Monthly Archives

December 2016

Teaphernalia Top 10's

Top 10 Loose Leaf Tea Bottles & Flasks for 2017

26th December 2016

A while back I did a Top 10 Tea Bottles post that’s been really popular on my blog. Since writing it I’ve discovered loads more tea bottles, so I decided to make an updated version with the new ones I’ve discovered.

They’re in no particular order, just 10 of the best I’ve found. Hope you like it 😊 Be sure to check out number 8 and 10 for something totally unique!😉

 

1. GROSCHE Marino 550ml Water and Tea Travel Infuser – also available in grey or red

 

2. ToasTEA Stainless Steel Travel Infuser – Also available in red and gold. Full Review

 

3. EFOSHM Thermos Insulated Stainless Steel Thermos Tea Bottle – also in blue

 

4. MIU COLOR Glass Water Bottle with Anti-slip Silicone Sleeve – comes in loads of colours!

 

5. bamboo Infusing Vacuum bottle

 

6. GioHybrid Stainless Steel Thermos Flask Tea Bottle – also in lime green or cherry red

 

 

7. Vireo Double Walled Tea Bottle with Carry Case

 

 

8. LifeWheel Borosilicate Glass Tea Bottle – Lid has a storage space for dry tea so you can infuse on the go! Tons of colours

 

9. Life4u Borosilicate Glass Tea with Silicone Sleeve – wide choice of colours

 

10. Oxford Eve’s with Bamboo Lid & Multi Functional Infuser – A Must See!

 

I hope this has helped you decide which tea bottle is for you! I’d love to hear in the comments below what your favourite tea bottle is?

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now xXx

Fruit Tea Matcha Recipes

Huel Review, Including How to Flavour with Matcha & Tea

17th December 2016

A while back I became interested in finding some kind of meal replacement that’s super easy and good for me at the same time. I found Huel, a nutritionally complete food that I can make in minutes and not feel guilty about it’s effect on my body, I may even lose a little weight too!

Huel has received rave reviews and been featured in numerous newspapers but I wanted to try it for myself and have some fun experimenting. It contains all of the necessary proteins, carbs, fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Huel is also vegan which was one of my other requirements 🙂

The main reason for this post is to do a quick review of my experience with Huel as well as some recipes to get you started, they’re tea related of course! I wanted to see if I could use matcha and tea to add flavours and some extra health benefits to Huel

Review

When I stumbled upon Huel while researching fast healthy meals I thought it seemed like a great idea but was a bit sceptical if it would fill me up and how it would taste. I ordered a little to try and was pleasantly surprised, so I reached out to Huel and they were awesome enough to send me some more Huel to experiment with for you guys.

The best thing about Huel is how easy it is to prepare, it really does only need a few minutes, making it perfect for busy schedules! You can make it using just the Huel shaker bottle or a blender of some kind. I found it did take quite a bit of shaking so I moved on to using my Breville Blend Active, this guarantees almost instant lump free Huel and doesn’t leave you with a messy blender to clean afterwards.

I’ve only tasted the vanilla flavoured Huel, I figured vanilla is a pretty enjoyable flavour and would be easy to add other flavours to. The flavour is overall very pleasant, the vanilla flavour is sweet and enjoyable, there is a little bit of an unusual taste behind the vanilla but it’s so easy to add other flavours that this really isn’t an issue. The consistency is good and it does blend well, it reminds me a bit of a really runny porridge but it’s definitely a positive experience.

I found I could use 2 scoops of Huel (76g) and that would be enough to fill me up, the most surprising thing is it really does fill you up.  Two scoops works out to be 304 calories, so I was quite amazed I could replace a main meal with Huel and still be full. Huel works out to be only £1.33 for 500 calories so its also pretty good value and it lasts for over 1 year so you’ll never waste any by it going out of date.

Flavouring with matcha

As soon as I tried Huel I was anxious to try and flavour it with matcha! I always start the day with matcha and didn’t want to have to prepare my matcha and then make Huel as well and then drink both and the vanilla flavouring of the Huel really lends itself to matcha. I found that the correct amount for my personal taste was half a teaspoon of matcha per scoop of Huel, this was enough to still leave it tasting of vanilla but add a nice hit of matcha alongside it, and with no bitterness.

I use matcha from Kiss Me Organics for all my recipes, it’s good enough quality to taste amazing but priced low enough to not be crippling when a recipe requires large or regular amounts of matcha.

Flavouring with fruit tea

Next up I wanted to try and use fruit tea to add fruit flavours to Huel. You can just cut fruit up and blend it with Huel but I felt that adds an extra level of preparation to the process.

To flavour Huel with tea simply steep 2 teaspoons of fruit tea in 200ml of boiling water per scoop of Huel. Adding a teaspoon extra of tea for every scoop of Huel you’re using.

Any fruit tea you have will work, preferably loose not teabags. My favourites were Vanilla Slice from T2 & Strawberry Serenade from Whittard of Chelsea but have fun experimenting with any tea you have and let me know what your favourite is in the comments below!

 

Huel Matcha Grape Smoothie

While experimenting with matcha I found that I wanted some way to add a little more sweetness, without using a sweetener or sugar. I tried different fruit but found that grapes were perfect alongside the matcha and added a little extra excitement to Huel. These were the amounts I found perfect for me but you can test it out and adjust accordingly.

It was a little late in the day and the light was fading so the photo doesn’t really do it justice, it tastes amazing though! 😛

Add the following to your blender:

3 scoops of Huel

550ml water

1 – 2 teaspoons of matcha

10-15 grapes

Then blend throughly.

