POSITIVE PARCEL // PRODUCT REVIEW

I’ve recently had the pleasure of receiving a gorgeous & very heartwarming box from none other than Positive Parcel. As the name clearly suggests, they exist to spread little boxes of positivity. The perfect pick me up for yourself, or just a little reminder to someone close that you’re thinking of them, or simply sending them a little smile. The box is made up of some yummy treats, these include 2 homemade chocolates from Positive Parcel (white chocolate, which is delicious), plus some Happy Tea from Teapigs. Receiving this actually allowed me to try Teapigs for the first time & I was v impressed! A subtle lemon tea that can lift your mood. The other bits in the box are sadly not edible, all very lovely nonetheless. The other items include a Relax Candle (this smelt absolutely amazing, I could smell it as soon as I’d unwrapped the post packaging, not the box!!), The Happy Newspaper, which features plenty of happy & uplifting news, Sticky Notes, (because when are sticky notes not useful?!) & a very calming colouring in sheet. I absolutely loved receiving my Positive Parcel, & it brought a genuine smile to my face. Help spread the joy & send a parcel yourself, at £17.99 with 10% of profits go to mental health charity Mind, too. 
Thank you very much to @positive_parcel for bringing a smile straight to my doorstep 🙂 [GIFTED]

Nationwide tea drinking survey reveals younger consumers coming back to tea during lockdown

Thanks to Jungle Cat Solutions for the following content

OUR LOCKDOWN LOVE AFFAIR WITH TEA IS HERE TO STAY

Nationwide tea-drinking survey reveals younger consumers coming back to tea due to hydration benefits and feel-good factor

A new independent survey of more than 2000 adults across the UK, commissioned by the UKTIA (the UK Tea and Infusions Association) – the authority on tea – has found that younger adults have rediscovered their love of tea during lockdown [1].

In-between juggling Zoom calls, remote working, online shopping and homeschooling, four in ten of 18-34-year olds are more likely to brew a warming mug of tea than before lockdown. And more than nine in ten say their tea-drinking habits are here to stay or will even increase in the future.

Overall, 86 per cent of adults are now tea drinkers – a rise of nine percentage points since a major government survey in 2000[2]. This equates to an extra 1 million tea drinkers[3]. Around half (53 per cent) are drinking tea daily, rising to more than 60 per cent in the over 55s.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Sharon Hall from the UKTIA said: “Everyone knows that wonderful ‘ah’ feeling of sitting down with a mug of tea, especially when you’ve had a busy or stressful day.

“This is probably why more than half of those responding to the survey (53 per cent) cited the ‘feel good’ factor as a reason for upping their tea intake. This was followed by hydration and the opportunity to socialise with family and friends, even if these days that means sharing a cuppa during a virtual chat.

“Lockdown has been hard for most of us – working alone at home and separated from loved ones, or dealing with boisterous children. Having a tea break has been one way for us to take a break in the confines of our own homes.

“Interestingly, younger consumers in their twenties and thirties are being more adventurous with their tea choices. Around four in ten tried new teas during lockdown – including herbal infusions for immunity, teas with added vitamins and different flavours of teas.

“In contrast, consumers aged 45 years plus are more likely to stick to family favourites – such as regular black tea – as nine out of ten said they were happy with their usual brew.

“With fewer opportunities to get out to cafes and restaurants, the lockdown was definitely the time for us to rediscover our love of tea – and it’s great that most people plan to stick with their new tea habit”.

Dr Sharon Hall’s top tips for the perfect cup of tea:
1. Always fill the kettle with fresh water each time you make a brew. This is because boiling for too long removes oxygen from the water and affects the taste.
2. Only boil the amount of water you need; this helps save energy
3. Just boiled water should be used for black tea. Green tea needs a slightly cooler temperature to bring out its best flavour, so wait a couple of minutes before you brew. Always read the instructions on the pack.
4. The hot water “energises” the leaf and extracts all the character the tea. Brewing time is a matter of taste, but you should allow your tea to brew for up to 3 minutes if you want to max out on the health-promoting polyphenol compounds found naturally in tea.
5. Brewing tea from a bag in a mug? Milk in last is best. That’s to maintain the optimal brewing temperature.

NATUR BOUTIQUE HIBISCUS TEA // NEW PRODUCT

Thank you to New Chapter Marketing for the following content.

A taste of Mexico in a glass
You might assume that ‘Agua de Jamaica’ is a drink from the Caribbean, but it actually translates as ‘Hibiscus Water’ in Mexico and is a popular beverage drunk as a refreshing accompaniment to a midday
meal.

Sweet and tart at the same time, Hibiscus Water is traditionally made through a relatively long process of rehydrating and straining dried hibiscus flowers, but, thanks to Natur Boutique’s Organic Hibiscus Tea, it’s now super simple…

Make a pot of hibiscus tea, allow to cool, sweeten to your taste
with sugar, add a squeeze of lime (optional) and pour over ice
for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

All we need now is some Mexican sunshine!

Natur Boutique’s Hibiscus Tea is available from Ocado, Amazon, Health Stores and naturboutique.co.uk.

Please note: DO NOT USE if pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or suffering with low blood pressure.

