CHRISTMAS PARTY RULES

The festive season is a time for celebration, good times and just a little over-indulgence – and why not?

If you’ve worked hard all year long, the festive season is the perfect time to let your hair down with friends and family and spread some well-earned Christmas cheer. And love it or loathe it, the annual Christmas party is a festive tradition nearly as old as Christmas puddings, chestnuts on an open fire and falling asleep on your sofa in front of the Queen’s Speech. Bliss.

Whilst a festive get-together is a great way to thank and reward employees for their hard work over the year, it can be a time of trepidation for those who really don’t enjoy the festivities. And, whilst having a great time is the aim of any get-together, for some a little too much fun can all be a little too much…

Workplace culture is littered with tales employees who told their boss what they really thought after one too many Sambucas, or the employee who thought it’d be a great idea to drive home after ‘only a couple of drinks’. We wouldn’t recommend either, by the way.

On the other side of the coin, we also have to consider inclusivity; taking into account the employees who may find the pressures of social gatherings difficult, don’t celebrate Christmas or simply want to do their own thing.

So, what’s the best way to approach Christmas parties? To keep you all on the straight and narrow, and to help you avoid being ‘that person’ who becomes a Christmas party ‘legend’ for all the wrong reasons, we’ve put together 11 essential rules of the work Christmas party.

RULE 1: TURN UP!

Whilst having a Christmas party is a fantastic way to reward employees, as we mentioned earlier, some people simply don’t like the festive season or don’t want to spend their precious free time involved with their work – and that’s fine! But, showing up for even just a brief period will show your commitment to the organisation and a willingness to be part of the team. And we’re not talking a 10-minute ‘Hi / Bye’, either.

Take some time to engage in conversations with colleagues and take a moment to thank the organiser for their efforts. If you’re really not able to attend, take the time beforehand to let the organiser know you can’t make it and thank them for the invite – don’t just leave your invite un-responded to in your inbox or simply ‘declined’. After all, if you were the one organising the annual work’s party, we’re sure a little thanks can go a long way!

RULE 2: DON’T FORGET, YOU’RE STILL TECHNICALLY AT WORK

Not wanting to be party poopers here, but just because you’re dressed up in your finery and out of the physical workplace, you’re still technically within the work environment, so the same rules of your organisation will apply. 

Whilst you may have had a little Dutch Courage, it’s definitely not the place to discuss your job role, wages or grievances you may have. And just as important, don’t talk shop or complain about your colleagues – this is a time to celebrate, enjoy and socialise; not an opportunity to vent about your job or the people you work with.

RULE 3: GET TO KNOW YOUR COLLEAGUES

This more relaxed and casual environment is a fantastic opportunity to network with your colleagues, some of which may work in different locations. 

Successful networking offers the chance to let your colleagues talk about themselves whilst you listen and learn – plus get to know them a little better and maybe even have some fun, too.

“If you’re still fairly new to an organisation, the Christmas party is a brilliant opportunity to build potentially great relationships with the people you’ll be working with every day.”

RULE 4: FANCY DRESS? OR “FANCY” DRESS?

This rule’s a pretty simple one but can mean you avoid an embarrassing faux pas when making your entrance: Always check the dress code! If the dress code is ‘Fancy Dress’, there’s no harm in just clarifying if that means a nice tux or party dress before you go dusting off your Halloween Batman costume…

And anyway, it’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, right?

RULE 5: GETTING YOUR GROOVE ON

When you combine good times, alcohol and music, dancing is pretty much an inevitability – and who are we to deny you that pleasure! If you’ve got the opportunity, feel free to get your best shape-throwing, dad-dancing moves out for everyone to see – after all, who doesn’t love hitting the dancefloor every once in a while? But in seriousness, there’s a couple of rules you should keep in mind.

Don’t get too smoochy with you colleagues or too over-zealous with your dance moves – you really don’t want to risk either an injury or, even worse, a sexual harassment claim against you, consensual or not? 

When you’ve had a few to drink, it might seem like a good idea to flirt with the boss or your colleagues, but really, just don’t!! Don’t get up close and personal; so that’s no kissing, cuddling, over-zealous hugging, heavy petting or cannonballs.

