Review of Tick Tock Earl Grey Rooibos Tea

Now I’m a girl who loves her cups of tea especially earl grey tea. I have been doing really well in reducing my caffeine intake. Sometimes those cups of earl grey can lead me a little astray. Rooibos seems to be my caffeine free tea of choice at the moment. So my mum suggested that I try Tick Tock earl grey rooibos tea. I found a box in my local supermarket and popped it into my basket to try.

I liked the simplicity to the packaging of this tea with its subtle marketing message. The blue box with the bold Tick Tock logo in white. To the centre of this is a small circle with a teapot, a cup of tea, scones and jam. The tea is described as combining all of the caffeine free goodness of rooibos with the true earl grey taste of natural bergamot. Onto the ingredients list rooibos tea and natural oil of bergamot, natural flavour are listed. There are no allergens listed and there is no may contain warning.

I opened the packet and was immediately greeted by a fairly strong bergamot aroma which seemed to drown out the aroma from the rooibos. So onto my famous close up sniff test the bergamot aroma intensified a little and continued to overpower the rooibos. On smelling an individual teabag the bergamot became very faint and was overtaken by the rooibos. The aroma was smoky and slightly grassy with a faint undertone of bergamot noted. I was a little disappointed with this. I liked the initial bergamot aroma that you got from opening the box and hoped that it would remain. After a few days of opening the box the bergamot aroma started to disappear and became very faint. I was a tad disappointed by this and yes I did close the box correctly. So what about the taste?

I placed my teabag into my teacup and added freshly brewed hot water as instructed. I was soon hit with a slight woodiness aroma that I associate with rooibos. Sadly, the earl grey element seemed to be lacking. I left the tea to infuse as instructed. It soon turned a dark cherry/brown colour. The woodiness aroma slightly intensified and became combined with subtle undertones of grassiness. This remained the same on the close up sniff test. On sipping the tea my taste buds got hit by its woodiness intermingled with a hint of grassiness. I had hoped for a citrusy undertone from the bergamot but it was sadly lacking. The initial excitement that I got from opening this box soon turned to disappointment. It sadly did not make a great caffeine free alternative to my beloved earl grey tea. On a positive note it did make for a nice everyday regular unflavored rooibos tea.

So would I recommend this rooibos earl grey tea? No I wouldn’t the bergamot aroma just seem to disappear and its flavour just seemed to missing in this tea. Sorry Tick Tock but this earl grey tea just wasn’t for me.

The Pramshed

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Review of Marks & Spencer 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 Marks & Spencer I yet again found myself in their tea section. I was running low on earl grey tea so I decided to grab a box of their decaffeinated earl grey tea to try.

I Liked the brown cardboard box style of packaging with the white box to the centre describing the tea. The simple light green stripe in this box and running down the centre was simple but somehow caught my attention. Onto the ingredients black tea 97.5% and bergamot flavouring 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 can only describe as a slightly artificial bergamot. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. However, on smelling an individual teabag close up this aroma seemed to be significantly weaker. I was a little disappointed by this as I had expected the aroma 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 an everyday black tea with only a hint of bergamot noted. On my close up sniff test the aroma didn’t change. If I was doing a blind test I’m sure that I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish as being an earl grey tea. On sipping the tea it tasted like a reasonable quality medium strength black tea, with a very faint hint of bergamot noted. That said it was one of the nicer decaffeinated teas I have tried as it didn’t taste to chemically which has been the case with other decaffeinated teas that I have tried.

So would I recommend this earl grey tea? This is a tough one if I’m honest. As an earl grey tea no. I’m afraid I simply didn’t enjoy anything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. As a decaffeinated every day tea probably as it is one of the nicest ones that I have tried so far.

