Sunday, 16 August 2015


Tea is quite possibly the answer to every mind-boggler, good or bad. Graduated from uni? Great! Stick the kettle on. Someone died? Oh dear...I'll make us a brew. It's one of the simple pleasures we have all come to rely on. 

Over the past few years, the clever people at Teapigs have been working on creating more and more tea blends. Some traditional - earl grey, everyday brew; some a little more unusual - chocolate and mint, rhubarb and ginger. The range is so extensive there's bound to be one that even the non-tea drinker (do they exist?) would like. Not only have Teapigs got creative with their blends, they've also been coming up with different ways to serve them. Iced teas, teashakes and cocktail teas(!!!) are all easy to make either by using the ideas suggested on the Teapigs website (see here), or by coming up with your own.

I tried out a few of their tea blends and had a little experiment with a couple of them for myself.

The biggest difference I've noticed with Teapigs compared to other brands, is the intensity of the flavours. I don't usually like fruit teas because I always think they taste pretty wishy-washy, but the Super Fruit Teapigs tea is completely different. It actually tastes like fruit as opposed to sawdust. Kind of like a hot Ribena (without all the sugar!).

Likewise with the Lemon & Ginger and Mao Feng Green Tea. You get a much more authetic flavour without any of that gritty, metallic taste you often get with other brands. I tend to leave the tea bag in just to get some sort of flavour but that really isn't necessary with Teapigs. A couple of minutes brewing is all you need for a full-on flavour.

Now it gets fun. I decided to use the Darjeeling Earl Grey blend and the Rooibos Creme Caramel to come up with a few variations. As you can see, the results were pretty good. 

This ones for the kids (or big kids). All you need to do is pour 200ml boiling water onto the teabag and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Pour into a blender along with 3 scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream and blitz. That's it! I topped mine with some caramel sauce and little fudge pieces. Not exactly a skinny dessert but we all need a treat now and again don't we?

This ones for the adults. Pour about 500ml onto two teabags and leave to steep for 4 minutes before topping with cold water and ice. Once ice cold, add a shot of gin (vodka would work too), add honey to taste and a slice of lemon. What you're left with the is a perfect, refreshing cocktail tea.

These a just a couple of examples of ways to jazz up your teabag. Both the ice cream and the cocktail teas could be used with almost any Teapig offering; just experiment with flavours and toppings!

Boiling the kettle just got interesting...


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Graze - Good To Go

Most people these days will be familiar with Graze by now, whether it's because they've tried their snack boxes themselves, or they've seen the numerous adverts in recent years.
For those who don't know, Graze started up as a revolutionary way to snack - by posting personalised snack boxes through your door with no minimum subscription  terms. With over 100 different snack varieties to choose from, the whole process is controlled via the website where customers can amend orders, pause deliveries, change delivery days, and generally just look forward to the sound of the postie delivering a lovely little box through your door. Until now. Yep - Graze have expanded in to retail which, if your letterbox is stupidly small like mine and won't allow the boxes through them, has come not a moment too soon!

The range available in store is considerably smaller than that available via the postage system, but the product types remain the same: flapjacks, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pretzel dippers... you get the gist. Currently available in Sainsburys, Boots and WH Smiths Travel stores across the UK, the boxes range from just 99p up to £1.19. Bargain!

I was fortunate enough to be sent a few of their Good to Go boxes to try.

Buying in to the demand for high-protein snacks, this mix of edamame, spicy chickpeas and black pepper cashews is a perfect snack, especially post-workout!

The soy bites in this snack box provide the perfect salty accompaniment to the sticky sweet chilli dip. A great mid-morning snack

Remember Choc Dips?! This brings back memories of the Sunday morning trips to the sweet shop to purchase that old retro favourite. Kids will love the chocolate aspect whilst adults will love the taste of nostalgia.

I LOVE this one. With a mixture of fudge pieces, cookie pieces and salted nuts, this is the perfect combination of sweet and salt. Provides a great source of protein but also has a fair amount of sugar so don't get too carried away!

This one is great for lunch boxes to make a change from fresh fruit every now and then. Sugar content is high but all natural so no need to stress too much! Great mix of flavours between banana, blueberry, strawberry and cranberry

Both these flapjacks are great as a mid-afternoon pick me ups. However, enjoy them as an occasional treat due to the high sugar content.

Shown above is just snapshot of what's available in store. I think it's fair to say that there should be something here to please everyone, no matter what your lifestyle, age, gender etc. Whether you buy a single box as a quick grab n' go option, or you stock up to ensure you always have your favourite snack to hand, these boxes are an overall crowd pleaser. Enjoy!