Review of Tetley Indulgence Gingerbread Tea

As a tea blogger I am on the constant look out for new teas to try. As the nights are now drawing in and autumn has well and truly arrived I decided to find some new spiced teas to try. Whist shopping I stumbled across Tetley’s new Indulgence range of teas. I saw a packet of gingerbread tea within this range so decided to give it a try.

Onto the packaging I liked the design of the packaging its colour scheme just reminded me of autumn. I liked the little designs integrated into the packaging the cheeky gingerbread man, heaters stars and circles again in autumnal colours. It certainly caught my attention. Onto the ingredients black tea (91%) and natural flavourings are listed. On a personal note I wish that there was more detail as to what exactly the natural flavourings is. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the box I was greeted by 20 individual wrapped bags. 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 wrapped bags I was a little disappointed to say the least. I was expecting a delightful aroma of gingerbread instead all I got was the aroma of everyday black tea. The aroma didn’t change on my close up sniff test.

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 2 minutes as I have my tea medium weak and milk free. I was soon hit with the aroma that I associate with gingerbread biscuits. The aroma from the black tea was slightly overtaken by this but for me personally this really didn’t matter. The aroma slightly intensified slightly on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it tasted like a nice every day black tea with definite undertones of the gingerbread noted. This was very pleasant without it being to strong or artificial. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by this tea my initial disappointment on opening the wrapped bags soon disappeared. The aroma and flavour of this tea just reminded me of autumn.

So would I recommend this gingerbread tea? Yes I would. Its aroma and flavour make for a nice everyday tea with a twist that it is perfect for the colder weather. So thank you Tetley for producing a nice every day tea with a twist that I can enjoy.

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Review of Marks & Spencer Lemon & S-Lime Popcorn

Whilst on a day out shopping at Bluewater my mum and we decided to pop into Marks & Spencer food hall to pick up some Halloween treats. I spotted a few packets of Halloween popcorn and decided to have a quick look just in case I could have it. To my utter surprise it was clearly labelled as being gluten free and suitable for vegans on the front of the packaging. It was therefore suitable for dairy free me so I just grabbed a packet to take home to try.

I loved the bright orange packaging of this popcorn with the popcorn looking like they were popping out of cauldron. I also liked the clever marketing of the popcorn’s name calling it s-lime instead of lime. Onto the ingredients list soya is highlighted in bold as an allergen in the ingredients list. It is labelled as not being suitable for nut and peanut allergy suffers due to the manufacturing process.

On opening the bag I was greeted by a slightly artificially sweet lemon aroma. I did my usual close sniff up test and this didn’t change. On closer inspection inside the bag the popcorn looked like popcorn with intermittent pieces having a slightly green colour. On biting into the popcorn I got a subtle taste of lemon the strength of this was spot on. This was intermingled with pieces of lime coated popcorn which actually turned out to be sharp and slightly sour. This was a surprise and worked really well with the lemon flavouring.The texture of the popcorn was just right. I experienced a combination of textures the softness from the lemon popcorn and the slight crunchiness from the lime pieces.

So would I recommend this Halloween themed popcorn? Gosh yes I would. It may not be the healthiest popcorn I have had, but who cares it just nice to have a sweet treat to enjoy at Halloween. I liked everything about this popcorn from its packaging, through to its flavour and textures. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this popcorn a try as a Halloween treat. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a nice packet of popcorn I can enjoy.

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Review of Bigelow Constant Comment Black Tea

One of the teas that I like enjoy during the autumn and winter months is chai. I find it a comforting tea that I associate with Christmas. On a trip to America I found it quite difficult to get a cup of tea. So I have to admit being a little surprised when I was offered Bigelow Constant Comment tea as an option. It was completely different to any of the other teas that I had been offered so of course just I had to give it a try. Now the good thing I noticed about being in America was that you tended to get given two packets of tea. This meant one to have after my dinner and one to take home.

