At the end of last year, I had a lovely visit from Jess Salter, a journalist for The Telegraph. Over afternoon tea and a pot or three of Mr Shao’s green tea we nattered about all kinds of things: growing up – unknowingly down the road from each other – in Yorkshire, tea, business, my love of flavour and aroma and more! And it was fantastic to read Jess’ article recently featured in The Telegraph’s weekend magazine regular Word of Mouth feature. Read more here >>>
I hope you new year has got off to a cracking start! I love starting the year by reflecting on the last.
2012 was fun-filled and jam-packed to say the least! As a business, we grew by more than a whopping 200%! It was a year of fun, a little stress, not a lot of sleep, steep learning curves and quick thinking! This didn’t give me much time to enjoy some of the things I used to have plenty of time to do – traveling, tasting, discovering, relaxing!
But after a relaxing, friends and family filled Christmas break, I have enjoyed a lovely steady, slow paced venture back into the world of tea and fuelled by pots of nutty buckwheat tea Sobacha, as part of Lahloo’s herbal therapy month, I have been planning for what is going to be an exciting year ahead!
With a brilliant team helping me at both Lahloo Tea and at our tea store, Lahloo Pantry, I’m taking advantage of some space to rediscover those things that make me tick. And I’m starting with an exciting trip to southern Sri Lanka.
I’ve been flicking through my go-to (and fellow South West company) travel companion, i-escapes, for tips and I can’t wait! I’m so looking forward to the colours – the turquoise sea, blue sky, green tea hills, golden beaches, vibrant food markets and saris – the people, their culture, the tastes and the aromas! A feast for the senses!
Not only will I experience Sri Lanka’s gems, I will be visiting the garden who make our’s and Tom Herbert’s favourite cinnamon-smoked version of lapsang souchong tea – Smoky – and other amazing artisans to hunt out new herbal infusions and maybe another tea to bring back.
Now, that’s what I call a cracking start to 2013, here’s to more to come! What about you, I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to this year?
Our mince pies at Lahloo Pantry are always a huge success. The secret? Really good pastry, but, above all, our incredible mincemeat, infused with zesty Lahloo Earl Grey. Here you can find out how to prepare it, ready for all your Christmas baking. Also perfect if you want to give some homemade presents to friends and family.
- 500g golden sultanas
- 500g dried cranberries
- 500g raisins
- 200g mixed peel
- 250g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- zest of 2 oranges
- zest of 2 lemons
- 500g dark brown sugar
- 500ml amaretto liqueur
- 250ml Lahloo Earl grey tea
Put all the dried fruit and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the zest, sugar, tea and amaretto in a pan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Pour over mixed fruit and stir gently. Cover and allow to sit for two days. After two days pack it into sterilized jars -better when they mature in a cool dark place for a few weeks!
Because it’s Christmas, we have a fantastic prize for one of you Lahloo friends, thanks to our friends at the beautiful Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds. This indulgent New Year treat includes a beautiful Green & Spring limited edition gift set and a voucher for a night’s stay for two and full breakfast at the contemporary country house hotel.
To enter the competition, you just have to answer the following question in the form below and submit it: what is your favourite Lahloo white tea?
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Terms and conditions
1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, 18 years or over, with the exception of employees of Lahloo Tea and Cowley Manor and their families or partners.
2. All entries must be received by midnight on Sunday the 6th of January 2013.
3. Only one entry per person. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date.
4. By entering this competition you agree to have your name released as the winner. The winner will be contacted through e-mail or telephone after the 7th of January.
5. If the prize winner fails to respond to correspondence from Lahloo Tea or to claim his/her prize within 72 hours of receipt of notification, Lahloo Tea shall be entitled to select an alternative prize winner. The prize winner who has not responded won’t be entitled to a prize.
6. Prize is non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
7. Lahloo Tea reserves the right to record the entrants’s e-mail addresses for promotional purposes and to share these with Cowley Manor.
8. Prize is valid from Sunday to Thursday, throughout 2013, excluding bank holidays and subject to availability.
Hannah and Josh drink Bristol Brew and pair it with the perfect biscuit. But will it be a dunker?
On the 7th of October Lahloo Pantry celebrated its first anniversary! We still can’t believe it’s been a whole year since it opened its doors for the first time. Twelve months full of excitement, learning, fun and hard work makes us feel quite proud of what we’ve achieved. Here’s an overview of the Pantry’s first year in images!
Preparing for the grand opening
Hannah learning about infusion times!
Drinking the limited edition Witches Brew just before the Witches Tea Party
Charlotte models the Pantry bags by the advent calendar!
