Miles Tea: Heritage Blend. Celebrating 130 years of top tea.

“To celebrate 130 years of tea heritage in the Miles family, using the finest tea from India and Africa we have created a delicate English Breakfast tea.”

Heritage Blend: Image copied without permission from Miles Tea but hopefully they don’t mind and won’t file charges against TeaClub HQ.

Good evening.

It’s summer 2018 and it’s world cup season. We’re ready to kick things off in style with a review of the Heritage Blend from Miles Tea and C*ffee. Will it be worthy of lifting the trophy? Probably. But imagine it’s a cliffhanger and you actually don’t know if it will turn out to be a champion brew.

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Throwback to the time M from the TeaClub fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting Miles Tea HQ.

The Background

It must have been about half 11 at night when we were in the hot tub drinking champagne (TeaClub fortunes have rocketed lately), toasting to the mug life. Our new agent Emilio Ranega III rushed to the scene with the phone. It was Miles Tea. They asked if we would contribute a piece on their latest brew… Heritage Blend. The ‘holy grail’ in the Miles Tea collection. A blend of Indian and African black tea placed into 15 tea kites/pyramids/silk nets…. whatever you want to call them. Basically, we jumped out the tub at the chance. Luckily nobody saw!

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Heritage Blend: 130 Years of Miles in every cup.

The Arrival

A few days later, after camping by the mailbox, the prized box of tea arrived at TeaClub HQ.  Within it were two majestic boxed of Heritage Blend. Everything in the room went golden for a moment as I admired it’s beauty. Surrounding the tea were other boxes of wonderful teas. The classics: Original and Smugglers Gold. Finally, another new kid on the block… Earl Grey and Cornflower. With over 200 tea bags going on, I did some math to calculate that this would last me about 3 1/2 days. Maybe 4 days if I run out of milk at some stage.

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Smugglers Gold: Better than Yorkshire Gold (shh!)

Heritage Blend

Be prepared for a more ‘fresher’, more ‘lasting’ taste on the pallet.

Freshly sealed and after a poor first cut to open the packet, a second cut was needed to release its inner tea delights. A lucky bag was picked out at random. The kettle sang a tune. The mug presented itself. With the bag inside, the freshly boiled water was poured. We are now brewing. Magnificent!

The tea itself leaned more towards the loose leaf style tea. A slightly larger leaf compared to the fine tea inside their teabags. This definitely had an impact on the taste. An impact that we welcomed with open arms. Be prepared for a more ‘fresher’, more ‘lasting’ taste on the pallet. We found that after every sip, the wonderful taste of breakfast tea stayed with us. It will suit those who appreciate the true taste of tea from loose leaf but want the convenience of it being in ‘kite’ form. That’ll do us just grand! Especially for the office when we’d get told off by our bosses if we were spending too long mak…. wait a minute… we are our own bosses!

Earl Grey

Also in tea kite form is the elegant Earl Grey and Cornflower. This isn’t the flagship tea to celebrate 130 years of top tea from Miles, but it deserves an honorary mention. A) because it’s Miles Tea and everything they do is awesome. And B) it’s another great example of fusing quality loose leaf tea but in the format of a teabag. Oh and by the way you can also get English Breakfast in kite form. The range gets bigger and better!

 

Conclusion

As you can see, to have a box of Miles tea in your hand is like holding the world cup. A special moment that you can savor for many a year to come. It’s only fitting that the two boxes which brought about my love for Miles tea, Original and Smugglers Gold, deserve a picture that showcases the best things about Yorkshire to compliment the best of Somerset; Tweed armchairs and dry stone walling.

Heritage Blend is its concept tea. It may not be around for long, but for the time we have it we will enjoy every sip of it. If you enjoy their teabags and fancy something for the weekend then there’s no better brew to celebrate than with Heritage Blend. Its resemblance to loose leaf tea is a definite throwback to how it once was for many families across the UK. History is being recreated.

Miles Tea and Coffee
www.djmiles.co.uk
01643 703993

PS. Pictures of English Breakfast & Earl Grey to casually make a cameo this weekend on twitter!

Shop

Miles HQ. Tea Display of the Year.

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Bluebird Tea Co: Xmas 2016

Before reading this, just drool away at the Xmas Menu 2016 at Bluebird Tea Co. You’re welcome.

