teasmall

Handy tea themed gifts ideas & reviews

With Secret Santa’s going off all over the place and Christmas fever taking over, there are sugary themed presents everywhere yes, but there are also some sugar-friendly presents too…. including festive ‘tea’ sets and unusual flavours to balance things out a little.

I’d thought I’d compile a mini tea review list as an alternative source of sugar-free gifts. I’m quite a fan of tea in all its forms. Tea was a pivotal part of my sugar-free journey and I enjoy trying and testing new ones (officially a tea geek if they exist).

So here are some sugar-friendly teas I’ve tried recently that could work as gifts or stocking fillers

Teapigs Popcorn tea

Popcorn? Tea? Oh yes. This I think is a cool stocking filler just because of the novelty. This Teapigs Popcorn tea smells somewhat like popcorn, but in my opinion it doesn’t really taste like it. I can sense what’s it trying to do. Like fruity teas the smell is different to the taste. It doesn’t blow my mind but I found this grew on me the more I had it. The flavour comes out as quite a light refreshing green tea and nowhere near as bitter as when you leave a green tea bag in a long time.

Teapigs popcorn tea review

Pukka exquisite collection

Now I’m a sucker for a pretty tin, so I ‘ooohed’ at this before I even tried what was inside the Pukka exquisite collection. The first tea is the Pukka peppermint & licorice which is insanely sweet. When I first tried it it was so sweet that I actually thought there might be sugar in the tea bag (there isn’t, don’t worry). This tea is seriously good if you or the person you’re buying for is looking for a sweet post meal craving buster. The other ‘Love’ tea is a calming chamomile blend. I’m not a massive camomile fan myself, but as I said, I like the tin!

Pukka exquisite tea review

Honeybush rose petal tea

Just one to add because it’s really unusual. Honeybush is known as the ‘wellness tea’ because it’s got a number of medicinal properties that are good for you. It’s a bit different because it’s a sweet tasting floral tea. The smell somewhat resembles my Grandmas’s pot pourri mixed with honey, but the taste is delicate, naturally sweet and at the same time refreshing. It’s really nice and I was kindly sent some of this to try, just so I became of Honeybush. It could be the new tea trend but I haven’t found any over here in the UK yet so keep an eye out otherwise you can get it send over from Honeybush Health if you want to go very unusual in your tea themed gift.

Pukka Original Chai tea

I’m a big big fan of chai tea especially at Christmas. I have traditionally bought Twinings Chai tea so I’d thought I’d try another. This Pukka Original Chai tea is different, it’s lighter and so weaker if you have it with milk like I do. It’s a lot spicier than the Twinings Chai tea with more of a kick thanks to the ginger and cardamom. I add extra cinnamon and nutmeg on top to spice it up even more. Even if you don’t like this one, there’s another two to try in the range; Green Chai and Vanilla Chai.

Pukka chai tea review

Other sweetish teas I’ve got on my wishlist (let’s see if my Mum reads this!). You could put these on yours too…

Clipper after mints review

Other random tea gifts I’ve come across:

  • I’ve had many incidents with bashing open my tea strainer so this floating one could solve some issues there.

  • Twinings always have a great selection of tea gifts with super pretty boxes and tins that are good for secret Santa presents

  • You could get a ‘TEA REVIVES YOU’ tea themed tea towel. Just saying!

ttrevives-ia9ed7133198c805b62defc3fc2f68691

 

Right I’m thoroughly tea-ed out here. Any other teas that you’re loving at the moment or have on your list? What non-sugary food/drink presents have you seen out and about that are a good alternative?

 

Rooibos tea

Stop sugar cravings: Three new teas I’m loving

Sugar craving. Tea. Relief (at least a little).

OK, I know it doesn’t hit the spot all the time, but tea can seriously help on more occasions than not.

I still try new teas, even with a lack of cravings these days. My cupboard is stacked up in quite a ridiculous fashion. If there’s something I will enjoy reviewing for this blog it’s TEA!

Here are three that currently rock my tea filled world…

Regular Rooibos

Rooibos was initially a caffeine free option I wasn’t entirely sure of at first. I wanted to ease off the Earl Grey later on before bed. Fair to say it’s grown on me…loads. It’s got a distinctive taste and is very different from normal decaffeinated tea. A bit nutty and even moorish? I find I like a decent splash of milk to make it creamy.

