loose leaf

Osmanthus Green: Thesis, YouTube, Update!

Osmanthus Green: Thesis, YouTube, Update!

In which I review some floral green tea and update you on my life...

Thesis Writing

So thesis writing is fully under-way  now and my supervisors assure me that writing will get harder and longer as it continues - fun, fun, fun!

It takes me a while to get into writing but I expect I'll make a video about Thesis writing soon. I actually quite enjoy writing though so I hope I'll be able to keep the pace up and stay on schedule :)

Lost A Pint Of Blood? Replace It With Tea!

Lost A Pint Of Blood? Replace It With Tea!

In which I discuss the safest way to lose blood and it's proper replacement...

Blood Donation

So I want to take a break today from PhD based ramblings to talk about giving blood. Did you know that 96% of people rely on the other 4% for blood donations? [1] Maybe you've not thought about it before or are a little worried about what it entails so I'll tell you now that it mostly involves biscuits, drinking and sitting down. Easy eh?

On Tea - Tea Throughout the Day

In which I give my thoughts on what tea to drink when throughout the day...

So as a British person (66% of Britons drink tea daily) I feel the need to consume a good quantity of tea everyday. The average Briton drinks 3½ cups a day - you'll find me at the top of the bell curve dong my best to keep the average up. I normally have around 6 cups a day.

Leaf & Belfast Brew

Leaf & Belfast Brew

In which I explain the new plan for my tea blog and a lovely trip to Leamington...

Leaf Tearooms and Piano Bar

In Leamington Spa meeting up with old friends I found myself in possession of a hangover and thus the need for a recovery breakfast. The Leaf tea rooms and piano bar were suggested as the place to go and go we did. It was a lovely experience - I think we walked in to Paparazzi by Lady Gaga being played on the piano. The tea room has a nice relaxed atmosphere and the soothing piano playing is the perfect backdrop when you have a bit of a headache. Although I wasn't there at tea time I am informed that not only do they do a very filling afternoon tea that they also have a wide selection of delectable cakes.

Ginger Tea

In which I review a ginger flavoured tea...

While at a conference (a little while ago) I had the opportunity to visit Cambridge's lovely market. There I purchased a ginger flavoured black tea to try.

This is a lovely cup of tea with or without milk. There is a hint of ginger in the aroma but you can definitely taste it. I love ginger and this is a very pleasant tea experience. With milk in the tea it would be the perfect accompaniment to dessert. Perhaps some gingerbread :) Without milk the black tea flavour is stronger and I might even consider having it as a regular tea.


Lovely gingery black tea. Perfect with milk!

Tom Out!

P.S. Once I find a link for the tea seller I'll update this post with it.

P.P.S. I hope people are enjoying the slightly different review style :)

Harrods English Breakfast

Sorry for the delay everyone I have been busy with work and generally not drinking enough new tea :S


As with most of the loose leaf teas I have reviewed a 3-5 minute brewing time as a matter of personal taste is required.


Tea coloured. This is quintessential tea!


It smells like tea. I feel I may have to start reviewing more exotic teas to stop making this section a little boring :S


I think I prefer this to the Twinings English Breakfast. It seems to have a fuller flavour and is very good for kick starting your day :)


Funnily enough I bought this tea in Harrods and have since enjoyed it on many occasions. Despite what you may have heard about Harrods this won't set you back any more than other leaf teas on the market. If you are a tea (or coffee) lover I can really recommend the Tea & Coffee section of Harrods. The staff there are very knowledgeable and helpful. There is also a ridiculous range of more expensive blends to try if you like :)


A very good cup of tea. Also not as expensive as you would expect!


Harrods English Breakfast Tea

See you all next week!

The State of Tea Drinking in Germany - Part 2

While I have returned to the UK this week I brought back some leaf tea from Germany with me.

Pictured is a delightful tea shop in the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz. The staff were friendly and happily let me peruse their selection of teas which all have samples in little glass jars for your nose's pleasure.

