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!

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Miles HQ. Tea Display of the Year.

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When TeaClub M met Biggleswade Utd

I thought my girlfriend was shaking my shoulders, screaming when Biggleswade Utd scored but when I turned round it was Guillem Balague!

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The Biggleswade Utd Hall of Fame

It was a good two years in the making. An item that went up onto the Bucket List. After countless tweets exchanged, our very own Michael from the #teaclub visited Biggleswade to see Biggleswade Utd play football. Here’s his take on the momentous occasion.

The alarm went off at 6am on a Saturday morning and I was super excited and could only think of one thing… a cup of tea. Mid way through my joyful cup of English Breakfast tea, it dawned on me that my girlfriend and I would be shortly boarding a train and heading to Biggleswade. This town is home of Biggleswade Utd, a football club playing in the Spartan South Midlands League – Premier Division. In terms of the English football league system, this equates to the 9th tier of domestic football.

Biggleswade Utd (BUFC) isn’t exactly a local team where I live. We are separated by over 160 miles but we are united in our passion for football, Top Eleven and tea. Their Director of Football is the iconic face of La Liga football on Sky Sports, Mr Guillem Balague. After a few tweets with Chairman of the club Chris Lewis, we soon found ourselves drinking tea out of BUFC mugs and making wild predictions about how former player Adam Drakulic would score the first goal in the 16th or 17th minute. More mugs of tea were drunk and more wild predictions didn’t come true.

When I saw that current Goalkeeper Tom Wyant had a kettle in his twitter picture, that was the final straw. I had to get down and see a game. I booked the train tickets for my girlfriend and I to pop down and make a day of it.

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The walk to Second Meadow. Scorchio!

Arriving into the town of Biggleswade we made our walk up to Second Meadow via the riverside walk. The sun was out and despite one or two raindrops, luckily the weather only got better and better. At the ground we saw Club Secretary and Fixture Secretary Tracey and Heather respectively, just two of the many friendly faces working at the club. I personally owe Tracey a debt of gratitude for all she has done for myself and for her hospitality on the day.

We were then introduced to the sharply dressed Chairman himself, Mr Chris Lewis. When the offer of a hot cup of tea came round, we couldn’t refuse. We discussed all things Biggleswade Utd, how addictive Top Eleven is and the rise of the TeaClub. It was at this point I got my picture taken, with a brew and home jersey on, in front of the infamous Hall of Fame. Here you’ll find dozens of framed pictures of current and ex-professional footballers, pundits and presenters, holding the red and blue. From Lionel Messi to Diego Maradona. From Thierry Henry to Chris Iwelumo (ex-St. Johnstone), there’s a player here for every football fan. Before the Merseyside derby kicked off, Norwegian striker Simen Stamsø-Møller arrived. During the game, Head Coach Cristian Colás arrived with a Spanish party. Then it was Director of Football, Guillem Balague himself. It was a real European feel inside the club house.

After watching the Liverpool v Everton game on the tele, it was time for the real football to begin. Visiting Biggleswade were top of the league (by quite some distance!) London Colney FC. They looked up for it as they arrived at the ground and it would take structure and chances to be taken in order to get a positive result.

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With Derek Beaver. Long time supporter of Biggleswade Utd. Purveyor of a good pint and a portion of chips.

Making our way to the stand, we met Derek Beaver, a long-time BUFC supporter and curator of the Biggleswade Utd Fans twitter handle. He is very much an #Ultrawade and could tell you almost anything about any player.  Worryingly, one or two other supporters could tell you anything about Derek.

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It was a tense opening 30 minutes.

It was a tense first half hour of football but the difference in league position didn’t show. Both teams working hard physically. The breakthrough came on 33 minutes with the strong Noweigen striker Simen getting a stab on the ball to poke it in the bottom corner. 1-0 BUFC.

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A focused M watches on as Biggleswade try and hold a 1-0 lead.

Our lead lasted for 7 minutes when Ashley Morrissey smashed home a flick on from a header during a free kick. Game on. A similar play was made later in the game but luckily it didn’t end up a goal.

