Category Archives: Obsessed with Coffee & Tea

Adventures in Tea and Coffee… December 15 Edition

December is the time of festive coffee concoctions and each year I seem to be less and less enthralled with them. When I started this blog in 2011 I made sure I tried every single one that Costa, Starbucks, and Nero had to offer, but now I am searching out coffee roasters to enjoy their festive blends instead. However I haven’t even started on two of the 4 festive blends I purchased as I was unwell and so they will have to wait until January. I did still have a few of the festive drinks as it was time for catching up with friends and needing breaks from Christmas shopping.

Starbucks Eggnog Latte

A decadent must have for me. I know many coffee experts wouldn’t even count this as coffee, but I do at this time of year and as I usually only have the one I enjoy it a lot.

Costa Salted Caramel Cappuccino

A new one for the Costa menu this year. It’s basically a sweet cappuccino and I wouldn’t bother again as I didn’t get a hint of salted caramel at all. Such as shame as I was hoping this would be a good one.

Jeeves of Jericho Oxford brew

I went to Millets Farm to find some stocking fillers and took a break in their cafe and tried a tea I’ve not had before from Oxford based tea company Jeeves of Jericho and really enjoyed it. I will be looking at ordering from them in the future.

Cafe Nero Praline Latte

Another festive try this year. This was on the same wavelength as the salted caramel cappuccino. I think I am not a fan of sweetened coffee anymore. It just makes me thirsty and does nothing for the actual taste of the coffee.

Rave Rwanda Simbi flat white

A trip to Rave Coffee in Cirencester saw me order my favourite flat white with the origin coffee of the month from Rwanda. It was a nice choice as it has a bit of a bite too it that even came through in the flat white. I also purchased some of my favourite fudge blend and also their festive Hurrave blend.

Hope and Glory Spice Winter Coffee

My coffee of christmas week. This has been rather nice and although it could only be order pre-ground it was kept nicely over the week. I do prefer to get beans and grind as I go, but wanted to try this one with the spices. I would get this again, but I would also look to try and make my own version by adding spices in a pour over with a favourite bean.

Starbuck Christmas Blend 2015

I always get a bag of this and take it to my parents for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They only have instant coffee, but also do not appreciate fresh coffee as much as I do, so this one is the perfect compromise.

Quite a busy month for different drinks and also for building up a stash of beans to enjoy in January. I am going away in January and am debating getting an Aeropress to take with me as I follow a number of people on Twitter and Instagram that travel with them and it looks like a fantastic idea for having good coffee on the go. Some even take grinders, so it’s something I am going to look at for 2016 as well as getting better at brewing good coffee at home buy getting a scale.

I hope you have a good year of coffee and I’m looking forward to making 2016 an even better year.

Adventures in Tea and Coffee… November 2015

This month I have worked through the big stash of Rave coffee beans I bought last month and it’s good that I bought extra as I have not been that way since. I will be making a special trip in the next week or so to pick up their Christmas blend.

The coffee I’ve just started is my first Christmas Blend from Taylors. It’s nice and dark and warming. It’s not a complex taste and surprising smooth for a pre-package coffee.

Tea wise I treated myself to teapigs winter spiced tea and am loving it. It’s so warm and spicy on a dark evening and smells divine.

   

This month has really been about trying out my new toy – the Bodum pour over! I really want a big chemex, but saw this when was out shopping and couldn’t resist for £15. I love the pour over method for brewing coffee as it just takes a bit more time and makes it a bit of a ritual.

Plus I love the way it looks while brewing!

I also found a new purple version of my french press. Mine has been splitting at the bottom for a while and I’ve been worried it will break. I’m going to keep it though as it will be useful tot make places where I won’t mind if it does get broken.

This is my favourite time of year for coffee  and tea.

Adventures in Coffee and Tea – October 15 Edition

 I’ve decided to streamline my posts so am bring together my adventures in coffee and tea into a monthly update to share with you all.

There has been a nice selection of drinks I’ve been having the last month or so.

First up I got a free sample from Starbucks and I liked it a lot. I have a preference for Guatemalian coffee so this was a nice freebie to get. I tried it in both my espresso maker and as a pour over and both were very nice.

                         
Next up I was lucky to win a Twitter competition by Hope and Glory to try their Honduras coffee. This was a nice change for me I found it lighter and more a six than what I would normally go for. I tried it a variety of ways and found the French press with milk suited this coffee for me. It left the oils in and could be made quite strong and then the milk added some balance.   

 Also in October I took a trip to Cardiff to visit a fried s and we went for late lunch at Barkers Tea House. I had the house blend breakfast tea and it was lovely. I also had a sandwich and came, both of which were excellent and we are planning to head back for a proper afternoon tea before Christmas.

  

I’ve been working my way through a stock of Bluebird tea I have and the first one is coffee pu’erh. I really like this. It’s a strong smoked tea and the adoration of whole coffee beans gives it a deep flavour that isn’t quite tea, but also not quite coffee. I refit sky recommend trying this one if you love both coffee and tea. It’s great on a weekend morning when I can’t make up my mind of what I want.

    

I also found the Hot Cross Bun tea I bought back in April! This one was okay.mots not my favourite, but was it was nice to try some ring different and I do like to have a rooibos tea for the cold evenings.

  

I found this one, but I’m sure this is a multiple from last year, but is definitely a favourite from Bluebird as it feels like a guilt free mocha drink.

  

This was the month of finds of the tea I got last winter and the. Didn’t finish before it got warmer. I think I meant to give this one as a present, but nevermind. This has felt nice on an evening while cosying up with a good book as its dark and rainy and turning to winter. I don’t normally like ginger based drinks, but as long a only lightly brew this works great for me.  

I also treated myself to new mug of my Halloween trip to the Harry Potter Studio. This is a great size mug!

 

Adventures in Coffee… Southsea Coffee

While in Portsmouth for my swim I explored the local area and with a search found an independent coffee shop in Southsea, who use Hasbean Coffee.

  

It was a busy Sunday morning but worth the wait for a flat white and a cinnamon bun in the sunshine. I didn’t realise they did brunch, otherwise I would have planned btter, but the coffee and cake were fabulous.

It got busier as time passed so I didn’t feel I could linger with my journal. I would love to go back during a quieter risk to really soak in the atmosphere and try a few more of their options.

   

I would recommend heading out of the main town area to find this coffee shop. I know I’ll be going back next time I’m in the area.

Adventures in Coffee… Rave Recap

Fudge Blend

 
This is my new favourite coffee. It is strong, but smooth. It works well in both espresso and filter form and I enjoyed the whole bag so much that within the same month I bought another, bigger bag and am enjoying that too.

Brazil Fazenda Irmas Pereira Single Orgin  

This was an interesting one. I wanted to try a different nuts blend, but they didn’t have it available so went for this one instead on the recommendation of the staff. It was nutty, but I also found it has an acidic after taste, especially in the espresso form. Pour-over was better as I also added milk to those drinks and that mellowed it out quite a bit.

Mocha Java Blend

 
On my second trip of the month to Rave  along with the large bag of Fudge Blend I decided to try the Mocha Java Blend as it was on offer the weekend I visited.  This is nice, a little bitterer than the Fudge, but a nice strong blend. Leaving my espresso to cool slightly before drinking makes it smoother I have found, but could just be me.

I have found out Rave do some coffee workshops and I intend to book on the next time they become available. I really want to learn about the proportions of water to coffee and how to make café coffee at home. I will be so excited when I get booked on so I hope it’s not too long to wait.

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