Review of Tea Tourist Subscription Box

Now I am a girl who loves her cups of tea. Not a day goes by when I don’t help myself to a cup of tea. It’s fair to say it’s an integral part of my daily routine. Blogging has enlightened my tea palate encouraging me to try a variety of new teas. I love tea subscription boxes as they are a great way to discover new teas. So when I was lucky enough to receive a free monthly subscription box from Tea Tourist I couldn’t wait to dive in and try June’s selection of teas. Tea Tourist is a Derbyshire based subscription service that sends you a selection of loose leaf teas that you might not find delivered to your door each month. They choose from a fantastic range companies around the UK which are usually independent or less known companies.

Onto the contents within the box. You get six packets of different teas which contain 3-4 cups worth of tea. You get a card detailing the information about the tea that you have received. Each tea has its own tasting card with details of the company, a little about the tea, how and when best to steep the tea and a section for you to add your own notes, creating a nice little reference guide.

Earl Grey Rose By Rutland Tea Company

I choose this tea first as it is one of my favourite teas. It is described as a bergamot flavoured brew with fruity undertones. This traditional black tea has been given a floral, citrus makeover with the addition of pineapple pieces and rose petals. It’s everything you’d expect from an Earl Grey and more!

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or no may contain warning. On opening the packet I was greeted by a strong citrus aroma from the pineapple with subtle undertones of apple noted. I struggled to smell the bergamot. I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. I was a little disappointed by the aroma even on my close up sniff test I struggled to smell the bergamot that I associate with earl grey. The pineapple just seemed to take over. On sipping the tea it was sadly the same. The citrus element overpowered the bergamot. I love a cup of a nice cup of earl grey but this simply lacked any really flavour or aroma that I associate with a nice earl grey.

Flexibiltea by T-Tox

It is described as a refreshing blend of nettle, burdock root and jasmine flowers, this herbal infusion has a mildly sweet floral taste that warms the throat. It’s naturally caffeine-free making it perfect for helping you relax anytime of day or night.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning. On opening the packet a strong fairly intense aroma from the nettles with a hint of jasmine flowers and marshmallow. I struggled to smell the lemon verbena. I added slightly cooled boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aroma of the nettle intensified and the subtle undertones of the jasmine flower and marshmallow seemed to be a little lost as a result. On sipping the tea the nettle was indeed the dominant flavour and seemed to overshadow the other ingredients which was a shame. Sadly, this tea just wasn’t for me.

Rhubarb and Vanilla Green Tea By Hooghly Tea

It is sweet, crisp and fruity blend of Chinese green tea, with rhubarb pieces and a dash of vanilla. A well balanced infusion whose initial tart taste is quickly followed by a comforting sweetness that goes well in any situation.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or a may contain warning. On opening the packet a strong aroma of hibiscus and rhubarb the usual grassy aroma that I associate with green tea was lacking. I added the slightly cooled freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The first I noticed was the delightful colour to this tea a delightful pink/purple. Then came the aroma the hibiscus and rhubarb took centre stage, very inviting. The only downside was that these seemed to overpower the other elements to this tea. On sipping the tea my experience was the same the strength of the hibiscus became very apparent and sadly seemed to mute the other flavours to the tea. If I did a blind tea taste I have to say I wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was a green tea. That said it was a refreshing and comforting tea that would be perfect in the colder months.

Time For Bliss By Caley’s Apothecary

An organic herbal blend packed full of sweet and spicy floral goodness. The combination of lemon verbena, lime flowers and rose petals delivers a brew that’s gently calming, subtly uplifting and blissfully mood boosting.

It recommends checking the Caley’s website with regards to possible allergens for this tea. Sadly, this was not helpful so I had to contact them via email. On opening the packet I was greeted by a delightful slightly citrusy aroma from the lemon verbena, lime flowers and subtle floral undertones from the passion flower and rose petals. I had hope to smell the cinnamon as I love it but it seemed to be lacking. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. On doing so the aroma of the aroma of the lemon verbena and lime flowers intensified. The subtle floral undertones were still present but that cinnamon was still lacking. On sipping the tea the citrus and floral elements were subtle and not over powering. It resulted in a nice light delicate refreshing tea. I think that it would be best suited to drinking cold with lots of ice.