RULE 6: KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Whilst it’s nice to have a glass of wine or two, please know your limits and be responsible with your drinking.

Whilst drunken behaviour might be OK with your friends, at the works ‘do’, it’s definitely not acceptable. No-one wants to be passing out in the toilets, sick on the dance floor or having to rely on others to look out for their own wellbeing.

Also, mixing booze with office gossip is not a good idea.  Try not to declare your undying love about a colleague, or cry on the shoulder of your boss.

Pace yourself, try not to drink on an empty stomach, drink slowly, sip your cocktails, drink lots of water between rounds, and note the old adage, the ‘grape and the grain’ do not mix.

RULE 7: WHO’S GOING TO DRIVE YOU HOME?

Have a great night and lots of fun; but just like knowing your limits, always keep in mind when it’s time to leave and also, how you’ll be getting home. Have you arranged a lift home? Or have you booked a taxi? Making sensible arrangements beforehand can prevent any unforeseen problems and ensure you arrive home safely, but above all, if you’ve had a drink, leave the car at home or at the office and never drink and drive.

RULE 8: RESPECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Now, we appreciate that you’re all consenting adults, but if the party is held on your premises, don’t go for a romp in the MD’s office – no matter how great an idea it may seem at the time! After all, you wouldn’t want any embarrassing interruptions now, would you?

Don’t get caught kissing in the stair well, don’t get caught using the photocopier for inappropriate copying and above all, make sure all your equipment is securely locked away… if you get our meaning…

RULE 9: DON’T CALL IN SICK

If your work’s Christmas Party is on a school night, no matter how hung-over you might be the next day, don’t call in sick.  We all know what’s wrong with you and you’re not fooling anyone!

On the other hand, if you feel fine – great! But, always be aware that it takes around 1 hour for your body to break down 1 unit of alcohol. So, if you’ve indulged in some festive shots over the course of the night, you may well still have a lot of alcohol in your system when 9am rolls around, meaning driving into work may be out of the question.

If you know it’s going to be a heavy night but you have to be in work the next day, don’t take any risks. Book a taxi or alternative transport into work the morning after.

RULE 10: USE SOCIAL MEDIA WISELY

It’s not always a good idea to post photographs of the evening’s shenanigans onto social media.  Do you have permission to post your colleagues photo?  They may have told their partners, they were working late, or have been invited to a posh restaurant with the management team… Not that we’re condoning telling porky pies, obviously.

Don’t betray their confidences. Don’t let their friends and family see them dancing on the tables in drunken frenzies – always save your posts for when you’ve got a clear head or if you know for certain you’re OK to share.

RULE 11: SAY THANKS

Last but by no means least, always thank the organiser and your boss for hosting a good festive party; either at the party itself, or after the event. There will have been someone who will have organised the food, the drinks, the venues and the festivities, so letting them know they’ve made a great night for everyone really will go a long way.

WINTER COCKTAIL: ESPRESSO GINGERBREAD MARTINI

This velvety smooth, espresso and gingerbread cocktail is the perfect warmer for chilly days – or as a cheeky, alcoholic alternative to pudding. Sit back and let the bartender do the work at Brighton’s award-winning Pintxo People (pintxopeople.co.uk), and Pinchito Tapas in east London (pinchito.co.uk), or mix one up in a matter of minutes at home

Ingredients:

  • Ketel One vodka 50ml
  • espresso coffee 25ml, chilled
  • gingerbread syrup 15ml, available from drinkon.com
  • coffee beans 3

Method:

  • STEP 1

  • Rim a chilled martini glass with cinnamon and sugar.

  • Shake all the liquid ingredients together with some ice and strain into the glass. add the coffee beans and serve.

HOT MULLED CIDER

Method

To make enough to serve 4, pour 1 litre still cider into a saucepan and add a glass of good apple juice if you like.

Add 6 cloves and 4 cinnamon sticks, cover and bring slowly to the boil.

