Posts Tagged ‘chai tea’

Time for tea with Ximena Del Castro, from the Fairtrade Living blog

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Time for Tea – our regular chat with someone who cares about tea

Ximena del Castillo, from Fairtradeliving

Ximena del Castillo, from Fairtradeliving

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?

I have 2 young children and way too much packed into most days so I need my first tea to pack a punch… so I usually go for a strong Fairtrade Breakfast or Assam. I don’t worry too much about how long I leave my bag to brew, but I do pay a lot of attention to the colour once I’ve added a splash of milk and friends will always tease me because I need it to be a deep caramel… not cream!

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Either a Fairtrade Spiced Chai or an Earl Grey. I always save up my Earl Greys for special occasions, a bit like champagne.

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
Well of course the wide range of Ethical, Organic and Fairtrade teas, but I also love the uniqueness their gorgeous packaging, which makes them excellent presents.

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
I love the sound of the Green Tea with Peppermint!

Steenbergs organic green tea with peppermint loose leaf tea

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?
My favourite author at the moment is Brene Brown (Daring Greatly) who writes beautifully about vulnerability, love, happiness and parenting – I think I would love to have a big pot of tea with her and pick her brains about so many of her fascinating ideas.

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Steenbergs New Taster Panels Report – Tea Tasting 1

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Welcome to Steenbergs Tea Taster Panel’s first review of some of our teas!  Back in October 2013, we asked all of our lovely customers if any of you would like to be tea and spice tasters for us and luckily lots of you agreed! Thank you so much to all of you who have kindly spiced, seasoned and savoured for us, so that we can help improve our products and ultimately give you all more of what you would like to see from Steenbergs.

 

Tea Tastings

We started our Tea Tasting Panel with two very different flavour teas: Steenbergs organic Green Tea with Lemon Verbena and Gingerand Steenbergs organic Gingerbread Chai, to see whether indeed there was a difference in where, when and how you liked to drink them (and who with!), and if you had any comments for us.  We also asked you to say which music genre the product made you think of – just to spice things up!

 

1. Green Tea with Lemon Verbena & Ginger

Many of you found this tea to be a subtle blend with a fresh taste and a bit of a zing.  However a few of you did comment on the need for more ginger or lemon and that maybe it was a little bitter or a bit too subtle. With this fresh blend, all of you decided to drink it with no added milk or sugar and only one of you added lemon. 62% of you chose to enjoy the tea without food, although biscuits were a favourite option.  There was a pretty even split between morning, afternoon and evening drinking so you obviously found it to be a versatile tea.  Many of you imagined enjoying this, relaxing with family and friends at home (although George Clooney and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall did get a mention) and by the sounds of it, chilling out to some classical or folk tunes (with a bit of hippy psychedelic music thrown in!).

Steenbergs refreshing blend of organic green tea with lemon verbena and ginger

Steenbergs organic green tea with lemon verbena and ginger loose leaf tea in a tea caddy.

 

What people think about Steenbergs organic green tea with lemon verbena and ginger

What people think about Steenbergs organic green tea with lemon verbena and ginger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Phrases for Green Tea with Lemon Verbena and Ginger:

‘Lovely subtle verbena and ginger flavour’; ‘Dry with a zing’; ‘clean, refreshing’; ‘subtle, satisfying delicate taste of green tea ending in a lemon zing;’ light & fresh’

 

2. Gingerbread Chai

Whereas many of our tasters found the Green Tea blend refreshing, their second tea conjured up something totally different.  According to the panel, Steenbergs organic Gingerbread Chai is a spicy, warming blend, redolent of wintery evenings and Christmas and full of the flavours of ginger, cinnamon & cloves.  It was much stronger for many of you and this time 30% decided to add milk, although there were still very few who sweetened or added lemon.  60% opted to enjoy without food, but when you did, mince pies or biscuits were the chosen indulgence.  There was a really even split between morning and evening drinking, with many of you looking to enjoy it during the festive season to ward of the winter chills.  Being an authentic chai blend, some of you thought nostalgically about homemade masala chai, whilst others pondered wistfully about dinner in Mumbai or a boat on the Ganges.  The Indian influences were definitely carried through to the musical choices, although folk, rock, reggae and Christmas songs also featured – definitely an eclectic mix!