At HT we went in for a cup of tea and a bite to eat so we could refuel for what promised to be a belting second half. The weather was really picking up now.  The brew certainly helped quench my thirst.

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Second Half. 1-1. All to play for.

The second half was a scrappy one, particularly for the home team, who really struggled to get a hold on the game. Passes weren’t connecting and the increased pressure from London Colney almost instilled a long ball strategy for Biggleswade. It wasn’t working out. In the 60th minute, London Colney rattled the crossbar. 4 minutes later they shot wide in a 1-on-1 situation. The warning signs were there.

But what better way to respond than on the 68th minute when some quality passing on the deck ended up with Kevin Owusu striking the ball past the keeper to make it 2-1 BUFC. I thought my girlfriend was shaking my shoulders, screaming when Biggleswade Utd scored but when I turned round it was Guillem Balague!

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Simen comes off to a rapturous applause for his goal and energy throughout the game.

Could we hold on?

Yes!

The FT whistle blew. 2-1 BUFC! What a performance. One that lifts the team into 6th position. 4th place is very much up for grabs this season.

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Charlie, Guillem and myself celebrate a 2-1 win.

Back in the clubhouse, it was time for a beer. Speaking to Chris, Tracey, Derek, Heather, Guillem…oh, and my girlfriend, we all were delighted with the result. There was plenty of quality, on both teams, and you could see that both managers had a game plan. This wasn’t just ‘hit and hope’ football. During every set piece or goal kick, both managers were constantly giving instructions and encouragement.

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Well done BUFC. See you next season!

The one thing I admired the most was that fans never once got on the players back and applauded every piece of good effort. The fans applauded every miss, even it it went into Row Z. It was great to see fans contributing in the development of these players.

What a fantastic day out. We’ll return next season for sure.

Price of Rail Tickets = £50

Price of Cup of Tea = £1

Winning 2-1 against London Colney FC = Priceless

biggleswadeunited.com

@Biggleswadeutd

Fan Club – @BiggleswadeutdF   Guillem Balague – @GuillemBalague

TeaClub Premiership: Week 2 Roundup

After a successful relaunch of a real life fictional football league, aka the TeaClub Premiership, it wasn’t soon before the second round of fixtures. In a week of adverse weather conditions, including a weather bomb which accidentally exploded near The Algernon Stadium in Newcastle, all 5 games went ahead as scheduled. Here’s a roundup of the week 2 results and what it means in terms of the league table.

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There was confusion to begin with at Premier Park when both teams appeared to be aiming for the same goal.

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At The Algernon Stadium, Miles Smugglers breathed life into a dull affair, which saw 0 shots on target from either team, with a wicked deflection from a AFC Ringtons clearance. It gave the away team their thirst 3 points of the season. At Premier Park, a misunderstanding between Brew Tea Utd and Bristol Bluebirds (see above photo) amounted for nothing as both teams played out a bore 0-0 draw. Dorset Coasters target man Suresh Starr bagged 2 goals to help them cruise past Sporting Punjana. A soft penalty ensured Lancashire Tea FC claimed their first win of the campaign against Islington Piacha. A sluggish start to Yorkshire Tea FC‘s season continued as they went behind to a spirited team performance from Welsh Brew Town. Their growing fanbase will be absolutely delighted with that one.

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Suresh Starr in action for Dorset Coasters.

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So far we have 2 teams without a win. 1 team without a goal. 2 teams with maximum points and plenty of mid table mediocrity. Join us for Week 3’s games this Saturday. Will Yorkshire Tea FC score a proper goal? Will Welsh Brew Town give another show for the fans? Will Suresh Starr make a very early case for the Golden Brewt? Al sithee then.