As soon as it starts to simmer turn off the heat and add 200ml sloe gin (optional, but highly recommended) and 1 or 2 sliced oranges.

Taste, and add a little honey or sugar if you want.

Serve straight away… by a log fire.

Ingredients

  • 1 litre still cider
  • 1 glass of good apple juice
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 200ml sloe gin
  • 1 or 2 sliced oranges
  • honey or sugar to taste
  • 1 log fire

HOW TO DOWN YOUR PINT

How to down a pint quickly

1. Let the beer warm up a little bit. You don’t want to get brain freeze from downing a freezing pint.

2. Try get rid of as many bubbles as possible, you can try getting another glass and pouring the beer in and out of the two glasses.

3. Right before drinking, hit the bottom of the glass on the table to release carbon dioxide.

4. Lean your head back slightly, open your throat and take a half breath right before drinking your pint.

5. Swing the glass so the beer rushes to the back of your throat. The trick is to swallow right before the liquid actually hits your throat, because the beer will essentially just pour down your throat. (This is also known as opening your gullet.)

How to down a pint without feeling sick

– Don’t forget to drink water throughout the night, especially if you’re prone to throwing up. Never down the water or drink it quickly as it will upset your stomach.

– Line your stomach with some food, obviously.

– Eat some ginger, studies have powerful anti-nausea properties.

– Know your limit and stop drinking when you know you’ve reached your limit.

– Get some fresh air and cool yourself down.

HOT CIDER

How enticing is a steamy, spicy hot cup on Bonfire Night to warm the soul (and the fingers)? 

Mulled wine is too Christmassy, so I prefer to brew up something more autumnal on  5 November, and throughout the winter months too.

Make the base an apple one instead, using decent cider and apple brandy  at the core (sorry). I use medium (not bone-dry) cider in a hot punch – it tastes softer and juicier. Use a good-quality, glass-bottled one, such as those below.

Method

For four drinks, gently warm up a litre or so of cider in a large pan with just two or three cloves, two cinnamon sticks broken in half, some slices of ripe orange, and of fresh green and red apples,  and a good dash – about 100ml – of Calvados/apple brandy.

To sweeten the mix, dollop in some honey, sieved marmalade or (and this is good) the sticky, peppery syrup from a jar of stem ginger.

Bring to just below simmering point, but don’t boil or all the alcohol will whoosh off into the night like a rocket.

Serve in thick glass tumblers if you have them.

GINGER TEA

Did you know that Ginger Tea benefits are no longer a myth of herbalists but a fact of scientists? Indeed, we now have proof that this delicious, wholesome Herbal Tea can improve daily living in a variety of ways. Most famously, it aids digestion and supports the immune system. However, it can also offer so much more.

Some of the questions we will answer in this blog include:

  • How to Make Ginger Tea?
  • Does Ginger Tea Have Caffeine?
  • Is it Good for You?
  • Is Ginger Tea Good for Stomach Bacteria?
  • Is this tea Good for Acid Reflux?
  • Is it Good for the Heart?

If we haven’t answered your particular question, please ask us. You’re welcome to contact us via our website, on social media, or at our factory shop in Pluckley, Kent.

What is Ginger

What is Ginger?

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. Its close relatives include cardamom and turmeric. One glaring difference between Ginger and its cousins, however, is the fact that it no longer grows in the wild. In fact, the survival of this beloved herb is mostly due to its widespread cultivation.

Today, India is the largest producer of ginger. Other areas where it grows in abundance include Africa and the Caribbean (most famously Jamaica). Yet no one knows for sure its origins. Most assume it began life in Southeast Asia, but it’s possible we’ll never know with any certainty.

The stem of the plant can reach heights of up to 1 metre, while its lanceolate leaves grow up to 30 centimetres long. But when it comes to Ginger Tea, the most critical component is nestled underground. This is the rhizome, which most people will know as the ginger root.

Workers unearth the root at around ten months old. They then wash, soak, boil and peel it. The finished product finds its way into numerous culinary dishes, as well as, of course, Herbal Tea. The best way to brew it is to cut the root into smaller pieces. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we have already done this for you!