I buy the Tick Tock brand in Morrisons but I find most home supermarket brands are pretty good.

Green Tea Rooibos

stop sugar cravings

I got given a few samples of this Tick Tock Green Rooibos at a recent trade show and I like it a lot. I go through real phases with green tea and I’m not usually a big fan. You can seriously mess it up by leaving the tea bag in too long and I’m prone to this. If you like rooibos tea however, this is a nice combination. The bitter edge that green tea can sometimes have is taken away. It’s also decaffeinated, which is a plus if super sleep is on your agenda.

Equali hazelnut and caramel loose leaf tea

Rooibos tea

Again, I was kindly given some of this and my heart shaped tea strainer came out to play. Named ‘It’s a secret’, it’s described like this on the website…

“A soft whisper, this tea reveals itself by releasing a woody and gourmand bouquet. The round flavours of caramel and hazelnut mingle happily with complex notes of Pu Erh, transporting us to unknown, but exciting territories”

I’m not quite there with this sophisticated level of tea description, but I’ll do my best.

stop sugar cravings

I’ve never gone crazy for fruit flavoured teas because I found they smelt so amazing, and I’d be disappointed by the fact they tasted more like dark scented hot water. Just me?

Anyway, this tea did smell incredible. Sweet, indulgent and like a Cadbury’s caramel bar. I was worried the same disappointment would happen. It does and it doesn’t. Obviously this tea does not taste exactly like eating a hazelnut drenched in sweet caramel, but it is satisfying, sweetish tasting and surprisingly refreshing. Unknown exciting territories? I’m not sure, but I’ll certainly drink it again. Just a bit unfortunate that currently you can only buy online.

Tea reviewing done. Time to get my daily rooibos fix.

Any crave soothing tea favourites? Or fruity teas that are worth a try?

stop sugar cravings

P.S I’m trying to take better pictures if you haven’t noticed!

Laura

 

Pukka Detox Tea

Review: Pukka ‘Detox’ tea

So another review today of the tea variety. This time a tea by Pukka called ‘Detox’ that was kindly donated by my lovely mum just before Christmas. As I’ve mentioned before, tea in general is a great soother of cravings where I’ve previously praised both chai and licorice for their sugar detoxing properties. About time we mix it up and add another to the list!

Pukka ‘Detox’ Tea

Aside from a pretty box, which is always appreciated, the Pukka ‘detox’ is a blend of organic aniseed, fennel and cardamom to ‘cleanse and revive’. Rather suiting for January I guess, as many people are likely trying to ‘cleanse and revive’ after the various sins of Christmas and New Year.

Pukka Detox Tea

If you don’t like aniseed, or licorice, then you might want to stop reading now because the taste does come through. However, I think what I like most about this tea the most is the fennel…

fennelI heart fennel

Fennel is a strange looking vegetable that is naturally sweet tasting, so combined with the licorice and aromatic cardamon, you have a somewhat satisfying cuppa. Especially handy if you’re having a face off with the biscuits.

I will also add that fennel is a excellent digestion aid, so this tea is great after lunch or dinner to help sooth your insides.

I was so intrigued by my new found fennel love I bought one at the supermarket. It then sat in the kitchen for a few days since I didn’t really know how I wanted to cook with it. Eventually I thinly sliced half and tossed into a salad (worked well), and the other half I roasted, which further bought out the sweet flavour. So a big thumbs up to fennel!

The verdict

This tea is really really nice. It’s soothing, calming and tasty. Normally I’m a little wary of some ‘detox’ teas because they can taste a bit wrong – you tend to try and force them down solely for the health benefit. Not this one. I would happily drink it any time or day, and it might even start to push my old favourite Early Grey out on occasion.

If you want to try for yourself, you can pick Pukka ‘detox’ tea up from Sainsburys, Tesco, and even Amazon here (if you know you’ll forget in the supermarket).

Any other favourite ‘detox’ teas? or ideas for cooking with fennel? Leave a comment and I will like you a lot.

