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Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • Nice

    At the start of September Rob and I decided to go on a last minute 4 night babymoon break to Nice. Deciding on a location wasn’t the easiest or quickest of decisions as we wanted a mix of relaxation, culture, sunshine, good food, pregnant friendly and not too far away! We eventually landed on Nice and I am so glad we did!

    From the moment were coming into land along the coast of the Côte d’Azur and the sun was shining and we were getting ever closer to the stunning blue sea I knew we had made the right decision. It has to be one of the most spectacular landing approaches I have seen.

    Rather than bore you with tales of our holiday I thought I would sum up the best bits for us about Nice (I did ask Rob which bits he enjoyed the most) and show you a couple of pictures we took. Hopefully this will persuade you to take the short trip to one of the most beautiful cities I have been to.

    Best bits of Nice:

    • Côte d'Azur – the coastline is breath-taking with its stunning blue sea and picturesque views.
    • Food - due to the fact that you are not far from Italy we found that there was a real mix of French and Italian influences. What more could you want?! French pastries for breakfast and pizza for dinner!
    • Cleanliness – the streets were spotless no litter, graffiti or mess in site.
    • Parks with fountains – we discovered a beautiful spot to have our breakfast in the Jardin Albert 1er and just further along was a beautiful promenade with fountains and features which we made sure we visited each day.
    • Bus ride to Monaco – one day we decided to take a day trip to Monaco and rather than doing an organised tour we got one of the public buses which follows the coast road all the way to Monaco. The views are incredible.
    • Old Nice – all the narrow streets and nik nak shops and little cafes were a treat to explore.
    • Pebble toilets on the beach – being pregnant means a lot of toilet breaks and fortunately all along the beach they have toilets that are made to look like a giant pebble (I assume to blend in) which are free to use. Much more fun that a London public toilet!
    • Trams – I don’t know why but I love a city with trams and Nice is one of them.

     

    Melissa, September 2014

  • How do you like yours?

    Working in tea quite often leads to questions of how do you make a perfect cup of tea or should you put milk in tea and if so should it go in first or second? I also go to meetings or homes and they worry that the cup of tea they present me with won’t be up to scratch! This is never a worry as I just love anyone offering to make me one! Obviously everyone has their own tastes and preferences and therefore it can be quite hard to judge what their perfect cup of tea may be. What we can tell you is how best to brew our tea and what we think gives it the best taste possible.

    For our black teas we suggest using a pinch of the leaves or a small teaspoon (if using loose leaf) and place in an infuser. Tea likes space and the more it has the more flavours will be released. Boil the kettle with fresh water and then pour into your teapot or mug over the leaves or tea bag if you are using one. Then allow this to brew for 3-5 minutes to get the best flavour possible.

    Now the question of milk. This is very much a personal preference and some people like milk in their tea and some do not. With our black teas I think they are appreciated better without milk. For added sweetness a drop of honey or even lemon is a nice touch. If you do add milk the question of milk or tea in first is a tough one. It’s like asking someone if they put cream or jam on their scones first! I don’t believe there is a correct answer and there are many theories to both. One for milk first being that people who used fine china were worried putting hot tea in first could crack the china, so by adding the milk first it would cool the tea down. A lot of people prefer milk in second so they can monitor easily the strength they want the tea. Let us know on twitter which way you do it!

    We have information on how to brew all our teas on our individual tea pages and also have a handy infographic on brew times and temperatures!

    Now go put that kettle on and make yourself a well-earned cup of tea – just how you like it!

    (Image courtesy of Google Images)

     Melissa, September 2014

  • Chocolate Roulade

    After watching The Great British Bake Off Last night I am determined to experiment more with pastry and attempt a pasty or éclair but having not yet embarked on that challenge I thought I would share with you another one of Mary’s fantastic recipes I tried and tested. It was a technical challenge in a previous series.

    Chocolate Roulade!

    This incredibly light yet rich tasting sponge proved extremely popular and I was impressed with how it turned out. I also think it would look great on the Christmas Table with some added decoration so I may be re-creating it then too!