 

TeaClub Premiership (Week 4)

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The TeaClub Premiership continues this week with a stirring set of mid-week fixtures to make anyone gasping for a brew. With 4 teams going into the games at the top of the table, the chance to be 1st going into the Xmas fixtures was all the motivation needed. Heading into the fixtures on the back of a 4-0 drubbing by Bristol Bluebirds, the management at AFC Ringtons were not happy. The possible booze cruise themed Christmas party the night before was cited as a reason for their woeful defending. Let’s see what Christmas cheer Round 4 brought…

Results:

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Round 4 brought plenty of goals and chaos, much to the delight of Dorset Coasters fans who made the long journey to see their team brush aside AFC Ringtons 3-0. This could be partly down to their not being a sober enough Goalkeeper to play between the sticks and having to put a fan in nets who plays for a local Sunday league team in North Shields. A late penalty gave Miles Smugglers a win away at Yorkshire Tea FC. Welsh Brew Tea suffered another 2-0 defeat, this time at the hands of Islington Piacha. Sporting Punjana dominated basement side Lancashire Tea FC with a convincing 3-1 win whilst Brew Tea Utd struggles continued with a 1-1 draw against Bristol Bluebirds.

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TeaClub Premiership photographer Tom Critchley was at Underhill Park to see a disappointing Nick Calvert (white & blue) up front against Islington Piacha.

Table

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So it’s Dorset Coasters and Sporting Punjana who go top after Round 4. Join us on Saturday for some more tasty fixtures. Will Lancashire Tea FC get their first win of the season? Will Brew Tea Utd cause an upset in Dorset? Will my 15-fold accumulator on Swedish and Austrian football fixtures come in? Let’s find out. See you there.

TeaClub Premiership (Week 3)

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It’s week 3 of the TeaClub Premiership. After 2 wins in 2 for Welsh Brew Town, the boys were in buoyant mood as they headed to Jurassic Park to face Dorset Coasters. At the other end of the table, Brew Tea Utd were at home to Yorkshire Tea FC and Lancashire Tea FC were looking for their first win of the season at home to fellow an injury hit Miles Smugglers.

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Above: Despite having to ground share with the local rugby team, Welsh Brew Town’s spirits are high as they celebrated being top of the league in Week 2.

Results:

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Round 3 saw a total of 10 goals scored with 4 of them coming from Bristol Bluebirds. It was a day to forget for the 274 AFC Ringtons fans who made the 600 mile round-trip. Welsh Brew Town were knocked off top spot by a plucky Dorset Coasters who got lucky with 2 dubious penalty decisions by referee Connor Chapman. It was more misery for Brew Tea Utd who couldn’t break down Yorkshire Tea FC. Elsewhere, Sporting Punjana defeated Islington Piacha 2-1 and Miles Smugglers got their first win of the season away at Lancashire Tea FC.

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Bristol Bluebirds hammered AFC Ringtons 4-0 with Brazilian striker Constel scoring a hat trick and taking the match ball.

Table

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Be sure to check back on Wednesday for Round 4’s results. With four teams at the top of the league, there’s plenty at stake.

TeaClub Premiership (Week 2)

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It’s week 2 of the TeaClub Premiership and there’s been quite the interest. With Welsh Brew Town sat atop on goal difference, a fan of the Town @ktownniko declared that “If we win tomorrow night i’m celebrating”. Let’s see how the Town got on at home against the Bristol Bluebirds. More importantly, how did the Yorkshire/Lancashire derby go? Find out below.

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Lancashire Tea FC went down 2-1 to Yorkshire Tea FC at Plumpton Park in the late televised game.

Week 2 saw the Yorkshire/Lancashire derby where Yorkshire Tea FC held on with 10 men to win 2-1. Elsewhere, Welsh Brew Town continued their good start with a 3-1 win against the Bristol Bluebirds. They are now the only team to be unbeaten. Brew Tea Utd go down 2-1 against a spirited AFC Ringtons who pick up their thirst win of the season.

Here’s how the table looks after 2 games.

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Join us on Saturday afternoon for Round 3 of the TeaClub Premiership. Who will be crowned king of Lancashire out of Brew Tea Utd and Lancashire Tea FC? Can Welsh Brew Town make it 3 out of 3 on the road at Dorset Coasters? Brace yourself!

