Wednesday, 31 May 2017

For The Love Of Kukicha ...

I am a tea loving blogger. Therefore, tea is my entire life. I live and breathe the stuff. If I'm not living and breathing it, I'm talking about it. If I'm not talking about it, I'm writing about it. And whilst I'm writing about it, I'm drinking it.

I have tried a lot of tea's. More then I care to remember, more than have even been featured here on this blog. Some I've disliked, some I've adored. Some I can't put down. Some I can take or leave.

Very rarely though you experience a tea that is just so special that when you take you're first sip you are stunned into silence. You are knocked back, utterly unprepared for such a reaction.

For me, that tea is Kukicha Toasted from Chash Tea. 

I first encounted this tea in the unconventional surroundings of a busy bus on the way to work. Not the most ideal way to first experience a new tea, but it was certainly what was needed. I have taken to using the Bodum every shift that I work and I religiously fill up six bags. Two for the journey to work, two for the first half of the shift, the final two to get me through the rest of the shift and the long, often tedious bus trip home. On this day I tried Kukicha I had gone through my tea collection. I didn't fancy floral, nor fruity, nor Earl Grey. So I opted for the tea that would soon become MY tea.

Kukicha is a different tea because, as I explained in my recent blog, it's not actually made from the leaves of the tea, rather the stalks. They are toasted but still retain the twig like look. It appeals to me so much.

But the utter joy in this tea is in the taste. The rich, decadent, full flavoured taste.

This tea is about as close to coffee as I can imagine. I am by no means a coffee lover but that coffee like element that this tea has is strangely appealing to me. I love how the flavours flow from honey and nut tones right through to chocolate tones if infused for a wee bit longer then suggested. Kukicha is a multi-layered tea.

What has utterly amazed me though was high quickly I clicked with this tea. It's almost like it's fulfilled idea's and tastes in one tea that I didn't even really know I was looking for.  It has quenched a silent thirst.

It is ruddy, natural, robust. Perhaps the opposite to most tea's that I love, that tend to be floral, delicate and light as air. However, I like those rustic qualities, I love the fact you can get to grips with this tea and really experience it's depth of flavour.

With tea it doesn't really matter what tea you love. It doesn't matter if it's English Breakfast, Earl Grey or a lovely flavoured green tea. As long as you enjoy it and are happy and experience the pure joy of a decent cup of tea.

But if that joy of tea goes one step further and takes you off into your own world whilst you sup on that tea, then you are truly blessed, as I am.

As I write this post I have a cup of Kukicha next to me. It's lovely tones filling the air of my bedroom. It's lovely taste refreshing on this warm night. It is a comforter when nursing hurt feelings. It is a tea to be reckoned with, but it's MY tea.

So, through your tea journey, I can guarantee you will find your Kukicha.It may not be actual Kukicha. It could be a malty Assam tea or a fragrant jasmine.  But what it is doesn't  matter one iota. I just hope that you find YOUR tea. I hope that you experience what I did on that bus a couple of weeks ago. That moment when it's love at first sip. When you realise that you have one type of tea that you must never run out of, that you couldn't possibly live without.

And when you do find YOUR tea. You'll never be happier. That I can promise!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Adagio Teas: Blueberry White

Readers from abroad may not know that currently the UK is in the midst of a mini heatwave. The temperatures are high, the sun is out and now is the perfect time to enjoy a wonderful, fruity tea.

When the temperatures are high I tend to enjoy lighter tea's such as green tea, so this white tea is just perfect for a very warm evening.

Tonight's tea is Blueberry White from Adagio Teas 

I absolutely love white tea. I will admit that I don't drink too much of it, solely because it's quite hard to prepare correctly. But when I do prepare it I absolutely love it.

For beginners to white tea here's a quick run down. White tea has a more delicate flavour then black tea. Actually, it's even more dainty then green tea. But it does have a lovely, slightly sweet flavour. However, it's one of the more fiddly tea's to prepare. The water cannot be anywhere near boiling point - 85 is about the right mark. And when infusing do it for no longer then a couple of minutes, otherwise the tea can go bitter. And you absolutely do need to stick to these rules to make a perfect cup of tea. White tea has a tendancy to go from heavenly to a bitter mess in a matter of mere seconds, so do keep your eye on it whilst infusing.

So, back to Blueberry White tea ...

Adagio very kindly sent me some samples and have included the Blueberry White within the samples. It came in loose form so I made up my own teabags using this lovely tea.

I filled the teabag to the brim with this lovely tea (isn't it so pretty!) and infused for a couple of minutes.

The tea infused to a light green colour and remained semi translucent.

As I settled back and took a sip I was pleasantly surprised with this tea. I've not tasted such a flavoursome white tea in my entire tea drinking life.

Firstly, there is a lovely grassy element to the blend. It's flavoursome, but retains it's delicateness at the same time. White tea does have that earthy, natural flavour just like green tea, but at the same time it's tinged with a light, sweet honey element too making this a much softer tea to drink and a good alternative to black and green tea.

It's a very smooth white tea.

The addition of the blueberry brings to the tea a soft sweetness. I love this fruit. This is the first time I've tried blueberry in white tea. White tea does take to fruit flavours quite well, but only a limited type. White tea pairs well with peach, cranberry and pomegranate. It does not take to harsh flavours like lemon very well. I was a little hesitant about the blueberry as sometimes it can be quite sharp in tea, however, the rich sweetness is really very nice and I'm glad to say its a perfect partnership.

I personally find that during the hotter months black tea can lay a little heavy on my stomach, especially later on in the day, so this white tea makes for a perfect blend to enjoy all day, but, in particular in the evenings. It's extrenely low in caffeine so makes for an ideal tea to take before bed.

I really am very impressed with this tea. I love how the white tea retains it's delicate qualities, whilst at the same time embracing the blueberry flavour. It works extremely well.

An ideal tea for the white tea newbie or the most experienced of white tea drinkers. It's just really lovely and tasty. Apparantly, this makes a great iced tea, though I've not tried it so maybe that will be something to experiment with throughout the summer months.

I really loved this tea. I've just taken my last sip from the cup and the tea has cooled quite a lot. The gorgeous flavour of blueberry is now rich and very present and what a wonderful way to end this cup, for the flavour of blueberry will stay with me for quite some time.

Chash tea: Kukicha Toasted

Sometimes in life you encounter a tea that is just perfect for you. It may not be perfect for everyone, what is one man's meat is another man's poison after all, but it is perfect for YOU. I have encountered this just four times in my tea drinking life. Firstly, Mulled Spice from Twinings. Then Earl Grey. Jasmine Pearls. Now, I can add Chash Tea's very fine Kukicha Toasted to that list.

From the very first moment I took a sip of this wonderful, but very unique tea, to the point where I'm several cups down the line, I can honestly say this has been one of those tea's that has left me utterly lost for words (which my family are truly grateful for I'm sure!).