T’other day I were sat with our Benn when we received a telephone call. It was Reginald Van de Hoef, agent of the #teaclub. He says that his mum’s auntie’s friend knows someone in Brighton who knows someone who works at Bluebird Tree Co and that there’s exciting news. It was the first time we heard about the new Xmas 2016 range of trees. Realising we needed a Christmas Tree for the living room at #teaclub HQ, we got on our bicycles. Unfortunately, the city of Brighton has placed vehicle restriction orders on us following our recent heists at the similarly named Bluebird Tea Co – the best tea mixologists in the world.

Off we set from Yorkshire to Brighton on our bikes, singing songs as we went. Benn did a marvelous rendition of What’s That Coming O’er The Hill Is It A Monster whilst I opted for a slow jam with My Mind’s Telling Me No But My Body’s Telling Me Yes. Before we knew it we had arrived at Bridlington, Yorkshire.

Because of Benn’s poor map reading skills, we arrived in Brighton at 3am where we checked our phones to book a hotel for the night. Van de Hoef had left 3 missed calls and a voicemail. We knew summat was up.It wasn’t good news. Due to a misunderstanding with his mum’s auntie’s friend who knows someone in Brighton, it was indeed Bluebird Tea Co and not Bluebird Tree Co. Benn said “what we gonna do about this Xmas tree now?”. Never mind that Benn. We have a major problem. Bluebird Tea Co is shut and we were both foaming.

Sod it. Let’s case the joint!

We found two spare bin bags and put them on our heads.This was our view of the shop when we broke in.

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Couldn’t see wood for trees inside the shop.

Returning to the hotel, we checked out our loot. Ladies and gentlemen, we have come back with some right treats. Here’s what we got and here’s what we thought..

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The two main teas “borrowed” from Bluebird HQ.

Mulled Cider (50g Loose)

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Mulled Cider. Apologies for the slight blur in the photo. I blame the Cider.

The Mulled Cider is everything you’d expect from a Mulled Wine except it doesn’t have actual wine in it. Actually this doesn’t have actual cider in it. Hang on, that’s a poor introduction now. Essentially though, this mixture of apple pieces, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and other fruity bits and pieces is a solid winter warmer. For a more fuller experience, serve with a splash of rum (don’t be daft and put milk in it). For a lesser experience, make a cup of PG. Just don’t do it kids!

Marks out of 10? 9.65

Hey, Sugar Plum (50g Loose)

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Hey, Sugar Plum. Featuring proper berries. Berry good.

Plum, Sugar Hey was the pick of the bunch in the eys of the #teaclub. Not only does it look outstanding, it has the biggest berries ive seen in any tea blend. You can taste them too. This is another cinnamon inspired ensemble that has other ingredients, such as elderberries and blackcurrent. The fruits take centre stage here but the cinnamon makes a great guest appearance, especially as we enter the winter months. It’s a cockle warmer. Again, serve without milk.

Marks out of 10? ABBA

2 Xmas Crackers (yes, official Bluebird Tea Co crackers!)

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Bluebird Tea Co Crackers. Cr… oh you’ve heard that one before?

The Christmas Crackers must be a new feature for the festive season and they are cracking it has to be said. They’re built so well out of card that they’re pretty much the most designer-ey crackers you’ll see this Xmas. We personally didn’t want to open ours and keep them on the mantlepiece. However, we wouldn’t know what to write in terms of its contents. So we got cracking and cracked open the cracker. Inside you will find: 1 x funny tea joke, 1 x hat and 1 x individually wrapped silk tea bag. Ours was Christmas Cake flavoured tea. They make all other crackers look redundent. Except for cream crackers. They’re tasty.

Marks out of 10? $5.99

Mulled Wine Candle

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Just the two of us. Building castles in the sky…

 

First crackers and now a candle made in partnership with the Brighton based Lu Aromatheraphy. We argued like a married couple over who would enjoy this in the bath first so we came to a compromise and had a bath together (both in swimming shorts) with a brew. Reminiscing over our mishaps earlier in the week on the bikes, a smell of mulled wine filled the room. Cinnamon and orange peel notes is what we got out of the experience. Other smells we won’t discuss (yes Benn!). Everything soon went foggy and our vision wasn’t quite at the races by the time we left the bath tub. Staggering about like a couple of boozed up lads, we eventually got to bed. I woke up on the bathroom floor whilst Benn chose to sleep in the airing cupboard. Was a wild one.