2016 #teaclub Awards

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It’s the 4th annul #teaclub awards and we have 18 virtual trophies up for grabs. These trophies will be awarded to 18 different brands or people that have had a big influence on 2016. In what has been undoubtedly a crap year in general for various reasons, it’s things like tea and good people on Twitter that helps us stay positive.

Here’s last year categories and winners:

#teaclub Tea of the Year

2016 winner: Newby Teas – Upper Assam

2013 winner: Brew Tea Co – English Breakfast
2014 winner: Thompson’s Family Teas – Signature Blend
2015 winner: Miles West Country Blend

#teaclub Alternative Tea of the Year

2016 winner: Bluebird Tea Co – Rooibos Earl grey

2013 winner: Redbush Tea Company
2014 winner: Cascara
2015 winner: We Are Tea – Honeybush

Tea Company of the Year

2016 winner: Miles Tea & Coffee

2013 winner: Taylors of Harrogate
2014 winner: Brew Tea Co
2015 winner: Bluebird Tea Co

Loose Tea Blend of the Year

2016 winner: Piacha Tea – Cherry Black

2013 winner: Booth’s – Royal Assam
2014 winner: Jeeves and Jericho – Le Tour Yorkshire/Dales Brew
2015 winner: Brew Tea Co – Cold Brew Lemonade

#teaclub M’s Tea of 2016

2016 winner: 1860 Assam

2013 winner: Hazelmere Cafe – Burnside Estate, Nilgiri
2014 winner: Bellevue Tea – Belter
2015 winner: Birchall Tea – Pfunda

#teaclub B’s Tea of 2016

2016 winner: Ringtons – 80 Tea Bags

2013 winner: Plymouth Tea – Drake’s Blend
2014 winner: Tregothnan – English Breakfast
2015 winner: Ringtons – 80 Tea Bags

#teaclub Follower Award

2016 winner: @TomCritchley7

2013 winner: @hoggfather_
2014 winner: @graememackay90\
2015 winner: @theteawitch

#teaclub Non Tea Related Discovery of the Year

2016 winner: Desmond 2-2

2013 winner: East Fife FC
2014 winner: 3 Yorkshireteers
2015 winner: Biggleswade Utd

Social Media Award

2016 winner: Jason Evans

2013 winner: Dorset Tea
2014 winner: Miles Tea & Coffee
2015 winner: Tg Green Teas

Website of the Year

2016 winner: Miles Tea

2013 winner: Ringtons
2014 winner: Kent Tea and Coffee
2015 winner: Nothing But Tea

Sharp Dressed Award

2016 winner: Betty’s Tea Room Blend

2013 winner: Ajiri Tea
2014 winner: Jeeves and Jericho
2015 winner: Piacha Tea – Envelopes

#teaclub Best Day Out in 2016

2016 winner: Hebden Bridge

2013 winner: Harrogate
2014 winner: Hull
2015 winner: Settle

Tea Room of the Year

2016 winner: The Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite

2013 winner: Lavender Fields Tea Room, Keighley
2014 winner: Lavender Fields Tea Room, Keighley
2015 winner: Valentine’s Cafe, Hebden Bridge

Best Alternative Location for Tea

2016 winner: At the football match

2013 winner: Settle-Carlisle Railway
2014 winner: Ladbrokes
2015 winner: Heptonstall

Supermarket Tea Aisle Award

2016 winner: Booths, Ilkley

2013 winner: Tesco, Skipton
2014 winner: Booths, Settle
2015 winner: Waitrose, Bath

Best Tea Accessory

2016 winner: Jole – Frog Tea Infuser

2013 winner: Whittard’s of Chelsea – Frog infuser
2014 winner: Ringtons – Tea Infuser
2015 winner: We Are Tea – Simplicitea Tea Infuser

Lifetime Achievement

2016 winner: Miles Tea & Coffee

2013 winner: Yorkshire Tea
2014 winner: Ringtons
2015 winner: Brew Tea Co

Best Fish & Chips

2016 winner: The Fisherman, Settle

2013 winner: The Fisherman, Settle
2014 winner: The Fisherman, Settle
2015 winner: Bizzie Lizzie’s, Skipton