Chai tea mix

Steenbergs organic gingerbread chait tea loose leaf

organic gingerbread chai tea loose leaf

organic gingerbread chai tea loose leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Phrases for Gingerbread Chai:

‘Very pleasant & refreshing’; ‘warm & unique’; ‘spicy but not overpowering’; ‘An authentic masala chai’; ‘warming with a touch of spice’; ‘spicy, soothing, tasty’; ‘A warm aromatic blend with mild spicy hints’; ‘warm, comforting & easy’

 

 If you have an opinion on either of these teas that you’d like to share. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post.

 

Blending Christmas Tea

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

It is that time of year when customers are after our Christmas tea which is made to my own special recipe. 

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Christmas Tea

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Christmas Tea

We use a high grown organic Fairtrade from the POABS biodynamic tea estates in Kerala in Southern India as the base.  This is a lovely clean drinking black tea, while at the same time being mild in flavour without any maltiness or meadowy flavours coming through; therefore it is a wonderful base tea.

Whole Fairtrade Spices Ready For Grinding

Whole Fairtrade Spices Ready For Grinding

I take organic Fairtrade cardamom, organic Fairtrade cinnamon quills and organic Fairtrade cloves from the Small Organic Farmers’ Association in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka.  I then get some organic Fairtrade vanilla pods from the warehouse and chop these to about 1 cm in size.  All of these are mixed together and then ground down to a 1 – 2mm chop.  By grinding the whole spices in small batches, I can ensure that the quality of flavours is fresh and strong and that I am happy with their quality.

These are added to the tea together with some organic orange peel granules.

Cracked Spices And Black Tea

Cracked Spices And Black Tea

I mix it all together by hand, transfer it into sacks and leave to infuse with these gorgeous spicy flavours for a couple of weeks before testing and releasing for packing.

Christmas Tea All Mixed Up

Christmas Tea All Mixed Up

No additional flavours are added, no chemicals; it’s just tea and spices, blended by hand in North Yorkshire by me.  The final tea is a gently spiced, homely and warming for these darker evenings.

Recipe For Luxuriant Chocolate Chai Latte

Friday, January 1st, 2010

The snow is still here and it’s a white and cold Christmas and New Year period.  We’ve travelled to Northumberland, my home county, where we have observed the traditional first footing in a harshly, cold and rural climate – I love it. 

First footing is a Northumbrian superstition, where the first person to cross your threshold in the New Year must be a dark-haired man (and absolutely not fair or red haired or a woman), and he must bring gifts of bread, coal and money if the family is to be lucky for the year and have food, heat and wealth during the coming year.

But we needed a way to cheer ourselves up this morning after a short walk out in the snow, and this is what I came up with.

Ingredients

2tbsp organic Fairtrade strong black tea – Assam or South Indian would be good*
350ml/ 12½ fl oz freshly drawn water, brought to the boil
120ml/ ½ fl oz  full/ whole milk
½tsp organic cinnamon powder
¼tsp organic allspice powder
¼tsp organic cloves powder
1tbsp organic cocoa powder + some extra for dusting
Whipped cream (optional)

Boil the freshly drawn water in a pan on the hob.  Then switch off and add the strong black tea – allow this to stew away for 5 or so minutes.

Add the milk, chai spices and cocoa and simmer gently for 3 minutes.

Pour straight into mugs or large tea cups.  If you’re feeling decadent, you can add a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkle some cocoa or cinnamon over the top.

Relax, enjoy and smile.  We enjoyed our chai latte with some orange biscuits and some lemon biscuits that we had made earlier in the day.

* I used a high grown South Indian from the POABS Estates – it was a FBOPF, ie some small fannings from a traditionally processed tea.  Fannings are great for this sort of tea as they get the colour and flavour through quickly, while the sweetness of the chai tones down the slight bitterness of the leaf.

