Sunday, 30 March 2014

The London Fruit And Herb Company: Green Tea & Orange

I love orange in tea. Whether it be the wonderful Lady Grey to Orange and Cinnamon. I find that orange goes really well in tea. It's vastly different to lemon and makes a pleasant change.

When Rebecca sent me a sample of The London Fruit And Herb Company's Orange Green Tea it appealed to me straight away.

Upon opening the packet the orange scent was gorgeous. I couldn't wait to brew the tea. Whilst I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I decided to take a picture of this little tag. It's really pretty!

As I waited for the tea to brew (suggested brewing time is four minutes) I could smell the orange. It is so flavorsome and inviting. It brewed, not to a greenish colour which I was expecting, but to a reddish colour which was surprising.

Upon my first sip of this tea, I was in love. The flavour of the orange is so fresh it is almost as if they oranges were picked and added to the tea straight from the tree. It's gloriously fruity. And, incredibly mouthwatering.

As I settled in front of the television to watch my favourite episode of Columbo I slowly drunk this tea. I loved how fresh this tea is, how natural it feels when drinking. It feels like health in a cup, which is great.

I only had a single envelope of this tea, but I could easily of drunk more of it. If I had a full box to hand, I would of made another cup almost immediately. It's that lovely it's almost addictive.

I also liked how refreshed and clean it made my mouth feel. No odd aftertaste with this tea!

You would not think that this is a green tea. You cannot detect the green tea at all, and if I had not seen the packaging I would of sworn it was a fruit tea. So, if you don't like green tea, or if your unsure about testing it, try this tea first. You'll get all the health benefits but none of the bitterness that you can get with green tea.

The London Fruit and Herb Company sell their tea's through branches of Holland And Barrett. However, neither I, or my blogger friend, Rebecca, can source it at local branches. But you may just be lucky enough to stumble on a box. If you cant find a box of this delightful tea then go to the companies website. You'll find everything you need there. And I've just eyed up the lovely sounding strawberry and vanilla fool!

Here is the web address:

If you can source this tea, please, please try it. You wont be disappointed. I can guarantee that!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

My Favourite Five Teas Of 2014 .... (So Far!)

I've been lucky enough to try several new teas already this year. So, as we are fast approaching the fourth month of the year, I'd like to give a run down on my top five tea's so far this year!

1. Twinings Gingerbread Indulgence


This year started off rather sensationally with Twinings releasing three new green teas. Gingerbread Indulgence, Salted Caramel and Caramelised Apple. Quite frankly, I've not seen a launch of a new tea like it before. These tea's flew off the shelves, nobody could find them, I myself traveled for hours, only to get to Tesco's to find one battered box at the back of the shelf.

My favourite new tea (that I've tried) of 2014 is the Gingerbread Indulgence. It's vastly different from plain ginger tea - it actually does taste like gingerbread! The popularity of this tea has been amazing. Well done to Twinings for coming up with a great blend. The big question is, what will they come up with next? I can't wait to see!

2. Kensington Tea Company Christmas Spice

I never thought it, but the second of my favourite teas of the year is another green tea. If you'd asked me this time last year, I wouldn't of given green tea the time of day. But now, I really love it.

This is really a gorgeous tea. It has cloves, sugar snowflakes and real pieces of chocolate within it. It's pure luxury in a cup. Its smells and tastes gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.

3. Tetley Peach And Apricot Green Tea

And guess what? Third favourite new tea is yet another green tea. This is a peachy delight and a real surprise as I'm not normally a Tetley fan! It's so fruity, sweet and yummy that it makes your mouth water. Well worth a try!

4. Teapigs Red Winter Spice

This is a yummy, spicy delight of a tea. It's the first Teapig tea that I've tried and I was majorly impressed. It is really spicy, warming and perfect for a cold winters night. I enjoyed every sip and am trying to source it from local supermarkets as we speak!

5. Twinings Rose Garden

When I first tried this tea back in 2010 I hated it. I used milk which is not recommended and it was so sickly sweet that I hated it. This year, I realised I had all the collectible floral caddys from Twinings, bar this one. I decided to purchase it just to make up the set. Through gritted teeth I decided to brew a cup and ... wow! What a beautiful cup of tea. Full of the scent of roses and with a wonderful sweetness about it, I'm so pleased I purchased it. Now, when I'm unwinding at the end of the day, I take a cup of this. It's gorgeous and lovely.

Company Profile: The Kensington Tea Company

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure to be sent some tea samples from The Kensington Tea Company. They are a company who specialise in loose teas, in particular green tea's and rare tea's.

The Kensington Tea Company was established by the lovely Lorraine and her husband, Alex, who, after returning to England after living in Australia for five years were disappointed at the standard of tea available in the UK.

Through the disappointment they established this wonderful tea company. I was sent four samples from the Kensington Tea Company and I can honestly say I enjoyed each and every one of them. My favourite was their Christmas Spice. It was staggeringly beautiful to look at, with its sugar snowflakes and pink peppercorns. But, the tea was so gorgeous to taste. Who could resist a tea that contained real chocolate pieces?

