tea total

delicious tea - cute graphics too

delicious tea – cute graphics too

I love tea!

My husband thinks I’m addicted to it.

I don’t want poncey tea, I’m a PG/yorkshire tea girl and I like it made just like builders tea (but without the 4 sugars – half will do as I’m pretending I don’t take sugar!).

I am aware that a cup contains about half the caffeine (50 caffeine points – or whatever they are measured in) as coffee (100) and that I should really be on the green tea wagon with everyone else but the honest answer is that I can’t stand green tea and it is a waste of hot water and a clean mug in my book (quite apart from the fact that I keep trying it, it still goes cold in the mug and gets thrown away!!) so there is little point.

And whilst a score of 450 on the caffeine front is still very much within the safety limits, and means I can have 9 cups per day, no problem. Most days, though, I don’t come anywhere near that


In the interests of health and also because I am not short sighted enough not to realise that there might just be a green tea/tree hugger tea out there for me, I have been trying a few things.


I have a number of different boxed tea bags and leaf tea to try and decided to give each tea a score.

Twinings Green Jasmine Tea

I started with this one as I already know that I quick like jasmine tea (as served in good Chinese restaurants). I have discovered that the leaves need to be so few in number or they really only need to see the water for a few seconds before the leaves need to come out.  Otherwise it becomes quite overpowering and has a stewed bitterness to the flavour.

too many leaves and left too long

too many leaves and left too long

Score 5/10

Whittards Hangover Tea Bags 

I don’t buy this tea for hangovers but because it is THE nicest fruit tea on the market bar none. Hard to come by as they seem to run out on a terrifyingly frequent basis so I used to buy about 4 boxes each time I got the chance & have a little supply that will see me through a fair few cups.

I like it because it is fresh, fruity and not too sweet. You can pick out the fruitiness and it feels like a nice clean wholesome flavour. It contains Hibiscus Flower and I think that May well be where the lovely taste comes


The colour is lovely



Score 9/10

Twinings Early Grey Tea

Earl Grey has been in the news recently for it’s heart healing properties all thanks to the wonderful Bergamot used to flavour it (smells pretty nice too and I love it in skincare products!). I hated Earl Grey when I first tried it as a teenager but it has become a store cupboard favourite. I think putting Earl Grey in makes this little test a bit of a cheat but I would definitely say it ranks up there with the herbal tea teas for it’s health properties..

Score 9.5/10

M&S Citrus Tea

I always have lemon tea of some kind in my cupboards as a few people who visit seem to drink it so it was quite readily on hand to try.

It’s OK and it is probably done better by others but there is still that slightly grassy taste about it which puts me off. I didn’t have it very strong (having learned my lesson on the Jasmine Tea) and that is definitely an advantage until your palate becomes accustomed.

I might persevere with this one as it’s ok but I do very much like a simple single slice of lemon in hot water. It is also a good way to wake up your liver I believe.

Score 6/10

Sage Tea

It is lovely and much less like drinking grass cuttings than most herb teas. It has such useful and powerful herbal and medicinal properties too that it is worth having in your garden for drinking even if it doesn’t get into your christmas stuffing:- it is cooling in the heat and also reduces menopausal hot flushes to name but a few.

a few tender green leaves in boiled water releases the essential oils

a few tender green leaves in boiled water releases the essential oils

sage is so easy to grow

sage is so easy to grow

Fresh has also got to be better though so this was straight from our garden.

Score 8/10

Mint Tea

Lovely and refreshing even in the heat, mint tea is so simple and easy.  Again, fresh leaves straight from the Garden and into the pot.

Rosemary Tea

Like the mint tea, this has a freshness to it that makes it lovely to drink in the heat (Rosemary is part of the Mint family) and has great healing properties. Known to boost the immune system, it also improves blood circulation, is a great anti-inflammatory and is full of those lovely anti oxidants.

All round a great herb.

What you don’t drink or cook with is also great to use in handmade skincare.


Whittards Lemon & Lime Tea

Then of course there is the pretend tea……

The turkish do a wonderful apple tea, the principle of which a lot of the flavoured sugars that dissolve into an instant tea follow.

