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.
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.
Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. So I have been trying to make a real effort lately and try some new varieties of dairy free milk. So I headed onto Ocado and searched for dairy free milk. One milk that seemed to grab my attention was Plenish organic hazelnut milk. Now I’ve never tried hazelnut milk before so I decided to give it a try. I personally liked the simplicity to the design of packaging with 3 hazelnuts to the right bottom of the carton.
The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with water, hazelnuts 5% and sea salt noted. So I was a little disappointed by this. The hazelnut is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is no may contain warning. The milk is labelled as being dairy free and suitable for vegans. My only concern with this milk alternative is the lack of calcium. As someone who has been on a dairy free diet for a many years it is fair to say that this important factor for me when choosing a milk.
On opening the carton I was surprised that there was only a faint and subtle nuttiness aroma to the milk. In fact it smelt pretty neutral and did not change on my famous close up sniff test. This was a little disappointing if I am honest as I expected this to be much stronger being that it was a nut based milk. It poured easily into a glass it was a cross between a light brown and a dark cream in colour but. It was slightly thin and slightly watery in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was definitely a nutty element that tasted of hazelnuts to this milk, which was subtle but not to overpowering. I also warmed the milk for 90 seconds in the microwave ready for my famous Weetabix test. It microwaved well and did not separate or form a skin to the top of the milk. Its aroma seemed remained the same I had hoped that the aroma may intensify slightly, but this may be a tad unfair. The milk was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix it only had a faint hint of hazelnut and didn’t really impact on its flavour. I viewed this as a positive this may sound a little strange but a couple of milks that I have previously tried have made my Weetabix have an artificially slightly sweet flavour. I personally don’t like this and like to my Weetabix to be as plain as possible.
So would I recommend this hazelnut milk? Yes I would. Its subtle nutty flavour was spot on and made a pleasant change to the other milks that I have tried. It wasn’t artificially sweet and wasn’t too creamy. So if you follow a dairy free, or a vegan diet why not give this milk a try. So thank you Plenish for producing a hazelnut milk that I can enjoy.
My mum, who I have inherited my love of tea from enjoys her rooibos tea and drinks goodness knows how many cups a day. So I thought it was about time I made effort and tried some new rooibos as an alternative to my mint, lemon and ginger or camomile infusion teas. I happened to stumble across a box redbush tea whilst I was shopping in Marks & Spencer the other day so I decided to give it a try.
I loved the vibrant black and red packaging with an interesting pattern which I would describe as being like mini space invaders. It is clearly labelled as a caffeine free tea to the front of the packaging. I was intrigued by its description as being sweet and mellow with a bright yellow colour.
Onto the ingredients well interestingly there doesn’t seem to be any. All I could see was 40 redbush teabags. There is no may contain warning with regards to possible allergens.
When I opened the foil packet I was greeted by a woody aroma that I associate with a rooibos tea. This did not change on the close up sniff test and was still present on smelling an individual teabag.I added the teabag to my teacup and added the hot water and let it infuse as instructed. I was immediately hit by a slight woody and faint grassy aroma which became more apparent as the tea continue to infuse. There wasn’t much difference noted with the aroma on my close up sniff test. I didn’t expect this and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t seem to take long for the tea to infuse with the hot water. It soon turned a slightly dark cherry like colour not the bright yellow colour described on the packaging. On sipping the tea it tasted like a good quality rooibos, there were undertones of both woodiness and grassiness that I associate with a nice redbush tea. I found the tea to be comforting yet slightly refreshing at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea as if I am honest it has been a bit hit and miss with the previous teas I have tried from marks & Spencer and didn’t expect it to be a nice as it was.
So would I recommend this redbush tea? Yes I would. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its flavour through to its aroma. It is a nice everyday redbush tea. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a nice redbush tea that I can enjoy.
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 am starting to drink more green tea as it is a great tea to be enjoyed milk free and is therefore perfect for dairy free me. I have tried a couple of brands of green tea of varying qualities. I recently stayed in a hotel for the weekend and saw several packets of Twinings tea. So I grabbed a few packets to try with my breakfast. I am afraid that I got a little carried away and wasn’t able to try all of them. So I took a packet of the Twinings green mint green tea home to try at a later date.