Browsing around the online shop, you would be forgiven if you felt you couldn't decide what to buy. They sell gorgeous flowering tea's, beautiful speciality tea's and wonderful white tea. As most of their tea's are loose (though they do sell some pyramid tea's) there is an air of luxury about the Kensington Tea Company. I know from personal experience, and from contact I've received from readers of my blog, that being able to take the time to make a pot of tea and enjoy it is a simple pleasure enjoyed by many. Today, when many of us live hectic lives, we have just about enough time to threw a teabag into a mug and wait a minute while it brews. So to be able to make a pot of tea , see it flowering and smell it's wonderful aroma is a pleasure that means so much to people. And with the tea's that the Kensington Tea Company sell you feel you are preparing something really rather special.

There are many tea companies around nowadays. They vary from affordable tea to high end, expensive blends. But, within this, The Kensington Tea Company is unique and has its own niche in the highly competitive tea market. The fact they specialise in green tea, which is becoming extremely popular due to its health benefit's is one of the reasons they are so special. However, in addition to that, the quality of their products and the friendly customer service is also something to be treasured.

Earlier on this year, I asked Lorraine if she could tell me a little bit more about the company, what spurs them on to sell the best tea possible and what is important to them as a company. Her answers were interesting, and I hope you enjoy reading them too!

Lorraine, can you explain why you and Alex felt disappointed at the tea available in the UK when you returned to England after living in Australia?

For us it was disappointment predominantly on the range of green teas available. So many people were under the impression that there is one sort of green tea and you can have that green tea in many different flavours, but this isn't the case. There are numerous types of green tea which all vary so greatly in look, flavour and cost. The variations are due to the country of origin, the areas in which its grown, the methods used when growing, harvesting and processing etc. This is before any additional ingredients are even added. What was also disappointing is the flavoured green teas that were available were made with such a poor quality leaf, they often had a bitter after taste which just put people off.

So what inspired you to set up The Kensington Tea Company?

We wanted to start a new company, we wanted it to be something we were passionate about, we wanted it to be a growing market. Tea ticked those boxes for us. I fear we have since become 'tea bores' with our endless quotes and informative tea titbits!

For you, what makes a good tea?

Firstly the leaf itself, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear! and most definitely the brewing. This is why we always give clear brewing instructions. It makes all the difference.

Where do people go wrong with tea, in particular green tea?

Poor quality leaves, over processing and again not knowing how to brew correctly. All our orders are sent out with an informative booklet containing brewing instructions and details about Kensington Tea Company. Brewing instructions are on the back of each pack too.

Coffee and coffee shops are very much the "in" thing, but still, tea sales are on the rise. Why do you think tea is so loved by people all across the world?

In many cultures (including ours) drinking tea is an occasion, it brings family and friends together. Because its list of health benefits are constantly growing, people are opting for tea over coffee. A study has highlighted the return of the teapot with the surprise that it is young people and not OAPs who are now the biggest users of loose leaf tea.

What keeps you busiest during your working day?

My working day is so varied its hard to pinpoint one thing. The variation in my day is what I love. One minute I'm talking to a customer, helping them decide which teas to choose, the next Im art directing a photo shoot of our latest products. I like to be very hands on in every aspect of the company.

What do you find most enjoyable about working with tea?

The tea tasting and designing new blends! Its a very time consuming process, but the results are worth it. We won't launch a product if we aren't 100% happy with it. And of course having our storehouse full to the brim with an amazing choice of teas. We currently hold 77 different types, can you imagine having that choice at your fingertips every day?!

What is your personal favourite blend?

I can't choose just one! I have a few absolute favourites and my choice is usually determined by my mood, what my plans are for the day or how Im feeling physically. My first brew of the day is ALWAYS a Japanese Matcha. It kick starts my morning, gives me an energy boost for the gym and because it is so highly detoxifying, I feel I am starting the day on a healthy note (gleaming halo!). My day ends with a Green Tea with Chamomile Flowers, to relax and help me sleep. Throughout the day it can vary from a Kukicha (easy drinking green), a Pai Mu Tan (a full white), the beautifully perfumed Fragrant Blossom (a sublime blend of green, white, rose, jasmine and viola) and occasionally a Monkey Picked Oolong (sweet and fruity). Although I don't personally drink a lot of black tea as I prefer green for the increased health benefits, I have to admit loving a cup of Lapsang Souchong! When I do take black tea, it's never with milk. Tea tastings are initially carried out without milk so its what I have become used to.

What is most important to the Kensington Tea Company? (aside from producing high quality items!)

We want every aspect of shopping with us to be as enjoyable as visiting your favourite cafe for a delicious cup of tea! We hope our website is easy to use and informative. We want to be approachable despite being an online company (Ive had 45minute phone calls with customers just chatting about our teas!). All orders are processed quickly and efficiently. Im an impatient online shopper myself and there is nothing that makes my heart sing more than receiving that email saying 'your order has been despatched'. When our parcel arrives at its destination we want opening it to be a special occasion, so time is taken with the presentation of the packing. Of course the final product is what counts, but why lose the joy of going shopping just because you are doing it from your computer?