I first tried this tea in an unorthodox setting - on the 174 bus heading towards work. The day was sunny, my beloved George Harrison on my iPod. Not much was wrong in Laura's world. But when I tried this tea it got a whole lot better.

Due to the very odd working patterns I have, Monday is my version of Friday. By Monday I'm so tired. I work in a supermarket, which is small in size, and everyone has to pull their weight, and quite frankly it's one of the most exhausting job's I've ever had. In all honesty, Monday's are hard.

When I randomly pulled this tea out of my tea cave, to make up six teabags to get me through the shift, I had no idea really what I was about to taste and how it would affect me.

Kukicha Toasted  is a very different tea in as much as it doesn't come from the actual leaves of the tea plant, rather the stalks of the leaf. It is then toasted. I absolutely love how this tea looks. It appeals to me. It does look like what it is, and it's perhaps not the prettiest, but I find it fascinating  to look at. It's nature at it's very best and I really like it!

What I absolutely love first and foremost about this tea is it's natural earthiness. It has woody elements to it, both in appearance and taste and it's a strong cup of tea - something to get your teeth into. It's almost like you could bite this tea and take huge chunks out of it. It's so solid. Solid and reliable. That's how I like people in my life to be, and my tea, also.

For someone who detests coffee - and I honestly do - this tea has elements that are almost coffee like, yet rather than not enjoy this tea, I find it rather delightful. In fact I brewed today's cup for a little longer than I ought to and I'm sure, if I had been blindfolded, I would of said I was drinking coffee rather than tea. It's that strength though that made this tea the most perfect choice for Monday nights at work. It's strong and robust to give you some oomph, and every sip can easily get you through that last difficult hour.

But despite it's strength and solidness, there are also very gentle tones to this tea. When I first tasted the tea it seemed like toffee, but on reflection, and more cups down the line, it's not toffee that I detect rather a honey flavour. How can one tea be so strong and yet so delicate at the same time? I do not know - that is Chash's secret, no doubt!

Whilst merrily driving along to work there was something bugging me about this tea. There were flavour combinations within the tea that I simply couldn't place. The tasted more than familiar but I couldn't decide what these flavours where. It actually didn't hit me to a bit later on, whilst mulling over the tea in the bath. The other element in that tea is a nutty element, not peanut but more like pecan.

So the combination of honey flavours and the nutty taste, it rather did resemble one of those healthy snack bars that are full of nuts and smoothed over with honey. That is why the tea was so familiar.

There is a gorgeous smoothness to this tea, too. And the flavour is very rich. And I love that even when this tea has sat in my travel mug for some time, it does not go bitter as it cools.

Kukicha Toasted is a full on tea. But it's delicious, not over powering. It's strong and satisfying - don't expect this to be dainty, it certainly is not.

But the more of this I drink, the more I fall in love with it. The more I taste of it, the more perfect and ideal it becomes. I love how the flavours fall and tumble around your mouth, developing a awe-inspiring, yet strangely comforting strength. Whilst drinking this tea everything is right in my world. Worries or concerns disappear. It gives me time to focus and concentrate. Whilst I'm serving customers on the till, in a quiet moment I take a sip and I drift off to my tea loving world, even for a few seconds.

There are now three tea's from Chash that I simply cannot not have in my cupboard.  Their delicious Orangery green tea, their Jasmine Pearls and now Kukicha.

As regular readers know I am deadly serious about tea. It runs through me like blood. But this tea is different. I am astounded by it's instant impression it made. I am surprised that at times I physically crave this tea and nothing else will work.

I will end this review on that very view that nothing else works for me at times. I simply cannot find any other words that are good enough for this tea.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Adagio Teas: Snow White

One of the loveliest and most rewarding aspects of being a tea blogger is the faith that tea companies show me when they send me samples of their tea. I appreciate every single sample. As you all know tea is a huge passion of mine and blogging comes a close second.

So, it does warm my heart a little when I am approached by staff of tea companies asking if I'd like samples to feature here on the blog. Last week, during one of the craziest weeks ever, I had a conversation with a lovely lady, Danielle from Adagio Tea's UK asking if I'd like some samples. She very kindly asked what sorts of tea's I like and put together a beautiful package.

Within this package is this extraordinary and very beautiful tea caddy. It comes from their Fairy Tales range and contains their fabulous Snow White tea.  

Each fabulous caddy contains fifteen silky pyramid teabags stuffed full of tasty tea.

Snow White tea is a green rooibos tea. Now, I will admit that I have tried rooibos tea and I wasn't exactly thrilled with it (which is why there are not many reviews of rooibos here on the blog) however, this is green rooibos tea, and having never tried green rooibos tea, was excited at the thought of trying something new.

I will begin this review of this luscious fruity tea by saying that I am mad about fruit in tea. Whether it be orange, strawberry, apple or cherry and thankfully this wonderful tea has quite a few fruits included as ingredients.

When I opened the caddy at first the aroma of apple was lovely. It has a natural feel to it, as fresh as if it had been picked yesterday. I followed the instructions very closely on this tea and infused it for a full five minutes to get the absolute best from this blend.

Upon first sipping it is indeed the apple flavour that comes through first and foremost. It's very unique actually as at first the apple is very sweet, but there is a gentle kick afterwards where it has a slight tartness to it, already creating a depth of flavour within the first few seconds of drinking and which leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and cleansed.

As I consumed more of the tea the rich (and it's gloriously rich) taste of cherry came through. It's just so utterly scrummy and very moreish. I like how cherry works well with the apple to create a well balanced tea that has both sweet and slightly tart elements. I think too much of one element would knock this blend off balance but it is perfectly matched.

Interweaving through the tea, like a magic thread, is the ever so gorgeous flavour of coconut. It's not hugely strong, not overly present, it's certainly not the flavour that comes through first but it's in the background adding yet another twist to this interesting tea. And without it it wouldn't be the tea it is.

But what is REALLY exciting about this blend that it does have that slightly grassy element that green tea has. For me, as a green tea lover, I find this wonderful. All of my favourite things coming together in one teabag!

This tea has the same elements that you'd expect in a fruit tea yet has the substance of a rooibos so it's the best of both worlds. Both satisfying with the body of a good tea but with that lightness that you get with a fruit tea. Fresh and refreshing it's ideal as the days start to warm up.

As this is a rooibos tea this has no caffeine either, so it's a really great blend for those who are wanting to cut out caffeine, or want to have a tasty cup of tea before bed without the worry that the caffeine may keep you awake.

This tea is simply gorgeous in so many ways and I'm really surprised that I enjoyed the rooibos. I don't think I'll ever be a fan of rooibos on it's own, however with the addition of the fruity flavours it really is a gorgeous blend.

