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.

My Petit Canard
Hot Pink Wellingtons

Review of Basilur Masala Chai 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. Yet for some unknown reason I tend to drink very little chai tea. It always seems to lose out to my old faith earl grey. This is strange as it can be a great tea to be enjoyed milk free and is therefore perfect for dairy free me. So when Basilur contacted me and asked if I would like to try and review one of their teas I of course said yes. What I received was their masala chai blend. This was perfect timing as I had just finished my Christmas tea.
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Onto the packaging I liked its gold theme with its intricate swirl designs. It is described as being an aromatic blend with rich natural spices such as cardamom, cinnamon nutmeg and ginger with pure Ceylon tea. It states that the tea will take you through a celebrated journey of an old world charm. Onto the ingredients pure Ceylon black leaf, natural cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.
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On opening the box I was greeted by a sealed gold foil package with the same intricate swirl designs as the outside packaging. This had a zip lock to the top allowing you to re-seal the packet and keep the tea inside fresh. This immediately got a thumbs up as I often re-seal tea packets with food clips which is not ideal. On opening the packet I immediately got a delightful aroma of cinnamon and cardamom with a hint of black tea noted. This was significantly stronger than other chai teas that I have previously tried. I was unable to smell the clove, ginger, nutmeg and the pepper elements to this tea. This did change slightly on my close up sniff test. I was also able to distinguish a hint of nutmeg but not the clove and black pepper.
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I placed the tea leaves into my infuser and added freshly boiled water. The tea leaves 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. The aroma from the tea changed once it had infused with the hot water. The aroma from the Ceylon became more predominant with the cinnamon and cardamom strengthening with faint undertones of clove and nutmeg noted. I was still unable to distinguish the ginger and black pepper elements to this tea. On sipping the tea I was worried that the Ceylon would impact on the other elements to this tea. This was not the case. The Ceylon was subtle and slightly understated. This was perfect as it meant the other elements to this tea could hit my taste buds. As with its aroma the cinnamon and cardamom were the strongest flavours to this tea but again didn’t impact on the other flavours. The nutmeg and pepper complimented these nicely. After several sips I managed to discover the clove and ginger which resulted in a well-rounded tea. Its strength was perfect for someone who likes their tea medium weak and works well milk free. It didn’t take me through a celebrated journey of an old world charm. However, its aroma and flavours reminded me of Christmas and it resulted nice comforting tea to be enjoyed in the winter months.
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So would I recommend this chai tea? Yes I would. I may not have been able to smell all of the elements that made up this tea blend despite this its aroma was still delightful. It was a light refreshing tea with comforting winter flavours. It was one of the nicer chai teas that I have tried. So thank you Basilur for producing a tea that I can enjoy.
Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this tea to try. All the opinions in this post are honest and my own.

Review of Whittard Ceylon Orange Pekoe Black Leaf Tea

I am always on the look out for new varieties of tea to try. Whilst shopping in TK Maxx recently I spotted that they had a small selection of teas so I picked up a couple of packets to give them a try. One of these was Whittard’s Ceylon Orange Pekoe black leaf tea. I was drawn to its description of it being loved for its citrusy taste and that it was best without milk.
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I really liked the design of the light blue packaging and the cute teapot that meant that you could see the tea leaves inside. I wasn’t concerned about the medium strength rating after reading the teas description. This coupled by the fact that the sales assistant said it was a lovely tea and one of her favourites meant that I couldn’t wait to give this tea a try.
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Inside the box I was found a sealed plastic packet which contained the tea leaves. I found this a little difficult to open and found the tea leaves escaping despite trying hard not to let this happen. On opening the foil I was greeted by a medium strength aroma of what I would describe as an everyday black tea. This was a lot stronger than I expected and the citrusy element was simply lacking. I was worried that this tea may be a bit strong and bland for my tea palate.
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I placed the tea leaves into the infuser and added the freshly boiled water. I added one teaspoon of tea leaves due to its medium strength as I like to enjoy all of my teas medium to weak and milk free. The tea leaves immediately infused with the water to produce a medium brown colour. I had hoped to smell a pleasant aroma of black tea with a hint of citrus coming from the teapot but it was simply lacking. After letting the tea to infuse for the recommended time (I tried both two and three minutes). I poured the tea into my teacup. Interestingly the aroma of the tea didn’t seem to intensify once in the teacup and remained pretty much the same as it did in the teapot. I did the close up sniff test and was unable to find that citrusy element. It smelt like an everyday black tea. As for the taste on sipping the tea it tasted like a run of the mill black tea. I was not able to taste the citrusy element to this tea. I left it a week before I tried it again just to check that my sense and smell and taste were not impaired on the day of testing, but its aroma and taste remained the same.
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So would I recommend this Ceylon tea. If I am honest probably not. I had hoped for a light refreshing crisp tea that had a hint of citrus. It’s flavour and aroma didn’t quiet match up to its description of being loved for its citrusy taste. I think it might therefore be suited to those who have milk in their tea and enjoy a traditional quality everyday style tea. Sorry Whittard but this Ceylon tea just wasn’t really to my liking.