What new blends do you have coming in the future?

We have just launched a range of new blends which we are very excited about as they are already proving popular. Another blend which has just been perfected is going to be ideal for sipping whilst watching Wimbledon (does that give you any clues??). We are also very excited to be working on adding a 'gift' feature to our website. This will make it easier for people to order our products and send them direct to family, friends and work colleagues as presents.

I'm absolutely positive that The Kensington Tea Company will continue to grow and flourish. It's a totally unique tea company who are passionate about tea and care about the little things. From the vast selection of teas that they offer, to the fact that your parcel comes wrapped in lovely green tissue paper. Every little detail is considered. This is a tasteful and classy business and I hope that the brand will become more and more popular, so it can rightfully take its own place within the luxury tea market.

I'd like to thank Lorraine for taking the time to answer my questions. She is a very busy lady, and I'm sure every minute of her working day is full of things to do, so her sparing her time is very much appreciated.

If you'd like to explore the wonderful range of tea's that The Kensington Tea Company offer then go to their online teashop. You can see all the wonderful teas they have, enjoy the lovely tea ware, find out more information on all the different teas, and there is even a recipe and cocktail section!

The London Tea Company's Raspberry Inferno: What A Tea!

(Photo source: Google)

I have to admit, when I first saw The London Tea Company's Raspberry Inferno tea, I was slightly sceptical. I never really brought into the whole chilli in chocolate thing. I thought it was a bit faddy, and a craze that wouldn't last. So when I saw that The London Tea Company had put chilli in with raspberry for their Raspberry Inferno tea I was a bit ... hmmm!

In my parcel of tea samples a fellow blogger sent me, I had mixed emotions. I was interested, but also slightly cynical too!

When I undid the package that Rebecca had carefully wrapped the teabag in, I was pleasantly surprised by the strong aroma of raspberry. It was so strong that it just made your mouthwater. There was no doubt that this tea featured raspberry!

I was unsure about brewing times so went for about four minutes or so. When I first poured the water onto the teabag, it instantly reminded me of raspberry jelly. And, as it continued to brew the lovely fruity smell developed further. There is also a slight herbal undertone, too.

Raspberry Inferno brewed to a lovely dark, rich, scarlet colour. With the colour, the smell and genuine interest I couldn't wait to try.

On first sip, all I could taste was raspberry, and it's one of the fullest fruit flavours I've ever tasted in a tea. It's so rich and deep that you just don't want to stop drinking it. With so many cheaper fruit teas on the market, it's easy to settle for less, but I honestly have to say this is the sweetest raspberry flavoured tea I've ever had.

So, the chilli? Where was the chilli? It doesn't appear initally at all, and you certainly can't taste it. But within seconds, you get that hot, spicy kick on your tongue. You certainly can't miss the fact this tea has chilli in it. It isn't immediate, you have to give it a few seconds but it's most certainly there!

Was I right to be cycnical about this tea? No is the simple answer. The blenders of this tea have created something unique and it's forward thinking. Yes, we've all tasted ginger in tea, and in some blends it can give a real kick but chilli? That is one brave move, and it works. And, if blenders in the past has not taken risks, then we wouldn't have the wonderful cornucopia of flavoured teas we have now!

I really enjoyed this tea. It's interesting and quirky.It takes risks and is every more enjoyable for that.

For more information on The London Tea Company please go to Have a look around their website, there are plenty of things to interest you!

The TeaSheds Mr Grey's Tea: An Impressive Cup Of Tea

(Photo source: Google)

The TeaShed is a new brand to me. As I've said before, my supermarket is relatively small and only stocks the popular and more well known brands. My friend and fellow blogger, Rebecca and I exchanged teas recently, and in the package she kindly sent me she included The TeaSheds Mr Grey's Tea.

I'm a huge fan of Earl Grey. I have many different variations of the blend that Twinings have produced, from "The Earl Grey" to "Classic Earl Grey" and "Delicate Earl Grey". But, as much as I'm a advocate of it, I'm also particularly fussy. I have tried really expensive brands, and really cheap ones, and have never found one anywhere near the standard I find with Twinings.

The problem with many brands of Earl Grey is that the balance is always out of kilter. It's always either too lemony or not lemony enough. And, quite often, the lemon flavour can taste artificial, and in the very worse of cases, like a very cheap washing up liquid.

What I've found through drinking different brands (and I won't name the worst offenders) is many use a sub standard black tea (which is the base for Earl Grey) and try to cover it up by adding too much soapy tasting lemon flavouring. I am a huge Twinings fan, but would admit if they didn't do Earl Grey well, but the truth is they do. They get it spot on.

Finding (or being sent in this case!) a new Earl Grey is something very exciting, so this morning, over Saturday breakfast, I brewed a cup, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The TeaSheds Mr Grey's tea comes in a pyramid shaped teabag. Twinings have their own version, called Silky Pyramids and Teapigs have their tea temples. The mesh which the teabag is made from is silky, smooth and strong.

