The Whittard Blog

A warm welcome to the Whittard blog. Since 1886, we've been passionate about fine tea and coffee and we'd love to share our passion with you

22nd July 2014 by Whittard

Cold Brew: Pure and Simple

Are you a tea purist who wouldn't dream of tainting the delicate flavour of your favourite tea with milk or sugar? Who will only use a teabag under duress? If so, let us introduce you to the joys of cold brew. It's a simple way to create a cool, refreshing version of your favourite loose leaf tea,  which is smooth and mellow and really delivers the true flavour. 

Our cold brew bottle cleverly incorporates a filter, so you can just serve pure cool tea straight from the bottle. 

How to make the perfect cold brew tea:

1) Add 20g of your favourite loose leaf tea - we highly recommend Silver Needle, Mango and Bergamot and Dragonwell Long Jing. NB fruit and herbal infusions are not suitable for use with cold brew.

2) Fill the bottle to the mark with cold water.

3) Add the lid/spout

4) Let the tea brew in the fridge for 3-6 hours

5) Serve and enjoy 

cold brew

Read More

| Leave a comment

19th March 2014 by Whittard

Surprising Uses for Green Tea

Kat, manager of our Covent Garden store, has been very creative with green tea and discovered some uses that you might not have considered for recycling your used leaves:

1) Green Tea Face Mask

Simply combine used green tea leaves with a little coconut oil, honey and natural yoghurt and apply to your face, avoiding your eyes. Rinse off with warm water to reveal a smooth and fresh complexion. 

Face mask from green tea

2) Green Tea Toner

Brew loose jasmine tea very strong, cool, strain and refrigerate. Apply using cotton wool to a cleansed face to refresh and brighten your skin.

3) Green Tea Treat for Tired Eyes

Kat starts the day with Gyokuro Asahi, and then drinks this throughout the day, using a paper filter. She then recycles the paper filter and used tea leaves to make a simple but effective eye mask, perfect for soothing tired eyes.

In addition to these green tea tips, Kat also uses Whittard products in the creation of tempting treats - poaching pears in chocolate chai infusion adds a touch of subtle spiciness to a sweet pear tart. 

Pear Tart

She also adds a scoop of hot chocolate to coffee, topped with frothed milk and suggests adding a little white hot chocolate as you are frothing the milk, for a truly indulgent treat. 

Coffee chocolate drink

Do you have any alternative uses for our tea, coffee or hot chocolate?

 

Read More

| Leave a comment

21st November 2013 by Whittard

6 Teas and Coffees to Complement your Christmas Menu

At our Christmas launch event this year, our buyers treated store managers with a food pairing session.

The flavours of traditional festive foods were enhanced and enriched through pairings with some very distinctive teas and coffees like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Imperial Formosa Oolong and Lapsang Souchong. Take a look at the menu below to see our recommendations and some great alternatives to accompany your Christmas feast.

Food pairing

Read More

| Leave a comment

15th November 2013 by Whittard

8 Bloggers with Great DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas

The nights are drawing in and smoke can be seen billowing from more and more chimneys. The season of rich hot chocolates, warming teas and Christmas is upon us. In these times of austerity, one way to make your Christmas gifts even more special is to personalise the gift wrap and we've found some wonderful DIY ideas. We have had a good look around the Internet and discovered some bloggers with some innovative wrapping ideas. They are:

1)          Mocha Blog – Sarah has a passion for design. This shines through in the wrapping paper she creates. Admittedly it is not very festive but with a few tweaks to the basic principle this could work marvellously. Try replacing the colourful butterflies with a festive sleigh or baubles.

2.         Satchels and Pearls – is run by Michele, a self-confessed tea lover, which makes her pretty special in our books. She has some lovely culinary ideas when it comes to wrapping. The way she sends the gift of cakes in jars is novel and inspirational. Try sending a biscuit recipe to go with some Whittard of Chelsea tea.

 3.         I Can’t Stop Shopping – This blog has another interesting take on the giving of wine as a gift and how best you can wrap it up.  There are some beautiful black and white personalised wrapping ideas in there as well.

 4.         Claireabellmakes – This blog has some sumptuously smelling wrapping ideas. This is a brilliant way of sprucing up some drab wrapping paper. The gift tags she has taken beautiful pictures of are the image of festive cheer.

 5.         Live Urban Love Rural – Rachel has some fascinating and novel ways of dressing up her presents for Christmas. The use of paper sweetie bags as well as buttons and fabric make these ideas great as a different take on the Christmas present.

 6.         Mini Eco – Admittedly not a Christmas wrapping idea but these can easily be morphed into something super festive. Remove the normal confetti and get some Christmas confetti used to dress the dinner table on Christmas day. These wrapping paper ideas will explode with Christmas cheer, showering the recipient with the festive spirit.

 7.         Parent Dish – This idea is fantastic to create with the children. Watch out though it could be messy work so lay some newspaper on the kitchen table, get the cookie moulds out and get making. Your Christmas present will be extra special this year with a child’s touch.

 8.         Novelicious – Ok so it’s not strictly a homemade wrapping idea but this wrapping paper was just too good to leave off the list. And I’m sure you could fashion your own with a load of old hardback books and some glue. Make your presents look like a library with this amazing wrapping.

Christmas is a time to spend time with and on those that you truly love. These eight blogs encapsulate  the essence of Christmas - going the extra mile and doing something special. Going the extra yard doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg and with these ideas you can create something magical as well as personal. If you know of any other spectacular homemade wrapping ideas, then please do let us know and leave a comment.

 


Read More

| Leave a comment

28th March 2013 by Whittard

A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell

The following article was written by George Orwell and published in the Evening Standard in 1946 - in this wonderfully detailed piece, he shares his eleven 'golden' rules on how to make and enjoy tea. 

A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell

George Orwell


If you look up 'tea' in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

  • First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase 'a nice cup of tea' invariably means Indian tea.
  • Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.
  • Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.
  • Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
  • Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.
  • Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.
  • Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
  • Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.
  • Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.
  • Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.
  • Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
  • cup of tea

Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tealeaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one's ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

(taken from The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 3, 1943-45)

 

Read More

| Leave a comment