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 Miles Tea (&Coffee) in Minehead

Visit Miles Tea & Coffee... tick that off the bucket list!

Visit Miles Tea & Coffee… tick that off the bucket list!

Tuesday night and my girlfriend suggests we go to Dunster Castle, near Minehead. I’m all in favour of this because I do enjoy walks out in spectacular English country gardens and our days out always consist of a cream tea somewhere. Then I had a lightbulb moment. Miles Tea & Coffee, one of my favourite bagged teas, are based in Minehead. This could be my moment. Not only to get a box of Smuggler’s Gold, but also say hello to the fine people that work for such a great brand.

At first I couldn't find Smuggler's Gold in the shops, so settled for some great tasting West Country blend (along with a couple of cheeky ciders from Perry's Farm Shop).

At first I couldn’t find Smuggler’s Gold in the shops, so settled for some great tasting West Country blend (along with a couple of cheeky ciders from Perry’s Farm Shop).

I sent a tweet. Then a reply came in the form of a Direct Message. I’d only just gone and recieved an invite for a tour of the site if I had a spare 20 minutes. A spare 20 minutes? I’d clear the diary for stuff like this! I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait. Miles Tea is easily a top 5 bagged tea for me and I know co-founder of the #teaclub, Benn, would go along with this too. Each bag of their original blend creates a refreshing brew that isn’t too strong, nor too weak. It’s a perfect balance of African and Indian teas. In fact it was only a couple days prior that i’d bought a box at the Perry’s Cider farm shop. Great timing!

We arrived at Miles HQ just before 11am. I couldn’t wait to open the reception door and ask for Matt, who would be my guide for the visit. When I spoke to the lovely receptionist to see if Matt was in, I was instantly asked ‘Are you Michael?’. We are off to a flyer here! My girlfriend and I waited for a couple of minutes, which gave us 120 seconds (I’m good at maths me) to drool, well I was drooling, over the fine assortment of teas on sale. Ok, I admit it, I saw a packet of white chocolate coated coffee beans and I was tempted to buy some. Ok, i’ll admit that I did indeed buy a box at the end.

Matt came down and we all shook hands and said hello. Except for my girlfriend and I. That’d just be weird. Matt invited us through to what looked to be the staff canteen where he popped the question: ‘fancy a brew?’. This was going to be a great day. A few minutes later and we all had a cup of tea in a Miles Tea & Coffee branded mug. I totally should have got hold of one of these for my mug collection.

Matt talked about the growth of Miles Tea & Coffee over the years and explained what changed had occurred and what prompted them to happen. We discussed the new packaging before agreeing that it looks striking, elegant and reflects the company’s values and heritage. I told Matt that I had previously had a tour of Yorkshire Tea HQ so could offer some comparisons to the Miles Tea & Coffee site, It was a frank and honest discussion about the big strides the company had made, the obstacles that had faced them and the aspirations for the future. There was talk of the internet, competitions, pop up tea bars and sales. Much of which I can’t/wouldn’t want to go into further detail. But I can say that exciting times are ahead!

M from the #teaclub feeling dead chuffed at seeing loads of tea being packed.

M from the #teaclub feeling dead chuffed at seeing loads of tea being packed.

After gulping down our teas we set off on a wonderful tour of the site. First up was the packaging area where we saw two or three people dealing with the assembling of tea boxes, tea bags and general packaging for sale. Matt explained the process of getting the tea from machine to the place where the tea is poured into the tea bag to where the tea bags are placed into the boxes. Most of this was done by real human beings, not robots, which was very refreshing to see. Exactly why we should enjoy and support the independent tea companies.

My tour guide was the brilliant Matt. Here we both are enjoying the warehouse tour.

My tour guide was the brilliant Matt. Here we both are enjoying the warehouse tour.

My face lit up like a Christmas Tree when I saw a pallet full of Malawi tea.

My face lit up like a Christmas Tree when I saw a pallet full of Malawi tea.

We then donned our hi-vis jackets and proceeded to the warehouse next door. Now this was the stuff dreams are made of. Pallets upon pallets of tea-glorious-tea. I could do a full 360 degrees turn and see nothing but tea. To my right was what could only be described as the menu of teas stocked by Miles. Ahead of me was endless boxes of tea. To my left the warehouse just seemed to go on for miles, which wetted my appetite nicely, and behind me was…well… the door we just came through. Walking the warehouse and hearing the quirky facts from Matt was just brilliant. He told us about tea that goes for retail, tea that goes to cafes and tea that goes to hotels etc. The same goes for the cofees and hot chocolates, which were also showcased in the warehouse. There was plenty of buzz about the new packaging, especially with the hot chocolate. Later on, when I saw a pallet full of Malawi tea, I was just in awe! I love Malawi tea and was delighted to see that it was used in Miles Tea blends. I hope I haven’t spoiled a secret here Matt?!

Forget the gadget shops, these are proper tools. Oh wait, now that sounds like I'm insulting someone.

Forget the gadget shops, these are proper tools. Oh wait, now that sounds like I’m insulting someone.

At the far end of the warehouse we saw machines. This is where the magic happens. Heavy sacks of tea gets poured into a mixer, sometimes a cement mixer I kid you not, where the different teas have conversations with one another as they mingle. Hearing the logistics of Earl Grey processing and seeing the resulting blends gathered in a big tray, it felt like I had reach the zenith of my career at the #teaclub.

All good things come to an end. I didn't want to leave the shop!

All good things come to an end. I didn’t want to leave the shop!

All this was topped off with a sneaky peak at the Christmas stock and other sneaky peaks in the office. All I can say is, stay tuned and have a good internet connection. We ended the day with a tasting room showing before a visit to the shop, where I managed to get my hands on some Smuggler’s Gold Tea, Fairtrade Tea and White Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans (don’t hate as they are spot on!).

A huge thank you to Matt at Miles Tea & Coffee for giving up his time to show us round the site in Minehead. From what was only initially billed as a 20 minute slot. it turned into a magical hour and a half of tea madness. I got to drink tea in the staff room, see a warehouse full of tea, see tea being blended, see tea being packaged and buy tea at the shop. Oh and Matt even gave me a few coffee sam… ok maybe I shouldn’t admit to that.

Right, I’m off to make a cuppa. Anyone for tea? -M