Now, I don't have any packaging for this tea, but a quick look on the company's website was very interesting. The tea doesn't come in a box, it's packaging is designed like the sort of coffee cups you get in places like Starbucks or Costa Coffee. It's really clever and impressive.

When I took the tea out of the envelope Rebecca had put it in, I gave it a good sniff and it was pleasant indeed. The smell of the black tea is strong, and there is a slight citrus smell to it. I expected it to be lemon, like most Earl Greys but it smelt more like orange, (though, I do have sinus problems today so I could be wrong on that!). Whatever the citrus fruit, it's very, very delicate.

I didn't have any brewing instructions but for Earl Grey it tends to be about three minutes which is how long I brewed it for. It brews to a lovely, dark mahogany colour.

As it was brewing, I inhaled the aroma, and the tea is very similar to Twinings Earl Grey Silky Pyramid, rather then the lemony "The Earl Grey" which is commonly found in supermarkets. Yes, there is a citrus undertone to it, but it's not overpowering.

Upon my first sip I was delighted to find that the quality of the tea is superb. The black tea is very rounded and full flavoured. It warms you up completely when drinking and is a very rich drink indeed.

The citrus flavour is delicate. If you like your Earl Grey to taste strongly of lemon then this may not be the right blend for you. But, I found the flavour to be delicate enough to be detected, but not too overpowering. The bergamont, which is a staple of Earl Grey blends, was pleasant enough, too.

What I loved about this tea is that there was no bitter aftertaste which can often be the case when a black tea is used. It's really lovley to drink a fine quality Earl Grey and this certainly is one of the nicest Earl Grey blends I've tasted. Also, to enjoy Earl Grey without having that soapy taste afterwards is a genuine treat.

I'm really impressed with Mr Grey's Tea. It's a tea with substance, and the TeaShed use some really clever packaging, too. I feel quite honoured to be able to try this tea. It certainly wasn't a let down.

The Teashed is available from Fenwicks and John Lewis. For more information on how to source this superb tea, then go to their website: where you will find all the information you need on the brand, their blends and where you can purchase them.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Twinings Apple and Pear Is A Delicate Delight

As regular readers will know, I have really taken to green tea. I've surprised myself as I never thought I would! But the flavour's out there are really interesting. You have the strong and forceful gingerbread green tea, the lovely and sweet peach green tea and the delicate apple and pear.

Twinings Apple and Pear green tea is a really lovely, special blend. Quite often the flavour's in green tea tend to be strong as green tea has it's own, unique taste. So it was quite surprising how delicate and refreshingly fragrant this blend was.

I love apples but I love pears even more so this was the perfect mix for me! Apple and pear are two flavour's that go together really well so I was looking forward to trying this brew.

As I opened the box, the smell of pears came through first. It was so fruity it really was something spectacular. It was a total joy to stand over the tea as it brewed, and as it's green tea, brewing time is very short indeed - no more then two minutes is the golden rule!

Quite often with flavoured tea's one flavour will come through slightly more stronger then the other and this is the case. Though there is a crispness, almost bitterness from the apple, it's the juicy, sweetness from the pear that comes through first and foremost and it's this what makes this tea totally delicious.

This is a tea though that you have to be very precise when you brew it. As the flavour's are subtle in comparison to say, gingerbread green tea, I would brew this for the full two minutes. Anything less means you'll get a really week tea and will miss out on the wonderful concoction of the two flavour's.

I have not felt let down by any of Twinings green teas that I've tried so far, and this will remain as a favourite green tea. It's plain and simple, but in that simplicity, it's something really special. Exotic blends are brilliant and I enjoy them, but every now and again you want something pure and simple to enjoy.

Summary of Apple and Pear Green Tea

- Brew for up to two minutes. Any less you wont get the full flavour of the tea but avoid going over two minutes so you wont get that bitterness you can get with green tea.
- No milk or sweetener needed.
- Available from most supermarkets. At Tesco's they are priced at £1.59 for 20 teabags, but are currently on deal. Two boxes for £3.00.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"What Can you Say About Tea?" I've been asked. Well, plenty!

I have a funny friend on Facebook who never fails to let me know what he thinks on any topic that may be hot that day. Today, he made me giggle. 'Is your blog about tea?' he asked. 'What can you write about tea?'.

I know that my obsession with tea may baffle some people. Particularly those who just see tea as something to drink at the start and end of their day.

For me, though, it's a way of life. It's the nicest treat I can have, and to me, it's harmless, too. Due to skin problems I can't have anything really that contains diary. On Weight Watchers I can't have puddings or cakes, and I don't drink alcohol or smoke. So tea is about the only thing left I can have and enjoy without feeling guilty.

There are so many varities of tea that it simply cannot be "just tea". You have black tea, white tea, green tea, herbal tea, fruit tea, tea in bags and loose tea. You can drink it hot or take it cold.

You can have it pure or flavoured. The options are limitless.

I'm proud of my tea collection. To see someone come to our home and be amazed at the sheer amount of tea I can offer them makes me proud.

