Keep Calm and Drink Tea | National Tea Day

As Brits we know that putting the kettle on and making a brew can be the ultimate remedy. Even at a time of crisis, heartbreak, meltdown or lockdown, the offer of a cup of tea is a comforting salve whatever the situation. It has the power to bring people together (safely if they all live under one roof) or force you to take time to stop, breathe and sip (or slurp...depending on your patience to let it cool first). Frankly I'm surprised a shortage of teabags hasn't been reported across the news, instead everyone seems to be going mad for loo roll, eggs and self-raising flour! With all the banana bread we know is being baked around the land, there's little coverage of the tea that, surely, has to be served on the side of each and every slice. In our household-slash-makeshift office, the kettle has never been more in demand. Whilst the husband and I tag-team on tea-rounds, I wanted to celebrate National Tea Day on April 21st with a round-up of my favourite teas that have got me through a few bumpy moments.

If this tea were an outfit... 
It would be the world's comfiest loungewear. It is my absolute go-to and without fail, the best goddam cuppa around. This is the cashmere jumper of tea; comforting and cosy yet laced with decadence and opulence. All hail, Twinings Earl Grey. I'm aware this next statement may alienate some of you but, Dear Reader, I am not a fan of English Breakfast. There is just something bitter about it that doesn't quite agree with my palette. Some complain Earl Grey is quite smokey but I just love its citrus notes which make the flavours so much more interesting. They work perfectly on the side of a chocolate chip cookie too - tried and tested multiple times! I must also inform you, apologies in advance, I drink all my hot drinks black* which is how Earl Grey is generally recommended to be served. Ask me what tea I want and 9 times out of 10, it's this! It's so good that back in the day when we all worked in offices, I had to keep a secret stash of these teabags in my desk drawer to ensure I never ran out! In more current times, I just have to forgive my local supermarket for going out of stock!

*The only exception being a Starbucks Grande Sugar-Free Decaf Vanilla Latte with Skinny Milk... yes my husband disassociates me when I place that order too. Not that I'll be enjoying one of those for the foreseeable! 

If this tea were a song...
It would be a lullaby. A hypnotic, relaxing and soporific night-time soother to help anticipate your head touching the pillow and drifting off. Sign off the day with Twinings Super Blend Sleep. At some point last year, I found my brain just wouldn't switch off at the end of the day. 10pm. 11pm. Midnight would just roll on by and I'd still be wired from my day at the office. I remember seeing the Twinings Super Blend stand at Stylist Live and discovered I had a little taster teabag to give a try. The action of a hot drink before bed helped signal to my circadian rhythm and prompt that it was bedtime (that, and it helped banning the TV from our bedroom). At this time of unease, I'm glad I bought a box to keep in the cupboard as sleeping soundly is unlikely to be coming easily to us and a little night-time ritual can be such a comfort, as can any form of routine these days! As for the blend itself, I'm not the world's biggest fan of camomile but don't let that put you off. I found this tea, with notes of apple, vanilla and passionflower, to help balance the flavours so it doesn't taste like mouldy old socks. It's actually rather pleasant.

If this tea were a beauty treatment...
It would be a soothing massage. Capturing the warmth of a cocoon and the soothing motion of a tummy rub, enjoy your hug-in-a-mug with Pukka's Three Ginger tea. An absolute must-have for anyone suffering from anxiety, IBS or morning sickness looking for something to help settle your stomach. Don't be scared of the ginger sharpness that you may know from fruit shots or juices - I swear when ginger is not handled responsibly it can give you hairs on your chest and a throat burn to rival vodka. But, alas, here is a soothing dose of ginger, galangal (a tropical spice) and golden turmeric. It is subtle enough that should you forget your tea-bag is brewing for five minutes or more (they recommend three minutes at least), you won't be overpowered by the flavour. Tried and tested. In fact, I now leave the teabag in altogether. As an invigorating caffeine-free option, it's the perfect cuppa to start your day.

Let me know in the comments below your favourite tea!

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