There are more tea's in the Fairy Tales range and they really do interest me, so I'll be looking into purchasing some in the future to feature on the blog. They are worth it for the caddy's alone, let alone the delicious tea that they contain.

As the really hot summer months (or days, I am in England after all!) approach this makes for the most perfect tea. And the tea is a snip, at £7 for 15 temples and a wonderful caddy. Gone on, treat yourself .... you deserve it!


Friday, 19 May 2017

Chash Tea: Lavender Earl Grey

It's fair to say it's been a bit of a week here at Laura's Tea Room. It's been a wee bit stressful and not in that good stress kind of way. Rather in the "stress leads to cluster headaches" manner. And this is where blogging comes into play. In these situations it focuses my mind, calms me down and makes me happy.

One of the better parts of the week (and there have been a couple of those, too!) was last Friday not only did I get paid my salary, but also a not insubstantial bonus. And, yes, I will admit that a not insubstantial amount of that bonus went on my main love in life ... tea.

And I brought a large selection of tea from Chash Tea. It was rather like supermarket sweep. The whole transaction took mere seconds. But that simply was down to the fact that I had already picked which tea's I was buying days beforehand. I like to be organised.

One of the many gorgeous blends that I purchased in those heady few minutes was a simply beautiful twist on Earl Grey. It's their gorgeous Lavender Earl Grey.

I have been a huge fan of floral tea's since the very early days of my tea drinking life. Whether that floral taste is rose, lavender, orange blossom or peony, if it's floral, it's all good.

Tonight, after a day with a stubborn, unshiftable headache, I needed something not only tasty but calming, too. Something to snuggle down with whilst I blog and watch my favourite television shows. And with Lavender Earl Grey you need not look any further. This is just about as perfect as floral tea as you could possibly get.

From the moment you open up that packet, the gorgeous aroma of lavender just ignites those senses. It's so aromatic, so familiar and luxurious that I just stand their salivating whilst the tea infuses.

And it's just so beautiful to look at, too.

I love how the dark black leaves stands out against the splashes of colour. Bright pinks and purples are shocking against the tea making a tea that is visually impressive.

Lavender Earl Grey is a tea for all of the senses. It is alluring, comforting and joyful.

I infused this tea for several minutes and settled down, quietly to enjoy this tea. From the first sip to the last this is a fully flavoured blend and is just about as perfect as it can get for us floral tea lovers.

The base tea used is Chash Tea's equally delightful (as yet not reviewed, but I'll get round to it) Earl Grey blend. So already it's fragrant and delicious. I love how the black tea is smooth, strong and satisfying and is robust enough to support the many flavours that this tea holds.

The lavender in this tea is quite strong and very different from some of the other floral blends out there. So, when either adding this loose tea to handmade bags or in infusers you don't need to go overboard on the amount of tea that you use.

Oh, so what of the flavour?

This is just gorgeous. I love how rich the lavender is. I just love how the flavour rolls around your mouth for ages after the tea has been drunk and the mug is empty. It's very equally balanced, too. So when you drink this tea you also do taste the flavour of the actual tea, not just lavender. It would be easy for the lavender to be overpowering, but actually, it isn't. It's tasty and it's moreish, and it really does leave you wanting another cup, but it is so well balanced with the tea.

It also has a truly natural feel to it. I have tried many floral blends (many of them expensive) which were horrid as they just tasted artificial, with oily qualities. With this blend the lavender could almost of been harvested yesterday. I have drunk a lot of rose flavoured tea's lately so it's nice to make a change.

This tea is so relaxing. I feel so much better after each cup that I drink. This is ideal to unwind to after a busy day and it truly does lift your spirits. I'm curled up on drinking my second cup of the evening and never have I felt more snug, settled and comfortable. I tend to use lavender in my bath to achieve the same feeling, and I do actually think it's better to get that comfortable feeling through drinking lavender tea!

If you like your flavoured tea with a bit of oomph then this is certainly the blend for you! Chash have created a really special blend, mixing a satisfying strength with a feminine delicateness. Honestly, this tea deserves to be served from a teapot, straight into your best china! It deserves nothing less.

Lavender Earl Grey is a wonderful blend that is delightful in every way. And I cannot recommend this tea highly enough.

Friday, 12 May 2017

The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company: Exotic Coconut

This evening I am drinking a tea that I really wasn't sure I was going to like. I'm not a great lover of coconut in any form and have picked up this tea and put it down again. Picked it up, then decided to review something else. However, I have been really surprised by my reaction to this blend. I have fallen head over heels with it, in fact.

The tea is from a fairly new tea company to me, The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company and the tasty blend is Exotic Coconut.

Last month I was very kindly contacted by the company after reviewing another of their blends that I had discovered through the teatourist tea subscription service. They kindly asked if I'd like to have some more tea's to review and I said yes. This blend was included in that parcel.

The tea came in quite a large packet so there is plenty of this tea to go round. It's a black tea that is beautifully dotted with colour from the additional ingredients. The splashes of bright orange come from the exotic Lulo fruit - which I admit I have never tried. The yellow comes from the added marigold, the blue from the safflower and of course, the bright white from the coconut. This tea is visually stunning.

The tea can be infused for 3-4 minutes. I over filled the teabag and steeped it for four minutes so that I can enjoy a hearty, tasty cup of tea.

As I said earlier I really am not a fan of coconut. It doesn't make me ill and I'm not coconut phobic, but I just can't get on with the weird texture coconut has. I can't stand it in cakes and desserts. Would I stand it in tea? So I was slightly sceptical about the tea. I honestly didn't think that it would be my thing.

Yet, from the very first sip, I fell head over heels in love. This is a perfectly blended cup of tea, the mixing process is just spot on. It's gentle, but fun and full of depth. It's snazzy and modern and yet traditional at the same time.

I've had a lovely day - there has been a lot going on. I have had a nice bonus from work this month, I've had some exciting news and the prospects of real change in my life. And as I sit here now, I feel really, really tired. If I was a two year old, I'd probably be described as "overtired". So when I flopped into bed with this tea, and when I took this first sip, I just instantly relaxed. Honestly. as soon as I tried the tea, I could feel my whole body just relaxing! It is a wonderful feeling.

The base tea in this blend is black tea and it's so lovely and smooth. It's quite a robust black tea that really holds it's own against the exotic flavour. But it's wonderfully smooth, rich yet not bitter, full flavoured but not overpowering. It's a really great tea.

Now, I will admit that I have no idea what Lulo fruit taste's like having never even heard of it before I received this tea in the post. But within this tea there is a slight tart flavour which I can only assume comes from the lulo fruit. It's a bit like pineapple or even lemon. Hard to put my finger on it. But the tartness does work well with the coconut.

