I’m very uninitiated when it comes to fruit tea because most cafés have a choice of two: berry or citrus.
My first experience of teapigs was at the recent Guildford Book Festival and had I had the choice of their entire menu I would have struggled to pick a favourite but I spotted the spiced winter red and ended up have two, it was so lovely.
This time round I have a different choice, Jane Wenham-Jones kindly sending me sachets of: chai, rooibos, popcorn, everyday, lemon & ginger, rooibos crème caramel, yerba mate and super fruit.
I had some short story competition (H.E. Bates – I’m the Chair so get to read them all!) marking to do so what better way than sit down with a cup of tea.
Whilst the chocolate flake Jane mentioned does sound nice, I’ve never been a chocoholic (I worked for a chocolate company for four years and was one of the thinnest ones there… and part of my job was running the sample room!). Give me a choice of Death by Chocolate with all the trimmings (my brother’s favourite) or Banoffee Pie and you can guess which I’d go for… toffee all the way, and I even wrote it into my chick-lit novel.
I digress (I’m good at that), so I didn’t pick the caramel or popcorn because I’m a ‘save the best till last’ girl but plumped for the super fruit… I know, what was I saying earlier about a choice of berry or citrus?
Reading the back of the sachet, the description of the ‘super fruity, cheeky beverage is a little tart’ made me smile and I knew I’d made the right choice, especially when I read on to the ‘Drink it maybe with a dash of cream’. Sadly, I live in a cream-less house so I had it naked (the tea, not me, this is a family blog!).
There’s a lot of talk between writers about what make a good book cover, and these sachets are no different, the one that caught my eye was the yerba mate (“yerba mah-tey” according to the teapigs website) because it has a gun on it – I’m currently writing a very dark and twisted crime novel – I look forward to finding out the significance of that one (the tea… and the novel!).
So, back to the tea. I decided that as this was a special occasion, I’d use a new mug which, like Jane’s, has a great inscription on it: ‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away’ (attributed to ‘anonymous’).
Upon opening the sachet I was greeted with a beautiful ‘silky transparent purse’ (teapigs words again – Saatchi & Saatchi watch out!). Like the type of candle that’s too pretty to light it felt like sacrilege but the kettle had to be boiled, the ‘tea temple’ had to be submerged.
I’m no Jilly Goolden when it comes to aromas (I do have a perfume chemist lodger who’d give her a run for her money, but he was away when this test took place) but once it was brewing, sorry, infusing (I did say I was uninitiated) for the 3+ minutes, it was certainly enticing.
A dark tea in a black mug does not an inspiring picture make (especially when one’s camera battery is flat) but as we know it’s not always what’s on the outside but the proof of the clichéd pudding is in the eating, or in this case, drinking and it was, as previously described, a cheeky little tart.
Antioxidants are supposed to be good for cellulite and like most women over a size six, I have plenty of it, so knowing that by drinking this tea I might have lost a little of the orange peel, makes the experience even more enjoyable. Will it make me mellow towards the short stories I’m reading? Probably not, I’m a harsh judge (I start at 10 and work my way down), but ask me again when I’ve got to the crème caramel and it may be a different story.