Is it time to change the way we think about tea? We're not saying put down your trusted Green Tea or classic cup of English Breakfast, but what if tea was more than just a comfort drink? This is exactly what luxury tea company Bloom Tea want to share with you with their range of fine organic teas and matcha powders. Bloom Tea's philosophy of 'Tea as a Treatment' has been the inspiration for their multi-award winning range and we've caught up with founder Craig Coulton to discover how his teas can suit our bodies changing needs throughout the day.
How did Bloom Tea begin?
Working as an architect, I was used to drinking coffee all day long to help me cope with long hours and a challenging workload and after years of ‘neglect’ my body eventually decided to aggressively shut down. Towards the end of a long running illness, I started drinking copious amounts of green tea in an effort to help restore my immune system. I wasn’t your typical tea drinker and at first I struggled to ‘enjoy’ green tea, like so many people, but I was determined and carried a bottle of ice tea with me everywhere. I knew it was an excellent source of antioxidants that my body needed and a great way to stay hydrated. My interest in tea and herbal infusions grew from this and my appetite for better quality teas made me realise that there was a huge difference between cheaper tea bags containing dust and whole leaf teas and herbs that I was experimenting with. I also realised that drinking the same tea all day long would only have residual value and I’d be better off tailoring teas to suit my body’s changing needs throughout the day. For example, a lunchtime tea could include digestive ingredients’ that would be well placed for actively contributing towards digestive function when it was actually happening. This principle of functional ingredients added to different teas for different times of day was further developed with the help of a master tea blender where we also factored in the caffeine content of each tea. I’d start the day with a black tea, which has the most caffeine, then move onto a green tea mid-morning and a white tea at lunch, which had less caffeine in turn, before reintroducing a black tea for an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’ and then finally enjoying a caffeine-free herbal infusion in the evening with relaxing ingredients. It wouldn’t be long before this concept developed into my daily ‘Tea Treatment Plan’ and after 6 months I decided to share my regime with others and BLOOM Tea was born.
BLOOM founder Craig Coulton
What is the Bloom Tea ‘Tea Treatment Plan?’
BLOOM started off by arranging teas by time of day – using appropriate ingredients to deliver a functional benefit (e.g. digestion, relaxation, improving concentration). To me, it made sense to have a digestive tea when you eat or a caffeine free tea before you sleep. We took that concept further and created a daily 'treatment plan' so you can also benefit from regular rehydration and a variety of antioxidants.
Breakfast: Kick-start metabolism and energize your body
Mid-Morning: De-stress and relieve muscular tension
Midday: Aid digestion with stomach cleansing ingredients
Afternoon: Restore concentration and energy levels
Evening: Relax and detox after a long day
How will someone benefit from introducing your luxury tea into their diet?
Firstly, I would encourage anyone to try drinking different teas throughout the day and find a ‘Tea Treatment Plan’ that suits their own individual needs. That way your body benefits from a host of different nutrients. It’s very common nowadays for most tea brands to position their teas with a functional purpose and that will help consumers choose from a myriad of blends. BLOOM made a conscious decision from the outset to package high grade whole leaf ingredients and the same dedication to sourcing the best ingredients applies to our new range of innovative tea powders. This decision and our chosen packaging does impact cost and I`m aware that many people may not be ready to make such a big leap so I’d implore them to take a small step first and mix and match great brands such as Pukka with one of BLOOM’s teas, herbal infusions or powders and try their best to drink teas at regular times of day. I’d aim for at least 5 cups (hot or cold) and preferably always without milk and sugar. Regular hydration can have a positive impact as your body tends to lose water retention, but consistency is key to achieving that.
Bloom Teas feature additional functional ingredients to work in sync with matcha, how were these discovered?
We are always exploring and tasting different herbs, blending and experimenting. Some ingredients have well documented and published beneficial properties but taste disgusting so not all functional ingredients work well with matcha. With that in mind we do our best to marry complimentary flavours and also developed grapefruit, mango and mojito flavoured options for matcha newcomers. That said, the matcha has a strong ‘grassy’ green tea flavour that we consciously don’t overpower or overcomplicate.
What is your favourite matcha recipe?
We’ve collaborated with several foodies and developed some wonderful food and drink dishes, some of which can be seen on our Instagram account. My personal favourite is an ice tea matcha latte that I like to have in the morning. First, I make a matcha paste, by adding two tablespoons of freshly boiled water with 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Bloom Tea Mindpower Matcha, which has ginseng and ginger, then I add 300ml cold soya milk (almond milk works very well too) and whisk into a frothy green latte that’s poured over crushed ice in summer months.
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
My favourite role is developing new product ranges. I’m always looking to try new things and I like taking risks, which don’t always work out, but I get lots of satisfaction from seeing something new. So far I’ve played it relatively safe, but I plan on launching more innovative tea based concepts in the future, which gives BLOOM a new age edge that’s more health focussed.
What is your everyday wellness essential?
8 hours of sleep (in my dreams now that I have a 16 month old baby) and at least 5 cups of tea – no sugar or milk – and a matcha shot squeezed into my morning routine to help with relaxed awareness.
Where would you like to see Bloom Tea in 5 years time?
I’d hope our new affordable tea bag range that’s launching mid-year has succeeded with widespread distribution and a much larger audience is enjoying our products, both at home and in restaurants’ and bars.
Take your tea to the next level and shop the range: Bloom Tea