19 April 2018

English Tea Shop - White Tea, Coconut & Passion Fruit (by @NLi10) @ETSTeas

I got an e-mail informing me that National Tea Day is the 21st April (Saturday) nd asking if I'd like to try something from the English Tea Shop.  The pictures in my head were of English Breakfast, and Earl Grey and frankly everyday is Tea day in my world so I said yes.

What I actually got was this.


White Tea, Coconut and Passion Fruit is not what I was expecting. White tea is still from the same plant (all tea is) but it's usually used to indicate juvenile or under-processed varieties so I worried how this would work with the strong smells I could detect coming from the still sealed box.


You get 20 lovely individually packaged tea bags (which is great when you find out you don't like it as they are easy to give away) and they tell you what is in them which is a bonus.  There are certainly a blend of ingredients with lemongrass being the biggest surprise as it's 2nd on the list but not listed in the variety.

And much to my surprise it's a fantastic little afternoon tea.  The smells are very reminiscent of the lovely little loose tea shop we used to have in Birmingham.  The flavour is admittedly quite coco-nutty and very in your face, but it's certainly not a herbal infusion as the tea is strong and gives a refreshing aftertaste.  After cautiously only bringing three bags to work I took a load in the following day for some nice summer-time brews.  I could see this being successful in tea shops too which is a high complement as it's really hard to have something that is in a regular non-Teapig teabag and yet still stands out enough to want to pay money for.  I don't think you'd want to dunk biscuits in this...



I'm sure we'll find a spot for it in our ever growing tea collection...


And seeing as today was (bizarrely) the hottest April day in the UK for 70 years I decided to see how it worked as an iced tea.  The answer - surprisingly well! It doesn't have the natural sweetness that it needs to really shine, but with a little fruit (or sugar) and maybe a dash of spirits this would make a fantastic outdoors drink when the real summer gets here.  

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It was only after all this that I realised we'd got a barely tried box of pyramids of English Tea Shop teas for Christmas (we've managed one so far!) so now I have a great excuse to try those and report back too!


18 April 2018

Rude Health Brown Rice Drink (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK


Admittedly this Brown Rice Drink has sat in the fridge for quite sometime. It was bought way back when I was trying to be healthy in January. It tells me off every time I open the fridge, "Why haven't you tried me yet?" It exclaims. "I just don't fancy you!" I exclaim back, which is probably what the guy who sits next to me in the office should say to the woman who keeps wondering over from way over the other side of the room to bug him. Well it's fish or cut bait time; with the Brown Rice Drink and not for my troubled colleague. I'm just going to twist the plastic cap of this carton and hope for the best…

There was a slight anticlimax on finding the inner ring pull cap followed by a slight temptation to put the carton back in the fridge for another day. Temptation over and deadline for this blog encroaching, I pulled the ring. Warning here! The contents of this carton literally fill the carton, which means pull the ring carefully. A certain amount of sticky white Brown Rice Drink over my laptop screen will attest to that.

The Brown Rice Drink just looked like milk to me. It tasted somewhere in between rice, milk and water, but was refreshing. From the ingredients, calories and fat content, it's pretty healthy too. It would probably go well in a coffee if you can't use milk for dietary reasons, maybe even tea, but I'd recommend a strong black leaf tea, such as Assam or Ceylon, and or one of the smoky varieties, such as Darjeeling or Keemun. As refreshing and healthy drinks go; I'm not sure this would be my first choice, but it certainly wouldn't be my last.

Information on the carton;
The 500ml carton contains 60 calories per 100ml, with 1.4g of fat, 4.8g of sugar and 0.1g of salt. Ingredients are gluten and dairy free, with no added sugar, and included; natural spring water, organic brown rice (17%), organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt.

17 April 2018

Neapolitan Inspired Popcorn Bites (Marks and Spencer) By @Cinabar


A favourite childhood ice cream of mine was Neapolitan. When given the difficult decision of what flavour ice cream to pick as a kid in the supermarket the solution of having strawberry, vanilla and chocolate all in the same tub sounded like magic, so I’d often pick the Neapolitan. I will always have an association of summer for these flavours, and as the weather is starting to pick up its seems nice to resurrect them again, but this time in the form of popcorn.
Mark and Spencer have brought out this new Neapolitan Inspired Popcorn Bites, where we have pieces of popcorn coated in milk chocolate, white chocolate and a strawberry coating. I poured some out to take a closer look. The pieces of popcorn do look very smart, particularly the pink ones, and I gave them the taste test.
Each piece of popcorn had a nice thick coating of chocolate. The milk chocolate worked well, and had a good cocoa flavour. The white was sweet and creamy. The pink ones were mainly white chocolate in flavour, with just a hint of fruitiness. I think this is where they could have added a bit of strength to the fruit, but they were still very tasty. I liked the mix of texture from the different shapes of pop corn, and the coating giving them a nice substantial feeling. I think I might be adding a tub of Neapolitan ice cream to my next online order too, just for the sake of reminiscing.

16 April 2018

Kir Royale Flavoured Crisps (Aldi) By @Cinabar


I did my grocery shop at Aldi this week and I wasn’t sure I would find anything to blog about. I do like the store, the quality of the products and prices, but there isn’t always things I’d blog about here at Foodstuff Finds. Today though I was very pleased with my finds, as I spotted these rather fun sounding crisps, they are flavoured with Kir Royale; a cocktail made from a blackcurrant liquor called Creme De Cassis and Prosecco. I apologise for doubting you Aldi, these sound amazing!


So we shared the bag at lunch time and had them with sandwiches. The first thing to note is that the crisps are tinged with their pink seasoning from the fruit. I gave one the taste test, the texture was good, crunchy and crisp, but not to thickly cut. Some crisps are just too thick and are actually uncomfortable to munch. These were just right.
The flavour wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I think I had pictured crisps dipped in sweet blackcurrant cordial, but these were a class above. The fruitiness was quite subtle and focused more on the punchy sour side of blackcurrants, there was a lovely fizzy texture too from some Prosecco powder. Crisps work with vinegar, and this takes the sour edge of the fruit and delivers a similar taste sensation, just with a nice fruity hint to it. They are cleverly put together and just work really well. They are not sweet novelty crisps, they are simply well balanced ones with a lovely hit of zing.