Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments for the Curious Gourmet: Zero Waste Tea Subscription review

Tea Shirt logoTea Shirt Tailored Refreshments have just brought out a new tea subscription; the first ZERO WASTE tea subscription.  Everything from the packing box, pouches, labels, teabag envelopes to the tea leaves can all be recycled and placed in your cardboard/paper recycle box and the used leaves in your vegetation/garden waste box.  Another plus is that everything all packs neatly in a packing box that fits perfectly through your letterbox so no fear of a missed parcel delivery.

To buy link:  https://tea-shirt.co.uk/collections/subscriptions

There are two options to choose from:  Build A Box, were you choose your own teas from a selection; Discovery Box which will be picked by Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments according to your tea type (i.e. Plain or Flavoured Teas, Herbal, Fruit or Spice Blends or Both).  If you have any allergies or health concerns please let Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments know and your tea will be chosen according to your needs.

What’s in the Box

  • Four samples of loose leaf tea (each sample of tea would be enough for 5/6 cups)
  • Tea filter bags including a bamboo stick to hold your bags in place
  • Tea tasting notes and steeping guidelines
  • Your first box will also include a tea spoon

I chose the Discovery Box and was thrilled to receive my first box a few weeks ago.  In my box I received samples of Golden Monkey, Assam 2nd Flush Hattialli Tea Estate, Decaf Chai, Hibiscus herbal tea.


golden monkeyGolden Monkey – Is an organic black tea from Yunnan.  The dried leaves are very distinctive with the long golden, almost gnarly like, leaves.  The name of the tea comes from the leaves that resemble monkeys claws.  I’ve not tried this blend of tea before and I was so excited to try a new blend.  The taste is light and refreshing and very drinkable.  There’s a subtle earthy sweetness.  This could be a drink enjoyed throughout the day.


The teabag filters and bamboo stick that comes in your box is so easy to use, a pictorial card is supplied to guide you.  When I use my tea I always save the tea with it’s filter so I can re-steep again.


assam 2nd flushAssam 2nd Flush Hattialli Tea Estate – Is a carefully processed Assam black tea with large leaves and lots of golden tips.  Some Assam teas I find sharp and bitter but this blend produced a bright, malty taste that had a slight gentleness to it.  With Assam teas I only steep for around 2 minutes as I prefer this lighter version but for more intensity leave your tea steeping for 3/4 minutes.


decaf chaiDecaf Chai – A decaffeinated Ceylon Black tea with organic spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black pepper).  I’ve tried this blend before as I enquired about a Decaf Chai to the co-founders of Tea Shirt and they blended a decaf chai for me using their Ceylon decaf and a blend of aromatic spices.  I’m so pleased with the result and that it was included in the Discovery Subscription box.   I steeped for 3 minutes which left me with a wonderful, tasty, aromatic drink. Not one spice overpowered the other and they gently warm you from within. Combined with the black Ceylon tea leaves this is a lovely satisfying cuppa. A chai that’s as warm and comforting as the original but without the buzz of caffeine = a chai that can be enjoyed anytime of the day.


Hibiscus herbal tea – I was fascinated with this tea with it’s whole hibiscus flowers.  I wasn’t sure how much to pop in my filter, so I added two flowers and steeped for 5/6 minutes.  However, I think I could have used just one flower.  This gives an intense rich red colour and the taste is fruity with a slight tartness.  I loved it!  I think this would make a perfect iced tea as well as a warm, comforting hot drink.

That’s all the samples of tea from my first box tasted and I loved them all and will definitely be putting in a re-order.  Subscribers will also be entitled to a 5% discount on purchasers from the website.

Discount Code:  To purchase a tea subscription of your own please visit the link above and use the code FIRSTBOX to get 50% off your first box.

This is an endorsement of a product/service and all views are my own.