I've met some really lovely people through my interest in tea, people I would not of met otherwise. I've seen a huge corporate company (Twinings, this is for you!) treat me with such kindness that I've been left flabbergasted.

So, perhaps my love of tea could be considered boring, and even confusing to some. But I'm proud of my love of tea.

And, unlike alcohol, tea never harmed anyone.

Tetley's Peach And Apricot Green Tea. Yummy!

Green tea, in my opinion, is a extremely difficult tea. I believe it's hard to produce, in as much as it's hard to find the right flavours to blend with the tea to make a tasty brew. And it's also difficult to make. If you brew it for longer then two minutes it goes from a potentially fruity delight to a bitter mess.

As far as I've experienced, the real masters of green tea is the Kensington Tea Company who sell green tea that is, quite frankly, out of this world. Twinings do a pretty good job of it too, their orange and lotus flower blend is one of the best teas to quench a thirst and it's incredibly moreish.

I was surprised, and somewhat dubious when Tetley announced they were bringing out their own blends of green tea. I have never been too keen on their black tea's so I didn't think their green teas would be up my street either.

The peach and apricot green tea caught my attention immediately. Fellow blogger Rebecca, who I now consider a friend loves peach in tea and so I told her about it straight away. I, living in a small place, have found it impossible to source the flavoured green teas, so when Rebecca and I exchanged our third set of tea, I was delighted to find she had enclosed some teabags.

(Photograph taken from

As you can see Tetley have been creative with their packaging. They have not lost their famous and much loved Tetley tea folk brand, in fact they have incorporated it extremely well into the bright and bubbly packaging.

I have to say, I found the aroma of this tea mouthwatering when I took it from the packaging. The smell of peach was absolutely gorgeous, if you closed your eyes you could just imagine a punnet of fresh peaches. It's so fragrant, it's really lovely. The apricot is the more delicate of the two flavours but it's there, easily found.

There is a freshness to this tea that is summer all over. It's inviting, the smell draws you in, and it's irresistible. Once you smell this tea, you would be hard pressed not to drink a cup.

I brewed this tea for a couple of minutes, which is the standard time for green tea. All the while the lovely scent of fruit filled the kitchen and I couldn't wait to try it.

But, as I've learned the hard way, a tea can have wonderful packaging, and it can even smell nice, but that doesn't mean it was cross over to your taste buds. Like I said earlier, I was dubious. But, I need not have been.

It's a wonderful, sweet tea. It lacks the bitterness that some green tea's have, it's fresh and amazing. For me, the peach is the stronger of the flavours and in tasting, I couldn't really detect much apricot, but to me, that isn't so much of a problem. I think every individual person tastes tea different, so if you were to drink it you may detect apricot more. But, regardless, this is utterly delightful.

It's a light tea, refreshing and cleansing for your palate. It's totally enjoyable and the two teabags I was kindly sent have now been drunk. I'm trying hard to source this in my area, and hope to come across a box as I'm already having withdrawal symptoms. I miss this tea, it's just ... really lovely, totally addictive and something to be enjoyed and treasured. This isn't a tea, to be gulped down as your rushing out of the door in the morning. This deserves to be taken when you have the time to curl up on the sofa and totally enjoy it.

As a weight watcher, it's a extremely good replacement for dessert, too.

I will give Tetley a massive thumbs up for developing this tea. I was pleasantly surprised as it's not a brand that I've always warmed to. I honestly feel that despite my misgivings, it's one of the loveliest blends of green tea that is available on the high street. I never thought I'd be saying it but it's true!

If you would like to read Rebecca's blog then please go here:

Summary of Tetley Peach and Apricot Greet Tea

- Available in boxes of 20 priced around £1.50
- Brew for up to 2 minutes
- No milk or sweetner needed but this is down to personal choice regarding the sweetener.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Yogi Tea's Classic Organic Cinnamon - A Real Surprise!

Every so often you see something that looks, smells and tastes really different. Today, I found that with a brand of tea I've not heard of before - Yogi Tea.

I was having a lovely chat last night with my fellow tea blogger, Rebecca, who advised me throughout the chat to try health store, Holland and Barrett as they stocked teas that were aimed at improving, or helping your health. So, I popped into my local store and found this little gem (amongst other things that I'll try over the coming months!).

I love spicy, flavoursome tea, whether it be Twinings Mulled Spice or Teapigs Chai. It's interesting, and very warming on colder days.

Out of the choices available I picked two. Classic Cinnamon and Liquorice with Egyptian Spice. Today I'm reviewing the first one, Classic Cinnamon.

Firstly, the box is really, really pretty. Of course, you don't enjoy a tea simply because of the artwork on the box, but it really is lovely and it caught my eye immediately.

I thought the bar code on the box was funny!

The tea, even before I've unwrapped the box smelt very strongly of cinnamon. It's a pleasant smell which makes the kitchen smell gorgeous when you walk in. As I took the plastic off the box, then took out the envelope the smell just got stronger and stronger. I was slightly worried about how strong the tea would be, and whether it would be drinkable. But I needn't of worried.

