Archive for May, 2015

Recipe development – mother and son

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Steenbergs is very much a family business, not just Axel and Sophie and their children, but also the people who work for us find their whole family have become part of the wider Steenbergs family.  Sally Roberts, who helps with recipe development at Steenbergs, had a wonderful surprise when she was creating over the holidays…

I had a wonderful surprise yesterday, and the realisation that habits can be absorbed and implemented by the next generation! Having fed my 15 year old son some homemade sausage rolls, who has only had the cuisine experience of cooking scrambled egg or sausages for breakfast, he decided he wanted to make some spicy sausage rolls. Ingredients purchased (rolled-out pastry, Cumberland sausages, leek and coriander sausages rather than plain sausage meat as we couldn’t find any at such short notice!) I left him in the kitchen and went to an appointment.

Upon return, beautifully tempting sausage rolls (2 flavours!) were cooling, list of Steenbergs products used in his recipe recorded on paper and a photo had been taken of the finished product! ‘Next time, I will start with unflavoured sausage meat Mum’ he said! For George’s recipes 1 and 2 click on the numbers.

George's spicy sausage rolls

George’s spicy sausage rolls


Spice – season – savour.

If you would like to share your recipes with us, we would love to hear from you. Recipes can come from anyone – the only proviso is that they use some Steenbergs products and that you like the end result!


What’s the carbon footprint of your cuppa?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

It depends is perhaps the best answer.

It depends on what you drink and also on how you treat changes in land use.

For tea, the carbon footprint is 87 g CO2 for a mug of Steenbergs black tea taken with milk.

This includes the carbon footprint of brewed tea is 48 g CO2 for black tea, plus also probably for white, green and herbal teas.  But to this, we need to add another 39 g CO2 for any milk added, if (as most Brits do) your tea is made with milk.

If you use teabags, an extra 4 g CO2 is added, or 5% to the carbon footprint.

This compares with 129 g CO2 for a coffee.  About 60% of this comes from the coffee itself and the remainder from the milk.  For milkier coffees like a cappuccino or latte, the carbon footprint is much larger at 222 g CO2 and 318 g CO2, because more milk is used.

Hot chocolate have the biggest footprint with its major cost again the milk.  If you include land use changes for the cocoa, this becomes even larger with the cost of the mix doubling to 43 g CO2 per mug from 21 g CO2.

Carbon in hot beverages

Carbon footprint of hot drinks

What does this tell us?

We can all reduce our carbon footprints by drinking less milk.  We can have lighter teas drunk without milk, and cut back on large lattes and hot chocolates. White and green teas, Darjeeling or China teas and herbal infusions are other tasty possibilities.

Then, drink loose leaf infusions rather than teabags as this extra packaging ups your CO2.


Carbon dioxide is lazily used here to mean carbon dioxide equivalent, i.e. it includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide gases.

These are comparable to figures in Mike Berners-Lee’s book “How bad are bananas?: tea with milk 71 g CO2, tea without milk 21 g CO2, milky coffee 71 g CO2, cappuccino 235 g CO2 and a large latte 340 g CO2.  His book did not have figures for hot chocolate, or at least I couldn’t find any.

Time for Tea Post for May – Holly Shackleton, Deputy Editor for Speciality Food Magazine

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

This month we feature Holly Shackleton, deputy editor for Speciality Food Magazine.

Holly Shackleton, deputy editor of Speciality Food Magazine

Holly Shackleton, deputy editor of Speciality Food Magazine

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
I’m afraid I need a bit of a push to get out of bed, and a good, punchy Assam does the job in style. However, lazy mornings call for a touch of luxury which is when a cup of Chai comes into play – it always feels like a treat.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
I’m quite sensitive to caffeine so afternoons are a decaf-only zone. Rooibos is my saviour, and I’ve found that a vanilla or caramel variant can perk up even the most trying of days.

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
Steenbergs are rightly proud of their ethical credentials, and knowing that by choosing Steenbergs for my cuppas I’m supporting truly worthy causes makes my enjoyment even greater. Plus, the tins look great on my shelf!

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
East Frisian ticks all the boxes for me – simultaneously malty and floral with a distinctive sophistication, it sounds like a very classy cup.

East Frisian loose leaf tea – ticks all the boxes for me – simultaneously malty and floral with a distinctive sophistication

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
I’ll make three suggestions, just in case you’re feeling generous. Stephen Fry, Nigella Lawson and Oscar Wilde – all intelligent, entertaining and appreciative of the finer things in life.
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