But, oh my god, the gem of this tea is the very thing I thought would put me off the tea - coconut.  Devoid of that weird texture which I loathe, I was left solely with the taste and what a delightful taste it has. It's so wonderfully sweet. That sweetness is compatible totally with the tartness of the fruit and the richness of the actual tea. Those three flavours all work so well together that they achieve the best thing ever - bringing the  best out of one another. Their combined qualities make for a gorgeous cup of tea.

I love how refreshing this tea is. I was just so tired what I sat down to drink this tea and I feel revived, a lot calmer and very relaxed. This is the ideal in a tea - well for me anyway. Of course, taste comes first, but I also judge a tea by how it makes me feel. And this tea was perfect for what I needed tonight. It was as if my bestie were here giving me one of her fab bestie hugs!

What I really love is that gorgeous coconut flavour stays with you for ages after the cup of tea is finished.

This blend is genius and whoever created it has done a absolutely fabulous job. It's a great tea to serve instead of coffee after dinner, but saying that it's just as good first thing in the morning. It's a all day type of tea.

Exotic Coconut would be ideal to serve at a afternoon tea next to beautiful cakes.  And actually, it would be great to use as wedding favours too, as I think this would appeal to both men and women.

I am SO glad that I got to try this tea and I'm so glad that I really liked it, too! I was positive that I wouldn't so I was shocked that I loved it as much as I do.

I am also very glad that the pack is HUGE. I am hoping this tea will last me for a long time!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ahmad Tea: Mango and Lychee Souffle

It's been well over three years since I established Laura's Tea Room. And yet, whenever I am approached by tea companies, asking if I'd like some samples to feature on the blog, I still get excited. In fact I still feel now like I did the first time I was contacted by a company. I still love this blog as much as I did when I started.

Recently I was contacted by Ahmad Tea asking if I'd like to review some tea's. Not only was I thrilled at the offer but felt rather nostalgic, too. Ahmad Tea were one of the first tea companies willing to send me samples when I established the blog. Though I had only posted one or two reviews, they kindly trusted me and were generous with their samples. I'm still so grateful to all those companies willing to help me out.

At the end of last year I was in London with my bestie and we went into a souvenir store and I saw plenty of Ahmad tea's on sale. As it was near Christmas I didn't have much money but did manage to treat myself to a cute caddy bursting full of Earl Grey tea. (Funnily enough I have to get on the number 15 bus to work every Sunday morning!) Through that I rediscovered my love for Ahmad tea.

Today I received another generous amount of tea. I was so excited. I will review the rest over time. I was totally undecided on what tea to review first so I just closed my eyes mixed them up and picked at random. The tea that I picked was Mango and Lychee Souffle. A tea which is part of their dessert range.

Firstly, I must say how utterly beautiful I found the packaging to be! I love the modern, fresh imagery, the subtle baby colours used in the design, yet they still incorporate the traditional Ahmad logo. It's really pretty and I was especially careful not to rip the packaging when opening.

This blend comes in the form of a silky pyramid type bag. Each box contains 15 pyramids.

Mango and Lychee is a Chinese green tea. What I loved about the appearance of the tea is how green the leaves looked within the tea bag. It's really pretty and healthy looking.

When I opened the packet I loved the sweet, rich, fruity aroma. Just delicious.

As this is a green tea I boiled the water in the kettle and let it cool a little. I timed the infusion process for exactly three minutes. I had made a cup earlier in the day and left it to infuse for longer and it had started to take on a slightly astringent quality, so I'd infuse this carefully. I find three minutes is spot on.

I have had mango in tea before, certainly not lychee! I adore lychee's and eat them fresh or from a can when out of season. I love the sweet, stickiness of the fruit so was beyond excited to see they were included in this blend of tea.

This is a extremely aromatic blend and this tea is real treat even from the moment  you open the packet. It has a lightness to the scent, it's hard to describe in words but it's fresh and it feels new, so different from the many fruit flavours that are commonly used in tea.

Having carefully infused the tea it was nice to see that the tea brewed to a light, sparkling green colour. Very pleasant to the eye.

When I settled down and started to drink this tea I found it to have a very pleasant, sweet flavour. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough. As this is a green tea it still has that earthy element, which I happen to love, so this earthiness and the sweetness work well together. Instead of cancelling each other out, this has been blended so well that those two unique qualities work well together, hand in hand almost.

The green tea is earthy and it does have that grassy element to it. And those elements do weave through the tea. But that provides a good solid base to the sweetness of the fruit. So not only does this make a gorgeous fruity tea but it also satisfies  those of us who love the solidness you get from green tea.

I do happen to think that the mango and lychee are two flavours that work exceptionally well together. Mango is common and is lovely in tea but having included lychee in the tea, Ahmad's blenders have created something really special.

The first of the fruity flavours that come through is the gorgeous, familiar sweetness of mango. I will admit I am partial to both mango and lychee so I could be biased! However, that rich, fresh mango taste is literally mouthwatering. And addictive too. It just fills your mouth which a lovely feeling and it feels as though you could be eating fresh pieces of mango.

Lychee is the more subtle of the two flavours, but certainly does hold it's own and you'd surely miss the lychee if it wasn't included. It has that unique, fragrant flavour that I really enjoy in lychees. Out of the mango and lychee it's the lychee flavour that stays with me for quite some time after the cup has been finished.

There are many things that I really liked about this tea. One of them is that this is such a refreshing, reviving cup of tea. It would make the ideal treat after a busy day.  Due to the fruits used and to it's refreshing qualities, this is such a light tea. And it's perfect for summer. It's best drunk at dusk, in the garden, listening to the sounds of the birds nesting and settling for the night.

I think that this is a genius of a blend. As a weightwatcher, I find it's a perfect replacement for a dessert. I love how the flavours stay with you for ages after you've finished the cup, it leaves that sweetness in your mouth for some while and it's just utterly delightful.

This tea has won a Great Taste award and I can fully understand why.

I was so impressed with this tea. I'm a Ahmad fan anyway, I've yet to try a tea I've not been impressed by. But this is something extra special. It's like summer in a cup. It's tasty, comforting, whilst being fun and refreshing. It's a modern type of tea in a modern packaging with a modern twist on flavours.There is nothing wrong with tradition of course, yet it's nice to push the boundaries and try something different!

I now cannot wait to try one of the other tea's I've been sent -  Pear and Cinnamon Strudel!

I really hope that you decide to try this tea. I think you'll love it and it's ideal for those green tea lovers who like to have their tea flavoured, And if you are just stepping into the green tea world - which can be daunting at times - this is a ideal tea to take to make those first steps.

All I will say is infuse with caution. If you use hot water or infuse for too long this does have a tendency to go slightly bitter. That, though, is a fault that is laid at my door. I should of concentrated!

I will end by saying a huge thank you to Ahmad for sending me out this wonderful tea. And I certainly cannot wait to try more!

