Blog warning: This post contains unashamed fruit puns and scenes of a sexual nature. Those of a nervous disposition should click away now. I’ve done my zest to warn you.
- The Secret
I have a deep, dark, full-bodied and more than a bit bitter secret. Like a tea that has been brewed for too long, or – God forbid – a tea that has been left to go cold; how can you FORGET that you have made a brew after waiting in anticipation over it for at least three minutes!?
Anyway, the secret…you ready? You sure? Yeah? Ok, here goes. I f**king hate fruit tea bags. With a passion. In fact, I actively avoid them; I cross over the street when they come towards me wearing their floral hippie shirts; I don’t reply to their texts about going out on Friday night to an expressive dance poetry mash up; and I unsubscribe from their posts on Facebook about how fantastic their new diet of air, Kale and dental floss is (I would never delete them though – that’s just plain rude). I think fruit tea bags taste of chemicals, feet and sweaty yoga teachers that bask in their own flexible self-righteousness – they do NOT taste of fruit. (I do in fact LOVE sincere yoga teachers though, and indeed love yoga despite the flatulence that it inevitably induces).
2. The Surprise
SO, when my boss left a PHROOTI Raspberry and Strawberry infusion pouch on my desk with the ominous note, ‘I heard about the blog – see me in five minutes’ I was both a) afraid that my status as employed and ability to sustain my tea addiction might hang in the balance and b) dubious about the prospect of trying something that I would normally sooner wipe my arse with than drink. I didn’t get fired by the way if you were curious.
BUT…PHROOTI surprised me. It left me s-peach-less. It actually made me #teagasm, or should I say #infusiongasm (pretty inappropriate behaviour when you are watching Eastenders). It was like a fruity orgy from the moment I opened the zip lock package and made me want to speak like the M&S advert lady. It flirted with me with its berry nice fragrance that greeted me when I unwrapped its pouch, caressed my nostrils with a scent that did not com-pear to any other poor excuse for a fruit tea I had tried before, and teased me with its thick, creamy syrup oozing into the hot, hot water as I waited the recommended five minutes brewing time for ultimate satisfaction. You all read that in the M&S lady voice didn’t you? Dirty sods.
After stirring it into ‘a fruit frenzy’ as the cute little Finch on the packet advised, I was chomping at the bit to lose my PHROOTI virginity with reckless abandon. But I was nervous; this is the part where all other fruit teas let you down. They look fruity, they smell fruity and they taste…like over-sugared wet lettuce. The equivalent of getting Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie back to yours, enjoying mind-blowing foreplay and then discovering that they have crabs.
But PHROOTI didn’t have an STD. It didn’t disappoint. It tasted…SUB-LIME. Like you imagine, hope and pray that fruit tea should taste. It tasted of beautiful, ripe and freshly picked strawberries and raspberries that had got together and had lots of good looking fruit children. It had a bold, deep and simply stunning berry burst flavour that didn’t taste sickly sweet, artificially sugared or like mouldy fruit, that made a perfect addition to my evening wind down. You can tell that this is 95% dried berries that simply need to be rehydrated in hot water, as the perfectly formed packaging claims. It was THAT good, that I was even prepared to overlook the fact it came in a tea bag – a biodegradable one mind.
So yes, a big surprise – I liked it. No I lie. I bloomin’ loved it. In fact, I hounded Jerome Jacob – Mr PHROOTI himself – via Twitter, email and carrier pigeon for more of the stuff to get my fix. AND also for a Godfather style sit down; I wanted to see the face of the man that was going to force me to admit I was wrong on the internet. I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse (I hope you have seen The Godfather otherwise that just sounds creepy…); a cuppa and a chat.
The Sit Down
Jerome was almost as lovely as his PHROOTI; a top chap and obviously a talented entrepreneur. Greeted with a very un-gangster-like hug – which challenged every one of my incredibly English aloof physical boundaries, in a good and much needed way – Jerome was infectiously enthusiastic about his creation and supporting young local entrepreneurs. After judging the sub- standard loose leaf Earl Grey that I was served, playing ‘guess where The Tea Witch’s accent is from’ and gassing about cycling, Sheffield and everything in between, Jerome told me more about PHROOTI.
He came up with the idea whilst out at a tea shop with a friend and had the epiphany that fruit brews don’t taste how they smell they should taste, the deceptive minxes. After doing some research into what goes into fruit bags to make them taste so much like chemical dross rather than the fruit they purport to contain – which is hibiscus, rosehips and artificial flavouring apparently – Jerome decided to become a fruit prophet with a simple mission. Make fruit tea out of bloody fruit rather than all this other crap. Oh, and casually donate a portion of the profits to preserving wildflower meadows to improve the British bee population, so we can produce homegrown fruit to make this new drink of kings. Bee-au-tea-ful; why didn’t I think of that?
And so, if it wasn’t for this believer in fruit rights, this generous gentleman working two jobs and sticking it to the man by quitting his high flying advertising job in London to make PHROOTI happen, I wouldn’t have to publicly admit that I am wrong on the internet. BUT we also wouldn’t have this revolution in fruit tea. Although technically I’m not wrong; fruit tea is pants, and PHROOTI isn’t fruit tea – it’s an infusion. So there.
Unlike ‘fetch’ (I hope you have seen Mean Girls, or I just sound insane), PHROOTI will happen, and I intend to be a willing disciple in making it happen. It tastes fab, is made by someone fab (he won a Young Entrepreneur of the Year award don’t you know), and does something fab for the environment. If you like fruit tea, you will wonder why your precious tea bags don’t taste like PHROOTI. If you hate fruit tea, you will be converted by this cheeky and truly yummy infusion.
So go on, make my day punk and say hello to my little PHROOTI friend *insert other gangster references here*. Sign up for samples here (although they are in high demand so be patient!) and support Jerome in his PHROOTI mission. Also keep an eye out for another Tea Witch review of two other PHROOTIs later this month – Sour Cherry and Cranberry, and Blackcurrants, Blackberries and Blueberries. #berrygasm.
Who has tried some PHROOTI already? How many yoga and fruit tea lovers have I offended?!