This Whittards Lemon & Lime Tea has too much sugar for my pallet but it is very refreshing, especially served ice cold.

Whittard's Lemon & Lime Tea Granules

Whittard’s Lemon & Lime Tea Granules

Score 7/10

Builders tea still scores 10/10 compared to all these others but I’m getting there and drink a greater variety than just my PG now.

builder's tea

builder’s tea

The next question is whether it tastes better made in the cup or in the pot? AND should the milk go in first or afterwards?

slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails

common snail on the stem of cow parsley

The recent wet weather has been very trying and I think it is safe to say that everyone is sick of it. I don’t think we’ve had the barbecue out once this summer and even if we don’t manage that, we eat outside most evenings. I think we did that once back in May.

yellow and striped snails on a poplar trunk

It is evident when you are out and about though that not all creatures great and small are as fed up of this wet and rain as we are……

There are slugs and snails absolutely everywhere.

We were walking at the weekend and not only are all the trees, grasses and flowers crawling with them but they are all over the paths and tracks too.

it’s a long way down

I’m sure we don’t see them as much when we get a proper summer because they are staying safe under cover from the sun in a nice moist recess somewhere. I’m also sure that many of them don’t survive a normal summer.

Ironically they are ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

room for a small one

We’ve seen them in every shape and colour and although I dislike them intensely when they are chomping on my veg patch, in the open countryside they are quite interesting and have a beauty all of their own.

striped snail

The ones I like the most are the yellow ones. They remind me of a lovely holiday in Brittany when I collected lots and lots of tiny empty yellow sea shells off the beach and brought them home. They sit in a vase on the shelf in our bathroom along with a load of others collected from around the world.

I’m not sure snail shells will be getting added any time soon…….

monster slug

I am reliably informed that the common snail makes half decent eating but it needs to be left in a bucket of spinach overnight to dine on which adds some flavour. I think I could feed the five thousand if I collected all the fat juicy ones I have seen over the last 2 days but I’m not sure if I want to try.

even more of a monster

I’m all for foraging and food for free but I might have to have a long hard think before adding snails to the list of what I am happy to chomp on.

scratch and sniff

one very pink and itchy little dog in his favourite sleeping position

The ‘furry one‘ is very allergic! We think he is allergic to lots of stuff but we know he is horribly allergic to dust mites, house mites and storage mites all of which live along side us humans (mostly without being noticed).

He is a pink skinned dog with white hair that means he is more prone to this than perhaps other colours and he lives inside with us which is really the worst bit and the main reason.  If he was living out in the cold without heating and bedding and carpets and duvets, he would probably be fine.

Unfortunately he’s not fine and it means he will be on some kind of medication for it for life.

He gets pink sore patches and he itches and scratches a lot. It is awful to see when it is particularly bad.

We are trying immunotherapy at the moment but are starting the think that this is not quite for us and will change to something much more holistic.

My last post about Max listed all the reasons that we had him castrated, but one that we didn’t mention was how irresponsible it would be to breed from him because of this.

Regardless of him being adorably funny and friendly, this horrible physical allergy would very likely to be passed on just as much as his lovely personality traits would. It wouldn’t be fair and it wouldn’t be responsible.

It doesn’t matter that I think he is brilliant and should be the dad of all small dogs!

rubbish red letter day

When we got married in 2009, work colleagues of JC’s gave us hundreds of pounds in vouchers from ‘red letter day’ with the full intention that we take a balloon ride through the amazing skies of lincolnshire or to enjoy the coast of north norfolk.

We had a mimi moon in norfolk and days out doing different things along with pottering about and we just didn’t get around to booking it immediately.

We moved back to london for work once our month long break had come to an end and somehow mislaid our vouchers.

Some time later they reappeared and were just out of their ‘sell by date’ so JC rang them to see what could be done but all with little success. I subsequently wrote to them explaining the circumstances and appealed to them to renew the vouchers for us. That was in March this year and I have neither had a courtesy acknowledgement of my letter nor an actual reply.

By my way of thinking, even if you don’t offer replacement vouchers, you should at least reply to the letter.  That is simply appalling customer service.