Basilur Tea: Orange Pekoe

I have so many tea's in my tea cupboard. I have black tea, green tea, white tea, fruit infusion's, herbal blends and oolongs. All I'm really missing is yellow tea.

Out of all this choice today, I wanted a simple black tea. It's been a quite busy morning, so as I sat down earlier for a spot of lunch I opted to go for this simple but delightful black tea from Basilur Tea.
It's a gorgeous Orange Pekoe tea from their Specialty range.  

When I first started out on my tea journey (baring in mind that I knew no one with a interest in tea) I quite wrongly concluded that Orange Pekoe tea was actually flavoured with orange. Yes, I wince with embarrassment when I look back on that. And how delicately the young man from Twinings told me I was wrong. But, life is all about learning and I've learned a lot in seven years!

So no, Orange Pekoe is not a orange flavoured tea! Rather, it refers to the grading of the tea. And Orange Pekoe is one of the higher grades of tea. This is a beautiful Ceylon tea.

This blend came wrapped in single foil sachets and is of the standard teabag format. The teabag is filled generously with a large amount of tea.

I infused this blend for several minutes as I do tend to like my tea strong. I was enchanted with the tea because it steeped to a dark black colour, almost coffee like. It's really pretty to look at - I love richly coloured tea's.

This Orange Pekoe tea is a strong, sturdy black tea. It's the sort of tea that is good for the soul. It's the type of tea that will settle me when I'm nervous, comfort me when I'm upset or provide a warm hug when I'm not quite myself. This is tea how it should be.

I like that this Ceylon tea is strong. I have finally found a black tea that is strong and full flavoured without having that odd malty taste that Assam can have and which puts me off.

What made me fall in love at first sip is that it has such a smooth element to it. It has a rich, depth of flavour that you only really do get with higher quality tea. It's easy to drink and though infused for quite some time, lacks any sort of bitterness or sharpness.

In addition to the strength of the the blend and it's natural smoothness there is also a nutty element to this tea which does rather remind me of Yunnan blends that I've tried recently.  It's a fully rounded, hearty tea that I think will satisfy even the hardest to please tea drinkers.

As the tea cools in the cup the tea almost softens, for want of a better word. That strength settles down a little and it takes on a richer flavour. It's like you will experience several different tea's in the one cup. I really like it!

Regular readers will know that I always take my tea black (with the exception of chai tea) and unsweetened, however, I think this tea would sit well with the addition of milk and sugar if that's how you like to take your tea. For those who like to add a slice of lemon to their tea, I believe that would work well with this tea also. So it's a very versatile cup of tea.

There is nothing simple about this tea, it's delightful. But if you want a pure, black tea, unflavoured, unfussy and tasty then this is a brilliant blend to to keep in the tea cupboard. I find it satisfying and comforting and exceptionally moreish.

I tend to judge tea companies by their pure, unflavoured tea's. You can mask a bad tea easily by adding flavours and additional ingredients. In it's pure state the tea is exposed. Basilur Tea never let me down. The tea is always of the highest quality, whether that be a Ceylon black tea or a Sencha green tea. I can honestly say I have yet to experience a "bad" tea with Basilur. They set a benchmark in tea.

This Orange Pekoe tea was a delight to drink and I fully enjoyed it. I needed black tea today, I wanted to get back to basics. I've had such a exciting time recently trying all sorts of tea's in exciting shapes and colours. Black tea though is like an invisible friend. Always there in the wings, knowing I'll return to it. Knowing that I'll need it before too long. Today I did and I've enjoyed a luxury of a tea.

In fact, I've loved it so much that I had my second cup within a half hour of the first. And I can't recommend this tea any higher than that.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Mais Ervas: Peppermint Tea

There is one type of tea that is conspicuous by it's absence here on Laura's Tea Room. That tea is peppermint tea.

For many, many years I have loathed peppermint tea. In reality though, the only peppermint tea I've ever really had is one of those cheap supermarket own brands, you know the type, you get 20 bags for 70p (this was round about 2006ish, so I expect prices have gone up a bit!).

The peppermint tea put me off for life. It had a sickly sweet taste to it, it really just reminded me of a Trebor Extra Strong Mint. A Trebor Extra Strong Mint that had been thrown into a cup and had hot water poured over it. I'm not actually convinced actual peppermint was even included in the blend, it was probably just peppermint oil or something equally horrid.

But this really does prove my point that if you buy bad tea and have a bad experience, or even if you buy good tea and prepare it incorrectly, it can put you off for life.

In April's fabulous teatourist box this peppermint tea was included. It's from a company called Mais Ervas.

This evening I thought the time was right to give peppermint tea another whirl. There was, I thought, nothing to loose.

The first impressions of this tea were very positive. Instead of having that sweet, sugary smell I remembered so much and hated from the tea I had tried, this smelt like natural, healthy garden mint. Just very yummy indeed.

The peppermint tea is a large leaved tea with a gorgeous green colour - all very lush and mouthwatering. I was actually looking forward to trying this tea.

I infused the tea for well over five minutes to get a stronger flavour. It steeped to a light green colour.

So, I settled down and took a sip - and I was actually pleasantly surprised. There was none of that sugary, sickly sweet element that I thought this tea - or any peppermint tea for that matter - would have.

Instead this has a vibrant, fresh taste. It's crisp and keen and very refreshing indeed. The minty flavour just makes your tastebuds burst into life and they dance away with every sip. Your tongue tingles with the freshness of the tea and it really make your mouth feel refreshed. And I felt incredibly relaxed whilst drinking this tea.

This is perfect also to aid digestion and I did have a bit of a rumbly tummy and it has honestly really settled it down. I'm quite impressed and I would never of believed that I would actually like a peppermint tea.

I'm not sure if peppermint tea will ever really enter into my daily tea drinking regime. It's a bit like ginger tea, I think I'll indulge when I fancy a cup. And I doubt that I'll fancy one every day. But I'm so glad that I've tried this tea - it's put some tea drinking demon's to rest!

I'll never buy peppermint tea from a supermarket. I know I don't like those branded tea's. But when you get peppermint tea as fresh and healthy as this then I'll certainly purchase some more.

I never thought I'd give mint tea a thumbs up but I have! And I'm off to make a second cup!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Morgan's Brew Tea Company: Gunpowder Tea

It's fair to say that recently I've tried quite a lot of tea's of all varieties. And never have I been happier. I love all the different types of tea for plenty of different reason's, but I will admit that I am a bit partial to a nice green tea.

And Gunpowder green tea is a particular favourite, so this evening, whilst craving a cup of green tea, decided to try and review this lovely blend which was part of April's teatourist box from their subscription service. The tea is from Morgan's Brew Tea Company and it's a fabulous Gunpowder Green. 