Now onto the tea itself I liked the simplicity of the packaging, with the bold red colour with a black strip scheme to the top with constant comment to the centre. I checked the back of the packet where the ingredients were listed as black tea, rind of orange, sweet spice and natural flavour. The tea is also labelled as being gluten free and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I have to admit to being a tad surprised. There was a fairly strong sweet spice aroma coming from the teabag with a faint undertone of citrus noted. On undertaking my famous close up sniff test the sweet spice aroma remained the same but the citrus element intensified. I placed the teabag in my cup and added the hot water. It didn’t take long for the tea to infuse with the water resulting in a light/medium brown colour. On infusing the tea the predominant aroma was the black tea but both the sweet spice and orange were fairly strong. The aroma remained the same on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea I have to confess to being surprised. It tasted like a nice every day black tea however the sweet spice and orange added a chai element to this tea. This impacted more on its flavour than I had anticipated and as a result made for a much nicer drinking experience. I gave the tea another try at home to ascertain if it tasted any different with freshly boiled water and in a nice teacup. It’s aroma and flavour were just the same as I remembered.

So would I recommend this tea? Yes I would it is nice to have an everyday black tea with a chai twist. The overall combinations of aromas and flavours complimented each other nicely. I liked everything about this tea which I have to admit being pleasantly surprised. So thank you Bigelow for producing a nice black tea.

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Review of Tesco’s Free From Chocolate Gateau

Being dairy free I never thought that it would be possible to eat a chocolate gateau that you could simply pick up from a local supermarket. So when I heard that Tesco’s free from range new chocolate gateaux was both gluten free and dairy free I got a little excited. My mission was then to find one to try. This was easier said then done as they always seemed to be sold out and my dedicated freezer space remained empty. Finally after several trips to various Tesco’s I managed to find one. I eagerly placed it in my basket to take home and save it until the weekend for a treat.

Onto the packaging of the gateau it was in the usual colour and style that you get with Tesco’s free from range. There is a large picture of the gateau to the front which looks highly inviting. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free, wheat free and milk free. It is also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list egg and soya are highlighted as allergens. There is also a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.

On opening the box greeted by a fairly sweet faint chocolate aroma which intensified on my close up sniff test. On removing the gateau from the box I was a little disappointed as some of the topping had stuck to the top of the box. This meant that the swirly peak design to part of the gateaux was a little flat. It should be noted that I had transported the gateaux home safely in an upright position. The other piece of criticism I have around the packaging is that the circular plastic that holds the gateau in place is a good idea. The only downside as the the cream to the gateau is like mousse in consistency it meant that this stayed on the inside of the plastic and not on the gateau. This resulted in having bald edges to the gateau. On a positive note it did allow you to see all of the layers to the gateaux. Now the gateau itself serves 6 people is I planed to cut it up into smaller servings so that I could have it as individual treats. Sadly, this was not possible. Despite my best attempts with a good knife and lots of will power I was not able to cut out a piece of gateau to serve one person. This meant that I had 24 hours to eat a whole gateaux.

But how did the gateau taste? On biting into the gateau I was immediately struck by the varying three consistencies to the gateau. Initially you get the light airy slightly whipped texture from the mousse from the outside and top of the gateau. This is followed by the chocolate sponge underneath which was a little dry in consistency and slightly prone to crumbling. These layers were repeated throughout the gateau. Amongst this you get a hint just the right amount of what is described as a chocolate sauce which is a bit like a jam in consistency. This combined with the mousse helps balance a bit of they dryness out from the sponge. Onto the flavour this was nice but not as nice as I had personally hoped. The mousse was slightly artificially sweet in flavour but worked well with the slight bitter chocolate flavour from the sponge. The the richness from the intermittent hidden chocolate sauce just gave it that little bit extra rich indulgent flavour without it being too strong and overpowering.

So would I recommend this free from chocolate gateau? I am afraid not. The packaging design impacted on the presentation of the gateau. The chocolate sponge was a little to dry and crumbly even when combined with the mousse and chocolate sauce. Perhaps you make think that I am being a little harsh on Tesco’s or unfair. But when you have waited so long to have a chocolate gateau maybe your expectations are high. I hope that maybe Tesco’s will see my review and take some of my criticisms onboard. Because at the end of the day I think that it is great that you now have the option to be able to easily purchase a dairy free gateau at the supermarket.