Marks out of 10? Deutsche Mark

Mulled Wine Infusion Sacs

Review to come very soon (when the hangover clears)… 

To Krisi, Mike and the whole Bluebird Family, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best for 2016. In the meantime, we’ve got some tea knowledge to brush up on with this fine piece of literature (thanks Charlie x).

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The only book you will ever need in life. Apart from the #teaclub book, coming soon.

#teaclub M

@Bluebirdteaco

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www.bluebirdteaco.com

Brighton – Tunbridge Wells – Bristol – Peckham

Bluebird Tea Co: Still the best tea ‘mixologists’ in the world!

“This quote is nowhere to be found in the below review of Bluebird Tea’s Autumn 2016 range and it is merely here just to make this blog look like it’s written by a top journalist. On with the show”. – B&M (2016)

Cast your minds back to September 2015 and the then youthful #teaclub boys robbed Bluebird Tea Co in our Teamobile and came away with their Autumn range of teas. A year later and the #teaclub boys have developed more facial wrinkles and upgraded their vehicle of choice. Thanks to our success of reviewing teas and being recognised in the street, we’ve upgraded.

Our agent Reginald Van de Hoef has reliably informed us of a shipment headed for Brighton that contains the Autumn 2016 range of Bluebird Tea. Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas, Beetroot & Cauliflower, Sunday Roast and Horseradish. None of these are part of the Autumn 2016 range but these are:

Choco Pops

Rooibos Earl Grey

Bananas & Custard

Lapsang Chai

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

When Reginald broke the news, we put down our pipes and fetched out tassled-loafers out. We were off to Brighton!

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The National Yachtery

Our Yacht arrived at #teaclub for the Summer and its yet to make its debut. We named it The National Yachtery and headed for Brighton. Navigating the narrow Leeds-Liverpool Canal with its many locks proved to be hard going but that didn’t dampen our spirits. On the subject of spirits, it gave us a chance to crack open the Bollinger and chill with some Netflix.

When we arrived at Liverpool it was plain sailing all the way to Brighton where we had to keep our eyes peeled for the shipping container marked ‘Maersk’.  This could take a while we said.

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Bugger.

After a few hours of shipping container exploration we found what we were looking for and made a run for it. Back to Yorkshire we went. The water quality is better up North anyway.

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Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Rooibos Earl Grey

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Lapsang Chai and Choco Pops

Choco Pops

Coco Pops are so Summer 2016. It’s all about the Choco Pops now.  This was the first of the 4 we made. We imagine that the Mixologists at Bluebird Tea Co came up with this idea of a blend at some Wednesday morning meeting when everyone needed a lift. This is good. A black & green tea with chocolate chips and rice puffs. It’s a blend for the sweet-toothed among us and probably not best to have at bedtime. However it is really good to have at every other hour of the day, including breakfast.  And yes, it does taste like chocolate. So that’s black tea drinkers, green tea drinkers, breakfast cereal lovers and chocolate lovers catered for? Not bad for just one blend.

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Even leaves a chocolate stain around the inside of the mug. Either that or we didn’t wash up right.

Marks out of 10? 9.37

Rooibos Earl Grey

We spent ages trying to come up with a way of describing how this caffeine-free (good for Tea Witches out there!) tea might taste. It’s almost as if someone has come along and mixed some sweet, fruity Rooibos with some scented, strong Earl Grey. Well going by the ingredients that’s exactly what’s gone on here. It’s got Cornflowers in it though and we like that. Those are the blue things you can see in the picture below. Hardcore tea enthusiasts and professionals will drink this neat without milk. Being amateurs however, we opted for a dash of semi-skimmed.  Why drink Rooibos? Because it’s full of anti-oxidants and can settle a stomach in no time. Also good if you’ve had too much Champagne on a Yacht.

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Rooibos & Earl Grey. It works.

Marks out of 10? A

Lapsang Chai

Black Tea is music to our ears unless it’s a Laps… oh crumbs. We’ve been rumbled and found out here.  It’s no secret that Lapsang Souchong based teas aren’t our specialty so we had to seek the views of a family member, who prefers not to be mentioned. M’s dad (also a Michael) was served up a mug of this to either enjoy or suffer himself. Oh boy we’re really not doing a good job of promoting this tea and Bluebird will certainly not be using any of these statements that’s for sure. Having said that though and despite the initial off-putting bonfire-like scent, Michael (the Dad Michael) said it “isn’t too bad is this”. Pushing him for a better description he came up with the following sentence: “It’s very different to a regular black tea and there’s spices going on but I can see why people would enjoy this at Autumn.  It’s a good thing that the taste of smoke isn’t as strong as the scent”. We just have to take his word for it.