I have explained in previous reviews of other gunpowder green tea's, the distinctive name of the tea comes from the fact that the green tea leaves are rolled tightly into small balls which really do resemble old gun shot!

This wonderful blend makes an impression almost from the first moment. The tea has gorgeous leaves and I love how there are three shades of green within this tea. So attractive and interesting to look at!

When I snipped open the packet  I absolutely loved the strong, earthy aroma this tea has. For me, who loves green tea's grassy elements, I was in seventh heaven.

I will admit that I probably overfilled the teabag somewhat but I just wanted to get as much of this tea into the cup as I possibly could! I couldn't wait for the kettle to boil and I stuck rigidly to the two minute infusion rule. Mainly, of course, because I wanted to taste the tea at it's very best, but I'll also admit that I felt far too impatient to wait any longer.

To my surprise, the tea infused to a dark green colour which was really quite pretty.

From the moment I took my first sip I was not at all disappointed with this tea. It has everything in it that I so obsess over when it comes to green tea.

Firstly, this is a full flavoured green tea. Green tea is a tea that can vary in taste quite a lot. On one end of the spectrum you have the light, floral type flavour and at the other end you have the heavier, grassy one. This tea is probably midway between the two. Strong and satisfying without being overbearing and bitter.

This is a Chinese green tea and because of that it has a rich, smooth flavour and is incredibly easy to drink. It has a intense depth of flavour that is very common with gunpowder green and which I find totally irresistable.

Whilst drinking this blend I felt totally revived and it will be the perfect cup of tea to consume after a long day at work. It's also incredibly refreshing too, and sometimes I don't always feel refreshed after a cup of tea. This blend is just perfect!

Gunpowder Green is the ideal tea if you like your green tea on the stronger side, full of flavour and packed full of the familiar (and much loved) grassy, earthy elements. However, if you are  new to green tea and find it quite strong, you can always add a little bit of sweetener or honey to soften the strength without losing any of the natural flavour.

This is just a utterly delightful cup of tea. And I am really pleased I got the chance to try it!

With each sip of this tea I fall even more in love with green tea. And that can only be a good thing!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Spice Professors: Very Berry

I have a very cool boss. For the purposes of this blog he shall be called simply Mr M.

Last year Mr M went on several travels and brought me some very precious and much appreciated gifts. Firstly, he went to Liverpool. You may, or may not, know that I am a through and through Beatle nut. Not a day goes by when I don't listen to a Beatles song. Not a day goes by when I don't post some sort of Beatle picture onto Twitter. In fact my admiration for the four cheeky Liverpudlian's - otherwise known as 'my boys' - is so ingrained that during my recent bout with stomach flu took to singing 'Dear Prudence" inbetween heaving. They got me through the worst of it.

Anyway, whilst Mr M was in Liverpool he very kindly brought me two things. A really handy Beatle shopping bag and this gorgeous mug which is used almost daily.

The mug is ace. Not only does it hold A LOT of tea, it keeps it steaming hot for ages and ages.

At the end of last year Mr M went to New York and brought me back this pack of tea. And this evening I'm enjoying a cup tucked up warmly in bed. It's been a long (and at some points stressful) day and to be able to sleep, I know I have to get out in words what is buzzing in my head. And there is no better way to do that then blog.

The tea I'm reviewing is from Spice Professor's and it's herbal infusion called Very Berry.

Now, this blend is not available in the UK sadly as Spice Professors are based in New York and I will admit that it's a great shame as I think this blend would be a real hit in this country. It certainly has in this house!

Very Berry contains three things. Hibiscus petals, elderberries and raisins. Along with natural flavouring. A simple tea on the surface but one which the ingredients work so well together through excellent pairing.

This tea is incredibly aromatic when opening the packet. It's fresh and fruity with a interesting zing. 

Aesthetically, this is one of the most interesting tea's I've seen in a long time. It's just so very, very pretty. Against the dark blackness from the raisin's and elderberries you have the splash of shocking pink from the hibiscus petals. I can't find anything wrong with this tea so far.

As the cup is quite big I filled two teabags with the tea. One fully filled and the other half filled. I waited for the steeping and timed it for exactly four minutes - a perfect time for me when making fruit tea.

When you take the first sip of this blend the first flavour that comes through is the elderberries. The elderberries are quite sharp and this is the stronger of all the flavours in this tea. I like it's tartness, it makes the blend interesting and really keeps you on your toes.

Second to the elderberries is the sweet, succulent flavour of the raisins themselves. This is what got me really excited about the tea - raisin's. I have had raisin tea before and absolutely loved it. And it's no different in this tea. The sweetness is just the right balance to take the edge off the elderberries sharp flavour without being too much that it's uncomfortable to drink - I cannot stand overly sweet tea, so for me personally, this is the perfect blend between two flavours.

Swirling throughout this fruity infusion is the gorgeous floral flavour of the hibiscus petal's. I'm absolutely mad on floral tea as you regular readers will know, so I found this a delightful addition to this gorgeous blend.

With each sip of this tea you go through three very different stages. Firstly you get hit with the sharpness from the elderberries, secondly, you have the sweet sensation from the raisin's. And last, but not least, a light and airy floral flavour from the hibiscus.  So perfectly blended and created is this tea that you experience a full range of flavours and textures.

I am not hugely a fruit tea person. I will give them all a try but normally they don't make that much of a impression on me. However, this tea absolutely has. And because it's not available in the UK I've tended to limit how much of this tea I have. I have a cup a month and no more.

It's a real shame that I wont be able to experience anymore of their flavours. I saw their blueberry tea and said to myself "ooh that's interesting ..." absolutely forgetting I can't get the tea here. Not before adding the tea to the basket and looking for my purse!

But, I'm also very grateful that I was able to try a tea that normally I wouldn't of even known existed.

So, I have to end this by thanking Mr M for thinking of me and bringing this tea home to try. And I honestly have loved every sip.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Tea In The City: Ben Shan Oolong

My second review of the evening is another tea found through the fabulous teatourist service.

The tea in question is a wonderful oolong from Tea In the City. Sadly I cannot link to the tea directly as I can't find the tea on the companies page. However, I hope you find this review helpful nonetheless!

I love oolong. There is no denying it. For me oolong is the perfect cross between black tea and green tea and I genuinely always find it a satisfying and comforting cup of tea. Though, I will admit, it's only recently that I have started to drink this tea.

I think part of why I like this tea is it has many of the qualities that I adore in green tea. A earthiness, a grassiness or even a floral element, depending on which tea you get, these qualities you don't get in black tea.

Visually this is a stunning tea to look at. I love how tightly curled the leaves are, how they have a lush green colour to them. Just a joy to look at! They also feel really lovely in your hand, too!

The infusion time for this tea is just two minutes and when infused is light green in colour. Almost translucent.

Though this tea is paler in colour it's certainly full in flavour. This oolong just sum's up everything I love about oolong.