On the packet it said to brew the tea for seven minutes. Yes, seven minutes! That is quite some time and to be honest I was very busy so I only brewed it for around four (tomorrow I'll try it full length of recommended time).

When I sat down and took my first sip, I still wasn't sure as the aroma of the tea is strong. But as I sipped it tasted really nice. It has a sweetness about it which comes from the cinnamon. But then, because the tea contains ginger, you get a really spicy kick. And after that, because of the pepper added you get a burst of heat. It really takes your tongue on a journey, from sweet, to spicy to peppery.

It's a really unique tea. I think there will be little in-between ground. You'll either love the tea or hate it. It's so very different to the teas that are available in supermarkets, but I can say I was hugely impressed by it.

It's also organic too which is brilliant!

This is a tea that can be taken without milk or with milk. I prefer to take it without. The mix of spices makes it a really invigorating and energising drink, yet, I can imagine if taken at night, with a little milk added it can be just as soothing and relaxing as it is refreshing. It's a versatile tea.

If I could sum this up in one word I would say it's spectacular. Different, but very nice and I would even go as far as to say it's a charming tea. I wouldn't be ashamed to serve this up to guests.

Summary of Yogi Classic Organic Cinnamon

- Available from Holland and Barrett. £2.29 (currently on deal. Two for £3.43).
- Brew for 7 minutes
- Can be taken either with or without milk.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Red Winter Spice From Teapigs - A Moreish Delight

I have to make two admissions here. First of all I don't know a huge amount about Teapigs. In fact, this is the first tea of theirs that I have tried. As I told you in a previous post I've been tea swapping with another teablogger, Rebecca, and she kindly sent me some samples of different tea's from Teapig. Teapigs is a blend that I pass by in the supermarket because they are higher priced then most other tea's, but, as I'll write about later, it's well worth the money.

Secondly, I'm not too keen on red tea (or rooibos tea as it's sometimes known) in it's pure form. It can be very sweet tasting and can taste a bit "off" to me. However, when taken with flavours added, much like green tea, I really enjoy it.

So, the first Teapigs tea I'll review here is their Red Winter Spice. I did try to take photographs but because of the funny light we have in our kitchen, they didn't come out too well, so this is a picture I found on google images (originally from Selfridges website).

Obviously it's a red tea, with cloves, oranges and cinnamon added. Ingredients wise it's very similar to Twinings Mulled Spice, but because the base tea is red and not black it really changes the taste of it.

In addition there seems to be aniseed in the tea, and it reminds me of the old fashioned aniseed ball sweets you used to get (as well as the "Big Red" chewing gum popular when I was young!). It really is a unique tea and I have to say, from the first sip I was really hooked.

As I had no instructions as how long to brew it for I decided to brew for three minutes and it seems just about right. It brews to a really wonderful coppery red colour and it's just awesome to look at let alone taste.

Whilst the tea was brewing my entire kitchen filled up with the smell of spices and it does remind me of Christmas. And, in a odd way, it reminds me of a Yankee Candle that I used to burn at Christmas time!

It's a really warming cup of tea, and it has that comforting feel that many winter spiced teas have. There is nothing nicer on a cold evening to curl up on the sofa with a cup of this tea. The different spices used makes it a really exciting experience for your taste buds. The spiciness from the cinnamon, for example, really compliments the natural sweetness of red tea.
But, although the spices are strong, and stay in your mouth for a while after you've finished the cup, it's not a overpowering tea. Overpowering tea's are difficult to drink but this is enjoyable and I honestly felt that as soon as I had finished one cup I wanted another.

Aside from the wonderful taste, red tea is also caffeine free, so if you want to cut down on caffeine, or indeed, you don't like drinking it after a certain time, then this tea could be the one for you. You still get a good brew, but it wont make it difficult for you to sleep at night.

I noticed from the Teapig website that their "tea temples" (the teabag is pyramid shaped!) are also biodegradable, which is a good thing for the environment.

These tea's are expensive, I won't deny that. According to the Teapigs website, it costs £4.49 for 15 tea temples (thank you Rebecca, your generosity in sending me the tea is even more appreciated!) or you can get a "tester" pack of 2 temples for £1.30.But, you do get a nice, quality brew that is tasty and fulfilling.

It's really good that Teapigs offer a tester service. But then again I think that tea companies have to as nothing seems to annoy a tea drinker more then when they buy a box of 20 or 50 teabags only to find they don't like the blend. Twinings do a pick and mix selection where you can buy individual sachets of their tea, and Clipper do small boxes of 10 teabags with their organic infusion range. This is a really good service to tea drinkers. It's better to waste one tea temple if you don't like the blend rather then 14!

I was really impressed with this tea, and I also have samples of two other of their blends which I will be reviewing over the week. It was a really enjoyable cup of tea, and on reflection, I would pay for a full pack of Red Winter Spice. It's just so different, and really lovely. A excellent mixture of two sorts of flavours.

I can't recommend this highly enough. I thought it was fabulous. Just have to hunt down a supplier now! This is a tea I'd love to try again and again. It's really gorgeous!

