The first cup is the greatest I have always thought.  I’m feeling patriotic today hence New Zealand Breakfast tea.

To be honest I felt cynical about Twinings national tea series: English, Irish and New Zealand breakfast blends.  What’s the difference? New Zealand Breakfast tea will taste exactly the same as English Breakfast tea I told myself.   Wrong.  At first sip I noted the difference.


On the packet it says: 20 flavoured tea bags though no other clues are given.  If this was a quiz I would guess a pinch of Lapsang souchong has been added.  And peppermint? No.  Malt? The clock is ticking.  I’ll go with the Lapsang!

Twinings is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership and I am assured the company take tea very seriously.  The packet even provides tasting notes although I like to discern the different flavours for myself before I read what the experts have to say.

“New Zealand’s very own flavoursome breakfast tea. Inspired by the magic of birdsong in the bush, as day breaks over the land” …. okay.  They are saying, in a poetic way, that this tea will wake you up.  It is hard to imagine, but once upon a time, when the bird population, was healthier, no one ever slept-in in New Zealand.  Today however the lack of native birdlife in the New Zealand bush is a worry.  Rats, cats, stoats and oppossums have decimated New Zealand’s bird population.

Anyhow Twining’s tasting notes go on: “… this delicious tea has been specially created to get New Zealand off to a great start every morning.  New Zealand Breakfast tea is a full-bodied and satisfying blend, with generous, malty flavours.  You will taste a little smokiness, reminiscent of campfires and billies coming to the boil, offset by subtle floral notes.”

Of course tasting notes are not the same as an ingredients list, although my perceptions are confirmed at least.  Lapsang souchong – my final answer.  Hard to say what the floral notes are …Manuka?  The malt is, as stated, generous.

Twinings do not want me to know the recipe incase I blend the tea myself to sell under a different name.  Fair enough.  “Blended and packed in the U.K from imported ingredients” will have to do.


I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to the Godwits ( Kuaka) who begin their long journey back to the Northern Hemisphere around about now.  Haere ra, dear brave little Kuaka.  Kia kite ano e koutou … if you make it back.  Fly swift, fly straight!  When the Godwits leave our shores summer follows  – all the way to Alaska.  It is said New Zealand was discovered by the great explorer Kupe when he followed migrating Godwits south, across the Pacific Ocean, on their way back with the southern summer.

If you have the time check out the link bird population to get an idea of what New Zealand bush sounds like.  When Kupe first heard the dawn chorus, it would have been much louder.   Luckily we can visit one of New Zealand’s predator free off-shore islands, Tiritiri Matangi, to experience what Kupe and later, Captain Cook, must have heard as he approached our shores.  On my to-do list.

E noho ra koutou.  I hope you have a prosperous week and don’t forget to try something different, whether it’s tea or a new recipe, a strange hat or a new blog in your reader.  When you are in the mood of course – no rush.



6 replies on “The First Cup is the …

  1. Ahh…such a peaceful restful start listening to the bird song…I wouldn’t mind at all being woken to them! That’s a long journey for them, all the way to Alaska!

    A fascinating post that touched in so many topics … Twinnings is a staple in my house and interesting to know they make one specially for 🇳🇿 New Zealand! Well, something very different for me today as I make my first visit ever to a school as an author … excited! Wishing you a very special rest of the week and a fantastic weekend!😀🌺

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fascinating post, from the taste of the tea to the notes to the amazing bird recordings. Great way to start my day. I bet someone would listen to that recording and pick out all the different birds. There seemed to be quite a few!

    Liked by 1 person

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