To keep things quick and hassle free I really recommend using the Breville Blend Active to prepare your Huel, it’s great for smoothies too so well worth buying:)

 

Final Thoughts 

I’ve really enjoyed my time with Huel as it fits perfectly in to my lifestyle, has helped me lose a little weight and is also amazingly convenient. It works as a meal replacement and really does fill you up, I’ve been having Huel a couple of times a week at dinner time but you can really have it as often as you like.

You can find the full range available from Huel here and a super helpful guide for using Huel here.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the guys at Huel for sending me these products to review and experiment with. Also a huge thanks to my readers, I hope you’ve found this post useful 🙂

Bye for now! xXx

 

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Black Tea Tea Reviews

Tea In The City Yunnan Gold & Wuyi Black Tea Review

10th December 2016

Hey Guys!

A short while ago I was sent some tea by Tea in the City for me to review. I received two blends, both black but worlds apart!

The tea arrived beautifully packed in stunning matte white and matte black tins, opening them really felt like an experience 🙂  The tins were well sealed and look great standing together on my tea shelf, another nice feature is a plastic lid with a pull tab under the lid of the tin which really helps to keep the tea fresh.

both-tins-lid-off

Yunnan Gold

This tea is quite a high end tea with a malty flavour with hints of cocoa. The first thing I noticed about this tea is it’s appearance, it doesn’t have the usual dried black leaf that you find in most black tea, instead it’s composed of larger less dense fine golden leaf buds. The tea is quite spaced out in the tin and as a result it has less in the tin than the Wuyi Black but the leave’s larger size allows them to really open up when the water hits, so a little does go a long way.

The smell of this is really incredible, as soon as you open the lid it fills the room. It’s one of those teas I find myself asking everyone to smell and then everyone always asks me if I can steep some for them, it’s such an inviting fragrance. I find it has a nicely complex flavour that’s deep and malty with a cocoa after taste, definitely a tea I can just drink all day!

 

Wuyi Black

The second tea included by Tea in the City is Wuyi, a black tea from the Wuyi mountains. I have a bit of an obsession with teas that are deliberately flavoured with other ingredients, anything from fruit to chocolate. The most surprising part of Wuyi for me is how amazingly flavoured it is, without any other ingredients. Upon opening the tin a Turkish Delight-like smell erupts in to the room, a sweet floral aroma that I can only describe as addictive.

The flavour has a delicious deep black tea flavour but with an indulgent rose flavour alongside it, I’m not usually even a fan of rose flavours but I just can’t get enough of them in this tea. The tea steeps to a beautiful almost red, copper colour, making it perfect for glass teaware and it’s a tea that will be welcome at any social gathering.

I’ve been hiding away from the cold with Netflix recently in the evenings and found this tea is the perfect companion to snuggle up with!

 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with these teas from Tea in the City. All the way from the packaging, through to the aroma and flavours, these teas really do add a touch of class to an evening.

If you haven’t already had a look at the tea available from Tea in the City I really recommend it, you can find them on their website.

A huge thanks to Tea in the City for sending me their teas to review, it’s very much appreciated 🙂

Thanks very much to all my readers, come say Hi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more tea fun or leave a comment below!

Bye for now! xXx

 

Black Tea Fruit Tea Tea Reviews

Bluebird Tea Co. Christmas Review

1st December 2016

When it comes to Christmas I love the little things, like the weather changing, people’s excitement building, Starbucks limited edition treats and new bath goodies at Lush but most of all I look forward to the Bluebird Christmas exclusives!

This year sees the return of Christmas Cake & Snowball, which also has a much appreciated vegan option this year!

The new products in this year’s Christmas bundle are Mulled Cider, Sugar Plum & some Bluebird crackers which I’m insanely excited about. Review time!

pouches

Sugar Plum

Sugar plum is a sugary sweet berry filled infusion with a nice warming hint of cinnamon. The blackcurrant in this blend really comes through, along with the hibiscus. The cinnamon is definitely there in precisely the right quantity, it’s warming and festive, without it being overpowering.

It’s a beautiful coloured blend once prepared, that’s perfect to show off in glass teaware on the big day. The sweet cinnamon scent really travels and is sure to add a festive aroma to any gathering! 😀

 

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Left to right: Snowball, Sugar Plum, Mulled Cider

Mulled Cider

This is a less sweet tea that I find super refreshing, it gives off an almost peppery scent with cinnamon notes but the apple & lemon peel create a drier more savoury vibe. Mulled Cider is perfect for cold Christmas evenings when you’ve devoured all the chocolate in sight but still want a little extra treat to snuggle up with.

I generally steep my tea multiple times during long work days and by the end it’s often been a bit steeped to death but I found this tea is actually really enjoyable as quite a weak infusion, hot or cold.

Bluebird’s Mulled Cider & Sugar plum are both caffeine free making them perfect to drink on those late night Christmas Netflix sessions, while remaining able to sleep.

cracker-close

Christmas Crackers

These really are too cute! I love the silver foil effect against the brown and the rectangular shape is far more interesting than more traditional cylindrical crackers.

Each cracker contains an individually wrapped Bluebird tea bag, party hat and tea related joke. I decided I’d unwrap one of these without the ‘snap’ and have a look inside for the purpose of the review, then put it back together and save them for Christmas day, no one will ever know! Just like presents under a Christmas tree 😉

 

Final Thoughts

One of the things I admire most about Bluebird is their ability to capture the essence of an event or completely non-tea food in their blends. Mulled Cider & Sugar Plum really are Christmas through and through, with snowball as a chocolate-coconut treat and Christmas Cake completing their Christmas line up.

If you’d like to read a more in depth review of Snowball, Christmas Cake or many of the other Bluebird Tea Co. Christmas teas you can find most of them covered in last years hamper review.

Take a look at Bluebird’s Christmas range to find the perfect treats for the holiday season, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

Happy Christmas to everyone over at Bluebird HQ and to my readers! 🙂 xXx