Despite the name “Tea” being associated with this herb, it does not come from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. This means that it isn’t a “Tea” in the conventional sense. It also means that standalone Ginger Tea is an entirely caffeine-freeinfusion. The exception to this rule is when we blend it with Tea leaves. This includes our Ginger Black Tea or Green Tea with Ginger.

But when brewed as a Herbal Tea, ginger has bold peppery notes with zesty overtones. Indeed, there is nothing quite like it.

History of Ginger 
The History of Ginger

Most herbs and spices are relatively new to the West. Ginger, on the other hand, has been familiar to the likes of Europe for over 2,000 years. In what is modern-day China, meanwhile, this herb dates back some 5,000 years! Confucius (551-479 BCE), the renowned Chinese philosopher and teacher, was one of the first to recognise Ginger Tea benefits. He noted its ability to improve digestion, suggesting that it be present on the table for every meal. Even today, this makes a lot of sense!

Ginger first arrived in Europe through Ancient Rome. Here, similar to Asia, it became popular owing to its benefits. After the fall of the Roman Empire, however, this herb was all but forgotten for centuries. Its resurgence came about through the eventual Arab monopoly over the spice trade. During this period, prices rose dramatically. According to some records, 500 grams of ginger could cost as much as a live sheep!

By the 11th Century CE, prices began to balance out again. With this, its popularity in Europe against increased, particularly in England. King Henry VIII (1491-1547) reportedly recommended Ginger Tea  for treating plague. Years later, the reign of Queen Elizabeth I saw the plant’s transport to New World colonies in the Caribbean. According to legend, the Queen herself experimented with this ingredient, creating the Gingerbread Man!

Most famously, however, this spice has a close association with Ayurveda. This is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing originating from ancient India. It uses a variety of herbs and spices to balance one’s “doshas”, which are energies that make up every individual. The three doshas are the “Vata” dosha, the “Pitta” dosha and the “Kapha” dosha. Ginger Root Tea is a tridoshic, which means it can balance not one, not two, but all three doshas.

Ginger Herbal Tea

Ginger Tea Benefits

There are 115 known constituents in fresh, dried ginger. Many of these components complement a healthy and active lifestyle because of their well-documented Ginger Tea benefits. Some of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in this Tea include calcium, fibre, magnesium and Vitamin C. This root is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.

Studies suggest that Ginger Tea benefits can also combat free radicals in the body. These are unpaired (and unsafe) electrons, which in turn are the product of natural, though harmful, human oxidation. When left unchecked, unpaired electrons latch onto stable electrons, often causing untold damage to their makeup. This ultimately leads to many complications, including cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and even cancer.

So what is Ginger Tea good for? By combating free radicals, thus slowing down the process of oxidation, this Herbal Tea can reduce the risks of many chronic conditions. Studies suggest this includes cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We await further research, however, before endorsing it for any type of cancer. But this isn’t all it can offer. Indeed, there is much, much more to say about Ginger Tea benefits.

Ginger Tea for Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Fake news has become a significant concern for many in 2019. We’re often bombarded by article titles such as “Lose 7 Pounds in One Week With These Steps!”. Inevitably, it’s all lies. But this isn’t the case with Ginger Tea benefits. Indeed, the concept of Ginger Tea weight loss comes with preliminary evidence that looks very promising.

A study published in The Journal of the Science and Food of Agriculture has the answers. It saw positive weight lose because of gingerol, a vital compound found in Ginger, over a 30-day supplementation period. There were also improvements in blood sugar and leptin levels. But why did this happen?

Some suggest that this marvellous root can boost the metabolism of fat cells. This enables the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.

Furthermore, ginger can act as an appetite suppressant, helping you to feel fuller after a meal. It’s worth noting, however, that even if this is true, Ginger Tea can’t do all of the work for you. One must lead a healthy and active lifestyle alongside this Tea. Indeed, that means morning jogs and salads!