Hi Everyone .... Sorry For Lack Of Blogging!

Hi Everyone

Sorry for the lack of blogs. Not been feeling so great lately, but I'm feeling much better now! I'll be back to writing this week.

Can't wait to get back to my writing which is something I love!

See you all very soon!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pukka Detoxing Tea: A Really Lovely Functional Tea

For the past week I've been swapping emails and teabags with Rebecca, a fellow tea blogger. I've sent her some various Twining and Clipper tea's and she has responded by sending me some lovely blends too (as well kindly sending me some of the new Twinings green tea's when I couldn't find them anywhere).

Today, after buying a new kettle as the old one died on me, I decided to start trying the teabags she sent me. So, after a good five minutes of debate, I decided on trying the Pukka Detoxing Tea.

This tea really appealed to me as I could smell the sweetness through the envelope. For a few days I have kept sniffing this teabag and wondering what it reminded me of. It wasn't fruit, it wasn't desserts. And finally, as the tea was brewing, it popped into my head. It reminds me of the old fashioned pick'n'mix stations that you used to get in Woolworths. As the tea was brewing in the cup I was transported to my childhood. Aniseed balls, liquorice twirls, mint humbugs. It was like Mrs Simms Sweet Shoppe in a cup!

The tea contains fennel seed, aniseed, cardamom and liquorice and it all blends together to form a marvelously sweet cup of tea.

This tea needs to be brewed for quite some time. It says on the packet to be brewed for five minutes which is what I did. As it was brewing it made a interesting light brown, greeny colour.

It's very hard to write about this tea as it's one of the most unique tea's I've ever drunk. It's just like sweetness in a cup. The sweetness comes from the aniseed and fennel, the liquorice gives it a spicy kick and the cardamom is totally unique.

According to Pukka, this tea is something that could aid digestion if taken every day. Apparently it's good to drink after a night out!

I have to say, in the past, I've struggled with detoxing teas and those teas that have functions such as helping you sleep or protecting your immunity. They are not always that nice to taste, but alongside Twinings Defence tea, this is something I could drink every day. It has a really lovely taste and you can almost forget it's a detoxing tea as it's so sweet, comforting and warming.

I'd give this tea a go, particularly if you do want to use a detoxing product. It's tasty and very pleasant. And I was genuinely surprised at how nice it is!

Summary of Pukka Detoxing Tea

- No milk or sugar neccessary.
- Brew for five minutes
- A box of 20 costs £2.29

Monday, 3 March 2014

Mixed News On Tea Sales .... But Could The Younger Generation Save High Tea?

There is mixed news on the tea front today. I was saddened to read that Britain, the country of tea drinkers was, on the whole, turning away from tea and heading towards coffee. And that the sale of pure black tea has gone down, as people are now turning towards flavoured tea's, green tea's and white tea's. I was slightly disheartened at this news.

However, rather surprisingly, the sale of teapots and loose teas are rapidly rising in the late teenage, early twenties age bracket. The first generation who were truly raised on the coffee culture of Starbucks and Costa Coffee are seemingly, turning their backs on latte's and the sort and are enjoying cups of tea!

The other weekend I told you about my trip to Tesco's to try and find the new green tea range. What I haven't written about was seeing two college students browsing the tea aisle. They had picked up packets of loose tea. One had opted for Yorkshire Tea, whilst the second had chosen Twinings loose decaff Earl Grey. In their baskets they both had small teapots. I never really noticed this, but having read articles about the younger generation enjoying loose tea, this struck me as interesting.

So, what is so special about drinking loose tea and indeed, is it just a fad?

Making tea up in a pot is truly something to be savoured, if even a little luxurious. I always try to make a pot of tea up at the weekends when I have the time to not only savour it, but to brew it properly. It's nice, once the working week is over and the chores have been done, to sit down and brew a Darjeeling, Christmas Tea or Earl Grey. In the week, when I'm so busy, teabags are convenient, and I wouldn't be without them, but honestly, if I didn't have to work, then it would be loose tea all the way.

I don't believe that this is a fad amongst younger people. In fact, I see it as positive, because once you get the taste for tea it never leaves you, and once you enjoy the rituals of tea in a teapot, served up with cake or nicely made sandwiches, that never leaves you either.

I truly believe that most people would use loose tea if they had the time. I told a story on Twinings Facebook page that I will repeat here because it's so lovely. For several years I used to see a lady who did her shopping the same day I did mine. Each week, without fail, she brought powdered tea in a jar. A revolting thing in my opinion.

One day, this lady, who was widowed young, suddenly started to buy loose tea. She had a packet of loose Earl Grey, some Tetley amongst other things. When I asked her why the very sudden change in her purchasing habits, she smiled and told me she had retired. And that for years of drinking instant tea, which she said had little flavour, she had time to make a pot up. In fact, as a retirement present, her work colleagues had brought her a snowman teapot. The joy in her face that she was, finally, able to drink something so lovely was evident.

The love of tea will always stay with me and I treasure the times I can make up a pot, and feel a bit posh!

