Welcome to Britain’s Best Tea Guide Edition 2 – Tea Times Are Changing

Your guide to which products are a must try this season!

With the National Tea Day Fes-Tea-Val taking place on the 21st and 22nd of April 2018 this is your chance to get the inside line on new products, new recipes and top new combinations to try with a cuppa ahead of the event. This week we are focusing on products outside the norm, those products you have never tried but once you do you will wonder where they have been all your life!

VITALI-TEA

Healthy can take a lot of different shapes and there are a few alternative rules to keep in mind: 

  1. Change it up, after all nothing ruins a diet like monotony which will leave you reaching for the nearest deep-fried snack you can get your hands on
  2. More is less (in the case of tea), the more low calorie tea you have the less space you have for other higher calorie items, genius right!
  3. ‘You’re hot then you’re cold’, we remain convinced Katy Perry was talking about tea when she wrote this. You’ll see why below.
A SWEET AND HEALTHY WAY TO START THE DAY

PURE LEAF, CHAI

A lot of people don’t know about Chai, if they do they often don’t know what it actually is. If you know what it is and know all about it then you are just fab! This Chai from Pure Leaf exotic blending black teas with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and bold spices to create an authentic, aromatic cup. This is a unique sweet and spicy drink which delivers a warming taste. Basically it is the kick you need in the morning without Cof**e (the word we don’t mention) or loads of sugar in your tea!
SOPHISTICATED, SPARKLING TEA

GREEN LADY, SPARKLING TEA

This is where the cold part of the tea equation comes in with this truly beautiful drink. The reason it is in the Vitali-Tea section of our blog is that it is a genuine substitute for alcohol or sugary replacements. It is super sophisticated too in a sleek green bottle and ingredients include Darjeeling (the champagne of teas), Carob Fruit, Nutmeg and Sparkling Water. It also makes you a more interesting person, bring a bottle of this to a party and we guarantee people will ask you what you are drinking!

AFTERNOON TEA

The amount of brilliant afternoon teas out there mean that we are asking the question, ‘Why aren’t there more days in the week?’ – we are going to get a petition going! The afternoon craze has been steeping the nation and to help you choose the best one for you we have 3 of our favourites listed here: For our full list of associated venues go to TeaNearMe.co.uk
latest scientific

breakthrough!

The Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersands South Kensington neighbour the Science Museum is rather fittingly the inspiration for this afternoon tea. The great thing with this luxurious tea is it is family friendly too so makes just the perfect follow up to a day out, and there are even test tubes for the kids to make their own concoctions! Couple this with innovative snacks like the Cheese Planet Mousse with Spaceman and Bread Dinosaurs and you are onto an alternative but totally winning afternoon tea.
Modern,

Chinese inspired

Millennium Hotel Knightsbridge

Considering the luxury surrounds and quintessentially British location one might be forgiven for expecting a very classically British afternoon tea. You would be wrong. This Chinese inspired afternoon tea in restaurant Le Chinois offers modern Cantonese cuisine to create this twist on afternoon tea including sweet treats and dim sum. Luckily however it still comes with a glass of Champagne!
Classic (affordable)

luxury

The Marriott Hotel Preston

Stroll in the beautiful gardens, enjoy the clink of glasses on the terrace or dine al fresco with wonderful views across lush lawns to the ornamental gardens of Calverley Park, after this you can take afternoon tea in the Tea Lounge. This truly is everyday indulgence with the experience including Severn & Wye smoked salmon and cream cheese on dark rye bread, egg and cress mayonnaise brioche sub, ham with Gruyère croissant, heritage tomato and tapenade galette, goat’s cheese and spinach quiche, followed by our selection of cream tea.

Fresh ‘n’ Tast-tea

We are always on the look out for new innovations in tea – after all, with so many thousands of varieties of teas out there why drink the same old cuppa everyday? The products we list in this section are teas which we recommend you add to your wish list and be sure to check out at Fes-Tea-Val! Some products are about innovating the very way we take tea whilst other products are unique single estate teas which you are unlikely to have ever tried. We think the key to being a tea lover is having an open mind and trying new products – if you try any of our recommendations take a photo and be sure to tag us on social media @Nationalteaday.
Fruit tea you’ve never seen before

Bit Tea

When you think fruit tea we bet you think tisane or herbal infusion, essentially a tea bag with fruit flavourings!

Well this is going to seriously change your perception of fruit tea, because this has actual fruit in it.

Bit Tea is a brand new tea brand launching in the U.K. and will be available to see for the first time at Fes-Tea-Val, be sure to give them a visit for a totally new fruit-tea experience.

This isn’t no tea bag…

Oxi-Gin Botanicals

Another truly innovative product which could equally belong in the Tea ‘n’ Tipple category but is just so mind boggling we feel it belongs here.

Each of these bags features a unique flavour of Gin & Tonic, that’s right, Gin & Tonic in a bag!

If you want to keep it tea as well there is an Atomic Peach Tea flavour as well, it might be time to start sneaking a few into the office.  