Ginger Tea for Acid Reflux

Ginger Tea for Acid Reflux

Confucius was right to recommend Ginger Tea benefits for digestive health all those thousands of years ago. Most notably, it can reduce the production of stomach acid. This is because of its phenolic compounds which can relieve gastrointestinal irritation and lessen gastric contractions. For this reason, Ginger Tea for acid reflux is an excellent choice.

But that’s not all. Its anti-inflammatory properties likewise benefit the gastrointestinal tract. Its calmative properties, meanwhile, have a relaxing effect on this system.

Many choose to drink this Tea to reduce intestinal gas and flatulence. Some even note its ability to alleviate bloating. Ultimately, drinking Ginger Tea to settle the stomach has many benefits.

Ginger Tea for Cold

For Colds

There is never a good time to get unwell. Indeed, coming down with a nasty cold is a common occurrence; but it doesn’t have to be. Enter Ginger Root Tea, a beverage noted for its extraordinary ability to prevent colds and the flu before they even manifest.

How? This Herbal Tea contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which can boost the immune system.

But again, there is more to this beverage than just keeping colds at bay. Drink Ginger Tea for flu. Drink Ginger Tea for fever. Drink Ginger Tea for sinus infections.

Drink Ginger Tea for Sore Throats

Drink Ginger Tea for Sore Throats

The possibilities are nearly endless. And much of this is thanks to its antiviral properties. This time, it’s a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology that explains why and how.

This research project noted that fresh ginger prevented the human respiratory syncytial virus, or HRSV, from attaching to and infecting upper respiratory tract cells. Doses of 300 micrograms per millilitre essentially stimulated the respiratory cells to secrete an antiviral protein called interferon-beta.

And if that wasn’t enough, it also inhibits mucous protection and helps clear up congestion. In other words, if you’re unlucky enough to already be unwell, drink Ginger Tea!

Ginger Tea when Pregnant

Pregnancy

Many doctors and health professionals advise pregnant women to act with caution when it comes to herbal remedies. For this reason, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company will always recommend a medical consultation should one have any concerns.

However, some studies suggest that drinking Ginger Tea for morning sickness is a safe and can be beneficial. The reason for this is because of digestive-related Ginger Tea benefits. According to research, just 1 gram daily of ginger may reduce nausea and vomiting. On average, Ginger Root Tea contains 5 grams of ginger per 8 oz cup – so even better!

Furthermore, NHS Choices recommends that pregnant women do not exceed 200 mg of caffeine daily. This is the equivalent of 2 cups of Coffee. With Ginger Tea, however, one doesn’t have to worry about any caffeine at all!

Buy Ginger Tea Online

Our Selection of Ginger Teas and Blends

The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company stock a wide variety of Ginger products. Whether you want a standalone Herbal Tea, a Herbal blend or a ginger-infused Black or Green Tea, we have the brew for you. So what will it be?

Ginger Root Tea

Ginger Root Tea

This infusion is ginger at its finest. It has a sharp spicy flavour with sweet, peppery undertones. When it comes to Ginger Tea benefits, this Tea is arguably the best choice.

The reason for this is its sheer concentration of the herb. What could be better than great taste and equally great benefits from one cup of standalone Herbal Tea?

Detox Lemon and Ginger Tea
Lemon and Ginger Tea

In the world of Tea, there is no better love story than ‘when lemon met ginger’. This is one of the most famous Herbal blends available on the market today.

And with good reason, too. It boasts a distinct spicy-citrusy fusion of flavour like no other, why not try our Lemon and Ginger Tea.

Lemongrass and Ginger Tea
Lemongrass and Ginger Tea

This is an interesting twist on a popular classic. It has flavours similar to Lemon and Ginger Tea, but with extra herbaceous notes. Lemongrass and Ginger Tea also comes with its own Lemongrass Benefits. This, of course, is in addition to Ginger Tea benefits.

Turmeric and Ginger Tea
Turmeric and Ginger Tea

The health-conscious individual might be hard-pressed to find a more beneficial brew than our Turmeric and Ginger Tea.

In fact, such is the outstanding ability of turmeric to improve daily living, we’ve written a blog dedicated to it. When it comes to taste, this infusion has a bold kick of spiciness with every sip.