I liked the packaging of this tea from its light green theme with a mint left to the far right hand bottom corner. Onto the ingredients list I personally found this to be a tad annoying and disappointing. There are no ingredients listed. So I checked on the Twinings website and green tea, peppermint leaves (10%) and flavourings (7%) are listed. There were no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the packet I have to admit to be a tad disappointed I wasn’t really greeted by any 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 intensified or should say 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 the bonus of subtle mint flavour. It was a nice refreshing delicate tea that somehow had a nice soothing and comforting effect as I drank it.
So would I recommend this green tea? Definitely. I liked both the subtle aroma and aroma to this tea. The mint flavour perfectly balances with the slight grassiness from the green tea resulting in a nice light refreshing tea. So if you are either a green or mint tea fan why not give this tea a try. So thank you Twinings for producing a nice green tea that I can enjoy.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I love my Pom Bears, in fact I have them most days with my packed lunch at work. Until recently the plain variety were the only flavour of Pom Bears suitable for my dairy free diet. That was until the salt and vinegar flavour was introduced, so of course I just had to give them a try. It took me a little while to get some as they were always out of stock, a promising sign I thought, but what did I think? How did they compare to me old faithful plain Pom Bears? Please read on to find out.
Onto the packaging well I well I just love this, with what I describe as the king bear introducing you to the rest of the Pom Bears who are politely waving back at you. The crisps are clearly labelled and marketed as being gluten free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list barley and soya are highlighted in the ingredients list as allergens and there is no my contain warning. This therefore makes them suitable for my dairy free diet.
On opening the crisps I noted the salt and vinegar aroma which wasn’t to strong or overpowering. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. The crisps had an even distribution of flavouring noted on them. On biting into the crisps there was a nice crunch noted followed by a slight airy texture. Onto the flavour it was definitely salt and vinegar. It was pleasant but just not as strong as I had hoped. Perhaps I am being a tad unfair as the crisps are clearly aimed at the children’s market. If I am honest I prefer the plain Pom Bear flavour. These remain a staple in my packed lunch most days. Onto a positive note the crisps have a nice texture and didn’t leave any greasy or powdery residual from the flavouring on my fingers. This is personally a big bonus for me.
So would I recommend these crisps? Yes I would. The flavour wasn’t as strong as I had hoped but it was pleasant. They were not greasy, had a good crunch and didn’t leave a powdery residual on my fingers. Most of all it was great to have a flavoured packet of Pom Bears that I can enjoy. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegetarian diet why not give these crisps a try. So thank you Pom Bear for producing another flavoured packet of crisps that I can have.
I am always on the lookout for new dairy free savoury treats to try. One thing that I have always fancied is a Ritz style cracker. So when I found out on Twitter that Tesco’s did their own branded version described as lightly salted savoury snacks that were dairy free I just had to give them a try. I popped along to my local Tesco’s to hunt for some packets. I found them difficult to find as I am not used to shopping for this type of item. Finally I found the last two packets. I popped them into my basket and couldn’t wait to get home and try them.
I liked the packaging well I was attracted to the bright orange packaging with mini stacks of the biscuits, very inviting. I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients list, wheat and barley are highlighted as allergens. There is no may contain warning and the labelled as being suitable for a vegetarian diet.
On opening the box a faint cheese style aroma was present. I did my usual close up sniff test and this did not change. I wasn’t expecting this aroma so got my other half to check and he agreed. Onto the snacks themselves. They are round in shape with a slightly bumpy edge, with several small holes integrated into each biscuit. On biting into them I initially got an initial crunch followed by a light airy texture from inside the snacks. Onto the flavour this seemed to be slightly cheese like. They reminded me of a weaker less intense flavour that you get from Tesco’s free from cheese flavoured nachos. In fact I preferred these to their nachos and I really like these. I found it hard to only have a few as they are very moorish.
So would I recommend these Snackers? I liked everything about these savoury treats from their combination of textures through to their flavour. I found them to be very addictive I enjoyed most of mine plain. However they worked well with either a piece of ham or pate on top. So if you follow a dairy free or vegetarian diet why not give these Snackers a try. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a savoury treat that I can enjoy.