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The Lapsang isn’t as overpowering as some out there. To us, that’s a good thing. 

Marks out of 10?  85%

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

This isn’t a new blend as such. This is a super-popular blend that’s made more comebacks than Rocky. To help with this particular review, we’ve lifted our Autumn 2015 review (because we can) and edited it for a 2016 audience. New edits are in Bold.

Apparently this blend is still so popular it’s making a comeback, doing a lap of honour and doing an open top bus parade. We’re still pleased to have discovered this very very Autumnal blend. Combining Ceylon black tea with all sorts of fun ingredients like carrot, cinnamon, cloves and the magical Halloween sprinkles, it provides a warming sensation. Given that Bluebird Tea Co have done a competition for this blend recently which has now expired because this is 2016 now, I suspect this will be a hit both in store and online. M suspects right because it’s back for Autumn 2016. Milk or no milk? The jury (same jury as last year) is out over here on that one.

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Encore. Where bands come on for one last time to sing their most famous song. This is the tea equivalent for Bluebird Tea Co.

Marks out of 10?  Mark Knopfler

To the founders of Bluebird Tea Co, Krisi and Mike: We salute you once again for making a fantastic range of teas that blows the opposition out of the water! We raise our walking sticks up in the air to acknowledge your greatness (but only for a few seconds as we’re losing our balance in our old age).

P.S.The influence of Bluebird Tea is spreading across the UK. They now have stores in Bristol and Tunbridge Wells.

@Bluebirdteaco

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www.bluebirdteaco.com

Sumatra Gunung Dempo Estate

The summer has arrived at #teaclub HQ and we’ve been spending it drinking copious amounts of tea and banging on about how amazing Team GB are doing at the Olympics in Rio. They have done rather well haven’t they? Then my phone vibrated and displayed the pink flashing light. That means it’s a message from our newly-appointed agent Reginald Van de Hoef, who has recently moved from his native country of Holland. The message was regarding a possible tea review for Alicia Persichini of Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co fame. Alicia was on the lookout 4 for for 4 tea bloggers to review… tea. We couldn’t help but gasp at the thought of it, so we instantly replied to declare our interest.

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Tea. Glorious Tea.

Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Co, a tea and coffee company based in the Kent & Sussex region oddly enough, have released a selection of teas for Summer 2016. Among the new released was the superb looking Sumatra Gunung Dempo Estate Black Tea. Alicia informed us it was on its way to #teaclub HQ. We then informed Alicia that it had been received at #teaclub HQ. Alicia then said thanks. We then said to Alicia ‘thanks’. We were in clear smooth-operator territory.

Inside the envelope was a packet of this Sumatra Gunung Demp Estate tea. Described as a sample size, we felt there was enough here to feed the family but decided to keep it for ourselves. They don’t appreciate good tea like we do so it’d be wasted on those who just drink P… We can’t even bring ourselves to say it. We opened the packaging to see what was inside. Bizarrely enough, a load of loose leaf tea was inside. It was a sign of good things to come.

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As Biggleswade Utd celebrated a win in the cup, we celebrated with a cup of this superb tea.

The now infamous glass kettle was put to work and we popped in a couple of level teaspoons into the frog infuser for a good mugs worth of tea. As the freshly-boiled water poured over, the frog began to spin right round baby right round. The leaves were unfurling nicely and the aroma was powerful. We knew we were in for something special.

*5 minutes later*

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The hue of the tea after 5 minutes of brewing. Something to be admired by every tea lover. 

The product description informed us that this tea was “easy to lock on to your subject for sharp, realistic results – something your smartphone just can’t match”. We were… wait… sorry, that was the description for a digital camera we were looking at earlier. The product description informed us that this tea contained “Assamese leaf” and “delicate in floral notes, with a well rounded body, a sweet maltiness and a touch of citrus“. Basically this tea has all the attributed to be your new favourite tea.