The tea I chose to purchase smelled amazing - Blueberry Muffin tea :)


Despite not being able to read German I have been able to ascertain that this tea should be brewed for between 2 and 4 minutes. I, as usual, preferred to brew it for longer. I decided to try the tea with and without milk as I was unable to determine the suggested course of action because of the language barrier.


A nice light brown which looks good with or without milk.


There is a very strong smell of blueberry muffin which is almost overpowering in the bag. However when brewed the aroma is still present (and still lovely) but weaker. A good compromise I think.


In a similar vein to the sticky toffee flavoured tea from Whittard's this tea has a normal taste while the aroma provides a pleasant experience :)

I found that adding milk was my preferred choice for drinking this tea.


While I actually enjoyed this tea with a prototype cake (more on that after a tea party I have planned) I did also visit some friends this week (a delightful couple should you ever meet them). Their cake offering was an apricot flan with a good balance of sweetness (not too sweet as is common) and nice shortcrust pastry - lovely :)


German tea is definitely in a more than acceptable state, at least within Berlin.



 - Good elsewhere too it would seem!

See you all next week!

P.S. The Riots

I strongly support the movement to drink tea in protest of the rioting in England currently. Show your support to our police forces, firemen and volunteers!

Another Dessert Tea!

It appears that Whittards are particularly fond of dessert based tea and so this week we turn to the delightful Loose Leaf Apple Crumble Flavoured Tea!

This tea was discovered by Tom B and the tasting sample kindly donated by Rach T.


"Always drink lightly brewed with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of leaves per 6-cup teapot. Warm the pot first with a splash of hot water. Add the tea and pour on boiling water. Brew for 2-5 minutes. Do not add milk."

The instructions don't differ much from the other Whittard teas. Again milk is not required and I went for ~5 minutes brewing time (this is a very light tea).


Very pale brown.


A lovely light smell of apples with a hint of cinnammon. This might not quite send you to an English orchard as the advertising blurb claims but very enjoyable.


I expected this tea to be along similar lines to the

Sticky Toffee Tea

 but once again I was surprised! It is very light with hints of apple, cinnamon and vanilla and much more reminiscent of a herbal tea.Personally I'm a fan of strong tea so I feel this is unlikely to become a regular addition to my afternoon. That said, however, it was a refreshing change and definitely worth a try.


There's no music this week as I had guests around for the tea tasting. Instead our conversation had an old episode of Supermarket Sweep for background featuring Dale Winton's orange face (though not as orange as

David Dicknson

!). Hilarity of course ensued as the ineptitude of the contestants became apparent.


Light and refreshing. Smells of apples and cinnamon. Delightful.



See you all next week!

The First Weekly Tea

The idea of me presenting my tea of the week was suggested at my birthday party last month. Since I am always happy to oblige in such endeavours I am going to start a weekly tea review blog :D

So this weeks tea is Whittard's Loose Leaf Sticky Toffee Pudding Flavoured Tea (currently 25% off in their Manchester store). It sounded crazy so I simply had to try it.



Always drink lightly brewed with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of leaves per 6-cup pot. Boil freshly drawn water, warm the pot first with a splash of hot water. Add the tea and pour on boiling water. Brew for 2-5 minutes. Do not add milk."

Brewing the tea is straightforward but it should be enjoyed without milk. I personally think that brewing this tea for 5 minutes is best to really get a strong aroma.


A traditional light brown tea colour


It does exactly what it says on the tin! Just open the packet and take a long deep breath to truly get that sticky toffee pudding smell in your nostrils. A wonderful treat :)


I had no idea what to expect when tasting this tea, would it go down like syrup? Well disappointingly it tastes like normal tea (but with the amazing smell described above). However, I feel this is probably for the best as I don't know as if I could drink an entire cup of sticky toffee syrup (this is a lie, I totally could but probably shouldn't). These sentiments were also expressed by those who tasted the tea with me, so we have a consensus.


Nice tea taste, amazing smell. Warming and lovely.



See you all next week!