November Steenbergs Newsletter

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Steenbergs is here to help with all the Christmas baking

Traditionally a family time of year and it’s not just Christmas, it’s the time of year where everyone seems to be baking. This year we’ve pulled together lots of the essential baking ingredients to help you as well as our spice and tea boxes which make wonderful gifts. One person described opening up one of our boxes with the leaflet as just  opening up an “Aladdin’s cave of spices.”  We’ve all the usual news and information as well as an apology and an offer to make amends. Happy November and Guy Fawkes night enjoy the preparations for the end of the year…

Steenbergs tea gets a colour make over

Steenbergs has been selling tea since 2006 – we’ve always specialised in organic and Fairtrade tea but we decided to go colourful for 2009! We’re concentrating on our blended teas, many of them using spices. We’ve also switched the majority of our chai teas to be Fairtrade as well as organic. The new look tea comes in organic Fairtrade black chai (formerly our sweet chai); the seasonal – organic Fairtrade Christmas tea ; organic Fairtrade green chai tea and organic red chai (using redbush as the base tea). The chais or spiced teas are very warming and a great way to banish winter blues. Drink the black, red  or Christmas tea with or without milk or/and sugar whilst the green chai works well without milk but with or without sugar to taste. Have fun and let us know which is your favourite.

Other teas in this new livery are our popular organic Fairtrade English breakfast tea; organic Fairtrade Earl Grey tea and organic green tea with peppermint (formerly Moroccan mint tea). When the Steenberg house runs out of  Steenbergs English breakfast life the morning never quite starts properly until we’ve limped into the office – to begin again. Steenbergs Earl Grey tea is a delicious light tea which we particularly like in the afternoon – weak and black whilst Steenbergs green tea with peppermint is an all day winner. Drink our green tea with peppermint on its own or with a little sugar or honey. It works well as settler as well as making a delicious all day round drink.

Other new teas in the new livery include our organic white tea – bai mu dan or pai mu tan depending on your translation from Chinese – very cleansing and easy to drink all day through, can be an acquired taste; organic jasmine tea – always a winner in terms of calming and relaxing; and organic redbush tea – particularly popular as no caffeine and can be drunk very much as a black tea substitute, our loose leaf redbush tea is naturally sweet.

Christmas and Steenbergs

Spices have long been associated with Christmas in terms of baking, the Christmas kitchen and presents. This year we have pulled together much of the essential items to help you with the baking and created the Steenbergs Christmas baking shop, we’ve also pulled together some ideas for Christmas drinks and Christmas presents.

All our boxes make excellent presents for cooks of all abilities and interests – the choice is wide it’s just choosing which one for which person – whether it’s the Thai box for the globe trotter or the Christmas box, which is a good all round box, or the mini Fairtrade spices box or the storecupboard minis or the Smoke and spice box for the BBQ / grill or bake expert. For advice or help with choosing the right box for individuals please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll even wrap them up for you – don’t forget to let us have a message if you are sending it onto a different address. This year we have revised all our tea boxes to go with the new look tea – so again there’s something for all tastes and interests.

One of the simplest – if a little time consuming – Christmas spicy things has to be making a pomander – this traditional orange studded with cloves and then “set” with orris root makes a great traditional addition to the house. Somehow in our house it almost symbolises the start of the Christmas preparations almost as much as making Christmas cake!

What’s new with Steenbergs

Since the last newsletter we’ve been at Olympia at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair. It literally finishes the day before school’s back so we are always the bleary eyed parents who stagger into school the first day to be greeted by lists and questions! (We’re just trying to get through the day.) The Fair is always a good one in terms of meeting retailers who stock or might stock our products and passing on new products and sharing our enthusiasm – hopefully and news about Steenbergs.

 This year we were showcasing our new home bakery range, our new look tea range and our new look premium range – more about this shortly. All of which seemed to go down very well. We have, as always, added to our stockists list and with the home bakery range and mulled wine sachets going through distributors there should be some Steenbergs products available near you.

We’ve also added additional Steenbergs products to the range including two new single Estate peppers – Tasmanian Mountain pepper – which is roughly 10 times hotter than normal pepper and Madagascan wild pepper – for more information on all our peppers and these two new ones look at our recent entry on the blog. Two new flavoured salts have also just been added – porcini salt and truffle salt – both are intense flavours and will add a wonderful flavour to your cooking. Flowers also seem to be featuring at Steenbergs with Cornflowers, Marigold flowers, Jasmine flowers and orange blossom featuring on the list for the first time – you can use all of them in your recipes and meals – work well in salads and added at the end of meals so that you don’t lose the glorious colours of the flowers.