Firstly, this is a very smooth and easy to drink tea. There is nothing bitter or astringent about this tea (which is partly down to me following the infusion instructions closely) and it's just a pure joy to drink. Sometimes, with oolong, you do get a slightly bitter twang at the end but this tea is totally devoid of anything remotely bitter. It's rich and lovely and I find it's the perfect companion to unwind to.

When I first took the sip I was met with a lovely nutty flavour. Almost like a Yunnan black tea in that respect. I loved how it made my mouth feel all refreshed - just a lovely experience.

Alongside the nutty flavour there is a roasted flavour too, making the tea richly flavoured and deeply satisfying.  And despite the nutty flavour, there seems to be almost jasmine elements popping through too! This is a really good cup of tea!

This tea is able to be re-infused up to three times. I'm on my second infusion and can honestly say the glorious nutty flavour remains, and it loses none of it's punch, either. I may have to try and reach a third infusion over the week as I probably wont be able to have a third cup this evening. I will update this blog when I've infused for the third time.

Overall this is just a tasty, yummy oolong. It has everything I love in tea. Smoothness, depth of flavour and it makes me feel happy and relaxed.

Leaves Of The World: Pumpkins Go Bananas

I have been eulogising for quite some time about the fantastic tea subscription service, teatourist.  Each month they have been brilliant but April's box has really been something special. It's included really traditional tea's and it's included a tea that I never thought I'd try in a million years. That is what is so great about teatourist - as a blogger I am pushed to try something new and experiment and it does wonder's for this blog!

This evening I'm reviewing a totally whacky, zany but hugely fun tea by a company called Leaves Of The World and the blend in question is Pumpkin's Go Banana's. 

Ordinarily, I probably would of chosen something else from their website. I have tried pumpkin tea once before and it left no mark on me at all, I can't even recall the brand. I have also tried tea's where vegetables have been included (Beetroot Burst from Twinings) and it certainly wasn't a hit at all. But via teatourist, and due to the fact this tea includes banana's, I decided to give it a whirl.

This infusion is like no infusion I've had before. Within this tea we have apple, carrot, ginger, pumpkin, pineapple, coriander and banana. A real mixed bag so to speak. When I was stood in the kitchen preparing this tea I can say, hand on heart, I honestly had no idea what I'd make of this tea, whether I would like it or not, whether I'd even be able to stomach it. I had no idea which way it was going to go.

The first thing that caught my attention about the tea was it's gorgeous, lush colour. Naturally, it's autumnal, with all the oranges and yellow's, and I like this because it reminds me of my favourite season. It's truly beautiful to look at and I cannot deny it.

 As you can see there is a glorious orange from the pumpkin and carrot pieces, there is yellow from the banana and also you can see the the lovely ginger, too. Such a gorgeous looking tea!

I filled up the teabag and noticed that you can infuse this blend for up to eight minutes which I did. I wanted to get a full idea of this interesting tea and brewing it for half the time wouldn't really cut it. I timed it precisely (you can actually get a lot done in eight minutes!) and it brewed to a light, amber coloured hue.

Leaves Of The World give you plenty of advice on their website about how to make this tea. You have plenty of options. You can drink it hot, which I have, as a latte or iced and as a iced latte. All dependent on what you fancy. I have to say I enjoyed it hot but then I much prefer my tea hot to iced anyway.

I will admit I was still sceptical about this tea till the minute I took my first sip.

This tea is not what I was expecting. I think  I was expecting a more vegetable like flavour, but my goodness, what you experience at the start of the sip is not what you get at the end. It's a total journey from start to finish and your tastebuds experience every sort of flavour possible.

This blend has the most gorgeous, fruity aroma and that is very interesting. I have tried one banana tea before and I sincerely wish there were more on the market, so I was VERY happy to find out that this tea was very banana-ry!

At the very start of the sip you have this glorious taste of pumpkin. I am not normally keen on pumpkin in tea, though I have had pumpkin tart at TGI Friday's once and really loved it. It's not overly sweet and has a well rounded taste. I recognised it immediately. I liked it straight away.

As the sip progressed there was a slightly tart flavour come through which I think may be coming from the apple pieces included in the tea. It's interesting as it counteracts the sweetness which comes later. Also, there is subtle flavour of carrot which is the part of tea the I'm less keen on. I like carrots, but only well cooked in a casserole. I think this tea would be lacking something if the carrot were removed but I cannot say in all honesty that it is my favourite part of the blend. For me, the tea also has that slightly strange texture I get when eating raw carrot. Now that could just be because I know carrot is in it, however, it's what I experience on a personal level.

Oh then comes along the gorgeous, familiar and much loved flavour of banana. The sweetness is just gorgeous and it's very, very rich and thankfully for me the banana is the stronger of all the flavours. It's just so rich and decadent and I really love it. It brings a nice smoothness to the blend as well, and a depth of flavour, too.

Finally, at the end of the sip you get a burst of fiery ginger. It sets the taste buds truly alight and they dance and fizz way after the sip has finished. It's a really interesting and warming way to end the tea and I find that the ginger works well with the sweetness of the banana.

I cannot believe how many layers and how much depth this blend has. I also cannot believe that no matter how many very different flavours and textures there are in this tea, it comes together to make a really nice and fun blend. It's different and certainly stands out from the crowd.

I was genuinely surprised that not only did I like this blend but at how much I enjoyed it. It's so much fun, a little bit loopy and really brightens things up a bit. It's a genius of a blend and I'm so impressed.

Though this probably wont be my day to day go to blend, I think I'll always keep a stock in as, though I'm not a obvious fan of fruit infusions, this one has made a very good impression.

It's like happiness and laughter in a mug and it's the sort of tea that will always lift your spirits if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps. You simply can't come away from trying this tea not smiling. It's impossible. It's a delightful little blend.

This is the perfect tea to remind myself never to judge a tea on face value. Never to write a blend off as "not my thing" unless I've actually tried it. A vital lesson has been learned here.

To Leaves Of The World, you've created something really special, and I can only applaud you for that.  I cannot wait to try more of your tea in the (hopefully very near) future!

Twist Tea: Earl Great

Aside from getting to taste all manner of glorious tea's, one of the loveliest aspects of being a tea blogger is that you get to work with new start up companies. I've had the pleasure to do this several times and it's always lovely to be there at the start and see how the company and their products develop.

Earlier this week I was followed on Twitter by a company called Twist Tea's. They are a new start up and are in fact so new that their website isn't quite live yet! After a brief chat with a lovely lady called Claire, I found a box of samples arrived on Wednesday.

The tea's arrived in a lovely metal caddie as you can see in the picture above. It was rather like Mary Poppins bag. Though small the caddie held a extraordinary amount of tea samples!

