Tea In Tenerife


I have just recently been lucky enough to experience a few days away in the winter sun. Our destination was Tenerife to an all-inclusive hotel in Costa Adeje which had all the facilities you could ever need including vast quantities of tea. What I didn’t realise until we arrived at our hotel was that it was primarily occupied by the British. This meant that there was lots of tea on offer and that my emergency teabags that I had packed stayed in the suitcase. I loved the fact that the hotel had a selection of Lipton teas placed on your table for breakfast and dinner. All you had to do was request a pot of hot water and fresh milk to accompany it. If I am honest I was a little disappointed that this was missing at lunchtime and if like me you wished to have a cup of tea after your meal you had to go to a bar separate from the restaurant.

At the hotel where we stayed there was also classic wooden tea chests with the various varieties of Lipton teas to choose from. These were placed at various bars around the hotel and you could just ask staff for whatever tea you wished to have. I was in tea heaven.

The first tea of choice for me just had to be earl grey. It wasn’t the easiest of the teas to find so when I did I grabbed a few teabags so that I didn’t miss out. On opening the package there was an aroma of black tea with bergamot intermingled with this. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. I placed my teabag in my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water to let the tea infuse with the hot water for the recommended brewing time. The tea infused with the hot water and turned to a medium brown colour. But what about the aroma? It predominantly smelt like a nice everyday black tea with only a hint of bergamot noted a little disappointing if I’m honest. On my close up sniff test the bergamot intensified a little but not much. On sipping the tea it tasted like a reasonable quality black tea with a faint hint of bergamot noted. On a positive note it was light and refreshing and worked well milk free. It might also be suited to those who like a weak strength earl grey tea.

Next I decided to try the peppermint tea. On opening the packet the teabag emitted a fairly strong aroma. This was slightly stringer than I had anticipated especially when compared to other teas that I have tried whilst abroad. This didn’t intensify on my close up sniff test. I placed my teabag into my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water and infused as instructed. The water soon changed to the light brown/green colour. It didn’t take long for the aroma to develop once it had it was fairly strong. This didn’t change on the my famous close up sniff test. On sipping the tea the peppermint flavour was just like the aroma. It was spot on and just the right strength and highly refreshing perfect to be sipped in the sun by the pool. I even got that warm comforting sensation in my tummy that I get when I drink a nice mint tea. I really enjoyed this tea and lost count of amount of cups that I drunk.

As I really enjoyed the peppermint tea I decided to give the green mint a try. On opening the packet I have to admit to be a tad disappointed I wasn’t really greeted by any distinguishable aroma. I was hoping for a slightly grassy meadow that I associate with green tea. There was a hint of this on my famous close up sniff test, but it was quiet faint. As for the mint it simply just wasn’t present. I placed the teabag in my teacup and added my slightly cooled freshly boiled hot water. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed. The hot water soon changed to a light brown/green colour. The aroma of the tea became apparent as the tea infused with the hot water. It was a faint grassy aroma with subtle but stronger aroma of mint of noted. On sipping the tea I could taste both the delicate grassy and mint elements to this tea. This made a pleasant change to other green teas that I have tried which have had a stronger slightly bitter flavour. It was nice to experience a lighter green tea which had a subtle mint flavour. It was a nice refreshing delicate tea that somehow had a nice soothing and comforting effect as I drank it. I think that I may have drunk more of this than my beloved earl grey.

Onto the green tea. On opening the packet I was greeted by a subtle a faint aroma of a grassy meadow with very faint undertones of smokiness that I associate with green tea. This remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. I placed the teabag in my teacup and added my slightly cooled freshly boiled hot water. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed. The hot water soon changed to a light green/brown colour. The aroma from the tea intensified only slightly even on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea I was able to taste the subtle grassiness with the smokiness element intermingled with this. This was slightly weaker compared to other green teas that I have tried. It resulted in a nice light and refreshing green tea that was perfect to enjoy by the pool.