BOU-TEA-QUE

Tea is fashionable. It is good for you, much trendier than coffee and there is so much more scope to be original compared to other drinks! Whilst we love writing about which teas to drink, once you have your cuppa ready why not take a minute to think about how you can look sheek in the Bou-tea-que. Tea after all is a stalwart of British culture, of socialising and of fashion back up your gourmet tea with a look to match.
Remember: Style Starts Young

MMLM

Calling all Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, you have a public service to fulfil. To take tea in style requires the ‘style’ element. Style starts in the home. We don’t know about you but this Gilet would make a particularly fetching addition to any child’s wardrobe and we think a must wear for any afternoon tea.
Sparkle this Spring

Augustine Jewels

When you zoom in on you drinking your tea the only bit of you in the photo is your hand, which naturally means you need to make sure your hands look just fabulous. Well check out this absolute beauty from Augustine Jewels, the Green Amethyst Ring. It has a touch of mystery about it and the pastel colour makes it a truly unique piece. Get your hands out for Instagram!

TEA ‘N’ TIPPLE

This weeks recommendations for Tea ‘n’ Tipple are some unique twists on absolute classics. This is what in our view, Tea ‘n’ Tipple is all about, innovation and experimentation on existing ideas! The idea that it was tea or alcohol long consigned to the past and now we can look forward to the age of Tea AND Tipple. The fact is that tea has an incredible amount in common with wine as they both share similar flavour profiles and we really recommend learning with wine in order to improve your tea palate. The wonderful array of tea flavours mean that it can infuse Gins, Rums, Whiskeys and Vodka’s for an incredible twist of classic combinations. Be sure to experiment at home, take a photo and tag us @Nationalteaday.
Yulu need to try this

Siren Craft

When great British institutions combine it can be a truly beautiful thing. This is one of those instances. Yulu by the Siren Craft Brewery is an Earl Grey infused Pale Ale, with the addition of some lemon zest this is a combination which leaves your taste buds hopping. The best bit, this will be available to buy at Fes-Tea-Val, and for any tea lover who loves a tipple too it is one you can’t afford to miss.
Snatch it whilst you can

Aluna Coconut Rum

Coconut Rum is delightful, but so often can just be that bit too sweet for some palates. Well try this Guatemalan and Caribbean Rum which is low in sugar and courtesy of Cloudbreak Spirits. For those of you who like to experiment, this is the perfect rum to use in a tea infused cocktail as the smoothness of the Rum doesn’t overpower the subtle flavours of the tea. After some (a lot) of voluntary experimentation we can confirm this.

To add an extra amount of goodness, Aluna Coconut uses natural coconut water as part of the dilution process. This brings through a natural sweetness.

More Coconut. Less Sugar. Naturally Delicious

TEA ‘N’ TREATS

Yes, tea is always on our mind! Once our appetite for tea is satisfied however our mind always turns towards what the best possible accompaniment will be! We do love the classic combination of a biscuit and English Breakfast tea but often we love to experiment too.

Whether it is biscuits, bakery, cakes or even Ice Cream there are so many incredible flavour combinations you can create by sampling different snacks with different tea.

After all what tastes amazing with a Darjeeling will have a very different profile with a Rooibos!

Personalise your cupcake

Amore Cupcakes

This family run business are very passionate about cakes, and it shows in the quality of their cakes. What makes these cupcakes extra special is that they specialise in making personalised cupcakes, meaning they make a perfect gift idea. When you think about it personalised cupcakes are just a perfect gift, so much more original than flowers and much more meaningful than a perfume. They also do personalised Doughnuts too and we think both sound pretty great with a cuppa!
A truly fashionable treat

L’Orchidee Macarons

Macarons are often seen at afternoon teas and are an indulgent and valuable addition to all sweet tooth addicts out there! These gems from L’Orchidee just take Macarons to the next level and let me tell you why. Firstly they are just so bright, something about them makes us want to stare at them as well as eat them. Secondly, the flavours are just SO indulgent; Ferrero Rocher, Red Velvet and Pistachio! I would say go ahead and make sure you try one with a cuppa but I think it is going to be difficult to stop at one!

PAIRINGS & RECIPES

Yes, tea is always on our mind! Once our appetite for tea is satisfied however our mind always turns towards what the best possible accompaniment will be! We do love the classic combination of a biscuit and English Breakfast tea but often we love to experiment too.

Whether it is biscuits, bakery, cakes or even Ice Cream there are so many incredible flavour combinations you can create by sampling different snacks with different tea. After all what tastes amazing with a Darjeeling will have a very different profile with a Rooibos!

A hot pairing!

Mr. Hugh’s

Often when we write about pairings it involves a very specific recipe, so this week we thought we would change it up a bit and pair a tea with a dressing oil so you can use the pairings across multiple dishes for more pairing delights! Mr. Hugh’s have just the most beautiful range of oils we have seen and the flavours make for great pairings with tea. With the oil giving your dishes a spicy tang, we recommend pairing it with an Earl Grey as the chilli sweetens the tea but the contrasting flavour means it envelopes the chili’s hotness.
A particularly Cosmopolitan Recipe

Dammann Freres

Luxury French tea brand Dammann is entering the U.K. market in a big way and we are confident their particularly stylish brand of tea taking is going to catch on. Just check out this ‘Bali Cosmopolitan’:

  • 1 Bali Cristal
  • 2oz Vodka
  • ½ oz Orange Liqueur
  • 2oz Cranberry juice
  • Splash of Fresh Lime
  • A dash of liquid cane sugar

Now that really is a recipe to enjoy! View more Dammann cocktail recipes here.

Meet all of these brands and taste their products at Fes-Tea-Val, buy tickets now!

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