Euro 2016 England Game Barbecue

We always meet up with our friends and have fantastic barbecues for the England games during the European and World cup games. During the last world cup my other half decided it should be our turn to host the for the first England game. It was a great success so he decided to repeat the experience for this years Euros. This I have to confess was a great relief for me as despite being the hostess I didn’t have to worry about having to bringing my own food that is safe to eat. This may sound a tad ungrateful as my friends always try to cater for my dietary requirements. They are often surprised as to which foods contain both dairy and lactose. Foods like burgers, flavoured chicken and bread rolls are often not an option. My other half decided to take full control of our barbecue right from the food and drink through to the days entertainment. So I took a back seat and offered help as required. For the main meal it was a nice joint of beef from the local butchers. This was combined with new potatoes in olive oil and a tomato, cucumber and oregano salad. Simple, delicious and perfect for me to enjoy with our friends.
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Next was the dessert, trifle, cheesecake, and a lemon tart. Then was the after dinner cheeses with crackers, proper butter and onion chutney. Despite all of this food there was room for the obligatory after dinner chocolate mints. Sadly my other half forgot the dessert and cheese option for me. This was ok I made sure I had a large meal instead and had a crafty Walls Swedish Glace dairy free strawberry ice cream lolly.
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We had pizza for the mid game snack, a mix and match variety from Waitrose. This was accompanied with a variety of crisps, tortilla chips, nuts and sweets. This suited both the children and grown ups a like. But what about me ? My other half didn’t want me to feel left out, so he ordered me some chicken bites to have with salad. I have to confess to still being full by this point, so settled for a nice cup of earl grey tea and some Fox’s party rings. The game didn’t go in our favour, but hey it was great to spend it with friends.
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The following morning was all about bacon rolls, fruit juice and of course a nice cup of tea. This proved to be a big hit. I couldn’t have the rolls as they had a may contain milk warning but I had a naughty loaf of co-op white thick sliced bread to hand, so I didn’t miss out. We all enjoyed the food at our barbecue. It was easy to do one that suited my dietary requirements that everyone could enjoy. Sometimes simple options can be the best choice. Who knows if England do well, we may have may be doing another barbecue soon.

