I’m a Tea B*tch, Baby

IMG_20140805_111407“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.” ~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I’ve never really reviewed anything I was sent before, apart from a period of critiquing sex toys a decade ago for a friends’ website (writing experience is writing experience), but I was recently (and very kindly) sent a gorgeous box of tea time treats by The London Tea Company.

I love tea more than anything, you might have got that about me. I often take it for granted in the hustle bustle of a working day but brewing the perfect cup of tea is a ritual I cannot live without, and refuse to.

My tea drinking habits are somewhat tame as a rule. While my colleagues are steeping nettle and dandelion, cherry root or something solely for digestion, I’m more of a mug of builder’s kind of girl. I love a spicy Chai though and occasionally something berry based. Almost always black tea though.

So it is very nice to be coaxed outside of your comfort zone with promises of pear tatin, rhubarb, fresh peppermint and fruity rooibos. My pretty box of tricks is almost too lovely to disturb but these things are here to be enjoyed and enjoy I will. My work colleagues are also most grateful for the pleasure injection.

I’ve been pretty impressed I have to say, enjoying the process of really tasting each cup. As a former Barista for a huge coffee company (green aprons), I am familiar with the ‘tasting rules’ so I took this very seriously.

2014-09-06 10.52.13

I feel it may take me forever to taste them all, as I was lucky to receive a bounty, so I will go with a few of my favourites.

  • As mentioned, I’m a spicy Chai girl but I also have a sweet tooth, so Vanilla Chai is everything I need. Like a hug in a cup it’s my Monday morning comforter, with its blend of cinnamon, vanilla and a wee bit of chilli for a warming kick. I’ve tried a lot of chai in my time and this is a good one. Yummet.IMG_20140827_104848
  • I love a minty fresh tea and Pure Peppermint is great. There’s not much more to say about it other than it does the job, refreshes the palette and smells amazing (I’m not that inventive at the tea adjectives, clearly!)
  • Hello White Tea, Pear Tatin! Now I don’t know that much about white teas but my super healthy (but annoying) boss tells me it’s really good for us, so I’m game. I have to say that in the packet it has an almost sickly scent, but turns out it’s really good. There’s something dessert-y about it, and I was put in mind of a yoghurty taste. A pleasing concoction of ginger, pear and all sorts of other goodness, it’s a real joy and I’m ready to come over to the lighter side (for a bit).

IMG_20140902_140451I was then send a range of the Pyramid bags plus a few other exotic tasters and this is where I get really popular in the office! The Rooibos Chilli Chocolate was a firm favourite for us brave souls with Jasmine Green for the non-believers (both came with rave reviews).

All in all I am pretty taken with The London Tea Company. They’re the whole package as far as I’m concerned, offering interesting taste combinations and beautifully packaged product, while supporting Fairtrade, growers and their surrounding communities. Read for yourself here.

It’s also made me think a lot more about what I’m drinking. Sometimes, in the midst of a crazy day, it’s nice to take a little time out to appreciate the clever marriage of Raspberry and Rhubarb for instance. Builder’s Tea might be my poison, but it’s an open relationship, ifyouknowwhatimean.

Have a little look for yourself and appreciate the really lovely branding, the care and attention that has gone into the blog and the really rather reasonable price tag.


Oh, and look what else I have… a little giveaway! So you don’t just have to take my word for it, you can try these lovely teas for yourself (if you’re lucky enough to win)! Simply follow the rules below and let the God’s decide…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 * I have not been paid for this review, have never reviewed anything other than books and films before and have shared only my honest opinion.

Pick Your Potion (AKA What’s Your Poison?)

tumblr_naij1kDAE51rjzbk4o1_500Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status? Via The Daily Post (22nd August 2014)

My poison is traditionally served hot, and like my men must be strong and dark, or I will pour it away. I like it wet which is where similarities between my beverage of choice and my fantasy partners end.

I just realised, what kind of drink isn’t wet? A dry Martini, I guess. BOOM!

Annnywayyyy, I recently talked about being a lapsed non-drinker here and since then have been gaily wracking up bar bills all over town, attending dance parties (well, one), hosting drunken BBQs in the park (again, just the one) and generally nursing a strong drink most Thursday or Friday nights.

I like it.

But I am very strategic in my drinking and this I believe is why I am able to enjoy it, as I am smugly confident I can keep the hangover at bay. I drink Vodka & Diet Coke because it is slimline (UGH I KNOW!) but also because it is ‘clean’.

Not too much sugar (yes, I know those artificial horrors they do contain are probably worse in the long run but that’s a whole other issue) and Vodka just ain’t that fattening, Baby. I drink Vodka because I like the idea of it and if I had the stomach, I would probably smoke like a chimney and drink it neat like a sexual Russian Bond Girl/Spy in red lipstick. I am weak though and lipstick looks rubbish on me, so I have to have a mixer. I love it with ginger ale normally but when watching these curves, I stick to the DC.

I also always have two Ibuprofen and a glass of water by the bed when I roll in (at 10pm) and thus far have thwarted the hangover curse of the over 30s.

My real poison however, is good old-fashioned tea. I cannot envisage a single day without it and probably drink between five and ten cups every day. I’m with Picard on this one but stick to a straightforward Builder’s Brew because that’s just how I roll. Tea in the morning, tea at work, tea on return from work, weekend tea, tea in a cafe, tea in bed, tea everywhere and anywhere – just make it strong (two bags, also like my ‘men’).

I could give up booze tomorrow but I couldn’t do the same with tea. No way.

While I am here I will say there is no excuse for a rubbishly made cuppa. In the office we all take turns and most people have got this down. When it’s my turn I make an effort to get other people’s orders right. Some people don’t pay this forward and I get a milky cup with two tea bags floating on the surface.

Erm, no, that’s not the way to do it.

Mind you, this is usually always done by a non-English person and so I suppose I can understand. Your Antipodean countries don’t have proper tea, nor do Canada. Sorry guys!

My friend will send you back and make you start again if you f**k up hers and I know of a man that work’s with Mr Bee who once took a girl who’d just made his tea into the kitchen and made her watch while he poured it bitterly down the sink. “Try again” he said. (I would go ballistic if someone said this to me personally but I sort of admire the audacity).

So there it is. Never mess with a girl’s tea and if you are going to make it, make it exactly to order. If I tell you I want it the exact shade of a female bodybuilder’s tan (e.g. mahogany), I mean mahogany.