Produced by: Monsoon Mountains

Price: £18.00 p/ 100g

You know me and my love of Ceylon teas well this was one that was included as a sample pack. Brewing up at around 80 degrees, you get a lovely light delicate white tea similar to Silver Needle but this brew is just totally divine. It isn’t cheap but factor in the fact you can resteep this and it is worth the money.


I do like a nice white tea as it doesn’t have that certain green tea “taste” but is perfect for when you don’t want something as heavy as a black or a Pu-erh, This is a beautiful example and one that I would invest in but keep for special occasions. Taste wise it is very light with a slightly sweet taste to it but it is the really delicateness of this tea that is it’s strong point, this is the sort of tea you wouldn’t want to share with anyone! I really enjoyed this and if you want to splash some cash then get yourself some.




Produced by: TeaHorse 

Price: N/A (No longer trading)

I have a love it or hate it relationship with green tea, it all started when I first tried green tea in teabag form, then brewed it to the packet instructions (ie boiling water) and ended up with this rotten brew that tasted like a crap vegetable soup. I’ve never really gotten over that experience but I’m open minded enough to try again and so I dug out another TeaHorse pack, this time their Mao Feng.


The first thing that strikes me is how light the colour is, this is a brew that isn’t that far away from a white tea and doesn’t contain that “vegetable” sort of taste that puts people off drinking greens. It is very light and delicate in taste and would be a good starting point for someone trying green tea or who has had it before and didn’t like it. I’m still no convert but this is a better example of a green tea for those who aren’t too keen on it.





Produced by: TeaHorse

Price: N/A (No longer trading)

Nothing starts the day off better than a good Assam tea, for those none coffee drinkers such as myself, this is what is gonna give you the best start to the day. And here is another fine example of a good quality Assam from the now sadly defunct TeaHorse. This just sits below the real hard hitters of this tea, given you enough bite but without it being heavy on the maltiness. If you want an Assam that doesn’t need or want milk then this would be a good quality one to opt for.


Brewed up for four minutes with boiling water this is a lovely example of an Assam tea, it doesnt reach the usual colour of an Assam and sits closer to a Ceylon but taste wise this is just fantastic. I would definitely buy this again and for those of you who want to try Assam but don’t want something too intense this would be a good tea to choose.



Produced by: Whittards

Price: £9.00 per 50g

Hmmm oolongs… Like the red wine of the tea world for me, there used to be some that I loved and some that I wouldn’t use as a drain cleaner and so is the case with my on/off love of oolong teas. So this morning I tried something that had been sat in my collection for a while, primarily to finish the last of it off. 


Brewing it up for a few minutes at around 90 degrees, the little green pellets unfurled into lovely nice sized leaves and this is an oolong that sits closer to the green tea end of the scale. Taste wise it does take on a green tea flavour but with that certain something that tells you it is in the oolong family. No distinct flavours seem to leap out at you when drinking, it is pleasant but not something that I would buy again.



Posted: April 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Since when did brewing tea become such a complex and complicated procedure. I’m going to rewind back about thirty years and I remember staying with my great auntie and when she made tea it was in a big ceramic pot, a spoonful of tea each, one for luck and hot water, stir it, leave it and put a tea cosy on it! It was that simple. And that tea tasted immense, it was tasty, it was refreshing, it hit the spot, a dash of milk and a spoonful of sugar and some ginger nut biscuits.

Even now I just like to use my cast iron pot and brew it in there or a glass pot and watch as the tea swirls round and the colour changes and pour it through a strainer and hey presto. I have my share of gadgets but for me the best gadgets don’t need an instruction leaflet, take them out the box, wash them and away you go. See my last post about the Ingenuitea device for example.

When I start to read about what is the best kettle to use or how do I know if the water is the right temperature my first thought is just use your bloody common sense. If your kettle boils to 100 degrees, let it cool down for a couple of mins for oolong, five mins perhaps for greens and whites. No need for complication. Do other beverages have such complexity attached. Is there a device for when you open a bottle of red wine that starts a countdown for the optimum breathing time before you guzzle down the vino? 

It’s tea. Hot water, A pot, A cup. Enjoy it – let’s not make it a science.

Keep it simple


Posted: April 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So I invested in one of these lovely devices as I’m a bit of a sucker for gadgets and sometimes I was finding that a teapot was making too little or my tea maker was making too much for those times when I just wanted enough for one mug. £16 isn’t a terrible price for what is a very smart little contraption that is a doddle to use and easy enough to clean. That said I have only used leafy tea up to this point so if I was user finer tea I may feel differently.

It really is simple enough to use, drop your tea in, pour in the water and let it sit for the right time. There is loads of room for the tea to steep and you can see the water slowly changing colour and the leaves unfurling. I have yet to try this with gunpowder tea, maybe that will be next.

It does feel very plasticky and not a particular solid build but at that price what do you want. Placed over a mug, you just press down gently and the brewed tea slowly pours through the base of the unit catching all the used leaves in the top. Cleaning was a case of emptying the used leaves into my compost bin and then rinsing it out so watch out for those left over leaves going down your sink drain pipe.

This is exactly what it is, it is tea making at its simplest. You don’t even need a pot or infuser it really is a nifty little device. If you can use a cafetiere you can use one of these and this makes drinking loose tea really easy for beginners.

Not quite but I thought I’d invest in some new tea brewing equipment: