Review of Marks & Spencer Festive Classic Tea

I know that it’s a tad early for a Christmas review but I decided to start very early this year. Whilst on a day out shopping at Bluewater my mum and we decided to pop into Marks & Spencer food hall to pick up a few treats. I’ve not tried any Christmas teas so far this year so when I saw a packet of festive classic tea in Marks & Spencer I grabbed a box to try.

Onto the packaging I liked the deep colour of the box red. I found the picture with a single Christmas tree branch above a cup with a teabag hovering above a tad dull. 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 instructed despite normally having 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. I was a tad disappointed by this to say the least.

So would I recommend this Christmas tea? As a festive tea definitely not. It lacked any ingredients that you associate with a festive tea. It was just like regular tea in a festive themed box. A bit of clever marketing which I sadly fell for. Sorry Marks & Spencer but this tea just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Tea Tourist Hats & Scarves Selection 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 I’m a bit of a tea addict. 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 Tea Tourist October’s selection of teas I couldn’t wait to dive in. 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 range of companies from around the UK.

Onto the contents within the box. You get six resealable 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.

Mazawattee Earl Grey Tea by Mazawattee


I choose this tea first as it is one of my favourite teas. It is described as delicate blend of Faitrade black teas infused with orange and lemon peel. The tea produces a zesty and aromatic brew that’s naturally high in antioxidants, making it great for boosting your mood and supporting healthy digestion.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a strong and very inviting citrus aroma, it reminded me of a quality bergamot. I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aroma was as I had anticipated that being of a strong quality black tea with fairly strong undertones of citrus noted. This intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it was fairly strong and well balanced and the subtle undertones the lemon and orange peel broke this up slightly resulting in a nice refreshing tea. I love a nice cup of earl grey and this certainly ticked all of the right boxes. It had the perfect balance of both aroma and flavour that I associate with a nice earl grey. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Mint Choc Royale By JollyBrew Tea Co


It is described as a peppermint blend infused with chocolatey flavours that delivers a truly mouth watering brew which tastes just like everyone’s favourite after dinner mint. It’s the ultimate guilt-free sweet treat, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is a warning that nuts are handled on-site.

On opening the packet a I was greeted with a fairly strong peppermint aroma with a fruity yet chocolatey twist. I added boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aromas of the peppermint and fruity chocolate intensified resulting in the aroma from the black tea getting a little lost as a result. On sipping the tea I initially got hit with the taste of a good quality everyday black tea but this didn’t last long. The peppermint and fruity chocolatey flavours soon kicked in. It was like my taste buds were getting hit from all angles. If I am honest I found it a little overpowering although I think some one with a sweet tooth may think differently. Sorry Jolly Brew this tea just wasn’t for me.

Spiced Orange Pekoe Tea by Spice Kitchen


It is described as a black tea blend inspired by Eastern European and Russian cuisine that balance the zesty flavour of orange peel with the spice Ines of cinnamon and cloves to deliver a heart-warming brew that’s perfect on a cold winters day.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or a may contain warning. On opening the packet I was greeted by a very pleasant aroma of citrus and cloves with a subtle hint of cinnamon noted.

I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The first thing that I noticed was the colour of the tea it was slightly weaker and a lighter shade of brown than what I had expected. Don’t get me wrong it looked like the perfect colour to me. Then came the aroma the orange, cloves and cinnamon took centre stage and was very inviting. It reminded very much of a nice chai tea. On sipping the tea my experience was the same the strength of orange, cloves and cinnamon intensified with the flavour from the black tea taking second place. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It was a comforting yet refreshing tea that would be perfect in the colder months. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Vika Tea by The Tea Expereince


To is described as A Scandivian-inspired black tea blend infused with sweet flavours of vanilla and floral notes of marigold blossom. Originally developed for Harrogate’s Nordic-themed cafe, Baltzersen’s it’s perfect to enjoy on a starry winter nights.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or a may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a very pleasant aroma of vanilla, with a faint flora noted. I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aroma of the vanilla intensified slightly. It was clearly the predominant flavour to this tea yet it was not too strong or overpowering or artificially sweet. This intermingled with a subtle floral element from the marigold blossom. On sipping the tea it was a very mild black tea that had a subtle sweetness from the vanilla with a slight floral kick. The three elements to this tea complimented each other perfectly with the right balance to each ingredient. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It is one of nicest vanilla teas that I have tried. I would definitely recommend this tea and purchase it in the future.

Turmeric Revival by MD Tea


It is described as a soothing herbal blend with sweet spice and soft citrus flavours that come together to creat a heart-warming brew with a smooth, creamy texture and fragrant aroma of autumnal nights around the fire.

Onto the ingredients list liquorice is listed and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was immediately struck by the ginger and liquorice aroma. I was pleasant but I was a little disappointed by this I was hoping to be greeted by the turmeric and a hint of cinnamon. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. On doing so the aroma of the ginger and liquorice intensified and seemed to overpower the other aromas from this tea. On sipping the tea my tastebuds got hit by an even balance from the ginger and liquorice followed by a subtle floral aftertaste. I was disappointed that I was unable to distinguish the turmeric or cinnamon element to this tea. I am afraid that I really didn’t enjoy this tea I found that the aroma and flavour from the ginger and liquorice just overpowered the other ingredients in this tea. I’m sorry MDTea but this tea just wasn’t for me.

Time For Winter by Caley’s Apothecary


It is described as an organic herbal blend that balances the sweetness of liquorice, spicy zing of ginger and earthy floral notes of thyme and elderflower to deliver a soothing brew that will keep you cosy warm on cold winter evenings.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is a warning that asteraceae.

On opening the packet the I immediately got hit by the delightful aroma from the sage. It was a little stronger than I had anticipated and slightly overpowered the aroma from the other ingredients from this tea. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. The sage aroma intensified and was intermingled with the liquorice. I was a little disappointed as I was unable to distinguish the elderflower of ginger root elements to this tea even on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it tasted just like its aroma. The sage and liquorice were quiet strong and seemed to drown out the elderflower and ginger root. I am afraid that I really didn’t enjoy this tea. Whilst I loved the initial aroma from the thyme the combination of this with liquorice impacted on the other elements to this tea. A mixture of thyme and liquorice just isn’t for me.

So would I recommend this subscription box? Yes I would. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try a diverse range of teas that 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. I can’t wait to try the next box.

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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 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 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 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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Review of Bigelow Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea

One of the teas or herbal infusions that I like enjoy on a regular basis is chamomile. It is often a tea that I tend to drink later on in the day. 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 Sweet Dreams herbal tea as option 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 grey colour with a dark blue strip scheme to the top with sweet dreams to the centre. I checked the back of the packet where the ingredients were chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint leaves, rose blossoms, spearmint leaves, spice, and orange blossoms. 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 mint aroma coming from the teabag with faint undertones of grassiness that I associate with chamomile. On undertaking my famous close up sniff test these aromas intensified with a hint of hibiscus noted. 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 red/brown colour. On infusing the tea the aroma changed the predominant aroma was hibiscus with a nice mint aroma intermingled with subtle grassy aroma and a faint hint of spice. I was not really able to distinguish the citrus element to this tea. The aroma intensified slightly on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it had a light mellow taste from the hibiscus subtle grassy undertones from the mint and chamomile noted. The spice and orange added a very slight chai element to this tea. Despite all of the elements to this tea it was light, refreshing and provided a slightly comforting and soothing sensation in my stomach. 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 sweet dreams tea? Yes I would it is nice to have a chamomile tea with a 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 at. So thank you Bigelow for producing a nice herbal tea.

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