National Tea Day at Whittard

Everyone is familiar with my love of tea. I drink many cups a day, and drink a variety of teas. So, when I found out that there is a National Tea Day, I was ecstatic. An entire day devoted to tea. Surely that means that I can drink more tea than usual?! This week, Whittard invited me to a tea tasting at their shop in Kingston upon Thames, so that I would be prepared for National Tea Day.

If you’re not familiar with Whittard, they have been around since 1886. And to this day, they are passionate about sourcing the best tea from all over the world. I was able to sample some of their amazing teas. As a fan of Earl Grey, I was thrilled that they had several varieties, with my favourite being the Afternoon blend. It was so delicious, and I could have drunk it all afternoon.

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Damn Fine Cup of Tea

Okay, you might take umbrage that an American is about to tell you how to make a great cup of tea. But get over it. It’s happening.

I have previously blogged of my love of tea. And with this love, comes many years of practice and study. Although I will often be proper and get loose tea and a teapot out when friends come over, I have no qualms throwing a teabag into a mug, all casual-like.

Mummy Barrow blogged about making ‘the perfect cuppa’ last week. So I thought I would weigh in with my recipe for making a cup of Black/English breakfast tea. I prefer Yorkshire Hard Water, Clipper Organic and PG Tips (in that order). I am sure there are other good ones but I am happy with these.

Damn Fine Cup of Tea
1. Boil water.
2. While water is boiling, place teabag in a mug (preferably a big mug so you have more tea to drink).
3. Once water has boiled, wait 10 seconds then pour water into mug (on the side of the mug, not directly onto teabag as to not damage teabag). 
4. Take a spoon to gently push (and keep) the teabag down, to further infuse the tea. Steep teabag for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add milk, then sugar if needed.

Everyone’s milk preference differs, but I like my tea to be the colour of me. If you aren’t familiar with my skin colour, then this is what I’m talking about:

How do you make a damn fine cup of tea?

Polly Put the Kettle On

We moved house at the end of February and our new house had the most dilapidated kitchen I’ve ever seen. In fact, it did not have an oven, and the oven delivery/gasman would not install a new oven as he deemed the electrics and wood cladding on all the walls to be a fire hazard. We renovated it in April, making it lovely and modern and safe. And with a new kitchen, I knew we needed a new kettle.

I’ve previously blogged about my tea-drinking addiction (here). We hadn’t had a new kettle in years. And considering the amount of tea I drink, a new kettle was much needed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an avid researcher. Whether it is new trainers, coat hooks or a new kettle, I can spend months finding the ‘perfect’ item.

It took about a month, but I found the PERFECT kettle. In. White. It looks modern, and a bit retro, which fits in perfectly with the mid-century modern theme in which we are decorating our house. This bad boy boils water so quickly, you barely have time to get out a mug and a teabag. And it lightly beeps when the water has boiled, which is great as I am always chasing after kids and forgetting that I am trying to make a cup of tea. You can also adjust the temperature so that the water doesn’t have to boil. As you may know, herbal teas require hot rather than boiling water. And I drink a plethora of tea. All this talk of tea, I think I better go put the kettle on.

This blog post is my entry into the Tots100/PartSelect ’Love Your Appliance’ competition.

This appliance gets my seal of approval!

*Due to a few queries, I am updating this post to mention that my kettle is a Bosch Styline Kettle. We bought it from John Lewis as they offer a two-year guarantee with it. It has been reduced to £49.99 (damn). I was wary about noting it before because I did not want it to sound like the fine people at Bosch or John Lewis had secretly paid me for this post. They haven’t. I just really love my kettle. 

My Other Love

‘In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love’…TEA! 

I imagine Jane Austen turning over in her grave right about now.

It’s true, it’s true. I love tea. I haven’t always loved it like I do now. When I first moved to London in 2002, I would drink a cup of coffee a day and would have the occasional cup of tea. After a couple of months I swapped my morning coffee for tea, and then added another cup and then another cup. After I had my daughter in 2008, I started drinking 4-5 cups of tea. And now, I’m at 5-6 cups per day. I assume this is normal, right?

I start with a normal black tea, and continue but also intersperse Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong and/or Green Tea. I end the day with decaf tea. I love tea so much I thought I’d write a poem about it.

Tea, tea, how I love thee
Black, green, white and mint tea
In the morning, I need at least three
To keep me from going doo-lal-ly
Forget coffee or hot choccy,
What I adore is tea,
and I’ve been addicted since 2003