Mint Chocolate By Cheshire Tea

A Great Taste Award – winner, this refreshing Rooibos blend is cool and creamy! Organic peppermint married with cacao deliver a sumptuous guilt-free pleasure that will lure you in. It’s the perfect after-dinner caffeine-free desert without sin.

Onto the ingredients list no allergens are listed and there is no may contain warning. On opening the packet I was immediately struck by an aroma that I associate with after eight mints. I couldn’t wait to try this tea. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. On doing so the aroma of the peppermint and cacao beans intensified further. They seemed to drown out the rooibos and calendula petals but to be fair I wasn’t that bothered by this. On sipping the tea the peppermint remained the predominant element with the cacao coming next. I could taste the rooibos element but this was very subtle. I loved everything about this tea it really did taste as good as it sounds.

Assam Tea With Vanilla By Pure Leaf

Made from the finest Assam leaves blended with Madagascan vanilla and marigold petals, this unashamedly strong black tea delivers a sweet twist on a traditional classic. The perfect morning wake up call.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning. On opening the packet the I immediately got hit by the vanilla aroma. It was a little stronger than I had anticipated and slighted overpowered the aroma from the Assam tea. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. The vanilla aroma remained the same but the subtle undertones from the Assam intensified somewhat. On sipping the tea it tasted like a nice quality black tea with a vanilla twist. The vanilla was definitely present but wasn’t too strong and overpowering and worked well with the Assam. It resulted in a nice subtle sweet twist to this black tea.

So would I recommend this subscription box? Yes I would. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try a diverse range of teas that the Tea Tourist offers. It allowed me discover a new variety of tea companies without having to hunt them down myself. It’s a great and convenient way to try new teas.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this subscription box to try all of the opinions are honest and my own.

Review of Free From Festival London

The Free From Festival London is the UK’s first gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free food festival. It is a successful food festival which incorporates free from food and live music and makes for an enjoyable day out. The latest Free From Festival was based at Old Spitalfields Market London. It had a large array of dairy free, gluten free, paleo and vegan foods to try, with the odd tea company thrown in for luck. I have been very lucky to attend the previous festivals in my official capacity as a food and tea blogger. So when I was asked if I would like to have press tickets I of course graciously accepted. It was an amazing day out and I had the opportunity to try a range of fantastic foods and tea. So here is a snap shot of my day at the food festival.

What immediately struck me as I arrived was the size of the festival and how it had grown. I had to wait in a queue to get in. In fact the festival had proved to be that successful that it was old out and people were being turned away. I showed my press pass got my goody bag and tried to plan my day. At this stage I to confess to still being a state of surprise as too much it had expanded. So I took it all in did a bit of people watching and listened to the fab entertainment that was on offer. Here’s a snapshot of what I saw during the day.

My first stop was Eat Safe app to see Matt and his girlfriend. She is soya intolerant and has found this to be highly restrictive when eating out. So Matt helped devise the Eat Safe app as part of his masters degree. It is in its beta testing stages and will hopefully be available for all to try later this year. I’m sure that this app will prove to be very successful. Here’s a link to their website Continue reading

The perfect cup of tea

For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed a nice cup of tea. I inherited my love of tea from my mum who taught me that black tea should be drunk medium weak to enjoy its flavours. Being dairy free means that I enjoy all my teas milk free. I have tried on a couple of occasions to add milk but I just can’t bring myself to drink it. I use my blog to share my tea experiences with a new tea review every Tuesday. My mum decided in her wisdom that my tea reviews would look more inviting if undertaken in a nice cup and saucer. So she bought me this wonderful teacup set for my blog. I love my teacup and it makes a drinking a cup of tea a pleasurable experience. I frequently receive many comments about it and asked where can be purchased from. Sadly, it is getting a little overused so my mum has been on the hunt for a new teacup for my blog. So here is the new addition to my teacup collection that will hopefully soon be making an appearance on my blog.