    Ingredients:

    • 175g dark chocolate (39% cocoa solids), finely chopped
    • 6 large free-range eggs at room temperature
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • For the filling and finishing:
    • 300ml pourable double cream
    • Icing sugar, for dusting
    • 1 x 23x33cm swiss roll tin, greased with butter; non-stick baking paper

     

    Method:

    • Line the base and sides of the buttered tin with non-stick baking paper. If you make a small diagonal snip in each corner of the paper, it will help fit the paper snugly into the corners of the tin
    • Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and stir until the chocolate is smooth, then leave to cool for about 15 minutes or until just warm. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
    • Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one large mixing bowl and the yolks in another; set the yolks aside. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until they stand in stiff peaks. If you turn the bowl upside down, the whites should be stiff enough not to fall out
    • Put the sugar into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk using the electric mixer on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until very thick and pale in colour, and the mixture leaves a ribbon-like trail on itself when the whisk is lifted out
    • Pour the cooled chocolate into the yolk and sugar mixture and gently fold in with a wooden spoon to blend evenly. Add 2 large spoonfuls of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir in gently to loosen the mix, then fold in the remaining egg whites using a large metal spoon. Take care not to knock out the air you have just whisked in
    • Sift the cocoa powder over the top and lightly but thoroughly fold it in with the metal spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and gently move the tin around on the worktop so the mixture finds its own level. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until risen and the top feels firm and slightly crisp when pressed gently with a finger. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin; the sponge will fall and crack a little as it cools.
    • Lay a large piece of non-stick baking paper on the worktop and dust it lightly with icing sugar. Turn the sponge out onto the paper then carefully peel off the lining paper. Whip the cream for the filing until it just holds its shape
    • Spread the whipped cream over the sponge, leaving a clear edge of about 2cm on all sides. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut along one of the short edges.
    • Roll this cut edge over tightly to start. Use the sugar-dusted paper to help continue the tight rolling by pulling it away from you as you roll. Finish with the join underneath, the lift the roulade onto a serving plate or board using a large wide spatula or 2 fish slices

    Tip – As you roll the sponge don’t worry if it cracks – it is normal and mine certainly did!

    Melissa, September 2014

  • Organic September

    This month is Organic September and we want you to celebrate by making your tea an organic one!

    Luponde is one of the oldest organic tea estates in the world and we strive to bring you the highest quality single estate, organic tea possible. Organic is a ‘whole system’ approach to farming and food production. It recognises the close interrelationships between all parts of the production system from the soil to the consumer. We are certified by the Soil Association Ltd, the UK’s leading and most recognised organic organisation. You can find out more about these details on our values page.

    Every September the Soil Association runs their Organic September campaign and it is the UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic. There are lots of events and promotions throughout the country this month which you can be part of.

    We would love you to get involved by switching your tea to a Luponde one and as the Soil Association say - 'help give organic a boost!'

    Melissa, September 2014

  • Photos

    I thought I would brighten up this Thursday by sharing with you some of our photos of the estate, our tea and all things Luponde. Everyone loves some photos to browse through.

    Stunning view at the Luponde Estate

    Tea field

    Taking a quick break from tea picking to give us a smile!

    Tea picking

    Stunning Tea

    Peppermint

    Beautiful camomile

    Picked tea!

    Tea sacks

    Tea ready for tasting

    Loose leaf and tea bags

    Our tea tins

    Tea ready for a tea tasting event

    Melissa, September 2014

  • Peppermint!

    Today is the 1st September which for some means that they are back to school this week, others are already counting the days until Christmas (yes that’s right I said it) and for us here at Luponde it is the start of a new Tea of the Month. This month it is my favourite; peppermint.

    For our peppermint the leaves are handpicked and then dried for several days before then being crushed. This gives it a beautifully strong aroma and a delicious fresh taste and is the main reason why I love it. It is caffeine free and great for any digestive or stomach woes. It has been a lifesaver for me the last few weeks with pregnancy indigestion and was even recommended by my midwife!

    In order to make sure you are enjoying peppermint at its best you need to boil your kettle and then leave it to cool for a few minutes before pouring onto your bag or leaves and then leave to brew for around 3-5 minutes. Watch it turn a beautiful shade of green.

    If you would like to try some of our peppermint you can win some this month by emailing your details to tea@luponde.co.uk and you can purchase it on our website.

    Is peppermint your favourite? If so let me know why on our FB or Twitter page!

    Melissa, September 2014

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