Review of Jadu Mademoiselle 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. Earl grey tea has to be one of my favourite teas as it can be enjoyed milk free, perfect for dairy free me. I have tried several brands of earl grey tea of varying qualities. So when I was lucky to receive samples of Jadu Mademoiselle Grey tea from the Top Draw Show I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
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I liked the design of the box. It was a simple black box with a simple label to the middle and a bow keeping the box sealed. The actual tea boxes on the Jadu website are a blue suede style box and look like that they are aimed at the luxurious tea market. Inside my sample box I had two samples of this tea. They were in clear sealed packaging but allowed you to see the teabag and its contents inside.
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There was also a card inside the sample box which described the teas and detailed their ingredients. What was interesting was the short expiry date that the tea had to be used by, evidence that only fresh ingredients are used in these teabags. I checked the ingredients to the teabags and it was interesting, I liked the teas description it was their take on the classic earl grey. It contains black Sri Lankan tea, lemon peel, orange peel, lemongrass, red cornflowers, and flavour. Note that tea is blended and packed in the UK and made in a factory that handles nuts.
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On opening the sealed packaging I got an immediate aroma of what I would describe as a strong quality black tea. I struggled to smell the citrus elements. On my close up sniff test I could smell a very faint undertone of citrus but the strength of the black tea overtook this. What I did like about these tea pyramids was the obvious quality of the ingredients inside they were clearly distinguishable and highly inviting. I just wanted to make my cup of tea.
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I placed the tea pyramid in my cup and added the boiling water and let the tea infuse for three minutes as instructed. The hot water soon changed to the medium dark brown colour a little stronger than I personally I like for my tea. There was a fairly strong aroma of the black tea noted. I struggled to smell the citrus element, and to be fair I am not sure what cornflower should smell of. I did my close up sniff test and again the black tea was taking over I thought I could smell a flowery undertone and maybe a hint of citrus at a struggle, but which fruit this originated from I am not sure. As for the lemongrass I am sorry I just couldn’t smell this. On sipping the tea again the black tea seemed to overpower the other elements to this tea. There was a subtle undertone of citrus noted with a little floral intermingled in. I personally found the black tea to be dominant in the flavour of this tea blend. It is a quality black tea but it was too strong for my personal taste. I had high hopes for this tea but the citrus elements just didn’t seem to come through. On a positive I was able to re-steep the tea and had another cup. I think this tea may be better enjoyed with milk due to its strength as I have my tea milk free I was not able to try it this way.
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So would I recommend this tea I am really sorry Jadu but if you like to enjoy a medium weak earl grey tea milk free like me it’s a no. The black tea element was just a tad overpowering for me and I felt that this impacted on the other flavours in the tea. Sorry Jadu, but this tea just wasn’t for me. That said I am looking forward to trying Jadu’s China Green tea as I think it will be more suited to my tea palate.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this tea. All of the opinions in this post are honest and not influenced by this.

National Iced Tea Day

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Now I have to confess that for a long time I had always thought that tea should only be enjoyed as a hot beverage. I had tried the occasional iced tea whilst on holiday in America. Sadly, it was not an enjoyable experience cold black tea with lots of ice and added sugar.

Since blogging about my love of tea I have been lucky enough to try a variety of fruit, herbal and green teas. By default I have drunk some of these cold and found them to be pleasant and refreshing. So I thought that I should experiment and try more of my teas chilled. My favourite teas so far that I have enjoyed chilled are Clipper raspberry leaf, Twining’s camomile, co-op double mint, Pukka elderberry & echinacea, and Sainsbury’s blackcurrant.

I have even set up a Pinterest board dedicated to this so that I can be more adventurous. If you have any iced tea ideas that I can try please let me know. I hope that you enjoy National Iced Tea Day.

Review of Clipper Organic Raspberry Leaf Infusion Tea

My mission to reduce my caffeine intake is proving successful. I seem to be on a roll at the moment trying various fruit and herbal teas. I am particularly keen to try fruit teas especially now that the summer is fast approaching. One of my favourite fruits has to be raspberries so when I saw a box of Clipper raspberry leaf infusion tea it had my name on it.
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I liked the three tone colour of the packaging. The warm inviting tea cup to the front with the raspberries just made me want to grab my kettle. The tea is made from organic ingredients and contains raspberry leaf, hibiscus, nettle, rose hip, natural raspberry flavouring with other natural ingredients. There is a note under the ingredients list about seeking medical advice before drinking the tea if pregnant, and that it should be avoided in the early stages of pregnancy. On opening the box I was greeted by a sealed foil package inside this were the teabags. I was immediately hit by the aroma of what I would describe as a strong fruit tea. It was slightly sweet but I wouldn’t describe it as being raspberry.
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I placed my teabag in my teacup and added the hot water. It didn’t take long for the tea to infuse with the hot water. The tea produced a deep pink / purple colour. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed. There was a delightful aroma coming from my teacup. I didn’t need to do my close up sniff test to smell this. I would describe this as a fruity summer fruits smell, but not that of raspberries.
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On sipping the tea I was again hit by the aroma coming from this tea. I would describe the flavour as being like a warm summer fruits squash but with a predominant flavour of blackcurrant. I thought this was a tad strange. As we like to share our tea at work I asked my work colleague to describe the flavour and they thought it tasted of blackcurrant. The tea was certainly warm and comforting as I sipped it. If I’m honest I felt a tad disappointed that the tea didn’t taste as raspberries as I expected. That said I really enjoyed this fruit tea from its aroma through to it’s comforting soothing effect.

So would I recommend this raspberry leaf infusion tea, yes I would. It is a nice comforting soothing tea which has a delightful aroma and a nice fruity taste. So thank you Clipper for producing a nice fruit tea that I will indeed be buying again.