Towards the end of our holiday the forest fruits tea caught my attention, so I just had to give it a try. On open ring the packet I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. I was greeted by a delightful sweet summer berries aroma. On my famous close up sniff test this intensified and the summer berries became more apparent. I wasn’t really able to smell the black tea. I placed the teabag in my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed. The hot water soon changed to a medium brown colour. It didn’t take long for the aroma to develop it was predominantly strawberry with a hint of raspberry with a faint undertone of everyday black tea noted. On sipping the tea the favour was the reverse the tea tasted like an everyday black tea with a faint hint of summer berries intermingled with this. A little disappointing really because the flavour just didn’t match the aroma.

I had a lovely week relaxing in the winter sun and never thought that it would be possible to drink soo many cups of tea by the pool. I would love to return and leave this cold weather behind, maybe next year……..

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Merry Christmas

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Just a quick post to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you have a fun packed and reaction free day. I’m have to confess to getting a little excited about the big day. This year we are the hosts doing all of the entertaining. I have had fun trying to accommodate those of us with a dairy free and gluten free diet. A one stop supermarket shop just wasn’t possible as I’m sure many of you share the same experience as this. It was much easier choosing some festive tea for the family to enjoy later in the afternoon. So here’s to a safe family free from Christmas.

Review of Lidl Pigs In Blankets Crisps

When I quickly popped into Lidl and saw their Christmas range at the end of aisle I decided to grab a packet of pigs in blankets. I was feeling optimistic so I decided to pick them up and check their ingredients. Sure enough they were suitable for a dairy free diet so I decided to have them as a naughty treat.

I liked the simple black and pink background with a picture of six pigs in blankets to the centre. You knew what sort of festive flavours you should be getting with these crisps. Onto the ingredients list there are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly strong aroma of what I would describe as bacon. This strengthened on my famous close up sniff test. The crisps themselves were of a good size and had a good scattering of flavouring on them and looked very inviting. On biting into the crisps a nice crisp crunch was noted. As for the flavour they tasted like delicious bacon crisps. They didn’t leave any greasy or powdery residual on my fingers.

So would I recommend these crisps? I Certainly would. I liked everything about these crisps from their inviting aroma though to their crunchy crisp texture. So thank you Lidl for producing a delicious packet of festive crisps.

Review of Twist Tea Tasting Menu

As a lady who loves her cup of teas I have to confess to often drinking far too much earl grey. I try to have a variety of teas throughout the day. I can be a little indecisive about what other teas to have so have a lucky dip selection of teas to avoid a make a choice, which is great fun. So when Twist Tea contacted me asked if I would like to try some of their teas I of course said yes. What I received was their tasting menu which is a selection of 16 of their teas, a professional lucky dip of teas.


Onto the packaging, well I love the silver tin or tea caddy with the companies logo to the front. I like the wording to the side will you pick or take a lucky dip? My only criticism of the tasting menu is that there is a warning about the ginger snap and mint humbug containing liquorice but no ingredients list for the teas. I personally think that this section of teas could do with a little reference leaflet with all of the teas ingredients listed. As someone with an allergy this is important to me as it takes time to go to the website to find out each teas ingredients.

On opening the tin you are greeted by 16 delicious whole leaf teabags, each of a different blend. All are sealed in individual packets which are clear allowing you to see the tea inside. I received a selection of black, green, herbal and fruit teas. I picked 3 random packets of teabags for this review.


Propermint

The first lucky dip I choose was the propermint, perfect timing with all the naughty food at this time of year. The tea is described as a pure, unadulterated whole peppermint leaves create a delicious, soothing and refreshing brew. Onto the ingredients list peppermint is listed, there is no may contain warning.

On opening plastic packaging the teabag emitted what I can only describe as a strong but very pleasant mint aroma. This aroma intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. I placed a teabag into my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water. The water soon changed to the light brown / greenish colour. It didn’t take long for the teas aroma to develop. It was very pleasant and continued to strengthen and became quiet strong. In fact stronger than I had anticipated. On sipping the tea, it was definitely one of the stronger mint teas that I have tried. The peppermint flavour was fairly strong but too overpowering . Overall I found the tea to be very refreshing and I got that warm comforting sensation in my tummy as I sipped on it. I would certainly recommend this tea.


