Two coffees and two teas review
These past few months I have been drinking buckets of coffee and tea. Maybe because I am a
stay at work from home mum I have created the impression that I do nothing all day except drink tea and coffee with my friends.
My husband is absolutely under that impression as he has dubbed me the president of the Koek en Tee Klub (cake and tea club).
I reckon he’s just jealous.
But out of the goodness of my heart I have offered to share my coffee and tea with him.
To his credit though, ast week I did have a date with my tea drinking friend and another date with my coffee drinking friend. All in the name of research (well that’s my excuse anyway).
The tea drinking date was amusing as we attempted a very mixed cultural approach to the Japanese tea drinking ceremony – she’s German, I’m half English, half South African – half Scottish (doesn’t quite add up, I’m not sure who I am) and we live in Ireland. We tried the green tea and matcha, my description of the teas is below.
So to cut a long story sort I have been sent coffee from two coffee companies as well as two totally different types of tea and here follows my review of all of them.
I received these products for free for an honest and unpaid review, all of the opinions in this post are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, click here for my full disclosure policy.
From the moment I received this box from Vagabond Coffee I knew it was a special set. The packaging is elegant and sophisticated. Stuck to the inside of the lid there is an envelope sealed with wax containing a personalised note and a brief description of each type of coffee.
The box contained four 100gm packs of whole bean coffee. I received the Finca La Lomita from Colombia, the Kibenga from Burundi, the Boji from Ethiopia and the Balzac’s cup from Honduras.
I tried the Bazac’s cup first and I did love this coffee. I’m not a coffee tasting expert with all the right descriptive words but I would say that the flavour was full, smooth and strong.
I have since finished the rest of the bags and they were all delicious. The packaging helps you to identify what you are tasting with words like lime cordial, toasted marshmallow, Earl Grey, cacao etc. Whether you can taste all those exotic flavours or not, the coffee is still lovely.
I would be tempted to reserve these coffees to drink as a treat on special occasions as it looks so posh. But once the packs are open you need to drink the coffee fairly quickly to enjoy the beans at their maximum freshness. There’s nothing that quite beats the smell of opening a pack of full roasted coffee beans and then the fresh smell after grinding them in the grinder!
The box I received is called the Gift Box and is available to order online. You can choose from three different selections including a decaf option and you can also choose whether to get whole bean or ground coffee. This set costs £20.00 and fits most standard letter boxes.
The gift card can be personalised – I think this would make an ideal gift for a coffee connoisseur.
Dog and Hat Coffee Subscription
The next set of coffee I received is a very different set up. This is a subscription box so you can sign up to receive this monthly. It’s such a great idea, once you decide how much coffee you would drink in a month you can choose what size box to order and then receive some of the best speciality coffee delivered to your door.
This one is the 2x250gm set, it came with a coffee called Muttley & Jack’s from Burundi and Tano Ndogo from Kenya.
I especially loved the Muttley and Jack’s, but both of them were flavoursome and rich. These are perfect coffees for drinking everyday (all day!).
Here is some more information on the options available from their website.
- ASSORTED Including omniroast, espresso and filter roasted beans
- FILTER Including omniroast and filter roasted beans only
- ESPRESSO Including omniroast and Espresso roasted beans only
What are the subscriptions options:
- Receive 2 or 3 or 4 x 250g* coffees each month
- Free Delivery
- Each bag from a different roaster
- Ability to change or pause subscriptions at any time
- Detailed tasting notes provided for each coffee
- All our subscriptions are sent in recycled packaging
- Occasional cheeky extra goodies thrown in
- Access to the Members Area to add extra bags of coffee to your subscription box if required. This means if you like the look of a roaster you can add more!
- 2 Coffee subscription £17
- 3 Coffee subscription £24
- 4 Coffee Subscription £31
The Herb Brewer
These pouches by the Tea Pharmacy from the Brew Company are such a brilliant idea. They work like mini teapots, all you need to do is pour boiling water into a pouch, allow it to steep for a few minutes and then pour the tea out through the tiny spout into your cup.
I received four different delicious flavours, each with a unique blend of fresh herbs:
- Detox:T – dandelion root, barley grass and spearmint
- AntiOxiDant:T – chamomile blossoms, turmeric powder,lemon grass, lemon balm and ginger
- ImmuneBoost:T – Greek mountain tea. rosehip peels, elderberries, thyme
- Breathing:T – peppermint, ginger, sage
They also do Digest, Relax and Breastfeeding teas.
Each box comes with seven pouches and costs €12.95 for a box.
I love how these pouches are reusable, each tea can be brewed for up to three times and then after you have emptied and cleaned the pouch, you can refill it with loose herbal teas of your choice.
These are really handy for bringing with you in your hand bag or backpack, all you need is a source of boiling water and a reusable travel mug. (Grower’s cup were kind enough to also send me a KeepCup, see image below)
The other thing I love is how the herbs smell and taste really fresh, as though they were only just picked from the garden. The Breathe has a clean pepperminty flavour, and the rose and thyme really come through in the ImmuneBoost. The ginger and turmeric in the Antioxidant gives it a wonderful warmth and the Detox is sweet smelling.
Green Tea House
Now this was a real education as I have never drunk matcha before and felt a little intimidated by the bright green powder in the little tins!
I popped around to my friend who has been to Japan and we tried all the four different varieties together. I did a bit of research into the Japanese tea drinking ceremony, apparently you should eat something small and sweet first – they suggest a marshmallow. The nearest thing to marshmallows that she had was a box of mini teacakes, which sounded highly appropriate! We may have eaten more than one.
We were tempted to put on dressing gowns to appear to be wearing kimonos but decided that was a bit overboard.
The Green Tea House sent me four different products, these included:
- The Ceremonial Matcha
- The Organic Matcha
- The Genmaicha
- The Organic Houjicha
So, as she has a special matcha wisk and bowl I allowed her to demonstrate how to make the tea. 🙂 We tested both varieties of the matcha first.
I was pleasantly surprised at the mild and aromatic flavour. Apparently green tea is the same leaf as the regular black tea we drink, it just hasn’t been smoked or cured in the same way and is therefore a fresher version. It does contain mild quantities of caffeine. I normally drink my tea with milk but I enjoyed this just as it was, without anything added. It is a refreshing and healthy feeling drink.
We tried the other two teas next. I have never heard of them before and don’t know how you say Genmaicha or Houjicha, so thankfully I’m typing. These come in beautifully ornate packs, the Genmaicha contains 14 little teabags and the Houjicha is loose leaf.
The Genmaicha is interesting as it contains puffed rice which gives the tea a hearty roasted flavour, some say it reminds them of coffee. The Green Tea House blend is apparently only made with the first tea harvest of the year (the Ichibancha) which is the best grade.
I enjoyed the whole tea making process with matcha, there is an element of drama and staging that is fun to enjoy with a friend so I understand why the tea making ceremony has such social significance in Japan.
I was surprised at the cost (the Organic Premium Matcha 40gm tin costs £24) but you use such a tiny amount each time so the tin will last ages, unless you invite a friend over and don your kimono/dressing gowns for your very own tea drinking ceremony!
Visit the website here to view their full range of products.
My next review will include a bunch of messy gifts, ideal for creative kids this coming Christmas.
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