To learn more about Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://tea-shirt.co.uk/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/teashirtlondon

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/teashirtlondon

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/teashirtlondon/




Rosie Lea Tea review

rosie lea tea logoI’ve followed Rosie Lea Tea on Instagram for a while now and have tried a few of their teas with success.  So to expand my tea tasting from Rosie Lea I decided to place an order from their Literary collection, Children’s Classic Collection (which includes the cake inspired tea), black tea range and a few tea accessories.

About Rosie Lea (as per their website)

We offer quality & hand blended loose leaf tea, all hand-blended in the UK. Innovation and offering great value are our key values.

We personally hand blend many of our teas to provide unique tea blends and are always looking for the next ‘eureka’ moment. With an expanding tea accessory range and our new subscription box service focusing on our Literary tea range, there is more than just a hot drink to explore on our site.  Whatever you are looking for, there is a perfect brew for everyone. We provide tea from around the world such as China, India, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Website link:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/

Literary Tea Collection (as per their website)

There are so many wonderful authors to choose from!  Literary greats that have stood the test of time.

We love all things about tea and as avid bookworms we can think of nothing better than to match tea with books.   Our own hand blended teas have been matched up with true literary greats such as Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Lewis Carroll. This collection is inspirational as a tea treat for someone special! Enjoy drinking each and every one while consuming the written word.  Perfect as a literary gift or a little bookish self indulgence!  
I decided to buy from the Jane Austen Collection and I chose the Mansfield Park tea blend.
Mansfield Park – ‘There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort’ – The youngest downy bud of white tea, it has a most delicate flavour with the beautiful aromatic essence of jasmine flowers, a heavenly match!
INGREDIENTS: Chinese white tea, and jasmine flowers.   Naturally Contains Caffeine.
To buy link:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection/products/jane-austen-tea-collection-individual-blends

There was a wonderful, subtle floral taste to this white tea blend and I found myself drinking a pot full as it was a very drinkable, refreshing brew.  Would make a perfect afternoon cuppa ideally paired with a book.  I could definitely imagine Jane Austen drinking a cup of this in her parlour.


I also purchased from the Children’s Classic Collection, I chose Heidi with a tin of Lemon Drizzle Cake. 

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE: A fabulous blend of green tea with the beautifully balanced citrus zing of lemons, a bright refreshing tea and a perfect accompaniment to a slice of drizzle cake!
INGREDIENTS: Chinese green tea, lemongrass, lemon verbena, flavour, lemon pieces. Naturally contains caffeine.

To buy link:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection/products/childrenc-classic-books-inspired-tea-literary-gift

I’m not a huge Green Tea drinker but love tea blends with lemongrass and verbena in so was intrigued about this blend.  This is a pleasant green tea and the addition of lemon verbena and lemongrass was perfect, making it a bright citrusy tea, most definitely reminiscent to Lemon Drizzle Cake but without the calories.


Broadstairs Blend Loose Tea Blend
Rosie Lea are based in Broadstairs in Kent.  This tea was blended in celebration of this little seaside town.  It’s a black tea blend that is widely used in outlets across the Kent seaside town.  This tea is a lovely rich balance of strong Indian Assam, golden Ceylon and the slightly perfumed balance of Keemun;  it is based on a more traditional recipe for breakfast blends.
Assam Indian black tea, Sri Lankan Dimbula black tea, China Keemun black tea.
Naturally contains caffeine.

To buy link:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/black-tea/products/black-tea-broadstairs-breakfast

I tried this tea as my morning cuppa and it was revitalising without being too full-on as the three individual leaves of Assam, Ceylon and Keemun blended well together.


Rosie Lea also offer a wide range of tea accessories including infusers, caddies and spoons.  I decided to buy a caddy to store one of my tea blends in and a wooden shovel.  The wooden shovel is the perfect size to dispense the right amount of leaves for one cup of your favourite brew.

To buy link:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/tea-infuser-caddy-accessories

Rosie Lea Tea currently have an Easter offer on till 2nd April 2018.  Use code EASTER18 for 10% off orders over £10 (excluding p & p).