Along with the samples came a little book about Twist and the products they make and sell. I read through the company biography with interest. Twist believe in taking traditional tea's and adding a spin on them. Either by pairing up flavours in a new and different way or adding herbs so that favourite classic's become a functional tea with the added benefit of being really healthy for you. It's a interesting company and cannot wait till their site is live so I can browse at my leisure!

Within the tin of sample sat the tea I'm reviewing now - Twist take on the ever so classic, and my personal favourite, Earl Grey. They have called it Earl Great!

This particular tea came in silky pyramid form. The tea is also available in various sizes and in loose form too. As you can see in the photograph about, the bag is filled with a generous amount of tea and looks absolutely delicious. And very pretty too.

I couldn't wait to try this. Not only is it a Earl Grey but it's also the first cup of tea I'm having today so I was more than eager to try! I filled the kettle with fresh water and waited for it to boil. Popping the hot water over the bag it instantly took on a lovely light tan colour which developed through the infusion to a lovely dark hue.

Instantly I knew that this wouldn't be a traditional Earl Grey. This was going to be different.

The base tea used in this blend is a Ceylon - which regular readers now know is a favourite of mine - and it has a lovely robust, rounded flavour which I instantly fell in love with and which I recognised after having drunk a lot of Ceylon recently.

What immediately struck me about this tea is that Twist have toned down some of the traditional elements of Earl Grey - though the bergamot is present and is detectable, it's only very lightly there. For me it's the bergamot that is the make or break to Earl Grey. As I've stated in previous reviews of Earl Grey's if the bergamot is wrong it ruin's the whole cup. So, for instance, some bergamot flavouring can taste artificial with perfume like qualities making for a hideous, bitter mess.

Twist have shown restraint with the bergamot and I find this a pleasant and interesting change. Due to the delicateness it allows you to really experience some of the other flavours within the tea.

Also included in the tea is orange blossom which I think is a tasty addition to the tea, it gives it a lovely, delicate floral feel to the blend.

With many of their blends Twist also add in a secret blend of herbs to provide more health benefits to the tea drinker. This tea does have herbal elements, you can taste it within the tea and smell it too. However, I do not know what these herbs are, they are secret of course! But they add a lovely earthiness to the blend and make this Earl Grey different from the rest.

This is a tea that you can get your teeth into. It's solid, strong and robust. And it's as satisfying as any good Earl Grey should be. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this very new and fresh twist on Earl Grey. Twist have managed to blend both the familiar traditional elements of Earl Grey whilst bringing it bang up to date. I loved the added herbs they are just so interesting.

If you are a die hard Earl Grey traditionalist then this may not be the one for you as it does take you out of your comfort zone somewhat when it comes to our beloved blend. However, if you like different flavours, if you are willing to step out of that familiar comfort zone and give something new a try then I'd highly recommend this satisfying tea.

I found it really refreshing and brilliant for that first cup of the morning. The Ceylon tea is lovely and for me anyway, gave me a great kick start this morning.

I cannot wait to try the other tea's Twist kindly sent to me and I'm looking forward to seeing where they take their tea's in the future. Exciting times, indeed!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Basilur Tea: Cream Fantasy

It's been a difficult week here at Laura's Tea Room. After spending weeks desperately trying to avoid the stomach flu that seems to have done the rounds, I finally caught it. It's was really difficult. I felt physically awful, I felt as though I let my boss and my colleagues down as I couldn't go in and I was unable to drink tea. As I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself, all I could dream of was this particular tea. And I've had plenty of cups (which has aided recovery very well, by the way) which I've enjoyed.

Today has been the first day I've felt totally like normal Laura again and I'm eager to get back to my blogging. So much delicious tea to sample and wax lyrical about! Such is my love for tea and blogging that I genuinely miss it when I'm too busy or unable in some way to blog. And that was what was most frustrating about being ill - laying there with so many idea's yet with no energy to do anything with them.

The wonderful tea that I'm reviewing this evening is another tea from the fantastic Basilur Tea Company and it's their beautiful and classy Cream Fantasy Green Tea.

I have had the absolute pleasure of trying several of Basilur's tea's recently - and I mean that with all sincerity.  I love how they manage to present really inventive flavours but in such a pretty, traditional setting.

I also love the fact that they can take green tea, which can be robust, and turn it into a delicate, almost feminine tea. Something that can only be admired from a tea drinkers perspective. This blend is very, very different.

From the very first sip till the very last this is a smooth, refreshing and enjoyable tea. Light as air, but as satisfying and fulfilling as a hefty black tea.

This manages to capture everything that is wonderfully British in a tea. As you sip on this tea you are taken away to Wimbledon, to afternoon tea, to cream tea in the grounds of a stately home. From the lush greenery of Britain's countryside to the tea room's of our greatest hotels.

I infused this tea for just a few minutes and it brewed to a light honey colour - visually appealing I must say!

The green tea used in this blend manages to find the perfect balance of being flavoursome, so you can actually taste it amongst all the flavours, and yet not being overbearing. I like that it brings a simple earthiness to the tea which compliments the rich flavours. I was impressed by this fact alone! These are two flavour's that should be on the opposite end of the spectrum, yet work so well together.

Blended into the tea is a cream flavouring. This is easily detectable from the moment you pull open the sachet's that this tea comes in. Just like the White Magic blend I reviewed a short while ago, it's creaminess is appealing. It's sweet and mouthwatering and just as scrummy as it can possibly be. It's very smooth and does taste like cream, rather than vanilla which some blends have used. It is just like fresh cream and I have to say, I'm rather partial to it. You get all of the loveliness of cream without all the naughtiness (such as calories!).

And then comes the fruity, gorgeous taste of berries. It's brings a slight tartness to the blend - too much sweetness is not such a good thing. But I like that the added berries gives this tea a slight oomph to it.

Essentially, this is like a cream tea in a cup and Basilur have done so well to replicate the most tasty of afternoon treats. It is utterly, utterly mouthwatering. Moreish and honestly, after one cup you really do want to try more and more of it. It's a blend that never gets boring. I brought this on Easter Sunday after one hard shift and I have not regretted buying it for a second.

I have tried several dessert based tea's. Salted caramel, fudge, cherry bakewell, chocolate orange ... and they have nothing on this tea at all. Of course, being a cream tea lover I could be biased, but I just think it's so unique and so different. There is nothing bog standard at all about this wonderful tea.

I love how rich this tea is, yet at the same time delicate. It doesn't sit heavily on the stomach and is perfect to unwind to at the end of a busy day.

And I have to say that the packaging on this particular blend is just so beautiful. Normally, when tea's come in individual sachets I place them in the seemingly bottomless tea jar. This tea, however, I've kept in the box, it's so eye catching.

I will end this review saying just one last thing, and I think it sum's up this tea ideally.

This tea makes me happy. And that's all I can ask for.