It's lovely to see younger people turning to loose tea and teapots. Teabags serve a great purpose, but it's nice for people to experience something so lovely as loose tea in a lovely pot. And that is something you just don't get from coffee.

Has Fergie Really Asked A "Master Blender" To Create English Desert Teas?

Fergie (the ex-Duchess, not the Black Eyed Pea) has apparently asked "a master blender" to come up with some teas based around traditional English deserts, the Daily Mail have reported today. As a avid Royal watcher, and a tea lover this story, naturally, attracted my attention.

For 27 out of my 34 years, I have been a obsessive Royal fan. Diana was always my favourite. Sarah Ferguson, well, I'm less keen on. But I have always kept one eye on her, and followed her weight losses and gains with interest.

She has been in the paper a fair bit lately looking ever so slim (I have a feeling, just a gut feeling mind, that she is soon to become "mother of the bride",thus the weight loss!!!). Apparently she has taken herself off to the Himalaya's on a two month boot camp and lost lots of weight. But, there is one fly in Fergie's ointment - her sweet tooth.

As a Weight Watcher myself, I have to admit it's really hard to realise that you can't go on eating as you once did, and loose weight. Something has to give. And you have to find a replacement, somehow.

So, according to the Daily Mail, Sarah has contacted a nameless "master blender" who has come up with teas that are flavoured after her favourite dessert's. These apparently include: bakewell tart, rhubarb crumble, mint humbug and some sort of sticky toffee concoction! These tea's have gone down well and are satisfying her craving for such sweetness.

But this, I can believe. Twinings have come up with some brilliant 'desert's in a cup' type tea's. Their Intensely Rhubarb and Blackcurrent is like a crumble in a mug. Their Lime and Ginger infusion reminds me of a cheesecake that I was once served up at a BBQ when my friend made a lime cheesecake and used ginger nut biscuits for the base. Indeed, the newly released Ginger Bread Indulgence could come fresh from the bakery of a supermarket rather then the tea aisle.

There are so many tea's out there, fruit tea's in particular, that are tasty and extremely healthy for dieters. Tea's like Peach and Passionfruit, Apple Crunch or Cherry and Cinnamon can really satisfying a craving for something sweet.

Nothing can replace a nice desert, granted. But if your weight watching or just trying to get healthy, desert based tea's are a brilliant solution. So I'd say good luck to Fergie. If she can afford to ask someone to create something just for her, then she is one lucky woman! And she's looking quite good on it, too!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Twinings Sunny Peach And Passionfruit: A Fruity Delight

Hello everyone! Please accept my apologises for lack of posts recently. Been very busy indeed. I've missed blogging - it's good to be back!

Now, I have to confess something here. I brought the Twinings Sunny Peach and Passionfruit caddy for my mum as a mother's day gift last year. The good intentions were to wrap it up and send it to her with her card (we live at opposite ends of the country). But, when it arrived there was something so deliciously inviting about the tea, I have to admit, I kept it and send her another gift. I felt awful about it, and so was relieved when she admitted to me, during our trip to Twinings shop on the Strand that she "couldn't get on with fruit tea". Phew, I thought. Conscience eased. The lesson I learned then was never buy tea as a gift for someone else as the chances are it will never make it to them!

Last weekend I wrote about the Delicate Earl Grey tea caddy I brought. Well, here is the caddy for Peach and Passionfruit. They share the same theme but are just different colours.

Peach and Passionfruit is a very fragrant tea. It's strong, and I would advise that you either keep the teabags in a caddy, or, if you don't have a caddy, keep them away from other teas. I stored a box of Darjeeling next to it and had to throw it away as all it tasted of was peach and passionfruit! (I had ordered several refills from Twinings and couldn't fit them in the caddy so stored them on top of the Darjeeling!).

The tea brews into a wonderful red colour. It's inviting and the aroma of fruit is very tempting indeed.

The tea is described by Twinings as "sunny" and it really is like sunshine in a cup. It's aroma of peach, which is the stronger of the two flavours is warming and reminds you of a summers day.

When I made a cup of this tea so I could write about it, I had quite forgotten how lovely the blend was. I haven't had a cup in a little while so it was like discovering the tea all over again.

The peach makes it a very sweet drink. The peachy elements are also thirst quenching and very refreshing. When you take your first sip it's full of flavour, and it feels as though your tongue comes alive with it's rich, dessert like qualities. The passionfruit comes through second and is ever so slightly bitter which compliments the peach.

I think Sunny Peach And Passionfruit is one of the strongest flavoured fruit tea's I've experienced. It's a really lovely brew and it has depth in it's flavour. It's so smooth to drink, it's almost velvety.

Although this is a limited edition, I really hope that you can get to experience it and, hopefully, enjoy it like I do!

Summary of Sunny Peach And Passionfruit

- Brew for as long as you wish, but I would recommend three to four minutes.
- No milk or sweetener needed.
- Due to the powerful qualities of this tea, store in a caddy or well away from other teas.
- Available from Twinings online priced £5.00 for caddy and 20 envelopes. Still available in some branches of Tescos.