Review of Tesco’s Lemon & Ginger Infusion Tea

I am lady who loves her cups of tea. Sometimes I can be a little naughty and find myself having a bit too much caffeine. Despite this I am still on my mission to reduce my caffeine intake continues and I am always on the look out for a new caffeine free tea to try. I tend to find lemon and ginger a nice comforting tea so when I popped into Tesco’s recently I decided to grab a box of their lemon & ginger tea to try.

I fell for vibrant orange colour of the packaging of this tea. Its swirl patterns are the same to that found on Tesco’s other fruit and herbal teas. The tea is clearly marketed as being caffeine free. I personally liked that there was no fancy description about the tea, just its flavour and that it is caffeine free.

Onto the ingredients list. Ginger (38%), dried apple, rosehip, flavourings, lemon peel (3%) and lemon grass (2%). I am always personally put off by generic flavourings and would like to know exactly what this means. There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and no may contain warnings.

On opening the cardboard box foil packaging is revealed, great for keeping the teabags fresh. I was immediately hit by the aroma coming from the foil packaging once opened. There was a very strong aroma of ginger and lemon. This remained the same on my close up sniff test and was even very noticeable on sniffing an individual teabag. I was suitably impressed as with many teabags I have tried this has simply not been the case. I placed my teabag into my teacup and added my freshly boiled water as instructed. What immediately struck me was the immediate ginger aroma coming from the tea. I infused the tea with the hot water as instructed for 3 minutes. On removing the teabag there was a distinct aroma of ginger with subtle undertones of lemon noted. This slightly intensified on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea I was initially hit with the ginger element proceeded by the faint subtle undertones of lemon. I found this tea to be comforting and soothing on my stomach and refreshing at the same time. I have personally not been suitably impressed with other Tesco’s teas that I have tried but this I have to admit surprised me.

So would I recommend this lemon & ginger tea, yes I would. I liked everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It hit the spot nicely and provided a soothing sensation to my stomach. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a lovely lemon and ginger tea.

Review of Lidl Deluxe Blackcurrant & Vanilla Tea

I have tried a few of Lidl’s teas and I have to say I’ve not been very impressed. When I saw that they had a deluxe range of tea I thought I best give them a try. I decided to try their deluxe blackcurrant & vanilla ones a try.
I fell for the simple packaging. I liked the light purple packaging with pictures of cascading blackcurrants and vanilla flowers. There is a clear window which allows you to see the pyramid bags inside. To the back of the packaging the same design theme continues. The tea is described as being 15 blackcurrant and vanilla infusion pyramid bags with natural flavouring. On the list of ingredients interestingly only 1% is blackcurrant and 1% is vanilla.
On opening the box the tea pyramids were sealed in cellophane. On opening this I was immediately greeted by a sweet aroma. If I’m honest I could only really smell blackcurrant, vanilla and maybe hibiscus. It was a pleasant aroma and a lot stronger than I thought it would be as I have personally found that other teas I have tried have lacked in the aroma department. On checking the pyramids I could see all the varying ingredients inside. Some however are very fine and had found themselves at the bottom of the cellophane packaging. I liked the good length of string attached to the pyramid allowing for easy steeping. Oh and they are also biodegradable which is a big positive.
On placing the pyramid in the cup of hot water I was impressed by how quickly the tea infused and went a light purple colour. I immediately got hit by the sweet aroma from the tea. This was the same aroma I got on opening the cellophane but a lot stronger. I was still unable to distinguish the other ingredients in the tea pyramid. On sipping the tea I could clearly taste a subtle hint of the blackcurrant with the sweetness from the vanilla there was certainly an undertone of other flavours but I could really say what these were. I found the aroma of this tea sweet and pleasant the flavour matched this. I found it a pleasant tea to drink but slightly sweet. It recommends adding honey or sugar to sweeten but I personally think this is not necessary.
So would I recommend these tea pyramids. They are certainly nicer than Lidl’s everyday teabags. They had a pleasant sweet aroma and infuse quickly with the hot water. I might not have been able to taste all of the elements within the tea pyramid, but the flavouring was pleasant. They make a nice budget friendly alternative to more expensive teas.