I told you the tins were pretty!

Review: Twinings Mulled Spiced Tea

I honestly don’t think I could have successfully cut back on sugar without tea. It filled that gap of ‘wanting something’ after a meal of and gave me a suitable distraction from cravings when they came knocking. So when Twinings sent me their latest Christmas themed Mulled wine tea to try, it did feel like Christmas had come early. Not to mention in an extremely pretty tin (we girls appreciate these things). I am tempted to buy a few Christmas themed tea gifts from the Twinings selection.

Whilst Earl Grey is my staple tea of choice, I am a big fan of all things spiced, one being Chai Tea which I reviewed earlier this month.

The Mulled Spice variety is different to the Chai, despite the cinnamon and cloves. Mulled Spice is a black tea from Assam with Christmas flavours of cinnamon, orange peel and cloves.

Brewing this tea it comes out darker than the Chai tea and so you get a stronger colour and taste. You can smell the cloves, the spice instantly, all I could think was this is actually Christmas in a mug!

I told you the tins were pretty!

Mulled Wine and tea? Can it work? Well, it appears so. I felt like I was drinking tea and a little bit of mulled wine at the same time – if that’s actually possible!? The tea is warming, aromatic, and by the time I’d finished I’d completely forgotten about the Halloween cake bar someone had offered me five minutes earlier.

Classic black tea in a clear cup

If you’re looking for a festive treat that isn’t a sugar bomb then this is definitely an enjoyable option.  Now Halloween is done the Christmas run up is upon us and I will continue to enjoy my Christmas tea throughout all the shopping, partying and wrapping!

Does tea work for you when it comes to cravings? Are you a spice fan or does it really not do it for you? I know there was a period of time where cinnamon was a no go (thanks to Red Aftershock!). Thank goodness I am over that now!

Yogo Licorice Tea Review

Review: Yogi Licorice Egyptian Spice Tea

I am a big new fan of this tea

So my latest tea trial purchase has been an uber successful one. An organic Yogi Tea called Licorice Egyptian Spice – yes exotic as you get!

Liquorice tea was recommended to me by Sarah Wilson in her I Quit Sugar book (my review here) so I thought I’d give it a good try, opting for a fancy variation.

Fair to say I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a strong overpowering licorice scent but this tea is very warming, sweet and satisfying. With additions of ginger, orange peel and cinnamon you end up with an overall blend that’s quite unusual.

You really feel like you are drinking some enjoyable good into your body with this and I have been making myself giant mugs of this to make my 15 teabags go the extra mile.

Any other great licorice teas you can recommend? Soon to run out I shall be needing to purchase some more!

Twinings Chai box...a bit pink and pretty

Review: Twinings Chai Tea

Twinings Chai box…a bit pink and pretty

Only suitable that this my first product to be reviewed because I think this product is an absolute gem when it comes to curbing sugar cravings.

I’ve recently been roughly following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar and trying out a few recipes from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook book as an experiment to see what happens at the real extreme of quitting sugar a bit more hardcore than I have usually gone for. Interested to know more then read my review of this book click here.

One thing Sarah swears by is chai tea to help curb cravings and deal with any detox symptoms (not had too many of those yet luckily). Now I haven’t managed to make chai tea from scratch myself, mostly because it just seems a little time consuming for a daily cuppa, but a suitable short cut is there to be had…

Enter Twinings Chai Tea. This is as easy as making a standard cup of tea but with a nice hint of spice. It’s weaker than normal tea, so with a splash of milk is quite milky, but it really has a nice subtle all things spice kick that I can happily enjoy all year round. I find adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to it can bring out and enhance the flavour even more.

If you do want to add some sugar or sweetener this will likely satisfy a sweet craving and stop you reaching for a biscuit or chocolate instead.

Cinnamon is a total power spice which is proven to reduce cravings amongst other things. To name a few it helps reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and it is proven to help with menstrual pain, good stuff eh?

The smell gets me every time and I think of Christmas, winter cosyness and ok maybe a little of mulled wine. I shall be stocked up on my Twining Chai Tea, especially over the festive season and maybe one day I’ll get round to making my own!

Anyone got some experience of homemade chai tea they would like to share?