[GIFTED]

MISS TEASMITH – PRODUCT REVIEW

So recently here at Essex Foodies I have had the absolute pleasure of sampling a selection of fine loose leaf teas courtesy of Miss Teasmith. I received samples of 5 different flavours/styles of teas, all very different from one another. The different teas were made up of – 

Ceylon Chai – comprising of Sri Lankan black tea & the spices of this tropical island.

Dark Romance – comprising of Sri Lankan black tea, cocoa shells & nibs, liquorice & mint, described as ‘pudding in a tea cup!’

Rooibos & Passion – comprising of rooibos, passionfruit, rose petals & rhubarb pieces (no caffeine).

Empa-Tea – a ginger & lemongrass herbal infusion.

Earl on the Moor – an orange black tea blend, made with blood orange & lavender.

Each of the teas were exceptionally different from one another, as to be expected, and each offered their very own take on a cup of tea. To start with, the Ceylon Chai was very bold, & very strong. Personally, I love a strong cup of tea (only a splash of milk, no sugar for me), so this is certainly something I would go for every day, alongside Earl on the Moor. EOTM has been my favourite out of the teas as it offers a slight twist on a classic, yet remains mellow & smooth. As I say, I would happily drink these every day! Next up we have got Empa-Tea. I found this tea a little too strong for my liking, I’m not a huge fan of really creative teas so I found this a little bit too overpowering for myself, not because the tea itself was too strong, but more because I find ginger can sometimes be a bit too much, however I would recommend this if you like your teas slightly more different tasting & you like a stronger, more different flavoured bold tea (think along the lines of peppermint for example). Onto Dark Romance, this was the tea I was most excited to try as it offers a completely different take on a cup of tea, described by Miss Teasmith herself as ‘pudding in a teacup’ – essentially dessert with less calories, perfect! I really liked the idea of this tea being dessert like, & it really did get me wondering just what it would taste like, so when the time came, I was not disappointed! The tea is lovely & strong yet sweet & dessert like – something very unusual but a welcomed twist. Lastly we have Rooibos & Passion, another tea I was very much looking forward to trying. I love all things passionfruit, so this was one I was certainly intrigued by. The tea itself was almost peachy, very smooth & full of fruity character. Almost tasting just like summer (think of those iced teas you would purchase in a supermarket on holiday!) It’s a strange way to describe a drink but I would say it was very feminine – perfect for a girls afternoon for example, so forget cocktails, & pour yourself a tea, hot or perhaps wait for it to cool, serve chilled & over lots of ice on a lovely sunny day. 

Thank you so much to Miss Teasmith for getting these lovely teas over to Essex Foodies, with lockdown still ongoing my plan is to enjoy them with friends, as restrictions ease, with some lovely socially-distanced afternoon teas. To get your hands on these goodies, simply visit www.missteasmith.com & sign up for 20% off of your first order, as well as free delivery over orders of £25.

#AD #GIFTED

ROYAL HOTEL // AFTERNOON TEA REVIEW

Last weekend Essex Foodies were lucky enough to be treated to an afternoon tea with fizz courtesy of The Royal Hotel in Southend. The afternoon offered everything you’d expect from an afternoon tea – delicate finger sandwiches, melt-in-the-mouth scones, deliciously rich cakes, as well as endless amounts of tea/coffee & the odd tipple.

Upon arrival, we were shown to our table overlooking a very busy Southend Seafront (thanks to the warm weather), & were served up a luscious glass of prosecco, neatly finished with a decorative raspberry. The prosecco went down a treat (as did it all!)

Next to arrive were our hot drinks – I opted for tea & Mum went for coffee. Each of us were given a large pot with our drinks of choice which were regularly topped up – service here was smooth & faultless, the girls waiting on us were so on the ball & made sure we never went without, or never left waiting.

Shortly after, the sandwich/cake stand arrived, & it looked incredible. On the menu there was;

sandwiches
– chicken mayo (my favourite by far)
– salmon & cream cheese
– egg mayo
– cucumber & cream cheese

scones
– fruit
– plain

cakes
– white chocolate tart
– strawberry bevarois
– Carribean cake

Despite there being plenty, we managed to get through everything! The sandwiches were perfect – the bread was fluffy & soft, & the sandwiches were not overloaded with filling meaning they weren’t too sickly – so top marks all round on the sandwich front! The scones again were perfect – they were still warm so you knew they had been freshly baked, & once you had sliced into them, they just crumbled – divine! The cakes were of course a hit too – they were sweet & complimented the savoury tastes very well. My favourite dessert was the white chocolate tart – it was light like a mousse but offered a depth of flavour. Again, top marks all round! Everything that was served up was eaten, so to me this speaks volumes. The Royal Hotel have certainly got the afternoon tea down to a t (pardon the pun!)

You will see from the photos below also how gorgeous everything looked – from the hotel itself, to the food. I would say that this is the perfect place for a girly treat.

A massive thank you to The Royal Hotel for having us, especially to Matt (Director) for inviting us along, & to all of the girls that looked after us on the day, everybody was so forthcoming & friendly & made it a very pleasurable experience. We can’t wait to come back!

#AD #GIFTED