Mint Choc Chip

Not bad for my second lucky dip for someone who loves her mint tea and eats far too much chocolate. This tea is described as Mint Choc Chip is the best of both worlds… a caffeine hit of tea, the refreshing punch of mint and the creaminess of cocoa. Onto the ingredients list Sri Lankan black tea, Cocoa (39%) (Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Shells), Peppermint (15%), Natural Flavouring. There is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet a I was greeted with a delightful chocolate aroma with subtle peppermint twist. This aroma intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. I added boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aromas of the chocolate and peppermint intensified but were still fairly subtle and not artificial in aroma. The aroma from the black tea got a little lost as a result but in this instance this really didn’t matter because the chocolate and mint was so inviting. On sipping the tea I initially got hit with what I would describe as an equal balance of chocolate and mint, the strength of which was spot on. I wasn’t really able to distinguish the flavour from the Sri Lankan black tea. This didn’t really matter because the balance of chocolate and mint was spot on. It resulted in a delightful delicate yet comforting tea. A great way to enjoy a mint chocolate beaverage without all of the calories. I would certainly recommend this tea it is one of the nicest mint chocolate teas that I have tried.


Chamomile Yawn

One of my favourite teas at the moment is chamomile. So I was pleased when my third and final lucky dip was chamomile. This tea is described as a soothing tonic made from some of nature’s most relaxing herbs. Onto the ingredients list Chamomile (64%), Rose Petals, Lemon Balm, Hops, Mallow Flowers, Valerian, Lavender are listed. there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packaging there was a nice grassy aroma that I associate with chamomile tea. It was weaker than I had hoped and I was unable to really distinguish any of the aromas from the other ingredients. This remained the same even on my famous close up sniff test. I placed the teabag in my cup and added my freshly boiled hot water. The hot water soon changed to a blue / teal colour which became a muddy blue/grey colour. Not quiet what I was expecting and a little uninviting if I am honest. On infusing the tea it produced a faint subtle grassy aroma that I associate with chamomile tea. I have to admit this took me by surprise as I had hoped to be able to smell the other ingredients in this tea but they just seemed to be absent. On sipping the tea it had a light mellow taste with subtle grassy undertones noted. Just like the aroma the only flavour that I could really taste was the chamomile. A little disappointing if I am honest. On a positive note it did have a light mellow taste. I am afraid that I wouldn’t recommend this tea. I didn’t have the floral elements to it that I had hoped for and I found the colour from the tea slightly off-putting.

I enjoyed the opportunity to try a variety of teas from Twist Tea. I am sure that any tea fan would have fun taking a lucky dip from this tasting menu. Once I have finished my teas I shall be filling it up with another lucky dip selection.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this tea to try and review. All of the opinions in this post are my own and honest.

Happy International Tea Day


Happy International Tea Day.  This has to be one of my favourite days of the year. I’m a lady who loves her cups of tea so much so that I decided to add tea reviews to my blog. Looking back I am so pleased that I did. My blog now features Tuesday’s New Tea Review every week which has proved to be very popular. Over the last year I have been lucky to sample a variety of new teas some of which I have loved and others not so. Here’s a quick snapshot of this years highlights. I found out that I had made the Feedspot Top 100 Tea Blogs and went straight to being number 49!

I fell in love with Chai tea. I visited an Indian restaurant and had a traditional tea and since then I have been hooked. I have been very lucky to try a variety of chai teas but my favourite has to from Basilur. Their masala chai was a light refreshing tea with comforting winter aromas and flavours.


I have also been making a continued effort to reduce my caffeine intake. I have developed a new love for rooibos tea. My overall favourite was The Tea Makers organic vanilla rooibos tea. The flavour of this tea was subtle and not overpowering which was just right for me. The slight vanilla flavour alongside the rooibos resulted in a nice comforting tea.