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Review of English Tea Shop 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. So when I received an English Tea gift box full of a variety of teas I just had to try the earl grey tea first.

I liked the colour of the deep blue packaging with a picture of a teapot with tea leaves and citrus fruit on it and coming out of the spout. Onto the ingredients list organic and fair trade Ceylon black tea (95%), natural flavourings (5%) are listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning. On a personal note I wish the natural flavouring was in more detail.


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 was a little disappointed by this as I had expected the bergamot to be stronger. 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 Ceylon black tea with only a hint of the tantalizing 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 Ceylon black tea with only a very 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.

So would I recommend this earl grey tea? I’m afraid not. Yes it was a light and refreshing tea Ceylon black tea that just seemed to lacking the bergamot aroma or flavour. I was a little disappointed by this tea. I have tried nicer earl grey teas. Sorry English Tea Shop but this earl grey tea just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Provamel Blueberry Yogurts

I enjoy a yogurt most days as part of my packed lunch or as an extra addition to fresh fruit. The choices of vegan yogurts seems to have rapidly expanded. You can now easily pick them up from your local supermarket. Despite this I tend to buy the same yogurts so I thought that was about time that I tried some new yogurts. My first choice was Provamel blueberry yogurt.

I liked the style of the packaging. It’s simple cream background with blueberries cascading into a thick creamy yogurt. Onto the ingredients list. The yogurt is clearly labelled as being gluten free and lactose free. The only allergen listed is soya. There is a may contain warning for almonds and hazelnuts.

On opening the yogurt I was greeted by a medium consistency creamy yogurt. I was a little disappointed by the lack of aroma I was expecting to smell an aroma that I associate with blueberries. Instead I got a slightly sweet artificial aroma that I would describe as berries. On placing the spoon into the yogurt it was slightly creamy in texture with pieces of blueberries intermingled within this. On eating the yogurt I was hit by two textures. The slight creamy texture from the yogurt itself which was very pleasant but this was combined by a horrible grainy texture from the blueberries. I found the grainy textures tad off-putting if I’m honest. I was expecting squishy slightly juicy blueberries not a grainy texture. I found this to be very disappointing. As for the flavour there was a hint of blueberries but nowhere near as strong as I had hoped. In fact I struggled to finish the yogurt, I did finish all four pots in the hope that maybe the grainy texture was a one-off sadly this was not the case. These have to be one of the most disappointing yogurts that I have tried in both terms of both flavour and texture.

So would I recommend this yogurt? I’m afraid not. They seemed to lack any real blueberry flavour and the intermittent grainy texture from the fruit pieces wasn’t very appetising. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet I would perhaps try a different yogurt instead. Sorry Provamel this yogurt just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Sainsbury’s Peppermint Infusion 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 recently popped into Sainsbury’s I found myself in the tea aisle and decided to give their peppermint infusion tea a try. I personally liked calming light green and teal colour scheme to the packaging, with a picture of a teacup to the right with an integrated teal leaf design. Under the lid of the box to the middle is a slight perforation which allows you to reseal the box allowing you to keep the tea fresh inside.

Onto the ingredients list I personally found this slightly difficult to find. 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 bags emitted a faint but pleasant peppermint aroma. This was slightly weaker than I had anticipated compared to other supermarket own brand teas. This didn’t intensify on my close up sniff test and but did seem weaken on smelling an individual teabag. 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 aroma to develop but once it had it was pleasant but 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. There was only a slight peppermint flavour just like the aroma. It was a little disappointing when comparing its taste to other everyday peppermint teas that I have tried. It was certainly one of the weakest that I have tried. I also only got a very slight warm comforting sensation in my tummy as I sipped it. A little disappointing really.

So would I recommend this peppermint tea? I’m afraid not. It just seemed to lack any real peppermint aroma and flavour. If you prefer a weaker peppermint tea you may well enjoy this tea. I probably won’t be buying this tea again. Sorry Sainsbury’s but this tea just wasn’t for me.

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