Monday, 18 August 2014

Do you have a Kindle?

I just wanted to write a post about reading, and my Kindle in particular!  If you've visited my Pinterest page before, you'll know that Tea Street blog has a board dedicated to books and reading (please feel free to send recommendations!).  In my opinion, nothing goes better with a cup of tea than a book, apart from maybe cake!  I've been really escaping into some books recently, and have been so grateful for my kindle, so I thought I should say a few words on it.  

I love books, I love the smell of them too,  and I don't mind judging them by their cover.  With this in mind it took me a while to commit to the idea of moving to reading electronically.  It seems that most things we use now require a power supply and it seems like a shame to add books to the mix.  I was worried an electronic device would lose the romance of (grabbing the air) 'the book' by not having a proper wedge of pages in my hand.  I started to visualise a world without bookshops or libraries and it seemed very sad! 

On the other hand, I realised that I had more books than shelf space at home and considering I like to read, I thought it may be more environmentally-friendly to buy one electronic device over many books that require paper, wood and trees. 

I decided to come to a compromise and now use my Kindle for most of my reading but will buy books every so often if they have photos in them or are my favourites that I want to display.  Deep down I want my own library but one has to be realistic!  I also have an iPad, which has the kindle app on it.  This means I can import my books onto that device as well and if there's two of us, we can both read downloaded books.  However, the Kindle is better for reading because it's dedicated to that purpose and if I put on an iPad, i'm more likely to find myself looking at emails!  Also, the reflective surface of the iPad outside in the sunlight can really get in the way of reading clearly.

I'm really glad I bought it and I like the idea that I can click a button and have a book instantly, especially if i'm going away somewhere last-minute and don't have much time.  I also found the kindle store to be very good value for money, which I can access with the Kindle itself.  But most of all I like the privacy and that I can read a book without anyone judging me for my embarrassing choices!

The kindle I have is a couple of years old and it doesn't have the inbuilt light.  I find this a problem at night if I want to read in bed when others are asleep and therefore think the newer generation with the backlight would tick all the boxes.  I've put a link to it below incase you're interested in buying a Kindle and it's also on my shopping widget on the right menu... Enjoy! 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Yummy Herbal Teas from London

Who:  The London Tea Company.  I first came across this brand when I was taking (yes taking) Afternoon Tea at the Donnington Valley Hotel in Berkshire.  I've been in touch with the London Tea Company since and they have offered Tea Street an abundance of teas to try, possibly to promote their new-look packaging with a choice of fun tea bag envelopes or biodegradable pyramids. They have also moved completely over to Fairtrade and are members of the Vegetarian Society - not bad!

I've decided to split my reviews up and therefore this post is about the Herbal Tea products they offer. Within the selection is a glorious mix of; 'Lemongrass Ginger and Citrus Fruit', 'Moroccan Mint', 'Rooibos', 'Peach and Rhubarb' (I hope this isn't horrible!), 'Pure Peppermint', 'Zingy Lemon and Ginger', 'Raspberry Inferno' and 'Camomile'.  

(Biodegradable Pyramids)

Lemongrass Ginger and Citrus Fruit:  This is a refreshing blend of flavours with a citrus taste that gives it a hint of 'Starburst' sweets!  I found it to taste a little like straw, possibly because of the lemongrass and it's more serious than some of the fruity teas to follow.

Moroccan Mint:  I was told at my tea tasting event that the Moroccan Mint tea is traditionally taken with a tonne of sugar so I tried it with and without and liked it better with!  They're on to something there, but not sure what my dentist would say.

Rooibos:  Kindly reviewed by blog-friend The Digital Photo Wizard for Tea Street blog "This is what I am having this morning. This time with a small amount of milk added so it's a mid-brown colour in the cup. Very nice taste and very pleasant aroma. Quite strong and distinctive flavour. I like it and rate it 8/10."

Reviews continued:
(Envelope Teabags)  These envelopes are quite snazz and are quite convenient if you like your tea to be mobile, since you could put a couple in your bag to take to work, or on holiday etc... 

Peach and Rhubarb sounded several shades of wrong to me so I was reluctant to try it!  However, I have a serious sweet tooth and was more than pleasantly surprised to like this tea.  It's deliciously sweet and indulgent and reminded me of those boiled sweets with rhubarb in them and I think it mixed well with peach. I'll definitely drink more of this, it's a fun flavour.  

I tested it on some family as well but they didn't seem quite as sure, so it goes to show how different everyone's tastebuds are! "Nice easy drinking tea, very fruity, but honestly could have been any red fruits!! Smelled a little of Rhubarb, but didn't really detect any peach, probably the rhubarb overpowered it.  Don't think I would buy this more than any supermarket brand."

Camomile is unfortunately not on the group photo because we drank all the tea by accident!!  Sorry!  I had caught a virus, which had made me incredibly nauseous and this tea with a bit of sugar was just heaven! I didn't really love camomile before so i'm converted not only for the taste but for its relaxation and stomach settling properties.

Pure Peppermint tea surprised me as I didn't think one peppermint tea could really stand out from any other.  However, I found this to be smooth and creamy and more refreshing than some other brands and with a lasting mint aftertaste.  Another person I tested it on said it had a strong flavour "even though I didn't leave leave the Teabag in the water for very long" but found "it tasted just like my supermarket brand of peppermint tea!"

Raspberry Inferno tea is actually a blend, with hibiscus giving it its bright red infusion.  This one is quite nice and refreshing but a bit more bland to my tastebuds than the other flavours.

Zingy Lemon and Ginger is a lovely tea, especially if you like ginger and it can be used to settle the stomach as well as for its anti-inflammatory properties.  I don't think this is quite a nice at the Lemongrass, Ginger and Citrus fruit blend though and this is either because of the full leaves in the tea temples or the citrus notes.

Thanks to The London Tea company for sharing their teas with us!  All of the teas in this post can be found on their website here as well as a few more that I will review later as well.   If you like what you see then you can also follow them on Twitter and like their Facebook page!