Taste wise it did not disappoint. For some reason we expected this really light and delicate black tea. Instead we got a strong breakfast tea with plenty of depth and a lovely aftertaste. In fact it didn’t taste too far off a Ceylon Lovers Leap tea. You know, the one that’s highly fragrant with citrus notes. As fans of the stronger black teas often found in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, who knew we’d end up enjoying a tea from Indonesia just as much. We must admit we haven’t a clue what Grade 1 is for ‘Leaf Grade’ but we agree 100%. This is a top grade tea. With each sip, the taste got better and better (see scientific graph below).

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Our graph proves that this tea tastes better with every guzzle.

Speaking of finance, if you would like to buy some amazing Sumatra Gu… just some amazing tea grown in Indonesia, then it’s £2.63 for 50g of the stuff. If you want to go all out for the 125g then it’s £5.13.

The Kent & Sussex Tea and Coffee Company,
Pivington Mill, Egerton Road, Pluckley,
Ashford, Kent TN27 0PG. UK.

Tel: 01233 840265

www.tea-and-coffee.com

@kentteacoffee

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Champion.

#teaclub B & M

 

Piacha: Black and Cherry.

“I’m not a Cherry fan but when I opened the packet and had a whiff, I was more than up for drinking a big mug of the stuff.” – #teaclub M

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Black and Cherry. Drink it and be Cherry.

In the style of Jessie’s Diets: This week, I have been mostly drinking Piacha Tea. I don’t live in a shed but I could easily pass for him with the shaggy hair look.My fashion sense is often questionable too.

But this tea wouldn’t want to feature in the Fast Show because it deserves time to be appreciated.

Before we go any further; running from the 4th July to the 25th July, we have a very special offer for followers of the #teaclub: You can find further information here.

50% off your first Tea Envelopes Subscription purchase.

Enter #TEACLUB@PIACHA at the checkout to apply your discount.

Piacha tea are awesome. We’ve already taken our flat caps off and acknowledged their Rhubarb Rooibos Fudge Thing Tea and at the end of the month, I’ll be visiting their tea bar in Islington to get drunk on tea and catch up with Pia, founder of Piacha Teas. I’ll need to scrub up well. Tweed anyone?

I signed up to their tea envelopes subscription service and ordered two packets of tea. I’ve gone route 1 with 75g of loose leaf English Breakfast and I’ve taken a detour with the 75g loose leaf Black and Cherry. This review is about the latter.

The whole subscription process was easy-peasy. I went on the website and had a bit of a dabble about. I clicked on the Black and Cherry and chose that ‘Subscribe with savings of 10%’ option. I got me 10% off because I were subscribing. If I were daft and I weren’t subscribing, there’d be no discount of any sort. Then I tapped in me bank details and next minute the postman were here with me tea envelopes. For anyone taking us up on the 50% off offer (mentioned above), there’s a text box in the checkout process where you can enter the discount code. Oh and there’s free delivery. Cracking do is that!

I chose a superb day to enjoy my first cup of Black and Cherry tea. It was so nice outside I decided to take a photo of it on the decking with my tea frog infuser. Just look at the sunshine!

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The first thing I noticed about the Black and Cherry was that, believe it or not, it has Cherry in the title. I’m not a Cherry fan but when I opened the packet and had a whiff, I was more than up for drinking a big mug of the stuff. I also noticed some writing on my tea envelope. I recognise the three kisses (unless it was advising me that this is tea porn) and I think the writing says ‘open bar on the 25th July’. I could be wrong though. Whilst I got my magnifying glass out to decode the symbols, froggy was having a whale of a time in the mug.

With this tea I have no problem in ‘fishing for compliments’. It’s bloody superb! It’s like having a cherry coke or one of those cherry gummy sweets you get in the pick n’ mix, only it has tea in it. The whole experience was quite special and I’d even go as far as say to…. I’d even go as to say that as far…. I reckon that it would be a good base for an alcoholic cocktail. If Pia can work her magic and create a Vodka based one, I’ll buy it!

I’m not traditionally one for tampering with nature when it comes to black teas, especially when it’s fruit that’s involved. This made me rethink my stance though. I could quite happily drink this, ooo at least twice a day. I wouldn’t have it first thing as I feel as though this is a tea for the right occassion and at the right time. Those right times for me have been when I was counting how many coat hangers I have in the house and coming home from the laundrette with freshly pressed Y-fronts.

I’ve also got a packet of English Breakfast on the go too. That’s my go to tea for everyday use. If it ain’t broke…

I highly recommend Piacha Teas. I also highly recommend listening to the back catalogue of Eiffel 65 but that’s another matter.