To learn more about Rosie Lea Tea please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/rosieleateauk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rosieleateauk

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/rosieleateauk/

This is an endorsement of a product/service and all views are my own.


eteaket 7 Day Detox Tea Collection review

eteaket are a looseleaf tea merchant based in Edinburgh.  Founded in 2008 Erica Moore and her team are passionate about tea and love to spread their knowledge and enthusiasm at their Tea Room on Frederick Street, Edinburgh and at their Concept Store on Rose Street, Edinburgh.  Their website is also a great place for tea talk and has an online store to top up your tea caddies with your favourite brew or a new one; which leads me on to my review of their new 7 Day Detox Tea Collection.

I was kindly sent a 7 Day Detox Tea Collection to try and as per my love of books I am keen to share my love of tea.

7 Day Detox Collection is a collection of 7 packs of loose leaf black, green, white, herbal and fruit teas.  In each pack there is enough loose leaf tea to make roughly 2/3 cups.  The collection is an ideal introduction to new blends of tea, tea that is naturally decaf free or low in caffeine. This collection is perfect if you are introducing yourself to a healthier lifestyle.  You could take the #teatoxchallenge or swap one or two of your regular hot drinks to one of the blends in this collection.

eteaket 7 day detox tea chest

Included in the 7 Day Detox Collection are the following blends:

Blueberry Rooibos (about 10g) – a bright fresh fruity Rooibos with the character of fresh wild blueberries and a sweet and tangy aroma. High quality Rooibos is blended with blueberry, elderberry, raisins, apple, cornflowers and hibiscus to create this colourful cup.

I haven’t had the chance to try this blend yet …

peppermint eteaket teaPerfect Peppermint – a cool and invigorating herbal infusion  Peppermint tea helps to cleanse your palate and aid digestion and is perfect for those with a caffeine intolerance, and like the Prince of Bel-Air our Perfect Peppermint is most definitely Fresh!

This is a perfect take time-out drink.  Its refreshing with a cool minty taste.

lemon n ginger eteaket teaLemon & Ginger (about 10g)– this herbal infusion is like a hug in a mug. Fragrant lemongrass is expertly blended with lemon peel, ginger peel and just a hint of liquorice. Fabulous as a cold buster in winter but makes a truly remarkable iced tea in the summer!

I do enjoy a Lemon and Ginger tea especially when it’s cold and you are feeling a little run down but I did find this blend just a little sweet for my taste.

cranberry and apple riot teaCranberry Apple Riot (about 10g) – Our Cranberry Apple Riot fruit infusion is quite simply a superlative blend of cranberry and apple pieces that produces a riotous fruity taste! The apple creates a beautifully sweet taste with the  cranberry pieces adding a slightly tart finish. An absolute riot in a tea cup.

I enjoyed sampling this fruity infusion whilst watching a movie.  It was a welcome alternative to a sugary soft drink.

decaf breakfast tea eteaketDecaffeinated Breakfast Blend (about 10g) – this tea hails from Sri Lanka and has all the good bits of a strong hearty black tea blend but without the caffeine. Even though it’s a decaf, we have managed to retain all the taste because the leaves were decaffeinated naturally at origin whilst in the green leaf state – that’s right, no nasty chemical processing.  Our Decaf Breakfast Tea is a true guilt-free pleasure.

I really enjoyed this decaffeinated breakfast blend; it was warming, comforting and tasty.  I could drink it all day.

green tea eteaketGyokuro (about 10g) – Our Gyokuro is our favourite green tea here at eteaket HQ, deep, dark and mysterious… just how we like our men. The bushes used for this rare and much coveted Gyokuro tea are shaded for the first 3 weeks of May while the first flush develops. This decreases the bitterness and results in a sweet, flavourful cup. Gyokuro is considered Japan’s best tea. Raise a cup and show your appreciation.

This was a completely new blend of green tea for me.  I’m not a big green tea drinker but this was a perfect drink to enjoy at lunchtime and in the afternoon.  This tea was light, refreshing and had a subtle sweetness.

white peony tea eteaketWhite Peony (about 5g) – this white tea is made from the buds and leaves that remain after the more famous Silver Needle has been harvested. This tea is a winner in its own right without stealing all the limelight. The fresh and mellow brew has notes of melon and is very good for you.

