Thursday, 20 March 2014

Your M&S

I tweeted, mmm... I think about a year ago, that I was hoping to see some Gluten-Free choices in the Marks and Spencer cafe.  Well, a couple of weeks ago I went into my local M&S cafe and finally - a gluten free sandwich! I was only expecting a gluten-free cake or something at best, so to think I can have a sandwich is great.  

I then noticed these bottles of cold loveliness - Raspberry and Rooibos tea!  I thought to myself "well I don't really want to pay twice as much" but it turned out they were cheaper than the Coca Colas.  Healthy cold tea that's cheaper is a no-brainer decision to me.  I'm happy to report my raspberry rooibos tea was delicious and I thoroughly recommend it. Makes me wonder if they have them in their shop as well for home...

So i'm feeling quite good about the M&S cafe now and it's nice to see products that are different to the usual and also cater to dietary needs.  I really like that M&S listen to their customer's feedback and actually act on it. I guess that's why the ad says "...This is your M&S" ;-)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Palace Earl Grey

I've just tried my last Tea Palace tea from the trio and I can say that for each one i'm glad I have the rest of the caddy to look forward to.  There was enough for me to try this Earl Grey in different infusion strengths and I noticed the stronger the brew, the richer the bergamot taste.  All Earl Greys have bergamot but I prefer the quality loose leaf blends like this one, rather than the teabag ones, which i'd describe as 'bergamot with a hint of tea'! 

Tea Palace:
   "Our Earl Grey tea is a blend of only the finest China black tea and natural oil of bergamot, pressed from real         bergamot citrus fruits. Palace Earl Grey is a delicious, classically flavoured black tea with a sophisticated,             aromatic taste."

It's strange looking on the website as the tea in their picture looks a lot greener than it does in my picture! Anyway, I brewed this up in my teapot and surprisingly when I left the infuser in it didn't go bitter at all - lovely.   I found it to be a well-rounded, spring fresh blend almost like Oolong in flavour, surprisingly sweet, smooth and warming.  The natural bergamot was subtle, at least until a stronger infusion.  I enjoyed it in the garden now the sun's come out, with a couple (ish!) of Jaffa cakes.

You can order this Palace Earl Grey from £4.50 for a sample caddy or up to £14.00 for a 200g caddy.  I'd probably gamble on it if you like loose leaf Earl Grey, as i'm impressed with all the Tea Palace teas so far!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Tea Souvenirs!

Adventurous friends and family have been bringing me back some cool tea souvenirs from around the globe! I love it as I can try some lovely loose teas that I wouldn't normally get hold of! Check out this tea gift from Oman.  The beautiful box contains tubes of loose teas, including my favourite Jasmine Pearls.  I haven't seen anything like it before and can't wait to get started... 

"each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage"

These Puerh tea bricks came from a trip to China. They have a 'six famous tea mountains' label on them so I'll assume they come from Yunnan, a place I'd like to visit myself one day. Puerh teas are the only ones that get better with age so I had an idea to drink one brick and leave the other one to mature like a fine wine!  

The underside

It came with this bamboo stabbing tool and I think it's to break up the tea??  I got a bit aggressive with it but was surprised to see how normal the tea looked when it came loose!  So clever.

This tin below is from a different trip to China and contains these gold sachets containing lovely loose tea.  Since I can't read Chinese I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really love the taste of this tea and i'm afraid it won't last long! It's slightly floral and a little like Darjeeling and I think a first or second flush because it's quite grassy.  But unless I learn Chinese I may never know!  

Thanks so much everyone and keep the souvenirs coming!