Piacha Tea Bar & Shop

280 Upper Street

Islington

London N1 2TZ

@piachatea

www.piacha.co.uk 

 

Yeh Organic Tea: Luxurious tea from the Netherlands.

Fresh off my recent camping holiday in Scotland I was quick to put the kettle on and blog about some of the tea rooms I visited. It was very kind of Yeh Organic Tea to praise our blog that day and offer us the chance to review some of their teas. When I later checked out their website I certainly raised an eye brow as to how premium the teas looked in design and range. There’s an element of prestige and heritage behind the brand too when I got to read more information about the company thanks to the Yeh Organic Tea twitter handle.

Yeh Organic Tea, based in the Netherlands, was founded by Hsiu-Li Yeh in 2009 after graduating from the University of Technology in Delft (in between Rotterdam and The Hague. Yes, yes I had to Google).  Technology and design play a big part in Yeh Organic Tea and Hsiu-Li Yeh is also the chief designer for the brand. That’s where the ‘prestige’ plays a role as the designs on front of the tea tins are beautiful. All varied, all with their own clues as to what tea might be inside. As for the ‘heritage’, Hsiu-Li Yeh was born in China and tea runs in her blood. China of course is arguably the birth place of tea as we know it with Yunnan and Keemun the native teas.  Yeh Organic Tea works with tea plantations in China and India to give us some of the most luxurious teas to Europe. The best thing about it? It’s affordable and they ship to the UK for a Flat Rate of €5. For those lucky enough to be in the Netherlands, shipping will only cost you €3. 

I was sent 3 x 25g tins of tea in the post. 25g of Cape Gold (Rooibos with Lemon and Lime), 25g of Yunnan and 25g of Bi Luo Chun, a green tea and part of the Black Label range. Each one looking gorgeous with their designs, courtesy of – yes, you guessed it – Hsiu-Li Yeh.

In typical #teaclub fashion I wasted no time in switching the kettle on. Out came my trusty glass teapot infuser and in went some Cape Gold. Rooibos, a naturally caffeine-free tea from South Africa, is a tea I adore. It’s that perfect alternative to a regular black tea and its health benefits are endless. Full of anti-oxidants, Rooibos will make you feel good on the inside. Full of colour and full of energy, with an added citrus kick thanks to the lemon and lime, its a drink best enjoyed without milk and sugar. How did I feel after a cup of Cape Gold? Like I was in paradise!

The journey of tea exploration continued. This time it was to be the Yunnan tea making an appearance. Fresh from his outstanding Glastonbury set, I brought out the Lionel Richie mug once more and got to work. The trusty glass teapot infuser brewed my Yunnan and it was such a treat to smell the caramel notes. Since setting up the #teaclub, Yunnan has been a revelation. This particular Yunnan was pure luxury. Milk is optional but I had it without to maximise its natural taste. Sweet like caramel indeed. The perfect tea for a Custard Cream biscuit. The best of Britain meets the best of China.

Now the 3rd tea sent was a Green Tea and here I am at a crossroads. Known for its health benefits, Green Tea can aid with weight loss, reduce the risk of cancer and increase brain function. Being honest, I am not a Green Tea drinker. I even tried to get beyond the aroma (which I struggle to admire of any Green Tea) and have a taste but I couldn’t do it. Luckily my dad has developed a liking for such tea and he was excited to try some. He asked me the question: ‘What does Black Label mean son?’. Black Label is the more premium…. no wait, I already used that word to describe Yeh Organic Tea didn’t I? Basically, it’s the most exclusive, perhaps more rare range of tea on sale. With Green Tea, don’t boil water at 100 degrees. Instead, look for about 70 to 80 degrees. it’s hard to recognise when this is on a kettle so do use good judgement. My dad was served a cup of Bi Luo Chun, again with no sugar or milk, and he was away in his own world. Basically he didn’t speak to me until the end, when he said “The aroma is strong but pleasant. The taste is fruity. Very different to other Green Tea’s I’ve tried which makes it unique. I’ll look forward to the next cup you make me son!”.

