, regularly cooks with teas and one of his creations is green tea mayonnaise for fish and chips. Sounds good to me!
The Pinestone Tea Luxury Green Tea Set RRP £26.99 includes 100g Lung Ching, 100g Jasmine, and 100g Chun Mee loose-leaf tea. A complimentary re-seal clip to keep your tea absolutely fresh. The teas are also available separately in 100g boxes prices from £5.99. Free next-day delivery for orders over £20. Available from www.pinestonetea.co.uk
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist /author of 13 books. Credits incl: Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, BBC mags, The Scotsman, Daily Express, Country & Town House, Metro, Countryfile, Tatler, trade & consumer cruise titles etc.