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.

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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

TeaClub Premiership (Week 1)

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In the inaugural round of fixtures, 10 teams battled it out in the TeaClub Premiership. It was brews, sweat and tears for 90 minutes as teams representing their company brought some caffeine and anti-oxidants to football.

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It was a full house at Jurassic Park for the South West derby between Dorset and Miles.

Week 1 saw the South West derby between the Dorset Coasters and Miles Smugglers, which ended 1-0 to the home team.Elsewhere, wins for the Bristol Bluebirds and a 90th minute winner for Welsh Brew Town means 3 teams sit joint top of the league.

Here’s how the table looks.

round-1

TeaClub Premiership

Join us on Wednesday night for Round 2 of the TeaClub Premiership. It’s the big one: Yorkshire Tea FC v Lancashire Tea FC. Yorkshire v Lancashire. Puddings v Hotpots.

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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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.

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