Organic Fairtrade Mulling wine spices

We now offer organic Fairtrade mulling wine spices in sachets! If sachets aren’t for you we also offer organic Fairtrade mulling wine spices loose in a jar and pre-blended into an organic Fairtrade mulling wine sugar . The joy of the sugar is that it is very easy to simply make a glass of mulled wine or gluwein.

We even offer a luxury version with orange for extra flavour. So however you like to create your perfect mulled wine – we’ve got it covered, we even sell the individual spices to allow you to create your own individual recipe if so desired.

Our tips for making this drink include adding orange juice to the wine – as opposed to diluting it with water – and the odd sliced orange always adds to the ambience and flavour if you are entertaining.

The sachets are going to be available via Suma and Green City distributors as well as ourselves so you should see them around and about, as well as in our stockists and  direct.

Postal strikes

Normally many of our parcels go by post, however, during the postal strike we have made alternative arrangements with courier companies. We won’t send anything by post the day before or the day of a postal strike. Ones sent previously should be fine as the majority go by tracked post which we understand is being given a priority by the Post Office. We will continue to monitor the situation and make arrangements and improvements as required. So it is even more important to leave instructions for deliveries if you are going to be out and not available for signature. Don’t forget that we can send your parcel to work address or leave it in a safe place, if you’ve left us instructions to do so.

New products

Once again there’s lots of new things at Steenbergs online shop. Getting ready for stir up weekend and Christmas baking we’ve got in organic mixed peel and organic glace cherries . Also new is organic Agave syrup and organic tahini. D2W products also seem eminently sensible and their biodegradable food and freezer bags join the ranks of their biodegradable bin bags.

Dried mushrooms – chanterelle, porcini and shiitake are now  available. And to help you with winter puddings we also now stock natural custard powder, as well as vegetarian jellies. If you are making your own – don’t forget our vanilla extract and/or vanilla pods they are ideal for this.

We seem to have gone rose mad  – it must be the end of summer in recent weeks and new additions to the toiletries include the Duchy original rose and mandarin shower wash, and the Weleda rejuvenating wild rose range. All of these have that lovely rose fragrance that somehow just brightens up your day.

Staff choice

The second in our irregular series of staff choices of our products. This time features Lucy, who has been with the company pretty well since it began.
Favourite Steenbergs product: Green tea with peppermint.

This is a brilliant tea and has been very popular with my friends who always ask for it instead of a coffee after a meal.

Favourite non Steenbergs product: Country products Bombay mix.

This is very moreish I have had to restrict myself to a bag a week or there would be no stock left for our customers.

Environmental tip: My husband and I couldn’t understand why our electricity bills were so high, we bought a gadget that tells you how much electricity you are using at any one time and we found out that someone had left our immersion heater on. Whoops. I think we managed to save ourselves £50 since we bought it.

Apology and offer

First of all an unreserved apology. The offer in the newsletter wasn’t properly set up. The mistake was noticed quickly and rectified and we have been through all those who placed an order using the code and refunded the people who were charged the incorrect amount. Some of the invoices are incorrect but the amount charged through your credit/debit cards was correct. Anyone who has any concerns about this should contact us at enquiries@steenbergs.co.uk

However, we know that some of you tried and failed so for those in particular we apologise profusely. We extended the offer for a further few days and we are offering by way of peace offering a free box of Peace Tea to anyone who orders up until 30th November 2009 using the offer code FREE TEA.

Stockists and blog update

New stockists include Jenners Food Hall, Edinburgh, now run by Valvona and Corolla. For a full list of your nearest stockists, click here and tap in your postcode. Whilst every effort is made to keep this list up to date we can only try our best. Our baking range and mulling wine also goes through distributors so we don’t always know the end shop.

Blogs recent blogs have included making our Christmas cake, delivery of our organic Fairtrade mulled wine spices, unusual peppers, Diwali, Kulfi, how our organic audit went (we passed) and Afghanistan. It’s wide ranging and we love to hear back from you via comments or suggestions of topics you’d like us to cover from recipes to spices to organic and Fairtrade issues.