Ginger Green Tea
Ginger Green Tea

We use China and Ceylon Green Tea in the making of this beverage. To this we add ginger, which creates a unique spicy flavour with grassy undertones.

This infusion is again near the top of the list of choices for health-conscious individuals. The reason for this is the high level of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant, found in the Green Tea. This type of tea has become very popular over recent years due to the well documented Green Tea Benefits.

If these choices aren’t for you, then we have many more waiting to be discovered. We pack all of our Teas fresh to order here at our Kent-based factory.

This is our way of guaranteeing not only quality but also consistency. So what are you waiting for? Explore the wld of Ginger Tea today with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company!

LONG ISLAND ICED TEA

On paper, the Long Island Iced Tea is one hot mess of a drink. Four different—and disparate—spirits slugging it out in a single glass, along with triple sec, lemon juice and cola? The recipe reads more like a frat house hazing than one of the world’s most popular cocktails. And yet, somehow, it works. That’s because the Long Island Iced Tea succeeds where so many of today’s refined cocktails fall short: It’s boozy AF—more than four ounces of alcohol against less than half that amount in mixers. Unless you’re a sailor on shore leave, that’s a red-flag ratio rife with morning-after consequences. It’s also precisely what a person needs every now and then. Best then not to intellectualize the Long Island Iced Tea and simply love it for what it is: an easy-gulping, one-and-done stiffy. If you’re looking to tame your tea a bit, pull back the boozy parts from three-quarter ounce to half-ounce, and lean in on the cola. The good people of Long Island won’t be offended.

INGREDIENTS IN THE LONG ISLAND ICED TEA COCKTAIL

  • Garnish:  Lemon wedge
  • Glass: Collins

HOW TO MAKE THE LONG ISLAND ICED TEA COCKTAIL

  1. Add all ingredients except the cola into a Collins glass with ice.
  2. Top with a splash of the cola and stir briefly.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
  4. Serve with a straw.

OTHER INFORMATION:

We can’t liethe Long Island Iced Tea is one of our favorite guilty pleasures. Check out our eight favorite embarrassing drinks. (And if you’re brave enough, share your own.)

BLACK RUSSIAN

Before we get into the background on the classic Black Russian recipe, here are a few related cocktail recipes you may like: the Butterscotch White Russian, the Caramel White Russian, the Chocolate White Russian, the Salted Caramel White Russian, the White Russian Split, and the Coconut Rum White Russian.

As far as the background on this covert-sounding cocktail, the White Russian/Black Russian cocktail wikipedia pagenotes that “The traditional cocktail known as a Black Russian, which first appeared in 1949, becomes a White Russian with the addition of cream.” And that “Neither drink is Russian in origin, but both are so named due to vodka being the primary ingredient. It is unclear which drink preceded the other.” So yeah, you may have thought that the White Russian was the OG Russian drink, but that’s apparently not the case. Although a 2016 VinePair articledoes state that ” The [White Russian] was conceived in 1949 when Gustave Tops, a Belgian barman, created the cocktail, along with its sister cocktail, the black Russian – a White Russian without any cream – at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels in honor of Perle Mesta, then U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.” So maybe both were actually made at the same time?

Although the Black Russian has never garnered the popularity of a drink like the classic margarita or classic mimosa, the White Russian version really took off in popularity in 1998 after the movie The Big Lebowskicame out. In the film, the White Russian was the drink of choice for the main character, the Dude, and because he was so emulated, so too was his drink.

BLACK RUSSIAN
1 3/4 oz. (52ml) Vodka
3/4 oz. (22ml) Coffee Liqueur

PREPARATION
1. Our vodka and coffee liqueur over ice in serving glass.
2. Stir gently.
DRINK RESPONSIBLY!

Black Russian drink recipe: vodka and Kahlua over ice

This drink tastes enough like sweetened coffee that you can just assume any food that goes well with sweetened coffee will go well with a Black Russian.

