Review of The Tea Junction Blue Grey Tea

I am a girl who loves my cups of earl grey tea. It is my tea of choice and I am always on the lookout for new teas to try. On a recent trip to the Isle of Man my mother in law kindly got me a packet of The Tea Junction blue lady tea. It was recommended as an excellent alternative to my beloved earl grey. I couldn’t wait to give it a try as I was intrigued what it would taste like.

I liked the simplicity of the black packaging with a blue label to the centre with the company name to the top and spiral patterns to the bottom. Onto the ingredients black tea, mallow, marigold flowers and flavouring are listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning. On a personal note I wish the flavouring was in more detail.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a strong floral aroma which seemed to impact on the other ingredients in this tea. I struggled to actually smell the aroma of the black tea. The floral aroma intensified on my close up sniff test and simply drowned the black tea element to this tea. I was a little disappointed by this as I had expected the aroma to be a little like earl grey even though bergamot wasn’t present.

I placed my tea leaves in my tea infused 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 reminded me of a strong version of rose water that I used to make when I was little. It was very floral and this just overpowered any aroma from the black tea. On my close up sniff test the floral aroma intensified. On sipping the tea it tasted like a weak black every day tea which was overtaken by flowers, the mallow and in particular the marigold dominated the flavours of this tea. It taste like what I imagine rose water would taste like. Not like a traditional black tea with a twist at all.

So would I recommend this blue lady tea? I’m afraid not. I simply didn’t enjoy anything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It’s floral element just overpowered the black tea. Sorry The Tea Exchange but this blue lady tea just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Lidl Sweet Popcorn

Popcorn is often a safe dairy free treat for me to enjoy and can make a nice change for a treat to enjoy on the go as a sweet treat. So on a recent trip to Lidl I fancied some popcorn and grabbed a packet of their sweet popcorn to try.

I really didn’t like the packaging of this popcorn. I personally found it too busy with the red cinema movie theme, black film roll and pieces of popcorn. On the back of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being suitable for vegans. Onto the ingredients list to maize, sugar and oleic sunflower oil are listed. No allergens are listed and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the bag I was greeted by a faint sweet aroma. I did my usual close sniff up test and this didn’t change. On closer inspection inside the bag the popcorn looked like even sized pieces of the popcorn with an intermittent sweet coating. This was a positive to me as I didn’t want my popcorn to be too sweet. On biting into the popcorn I immediately got the taste of plain popcorn this was preceded by a very intermittent sweetness which was  a little disappointing. The texture of the popcorn was also a tad disappointing. I was hoping for a combination of textures with a slight subtle crunch from the sweet coating. This just wasn’t present nor was light airy softness that I expect from popcorn.  Very disappointing if I’m honest.

So would I recommend this popcorn? I’m afraid not. I really didn’t like anything about this popcorn from its busy style packaging, through to its flavour and textures. Sorry Lidl but this popcorn really wasn’t for me.

DIY Daddy

Review of Tesco’s Finest Decaffeinated Earl Grey Tea

I am a girl who loves my cups of earl grey tea. It is my tea of choice and I am always on the lookout for new teas to try. On a recent trip to Tesco’s I yet again found myself in their tea aisle. As I am trying really hard to reduce my caffeine intake I decided to grab a box of their decaffeinated earl grey tea to try.

I Liked the design of the packaging the blue and yellow symmetrical patterns against the black background caught my attention. As did the teas description of a fragrant and refreshing delicate tea. This could be a great tea to have milk free. Onto the ingredients decaffeinated tea and bergamot flavour is listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning. The tea is also clearly labelled as being fair trade.

On opening the box I was greeted by a sealed foil package containing the teabags. I like this as it keeps the tea nice and fresh. On opening the package there was an aroma of what I would describe as an everyday black tea with a slight hint of citrus noted. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. However, on smelling an individual teabag close up this aroma seemed to be weaker and the citrus element disappeared.

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 an everyday black tea with only a very faint hint of citrus and not really of bergamot. On my close up sniff test the aroma didn’t change. On sipping the tea it tasted like an everyday black tea with a very faint hint of a slightly artificial citrus flavour noted.

So would I recommend this earl grey tea? I’m afraid not I simply didn’t enjoy anything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. Sorry Tesco’s but this earl grey tea just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate With Orange & Sugar Crunch

Ok, so I like a little chocolate as a treat. Grabbing a quick bar to enjoy is never easy when you are dairy free. Even dark chocolates can contain milk. So when I recently popped into Marks & Spencer I just had to get some of their dairy free chocolate bars. They had proved to be very popular as they only had 2 of their orange and sugar crunch bars left. So I had to grab both, needs must.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its varying shades of orange and its interlocked pattern. I liked the boldness of the dark chocolate logo. I personally think that the made without dairy should be to the same design as due to its USP, but that’s just my opinion. Onto the ingredients list soya is highlighted as an allergen with a warning that it is not suitable for those with a nut allergy due to the manufacturing process. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegan diet.

On opening the package I was immediately greeted by a fairly strong aroma of orange. This was stronger than I expected, slightly artificial but nether the less very pleasant. The actual chocolate bar was made up of squares with a nice M&S logo on each. I was personally impressed by this. On breaking of the first square I couldn’t wait to dive in and give it a try. The chocolate was fairly hard to bite into. My taste buds were first hit by the cocoa flavour which was just the right strength. This was proceeded by the strong citrus flavour from the orange and a little sweetness from the sugar crystals. All three flavours worked perfectly together. Oh my goodness I’ve not mentioned the textures. The chocolate melted nicely in the mouth and was slightly smooth in texture, but those little pieces of sugar gave it a little mix up of crunchiness. This was eveningly distributed throughout the bar just perfectly.

