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

I’ve Made It Into The Top 100 Tea Blogs

When I found out that I had made the Feedspot Top 100 Tea Blogs I was completely taken by surprise. I was amazed that my humble little blog had made it in the top 100 let alone being number 49! I initially started blogging about being dairy free I then decide to add my love of cups of tea to my blog. I use my blog as a platform to share my thoughts and opinions on the tea that I try. It has opened a great new world of opportunities for me and I would be lost without it. Tea has now become by far the most popular aspect of my blog and I hope to expand on this in the near future. If there any teas that you would like me to try and review in the future please let me now. In the meantime I will be proudly displaying the medal on my blog.

Happy International Tea Day

I’m a lady who loves her cups of tea, so much so that I decided to add tea reviews to my blog. I now do a new tea review every Tuesday. 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.
Earl grey is one of my favourite teas. I personally find it works well milk free so it’s perfect for dairy free me. My most surprising find this year being Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Fair Trade earl grey tea. I loved everything about this tea. A great value every day tea which I regularly buy for work.
One of my favourite tea discoveries this year was Hope & Glory peppermint tea. The aroma and flavour of this mint tea is truly special. I loved the fact that it had a calming and soothing effect on the tummy whilst being refreshing at the same time.
A surprise discovery was Asda’s strawberry and forest fruit tea. A great value tea that has a great aroma and flavour which seemed to change as the tea infused. A real comfort tea for me.
My most disappointing tea discovery came from Twinings. Yes they may well be a well know brand but sadly they just don’t seem to deliver when it comes to the fruit teas. Their strawberry and raspberry tea simply lacked any real aroma or flavour. I ended up doubling the teabags to get a reasonable cup of tea. A real disappointment as it just didn’t match the quality of other Twinings teas.
I hope you like my tea reviews and I would welcome any recommendations for new teas to try. Right now I think it’s time for me to grab a cup of tea and take advantage of International Tea Day. What tea are you enjoying today? I would love to hear from you C.

Review of Marks & Spencer Classic Christmas Tea

Now I don’t know about you but I am getting a little excited that Christmas is nearly here. I’ve not tried any new Christmas teas this year so when I saw a packet in Marks & Spencer so I grabbed a box to try.
Onto the packaging well this grabbed my attention whilst dashing through the food hall. I loved the bright red box with a Christmas tree to the front. Onto the ingredients Kenyan and Rwandan teas are listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.
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 packet I got an aroma of an everyday black tea, nothing special. It certainly didn’t remind me of Christmas. The aroma did not 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 / dark brown colour. I let the tea infuse for 3 minutes as I have my tea medium weak and milk free. The aroma from the teacup was pretty non descript it smelt like an everyday black tea. On sipping the tea it tasted like its aroma and I was unable to distinguish between the two elements to this tea. It just tasted like an everyday black tea.
So would I recommend this Christmas tea? As an everyday cheap black tea yes. As a festive tea definitely not. It was just regular tea in a festive themed box. A bit of clever marketing that I sadly fell for. Sorry Marks & Spencer but this tea just wasn’t for me. It lacked any ingredients that you associate with a festive tea. I was a tad disappointed by this to say the least.

Review of Asda Strawberry & Forest Fruits 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 am really enjoying my quest to find new caffeine free teas to try. I have not tried as many fruit teas as I had hoped. So when someone work bought some Asda strawberry and forest fruit tea to share I just had to give it a try.
I loved the design of the packaging with this tea. It was what I would describe as a cream box with pictures of strawberries, raspberries and cranberries outside the red box with the tea’s description inside. The tea is described as sweet and fruity. To be honest this description didn’t win me over as I am more of a savoury person and I don’t like a sweet tea.
Onto the ingredients this surprised me a little if I am honest. I know that it is a less expensive tea but didn’t expect there to be so many ingredients in addition to the strawberry. That said there were no allergens highlighted or any may contain warnings listed. On opening the box the teabags were in a sealed foil packaging. This is always a positive trying to keep the tea fresh and seal the both flavour and aroma in. On opening the foil packaging I was immediately hit with a subtle apple aroma followed by what I think was hibiscus. This surprised me as I was expecting an aroma that I associate with summer fruits. I was unable to really smell the strawberry and blackberry element to this tea. On my close up sniff test this aroma didn’t intensify and remained the same.
I placed the teabag in my cup and added my freshly boiled hot water. The hot water soon changed to a deep purple colour. I left the tea to infuse with the hot water as instructed for between 3-5 minutes. I left mine to infuse for 5 minutes as I personally like this type of tea strong. What was interesting with this tea was its aroma. Initially I could predominantly smell the blackberry with a subtle undertone of strawberry. This was different to the apple and hibiscus that I initially smelt. On sipping the tea initially I could taste the blackcurrant element with a hint of strawberry. As the tea continued to infuse this later changed to becoming predominantly strawberry with a hint of blackcurrant and apple. No hibiscus though. I loved the way both aroma and flavour of this tea changed as I sipped from my teacup. It’s often not one that I experience.