EARL GREY

Since our first days brewing from our Citroen-H van, people have asked if we serve Earl Grey. Our answer for a long while was no, not yet – we wanted to do it properly. Among the first of our flavoured teas, we wanted our Earl Grey to be something we could be proud of – a good and proper tea like the rest. Last spring, after many, many rounds of tastings, we finally landed on something wonderfully simple and launched it as our 29th tea.

Good & Proper Tea at Brockley Market

Where is Good & Proper Earl Grey tea from?

Earl Grey is a black tea which has been flavoured with bergamot oil, taken from the rind of this Sicilian citrus fruit. During the course of the development of our Earl Grey, we tried multiple different black tea bases in different blends and with different levels of oiling. In the end, we opted for something wonderfully simple – our Earl Grey loose leaf black tea is made up of a single-origin, Ceylon black tea base, from the remote Uva region in Sri Lanka (read more about this tea-growing region here), which is known for producing teas with natural citrus and pine notes, which naturally work well with the bergamot. The oil itself is extracted from the skin of the bergamot fruit, before being reduced to a concentrate and then tumbled through the tea and allowed to settle. During this process the majority of the liquid evaporates off the leaves, leaving the residual flavour behind. When brewed, both the tea and oil infuse into the water, giving the liquor that beautiful orange colour and distinct, aromatic flavour. The combination of the black tea and bergamot is the perfect balance of body and aroma – not overtly fragrant but with enough of the spicy hit of bergamot to make it a true earl grey. We also add blue cornflowers to our Earl Grey, but just because we love the way they look.

Earl Grey loose leaf

How to brew Earl Grey tea

As with all of our teas, we provide brewing instructions for how to make the most delicious cup. As Earl Grey has a Ceylon base, it is best brewed like other black teas – at a high temperature for a longer period of time than other tea types, such as greens, oolongs and whites. We recommend brewing 3.5g dried leaf (2 tsp), per 200ml teapot, in just before boiling 98C water for 3 minutes.

The result is a beautiful amber liquor and the perfect balance of body and fragrant aroma.

Earl Grey lifestyle shot

How best to drink Earl Grey

When it came to launching our Earl Grey in 2017, there was the much debated subject of how best to enjoy it. So we asked for your thoughts on the ultimate question – milk or no milk?

58% of you said that you prefer a splash of your milk with your Earl Grey, whilst 30% said that they enjoy it best, drunk with milk. 12% said that they like to take their Earl Grey with a slice of lemon. We think that our particular Earl Grey tastes delicious black, but we’d have to agree with the majority of you, that there is nothing better than a pot at tea time with a delicious cake and a good book – brewed with freshly drawn water, just off the boil, then poured over a dash of semi-skimmed milk.

13..JPG

How much caffeine is there in Earl Grey?

Due to its black tea base, a cup of Earl Grey contains a reasonable amount of caffeine. You can read more about how much caffeine you can find in a cup of tea, in our article here. Whilst coffee and tea both contain levels of caffeine when drunk, tea also contains an amino acid called l-theanine which has calming properties that leave the drinker feeling refreshed, but without the jittery effect you might experience with coffee.

Earl Grey is also sometimes heralded for its proposed health benefits, such as reducing anxiety, and lowering cholesterol, thanks to the presence of bergamot.

Earl Grey web ready

Each of our teas are numbered, in the order that we added them to the G&P lineup. Earl Grey is #29, the most recent addition to our tea collection, and after launching it in spring 2017, we are delighted to know that our tea drinkers love it every bit as much as we do.

WHICH WATER FOR YOU

Many people struggle to know which type of water is the best because the market is full of so many different types. Each one claims to have some wildly impressive additional health benefits. However, which of these claims are true and which ones are simply no more than clever advertisers stretching the truth to sell more products?

This article will help you identify the main types of water available today and tell you what the real health benefits are based on scientific evidence and research data.

By the end of this article you will be better informed and have a good idea of which water you think is best for your specific needs.

Tap water

Tap water is the type of water that comes out of your water faucet. In most countries, it is usually supplied and controlled by a local government authority.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is generally safe for things like cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Biggest benefits

Cheap, easy to access for most people and usually a safe source of water.

