Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Tea Equivalent of an Afternoon With Mary Poppins (Tea Box Express, January Box!)


You know where I'm going with that title, right? When I say that this month's box is like going on an adventure with Mary Poppins, I'm really saying...

It's practically perfect in every way.

(Please, Disney, don't sue me.)

We'd been given a bit of a hint that this month would be a bit of a Brit theme, and it definitely did not disappoint. Those of you who have picked up the subscription, you are in for a serious treat. Anyone who didn't? Give some serious thought to snagging a box later this month when they go up for single-sale in the shop on Tea Box Express's website.

Those of you who have ordered will receive your box pretty soon, but let me give you a peek at what you're are in for. Because it's wonderful.


Time for a cuppa, indeed.

I know that normally I take a nice photo of everything still in the box, but that simply didn't happen this time, because as soon as I realized what was in there I ripped everything out before I remembered to even try to take a photo. Then it was too late, and I was already scheduling when we would actually test everything out, then I was reading ingredients, then... well.


The tea for this month was exactly what I had hoped it would be from the hints Andrea was giving out; it's an Earl Grey from teapigs! Earl Grey is one of Jason's favorite teas. It has such an exceptionally perfect smell, all bergamot and happiness. The box said this would be an exceptionally strong earl grey, since it has an Assam (which you may remember from previous reviews is Jason's favorite kind of tea) as a base instead of the milder Ceylon or Darjeeling that you normally get.

Jason let his bag continue to steep throughout drinking his cup, and I took mine out after a short brew time. I still got a definite mild kick from the caffeine, so if you like to start your day with a serious strong black tea, teapig's earl grey strong is a good choice. We really liked it - perfect with milk, honey, and the best British breakfast food item...

 

SCONES.

I love scones. I won't even try to pretend I don't just unabashedly love scones. I love British scones, where all the sweetness comes from the add-ons and they are crumbly and biscuit-y. I love American scones, that are basically cookies. I love savory scones like the spinach & cheese scones from the Swamp Rabbit Cafe down the street from our house, I love baking scones, I just love scones.

I am a huge carb fan, though, so I think you just sort of have to assume I'm going to like anything that is similar to bread in any fashion.

We went ahead and baked these Saturday morning to have for breakfast before we began our weekend trip up to Asheville. We spent Saturday night and Sunday morning eating like kings (or, um, queens, in my case) and I still say the scones were one of the best items we had in those two days. This scone mix just needs a little water and it comes together perfectly. We chose to bake it with the spoon-drop method instead of as a round, so that they'd have lots of little points and flakes.

They're a bit on the sweet side, and they go perfect with two other add-ons in this month's box:


Clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Clotted cream is one of the recipes I have lined up as part of the Cookbook Project I'm doing this year (although it won't be until April I think) and I have been trying to convince myself to try it for a couple of years now. The words 'clotted' and 'cream' do not actually sound all that appetizing next to each other for this American, but on the other hand it's such a mainstay of the British tea experience that I wanted to try it at least once.

Andrea, who is apparently psychic, knew that and now I have tried clotted cream and I am here to say that it is so, so good.

It's a bit like a thick, slightly sweeter butter. It spreads and melts like butter, but has a stronger taste. It has a bit of a yogurt-y tang to my tongue, but pairs perfectly with the sweet strawberry jam that was also included. The scones, plus clotted cream and jam, plus a nice sweet, milky cup of Earl Grey? It was the perfect way to start a Saturday.

 

I mean, look at that. Tell me that doesn't look delicious. Well, you can't tell me that, because I ate it and I know it was delicious. I won't even tell you how many of those scones I ate. It... It was a shameful amount of scones.

(Jason ate that many too, so he should also be ashamed.) 

(he's not though.)

Now, every box has tea and food items as well as something that isn't food, but has to do with sort of the idea of drinking tea. I am deeply in love this this month's "tea accessory", because it's something I've been trying to convince myself to pick up for when I have company over for a long time.

 

It's a beautiful little pitcher for pouring cream, with a little stirring spoon that has a teapot on the end of it. Seriously. In love. This is exactly what I've been looking for, one of those little extras that I'm never sure if I want to spend the money on but sort of daydream about. I'd like to believe I'm the sort of person who might have people over for tea and need a pitcher for them to pour their cream out of.

I'm... not that person, but I'd like to be.

Until then, I'll just use it to pour my own cream into my own mug of my very own tea.

And I will feel delightfully British while I do.

Maybe Julie Andrews will even come by and sing a song.

She probably won't, though, because if she did I would faint dead away, but only after shrieking and chasing her around the house and there would be a lot of yelling and panic.

Overall, I'd give this box a very high rating. This is actually my favorite of the three I've tried as far as the overall box itself (although the masala chai from November is still my favorite tea so far!). It's essentially the perfect morning date in a box - tea, scones, jam and clotted cream, and a pitcher for pouring your milk. Jason even remarked on how wonderfully the box appeared like it had been planned for a date - a platonic one with a friend who also loves tea or a romantic one.

Seriously, my only regret is that I didn't have enough stuff to invite my friends Sarah and Liz over to have some, too.

I definitely think if you've been waffling or holding out and waiting to see if there was a box you really wanted before ordering, this is probably going to be that box. I loved everything in it.

So... what are you waiting for?

Go get some! Or I'll sing songs from Julie Andrew's entire ouevre at you! 

Let's start at the very beginning...









* This post was done in partnership with Tea Box Express - they give me a nice discount on my monthly box, I share the goodies and my feelings about it with all of you! All opinions are 100% my own - if I sound enthusiastic, it's because I really am. If I seem mope-y, well, that's authentic, too... although tea very rarely makes me mope-y. If you have any questions, feel free to comment here (or my the blog's FB, or wherever you may see me a-wanderin') and just ask! You'll get my honest answer. If you do decide to pick up a box, either by signing up for a subscription, buying it as a one-time gift, or purchasing it from the shop after-the-fact, please please please let the good folks at Tea Box Express know that it was me who sent you!

November's Review
December's Review

This post was done in partnership with Tea Box Express - they give me a nifty discount and monthly box a bit early, I show you what's in it and tell you what I think about it. - See more at: http://stressandstars.blogspot.com/2014/12/if-i-cant-have-white-christmas-i-can-at.html#sthash.vFNHF6sU.dpuf
This post was done in partnership with Tea Box Express - they give me a nifty discount and monthly box a bit early, I show you what's in it and tell you what I think about it. - See more at: http://stressandstars.blogspot.com/2014/12/if-i-cant-have-white-christmas-i-can-at.html#sthash.vFNHF6sU.dpuf

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It felt a bit fancy! If only because I'd never eaten clotted cream before. But it was delicious! I'm looking forward to making my own, now.

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  2. I wasn't entirely sure as to what clotted cream was until this post. And now I reeeeeally want some on a scone + jam.

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    Replies
    1. It. Is. Delightful. I seriously cannot wait to make some of my own when it comes up on the cookbook project.

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  3. Caffeine addict and carb lover...we definitely have the important things in common. That is one good looking scone!

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