So would I recommend this chocolate orange bar, oh my goodness yes. It is a great value chocolate bar with the right balance of flavours and textures. So if you like chocolate and follow a dairy free, and or vegan diet give this bar a try. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a chocolate bar that I can enjoy.

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Review of co-op Green Tea

As a lady who enjoys her cups of tea on a daily basis I am always on the lookout for new teas to try. I have recently been trying a variety of green teas as it is a great tea to be enjoyed milk free so it is therefore perfect for dairy free me. As I was in my local co-op picking up a few essentials I thought that I should give their green tea a try.

I liked the simple design of the packaging with this tea. It was pale green with picture of cascading green tea leaves. Onto the ingredients well I found this a little strange as I couldn’t find one. To the front of the packet is labelled as fair trade green tea. As a result I could not see any allergens highlighted or any may contain warnings listed.

On opening the box I was greeted by a sealed foil package containing the teabags. I like this as it keeps the tea nice and fresh. On opening the package I was greeted by a subtle a faint aroma of a grassy meadow with very 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 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. However, this resulted in a nice light and refreshing green tea.

So would I recommend this green tea, yes definitely. I liked the slightly weaker grassy and smoky aroma and flavour of this tea. So if you fancy a milk free tea, why not give this green tea a try. So thank you co-op for producing a nice light refreshing green tea.

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Review of Morrisons Free From Celebration Tray Bake

When I heard via social media that Morrisons had added tray bakes to their free from range I admit to being a little excited. They were not only gluten free but milk free and perfect for dairy free me. So I sent my dad out hunting to grab me one with the plan being that I could share it with my mum and nephew who are both gluten free. My dad popped into Morrisons and they were sold out so were obviously popular. My dad finally managed to get me the chocolate celebration tray bake to try. I couldn’t wait to give it a try and had it all to myself as my mum and nephew had managed to find several gluten free cakes on holiday to enjoy.


Onto the packaging. Well it’s in the same style of all of the other free from ranges in Morrisons with the green style packaging. What I liked about this packaging was that it had a clear film to the top which meant that you could see the tempting treat inside. Onto the ingredients it is clearly labelled as being both gluten free and milk free to the front of the packaging. On the ingredients list egg and soya are clearly in bold as allergens. There is a no may contain warning.

On opening the pack I was greeted by a nice sweet but artificial chocolatey aroma which was pleasant and stronger than I had anticipated. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The tray bake consisted of 2 clear layers the chocolate sponge underneath and a top chocolate butter icing style with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top. On biting into the cake the it had three textures which complimented each other nicely. On my initial bite I got the smoothness from the chocolate butter style icing intermingled with an intermittent crunch from the hundreds and thousands. This was proceeded by the chocolate flavoured sponge which was light and airy and slightly bouncy in texture. A pleasant surprise if I’m honest. However, the sponge was slightly crumbly which did result in some of the sponge separating from the rest of the cake when the it was cut. The combinations of textures worked really well and the hundreds and thousands added that little extra to the cakes texture. Onto the cakes flavour well the main chocolatey element came from the top layer. The actual sponge was a little bland in flavour if eaten in isolation but worked perfectly with the topping. I personally think that if the sponge had been more chocaoltely the cake would have been too rich. I loved the hundreds and thousands on the top. They were sweet but added a little extra to this tray bake.

So would I recommend this  free from chocolate tray bake? Yes I would I’m not surprised that they are popular. I enjoyed everything about this cake from its aroma through to its flavour and texture. I will definitely be buying this again. So if you follow a dairy free, and or gluten free diet why not give this tray bake a try.

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Review of Twinings Chai Tea

As a tea blogger I am on the constant look out for new teas to try. I have tried a few chai teas but tend to have these in the colder months as I associate the aroma and flavour with Christmas. A few fellow tea bloggers had recommended that I try Twinings chai tea. I saw a packet in a local supermarket so decided to give it a try.

Onto the packaging I liked the purple theme with a picture of a lady dancing in the right hand corner. I especially liked the little cut out swirl design at the bottom allowing a sneak preview of the tea envelopes inside. It is described as having warming flavours of the spices of India. Onto the ingredients black tea, ginger root (10%), cinnamon (10%), and flavourings (8%) are listed. On a personal noted I wish that the actual flavourings were listed in more detail. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the box I was greeted by 20 individual tea envelopes. I like this as it means that you place one in your bag and have it on the go. Or as an alternative when you politely decline an everyday tea. On opening the tea envelope I got a delightful aroma of cinnamon and ginger intermingled with another flavouring which I would describe as being like all spice. The aroma did not change on my close up sniff test. I couldn’t wait to give this tea a try.

I placed the teabag in my teacup and added freshly boiled water. The teabag soon infused with the hot water and it changed a medium brown colour. I let the tea infuse for 3 minutes as I have my tea medium weak and milk free. I was soon hit with the aroma that I associate with a nice chai tea. The aroma from the black tea was slightly overtaken by the cinnamon and ginger. There were faint undertones of the other flavourings which still reminded me of all spice. The aroma slightly intensified on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it tasted like a nice every day black tea with undertones of the cinnamon and ginger and all spice noted.

So would I recommend this chai tea? Yes I would. Its aroma and flavour make for a nice everyday chai tea. The tea envelopes give it that little extra which mean you can easily enjoy it when out and about. So thank you Twinings for producing a nice every day chai tea that I can enjoy.

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