Risks and issues

Tap water is generally safe to drink but some recent studies raise cause for concern. For instance, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did a 5-year study looking at the quality of US tap water. The results showed that tap water supplied to all 50 states contained over 500 different contaminants.[1]

There are also some instances where a mineral like fluoride is added to the public water supply. For instance, around 10% of the UK population is supplied with fluoridated tap water to cut tooth decay.[2]

Bottled water

Bottled water is portable purified water that you can easily and conveniently buy whenever you’re thirsty.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is a good source of water for drinking.

Biggest benefit

Very convenient way to access clean safe drinking water.

Risks and issues

Some of the large water brands have admitted that their bottled water is nothing more than filtered tap water.

The biggest issue is the environmental cost. The creation of bottled water is insanely wasteful when it takes about 3 litres of water just to produce 1 litre.[3]

Also, plastics are extremely difficult to recycle. This means that your plastic bottle is likely to end up taking space in landfill sites. Or worse, it might end up in the ocean and poison not just the water but wildlife too.

Distilled water

Distilled water is sometimes called demineralized or deionized water. It is water that has everything removed including ions and minerals. It’s the purest form of water that you can get. It literally has nothing in it (good and bad). This means it has no contaminants, bacteria, minerals or nutrients.

Who is it best for?

Its high level of purity makes it the water of choice in places like laboratories and factories. It is also good if you want to drink water that is completely pure.

Biggest benefits

Distilled water has the highest level of purity and is almost sterile.

Risks and issues

There are no harmful risks associated with distilled water because it is so clean. However, some health reports suggest that it might not be best to always drink water that is completely empty of healthy minerals and nutrients.[4]

Hydrogen water

This is water that contains hydrogen molecules that act as powerful antioxidants. The claim is these molecules are capable of helping your body neutralize harmful free radicals that contribute to disease development, reduce inflammation and slow down aging.

Who is it best for?

Those who are very health conscious and happy to pay extra money on something that may have health benefits – but not guaranteed.

Biggest benefits

The hype around hydrogen water is based on a serious of studies conducted on mice. The studies appear to show that this type of water has mild anti-inflammatory effects, particularly on the development of diseases like Parkinson’s.[5]

Risks and issues

Many of the big health claims are still inconclusive when similar studies were performed on human beings. Yet, some of the health claims are presented as fact even though there are no guarantees. Also, all the hype makes this type of water very expensive to buy.

Alkaline water

Alkaline Water is water that is at a pH level of 8 and above, which is higher than the pH of regular water. It has become more popular because research shows that an alkaline diet is generally good for health.[6]

Who is it best for?

Everyone because drinking alkaline water is generally considered to be safe.

Biggest benefits

The human body thrives when it is able to maintain a slightly alkaline pH. Consuming alkaline water may be able to help in this regard. Here’re more benefits of it:[7]

Risks and issues

A report from the World Health Organization cautions against regularly drinking water that has low mineral content.[8] Alkaline water tends to be low on minerals and nutrients.

Boiled water

Boiling your water is generally one of the cheapest and most effective ways to purify your water. This is because putting water in temperatures above 185° F (85° C) will kill most pathogens within a few minutes.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. Boiled water is usually clean, safe and healthy to drink.

Biggest benefits

It is a great way to purify water that is not heavily contaminated.

Risks and issues

Boiling water will not purify water that is contaminated with things like lead, pesticides, nitrates and other chemicals. Also, some people don’t like the “flat taste” that sometimes comes with boiled water.

Which is the best water to drink?

The healthiest type of water is technically hydrogen water because of the potential health benefits of the antioxidants it contains.

However, the truth is that even the healthiest type of water can only ever have minor health benefits. Hydrogen water and any other type of water on this list will not be able to repair an unhealthy diet or lifestyle.

The biggest health benefits from hydration come from drinking water itself regardless of what type of water it is. The truth is that any type of water is good for you so long as it is clean and free of impurities.

The bottom line is that you should consider all the different “healthy” types of water on the market as ‘life enhancers’. Something that can mildly improve a lifestyle and diet that is already very healthy but not fix one that is not.