Making mince pies with the Pantry’s own Earl Grey mincemeat!
Cold infused Earl Grey samples on the day in which the Olympic torch passed by Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Hannah and Holly sporting fabulous matcha moustaches!
Hannah and Joe painting the town green!
The Lahloo Tea fancy dress party. Smoky, Matsumoto Black, Earl Grey, Rosebud, Sencha, Shou Vintage, Sheng Vintage, Wild Rose, Amber and Bristol Brew!
Nothing says autumn like pumpkin spice! Our favourite spice blend here at Lahloo is chai spice. One of the pleasures of autumn is drinking a cup of the warming, comforting and invigorating Spice Chai by the fireplace -but it’s even better when you have something sweet to go with it! This recipe has it all: the warm, incredibly comforting flavour of our famous Spice Chai, the seasonal flavour of pumpkin and the creaminess and sweetness of a classic dessert. Ingredients
- 330ml double cream
- 20g pumpkin puree
- 1 inch of ginger julieved
- 1 vanilla pods
- 6 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- chopped pistachios
- granulated sugar for brulee
Heat the cream in a saucepan, but don’t let it boil. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and add the spices and tea. Cover it with cling film and allow it to infuse for a few hours, or preferably overnight.
Sieve out the tea and spices and put the cream back on the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then pour the boiling cream and the pumpkin puree into the mixture and whisk. Place it back onto a low heat. Whisk constantly until the custard reaches ribbon stage. Immediately remove it from heat, pour into a cold bowl and continue to whisk for 3-5 mins until it has slightly cooled.
Pour into ramekins and refrigerate.
Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée, then caramelise using chefs’ blow-torch.
Once again the sleepy Welsh town of Abergavenny illustrated its growing cultural ethos for their love of good foods and appreciation of independent producers at its annual festival. Seen as ‘The Don’ of all food festivals, the place was teaming with celebrities from the culinary world including the likes of Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi, the South West’s own Fabulous Baker Brothers, and renowned Michelin starred chef Pierre Koffmann. Visitors flocked from across the country to the event, and with an estimated foot fall of 30,000 over the two days it was all hands on deck for the exhibitors and event organisers. The produce on display included local cheeses, ales, chutneys, wines and sugary treats for those with a sweet tooth. Oh and of course there were some tea stalls there!
We arrived at the site early on Saturday morning, it was one of the first days this year you could feel that autumn was in the air. As we made our way to the Lahloo pitch the atmosphere was lively, and there were many exuberant exhibitors making sure their stalls were ready for the on-coming stampede of eager foodies!
The festival itself was an excellent way of promoting our beautiful selection of artisan teas to the general public and to prospective retail buyers. We met lots of loose tea fanatics, many were already Lahloo customers (which we were very pleased about!) However, we greeted with open arms those that were new to loose leaf tea, and invited them to join in the ways of Lahloo! Towards the end of the Saturday a young Welsh boy and his mum came running over to the stall, eager to sample “every tea you have please”. He was a very sweet boy with a real passion for tea- he drank loose leaf tea every now and again, but was tired and bored of normal bagged tea with milk. After tasting all the samples, he decided that our Himalayan Oolong was his cup of tea, he absolutely loved it! Turning round to his mum, he asked if he could buy a tin using the rest of his pocket money, his mum was more than happy to oblige! It was really gratifying to see someone so young exploring and developing their tastes through tea.
On the Saturday afternoon Laloo Tea founder Kate took part in one of the infamous Rude Health rants. Taking centre stage at the Market Hall Kate ranted about the common misconceptions of green tea and why they were in fact not true. The main myth Kate tackled was the misconception of green tea being bitter- Kate passionately dispelled this view and explained that it was merely down to quality of the tea leaves, and the method in which it was made that affected its flavour. Let’s hope people took note and are now brewing up the perfect cup of green tea every time. I think the free samples of iced Jade Cloud tea Kate handed out maybe swayed peoples opinions- it is delicious!
On the Saturday evening in the Old Market building team Lahloo relaxed after a busy day with a drink and a good old live food debate. Amongst those on the panel were Tom Herbert of Hobbs House Bakery and The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Carolyn Steele- a TED lecturer and writer of ‘Hungry City: How food shapes our lives’, and investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman. They tackled issues that currently affect independent producers and retailers, looking closely at the effects big corporations have on the success of the small businesses, and debating ideas of quality over convenience. All involved were inspiringly passionate for the cause and had great arguments for and against. We left feeling very motivated and valued by this community, our intentions as a small business were confirmed. We just want to give you good value, ethically and locally sourced goods at a good price!!
Until next year Abergavenny!