My favourite tea still has to be Earl Grey and I have tried a fair few this year. A surprise favourite for me was Dragonfly Earl Grey rooibos tea. On sipping the tea my taste buds immediately got hit by its smokiness intermingled with a hint of grassiness. It’s a great caffeine free version of my beloved earl grey tea. This was proceeded by a citrusy undertone from the bergamot. All three elements worked really well together.


I discovered that there are monthly subscription boxes dedicated purely to tea. My favourite has to be Tea Tourist as you get a new selection of six teas form a variety of UK based tea companies. I have been able to try wide selection of teas that I may otherwise might not have had the opportunity to do so. I now look forward to the date when I know the next box will be arriving.


Sadly I have also discovered some teas that didn’t quiet hit the spot. The most disappointing one this year comes courtesy of Marks & Spencer with its festive tea, which to me tasted like a cheap everyday black tea.


I don’t want end on a negative so I hope that you manage to make the most of International Tea Day. I would love to know what teas you have been drinking today, or if you have any recommendations for me to try. Happy sipping C.

Review of co-op Free From Mince Pies

It’s time for another mince pie review. I recently popped into my local co-op to get some last minute dinner and passed by the Christmas display selection. To my utter surprise I noticed their free from mince pies and next to their regular ones. As I had not tried these I accidentally placed them into my shopping basket to give them a try.

I liked the design of the packaging. It keeps to their simple free from range design but there is an addition of a pretty plate full of mince pies. I also like the addition of the clear window to the top. You can clearly see one of the mince pies inside. Onto the ingredients list egg is highlighted as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by a sweet aroma of what I would associate with fruit pies rather than a mince pie. The mince pies are of a good size. They are quiet pale looking in appearance and did not match the colour of that on the packaging. The top the pies have a sprinkling of sugar. The pastry looks slightly dry and becomes more compact towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. It appeared dry I mean this in a nice way, and wasn’t greasy.

On biting into the mince pie I got an initial slight crunch from the sugar from the top. This was followed by slightly dry and compact pastry. It didn’t take long to discover the filling as it was certainly plentiful. It was worth the wait. It was slightly juicy and moist. The quantity of the filling was just right, you needed the generous amount to try and counteract the slight dryness and hard texture from the pastry. On a positive note I personally liked the subtle flavour from the spice that hit my taste buds.

So would I recommend these mince pies if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegetarian diet? I’m afraid not. They have a nice Christmassy aroma but only once you bite into them but the pastry is dry and compact. The filling is very generous and tasty but this is lost by the texture of this pastry to these pies. Sorry co-op but these mince pies just weren’t for me.

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Review of English Tea Shop Peppermint Tea

One of my favourite caffeine free teas has to be peppermint. I drink it most days as way to reduce my caffeine intake. So when I received an English Tea gift box full of a variety of teas I couldn’t wait to try the peppermint tea. I personally liked calming light green and teal colour scheme to the packaging, with a picture of a teapot to the bottom with an integrated mint leaf design.

Onto the ingredients list organic and fair trade peppermint is listed under the ingredients list. There are no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.


On opening the packet the tea bag emitted a very faint and non descript aroma. This was much weaker than I had anticipated especially when compared to other brand teas that I have tried. This didn’t intensify on my close up sniff test. I placed my teabag into my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water. The water soon changed to the light brown / greenish colour. It took a couple of minutes for the teas very slight aroma to develop once it had it was fairly weak. This didn’t change on the my famous close up sniff test. On sipping the tea, it was definitely one of the weaker peppermint teas that I have tried. I struggled to taste the peppermint flavour just like the aroma. It was a bit of a let down when comparing its taste to other peppermint teas that I have tried. It was certainly one of the weakest that I have tried. I didn’t even get that warm comforting sensation in my tummy that I get when I drink a mint tea. Very disappointing really.

So would I recommend this peppermint tea? I’m afraid not. It just seemed to lack any real peppermint aroma and flavour. I’m afraid that I won’t be buying this tea. Sorry English Tea Shop but this tea just wasn’t for me.

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