This is a beautiful mellow cup of white tea.

This is an endorsement of a product/service and all views are my own.

eteaket have kindly offered a prize of a Detox Tea Collection for one of my readers.  To enter the giveaway please click on the rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn more about eteaket Leaf Tea Experts please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.eteaket.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/eteaket

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/eteaket

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/eteaket/

Best of the best in 2017

tea n book quote

I’ve had another wonderful year of reading and managed to finish 120 books.  From the 120 books read 52 of them were from new authors to me, so you can say 2017 was the year of discovering new talent.

It’s always very difficult for a book lover to choose their favourite reads of the year.  I enjoy many books from a wide variety of genres and tend to rate them by my overall enjoyment.  However, I would like to highlight a few that I particularly loved:

The Wild Warriners series by Virginia Heath.  Mills and Boon Historical writer Virginia Heath created a new series for us this year and I completely fell in love with it.  The Warriners are four brothers trying to escape the bad reputation that their late father has left them with.  We have been introduced to two of the brothers to-date and shortly in the new year we will be treated to another instalment from the Warriners.  I would say it’s like a 19th century rural middle England ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.’


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  The Bear and The Nightingale is a grown up version of a fairytale set in Russia dealing with loss, grief, family struggles, forbidden love with a wonderful mystery of mythology and unknown magical creatures.  This book and it’s story would look impressive with a big movie budget bringing all the characters and creatures to life, a blockbuster in the making.

all the good things

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher.  A very moving, insightful story that was full of real life raw emotions, there was no sugar coating around the edges of life’s turbulent at times bumps in the road. A wonderful, inspiring debut that I feel should be read by all that have any involvement with young people. The words from this book will stay with me for a long time.

bamboo heart

Bamboo Heart by Ann Bennett.  The author, Ann Bennett, wrote with such passion and honesty. She left no scene without telling the shocking truth of a young man’s struggle to survive in the most terrifying of ordeals. The story sounds quite oppressive but it wasn’t as you were dealing with real people’s emotions and even during times of war love always found a way to bring sunshine and hope to your days.

the woolly hat knitting club

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan.  This was a joy to read.  Poppy Dolan has created the most delightful, charming romcom that leaves you with a wonderful warm cosy feeling.

summer of impossible things

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.  This novel got me from the start to the finish. I was captivated by this almost other worldly love story. A story of a love between a mother and a daughter; a story of a love that seemed almost impossible to believe but the consequence of never feeling the strength of this love is almost too heart breaking to think about.

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca StonehillThis was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me. A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

walking wounded

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne.  This was such an emotive story that deeply moved me, at one point I had to stop reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  The author takes you on a very emotional journey, one that millions took that had no choice but to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

teacup border

As many of you will know I love my loose leaf tea and some my favourite blends this year have been:

  • William Wilberforce Blend by The Tea Shop, Hull.  A lovely blend of African black teas.  To find out more details and buy http://teashophull.co.uk/
  • White Bellini by The Tea Experience, UK.  A gentle white tea that’s fruity and refreshing.  To find out more details and buy http://www.teaexperience.co.uk/
  • Cinnamon Bun by Jollybrew Tea.  A festive blend of black tea with a warming taste of cinnamon.  To find out more details and buy https://www.jollybrew.co.uk/
  • Ceylon Decaff by Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments.  A lovely well-rounded black tea without caffeine.  To find out more details and buy https://tea-shirt.co.uk/
  • Lemongrass and Ginger by Chai Kai Tea Company.  This is a perfect combination to drink at any time of the day but especially comforting when you are suffering with a cold.  To find out more details and buy http://chaikaitea.com/

I’d like to thank you all for the support I’ve received this year sharing the love of reading and books.  Wishing you all a wonderful, happy, healthy 2018.