So would I recommend this tea? Definitely it was nice to have a tea that’s aroma and flavour changed as I drank it. This made for a comforting everyday winter tea. I know this sounds a bit strange for a strawberry tea but the blackberry element made it a bit like a hug in a mug. I shall be buying this tea when I next visit an Asda. So thank you Asda for producing an enjoyable an everyday fruit tea that I can enjoy.

Review of The London Tea Company Winter Wondermint Tea

One of my favourite teas has to be peppermint. I drink it most days to reduce my caffeine intake. So when The London Tea Company contacted me and asked if I would like to try and review some of their teas I said yes. What I didn’t expect was to receive a sample packet of their Winter Wondermint tea in addition to their teabags. So I decided to give this a try first. Onto the ingredients list I checked their website and peppermint and peppermint flavourings are listed, no allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the foil packaging the tea pyramids emitted what I can only describe as a very strong but very nice peppermint aroma. It was a lot stronger than other peppermint teas that I have tried. This didn’t intensify on my close up sniff test and didn’t seem to really weaken on smelling an individual tea pyramid. I placed my tea pyramid into my teacup and added the freshly boiled jot water. The water soon changed to the light brown / greenish colour. What was very noticeable was the kitchen soon filled with the peppermint aroma from the tea. Now I have tried a lot of mint teas and I have experienced this once before. On my closer sniff test it smelt a bit like a version of Vics menthol rub. I mean this in a very nice way but it is the only way to describe it. The menthol was very strong indeed. Oh and it certainly helped to clear my nasal passages which I viewed as an additional benefit.
On sipping the tea, it was definitely one of the strongest peppermint teas that I have tried. The menthol flavour was nearly as strong as the aroma. It was very pleasant and when comparing its taste to other peppermint teas that I have tried it was certainly one of the strongest and nicest that I have tried. Due to the strength of the tea I was able to re-steep the tea and experience another cup of tea. What was unique with drinking this tea was the warmth as I sipped on it. It is hard to describe this in a positive way that it was. It felt like it was warming my throat due to its strength and this warmth continued all the way to my stomach. It was a warm comforting and soothing feeling.
So would I recommend this peppermint tea? Gosh definitely. It is one of the nicest quality peppermint teas that I have tried. It is certainly very strong on both its aroma and flavour. I personally prefer this. If you prefer a weaker peppermint tea just infuse the tea pyramid for a minute and re steep and you can enjoy a couple of cups of tea. I will be buying some of this tea to enjoy over Christmas after those large meals. So thank you London Tea Company for producing a nice peppermint 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 Bigelow earl grey tea

As a girl who it is fair to say is addicted to tea my little adventure across America was a bit of shock to me. I had been warned that it may be difficult to grab a cup of tea but gosh this so true. I have never really had a problem before but perhaps that is because of where I had previously visited. I missed my tea but especially my earl grey. I always asked if tea was available did they have any earl grey, often the answer was no. When it was yes the tea of choice seemed to be Bigelow. So of course I just had to do a review on my blog.
Onto the ingredients list tea leaves and natural oil of bergamot is listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the package there was an aroma of a strong black everyday tea with a hint of bergamot intermingled with this. I was unable to work out what tea this was. I thought that it would be a strong black tea as the recommended brewing time was two minutes. I let the tea infuse with the hot water for this time. What I noticed was the tea immediately infused with the hot water and turned to a medium dark brown colour. Despite this I let the tea infuse as instructed. This indeed resulted in a stronger looking tea. But what about the aroma? It simply seemed to be sadly lacking. On my close up sniff test it did indeed smell of a black tea, but I struggled to find that bergamot aroma. On sipping the tea it tasted like a reasonable quality black tea, but I just couldn’t taste that bergamot. I was a little disappointed to say the least. On a positive at least I was able to have a cup of tea and trust me that’s was a big thing for a tea addict from the UK. Also its strength meant that I was able to re steep the tea and have two cups of weaker tea as it was too strong for me at the recommended brewing time. As I was always given two teabags I saved some to take home and remind me of my fantastic holiday. So I gave the tea another try at home to ascertain if it tasted any different with freshly boiled water and in a nice tea cup. Sadly, both it’s the aroma and flavour were just the same as I remembered.
So would I recommend this earl grey tea? I’m afraid not. The tea was a little too strong for me and only had a very feint hint of bergamot noted. Sorry Bigelow but this tea just wasn’t for me.