This is the first time I’ve reviewed a tea company outside the UK and I’m delighted to have got in touch with Hsiu-Li Yeh at Yeh Organic Tea because there are certain things about this company that make their teas something to highly consider as your next tea purchase. I’ve talked about these points already but to summarise:

  1. Presentation. Each tin has a different design (except the Black Label of course. Those tea tins just look sleek and elegant). Information is clear with symbols and numbers serving as brewing guidelines.
  2. Luxury. There’s a sense that when you hold one of the tea tins, you’re holding art. Cape Gold provides the colour and zest of life. Yunnan provides the caramel for those who like to indulge. Bi Luo Chun provides the delicate leaves and aroma.
  3. Customer Service. Sometimes words get lost in translation when speaking to someone who lives in another country but it was great to speak to Hsiu-Li Yeh. She is passionate about tea, full of information and understands the value of humour (or humor if you’re American). I like that a lot.

www.yehtea.com – Online store stocking teas in various quantities

@YehTeaCouture – Tweets made in English

1860 Assam Review. 1860% Tasty.

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For The Tea Witch. Get well soon x

It’s the Easter Holiday’s. You’ve got 2 weeks off work and a weekend trip to Newcastle on the cards. You get giddy at the thought of all the tea rooms you’re going to visit and rush off the train in complete gasperation (this needs to be a word on Urban Dictionary) of a good brew. But you get sidetracked by the bookies and have a bet on the football. You get the tea you wanted and that’s all very well but your 18-fold accumulator lets you down when Derby beat Birmingham in the 90th minute. Your £1 bet that was moments away from earning you £3476.70 has just gone down the river. The train home is quiet and your ghetto blaster runs out of battery. It’s throwing it down with rain and you clamber into bed dreaming of what could have been. You need a brew that’s going to cheer you up. You also need that brew to be brought to you by Christina Hendricks, but beggers can’t be choosers. You need 1860 Assam to spice up your life.

It’s the first time I’ve ever had tea sent to me from abroad. I was super excited to receive a parcel of tea from 1860 Assam in India! No prizes for guessing what year the company started. Just in case you didn’t know though, the company was set up in 1860 by James Warren, a Brit who bought some land in Assam (North-East India) and developed it as a tea growing site. There’s no blending and warehousing outside of the site as it’s all done on site. Straight from the tea farm to your cup. They say it’s the ‘very best of what India has to offer’. They’re not wrong you know!

Their tea is usually available in select places in Delhi and Kolkata. I am very blessed to be able to try this tea and present to you my thoughts.

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Opening the parcel, I managed to find a box of 25 tea bags and 250g of loose leaf tea in the most unique packaging I have seen from a tea company in a long time. Green dominates. There’s animated images of tea pickers at work, the processing and delivering, where people are seen enjoying the tea in the city. The whole process. They’re social media active, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles all labeled. A quote reads ‘Hello, fancy a cup of gourmet tea?’ I sure do! The bespoke, well crafted packaging doesn’t end here. Open the box of teabags and you will find 25 individually see-through, mesh-wrapped square bags. Inside each bag there’s plenty of fresh looking tea. This is not your typical supermarket teabag. This is something very special.

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Out comes the mug. In goes the teabag. 3-5 minutes of brewing. You know the drill by now. Oh my days does this tea smell good. But enough of the smelling. Let’s get drinking. Ahhh.

Having a cup of 1860 Assam is a pleasure you could get used to. This could easily be your go to tea first thing in the morning, at lunch, in the….basically every single moment that requires a cup of tea. The mesh bags allow the tea to infuse to create a bold, rich and punchy taste. The best thing about this tea is how fresh it tastes. Not very often you get that from a teabag. It hits all the right spots and presses all the right buttons. Assam tea is renowned for being strong and malty and this is arguably the best single origin tea I’ve tasted from India. It is that good.

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Naturally the loose leaf is of superb quality too. You don’t get the fancy envelopes or the mesh teabags but you do get pure, naked tea. And it smells amazing. It’s not too fine, which means if you have a good tea infuser it will capture it nicely. With 250g in each bag, there’s enough tea here to make a good 80 cups at least. Good times are ahead.

If you are in India, you are lucky lucky people. If you’re in the UK, you can get this tea sent internationally. Inquire with 1860 Assam who will help you with working out delivery costs. A box of 25 teabags costs RS 250 (just over £2.50). 250g of loose leaf tea costs RS 200 (just over £2). This is great value and tastes so much better than many of the expensive gourmet tea products we have in the UK. I would definitely order from these guys in the future. Well done 1860 Assam on producing a beautiful, full-bodied tea.

If I come to India, I know exactly where to go for a top cup of tea.

Twitter: @Assam1860

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