Friday, 5 February 2010

Fair Trade, Houjicha and a book PREview

Hello again tea- drinkers!

In my last post I mentioned a tea I had been sampling called 'Percol'. On doing some research I have come across a website which describes a whole range of Percol produce which just so happens to be Fairtrade. Excellent! I could feel the goodness as I drunk the Fairtrade African Tea. It was light and sweet and was refreshing drunk without milk and with a little lemon juice added.

About a week ago, I visited the Japan Centre to stock up on sushi supplies and noodles. The last time I went there, I bought some Jasmine Tea which I wanted to review here but has mysteriously disappeared from my cupboard! Hmph. So this time I bought some Houjicha Tea which is described as being 'Roasted Green Tea'. This tea is light and toffee coloured when brewed. I like to sweeten my tea just enough to be able to taste a hint of sugar and this tea definitely has a nutty taste and aroma about it. However, unlike smoked tea such as Lapsang Souchong there is no aftertaste or bitterness involved. I've been drinking it morning and night (when I don't fancy a milky cup of tea!) and it's such a mild pleasant tea...I'll be buying this again.

Finally the penultimate Alexander McCall Smith book, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built is now in paperback and I cannot wait to read what Mma Ramotswe is getting up to! I may even splash out on some African Redbush Tea for the occasion.

Till next entry,



P.s. I bought a new tea-strainer for £1! and so this means I'll be able to sample loose teas! Can't wait!

Friday, 22 January 2010

New Tea News for 2010!

Happy 2010 tea drinkers! I haven't posted here for months but I've missed blogging about my favourite beverages! I still have a few 'two leaves and a bud' samples that I haven't drunk so I will be reviewing these soon as well as anything new I drink!

At the moment, I have been sampling teabags given to me by a friend. They are called 'Percol' but this is all I know about them. I haven't tried adding milk to the brew yet but I have found that they taste absolutely amazing with a little lemon juice added to them! So refreshing...I will be doing more research on them though because for all I know, I could be drinking an infusion of dried grass!

Till next entry,

Stay faithful to the bud



Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea

As the name suggests, it's full of lovely tea related goodies! Seriously. Recipies, etiquette, interesting and witty quotations...Can't wait to review this properly for you!

This was just a quick post to let blog-watchers know that I haven't gone away forever; I've just taken a brief unplanned break from blogging BUT I promise I am here and have lots of hot drink tidbits to share with you...

Till next entry,



Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Organic White Peony

This tea was unusual at first glance. I was very excited to try it as I have not tried much white tea apart from Whittard's Cherry Blossom Tea. It was brewed for 4 minutes as per the brewing guidelines on the sachet and gave off a smooth floral aroma. After I tasted it I thought that the smooth aroma must have come from some form of honey/caramel element. The colour also was light yellowy brown, almost caramel like.

I must add that it was quite an unusual tasting tea but not in a negative sense. I don't often have honey in any of my hot drinks apart from the rare intake of honey&lemon tea when I have a sore throat, so the smooth honey note was a bit of a surprise. The light floral taste combined with the honey makes for an interesting and delicious combination. This would be a nice tea to have either first thing in the morning or during a break in a long stressful day at work...methinks! It felt like it would relax
Overall rating: 4/5

I know that there probably isn't ACTUAL honey in the tea but it was the closest flavour I could use to compare what I was tasting...

Alpine Berry Herbal Tea

I tried this tea from Two Leaves and a Bud a while ago but because I've been swotting up for my Professional Conduct exam (next Tuesday) I hadn't quite got around to it until now. This tea from the outset was amazing! Firstly, it reminded me a little, in aroma, of blackcurrant/blackberry and I thought it smelt a little Ribena-esque but with a hint of citrus. It had a deep purple colour which quickly developed, (so quickly that I was worried that I had steeped it for too long). I followed the guidance on the sachet of 3 minutes and found that it really did not need any longer to release the flavour. I did try however, to use it again as I thought that it looked as though it could have taken a second brewing. Oops! It really did not react as I had anticipated as it turned a light blue/indigo colour...very entertaining!

Overall this tea had a very pleasant sweet berry/citrus flavour and smelt heavenly.

Rating: 4/5 (because I might be slightly biased towards berry flavours stemming from a childhood of Hot Ribenas!)
p.s. you can see the blue colour the tea turned on second brewing on the paper 'dipper' at the end of the string!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Coffee keeps Britain working

According to PR Fire, new research conducted by Lyons Coffee, highlights several interesting office habits of British office workers including the fact that 12.8 million office workers make a coffee to gather their thoughts during the day before returning to work. It was found that following this 'coffee break', 19% take a toilet break and 14 % take a cigarette break. Brits are also allegedly claiming back lost hours from occasions where they take less than half an hour to have their lunch; A reported 7.3 million lost hours...

With the change in financial health of the country, more and more employees are reluctant to take breaks lest they be viewed as not being as hardworking as their other colleagues and thus lose their jobs. 45% of 45-54 year olds surveyed were found to be more likely not to leave the office for lunch. Psychologist Donna Dawson said,

"The present credit crunch has made people cut back on extras such as take-away coffees, and it has also made the office a much more competitive place with money tight and people afraid to lose their jobs, workers want to be seen to be prudent and company-loyal, by cutting their lunch-hour and breaks to a minimum. Older people, who are closer to redundancy and also wiser in the ways of office politics will be keener to do this. However, research shows that if a 15-minute break is not taken every two hours, then concentration and productivity actually go down."

So the humble coffee can take some of the credit for keeping office workers fresh and focussed during a long, hard day at work and aiding in productivity...

Very interesting statistics can be found at the site. I particularly like the one where it was found that men were found to be more likely to take FULL lunch breaks than women, with a 5% difference in the figures. Make of that what you will gents!

Is gulping hot tea linked to cancer?

I know that this is probably old news, seeing as it was reported in March 2009 but according to Iranian Scientists, drinking large quantities of hot tea could be linked to an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. Notably, this is concerning tea which is drunk at 70c or higher and the risk is lessened when milk is added to tea, thus cooling the overall temperature. The article said,

"Drinking a cup of tea in under two minutes straight after it was poured was associated with a five-fold higher risk of cancer compared with drinking tea four or more minutes after being poured..."

Furthermore, a doctor commenting on this issue suggested that tea drinkers simply wait until their tea goes from 'scalding' to 'tolerable' before drinking it. In addition, it was said that in Iranian cultures, there is more of a tradition of drinking tea at such a high temperature and that in the UK, as 'we' tend to add milk to our tea, this cools the tea enough for it not to be risky.

Who knew?