Tag

tea

Food & Drink, Life & Style

After the best reusable coffee cup? I’ve found it!

hydro flask review uk

hydro flask review uk

I have been on the hunt for the very best reusable coffee cup, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found the one.

You see, I have quite a prolific tea habit.  Coffee, less so, but tea, gosh, give me all the tea.  I never like to be too far from a hot beverage, and my bog standard reusable coffee cup wasn’t quite cutting the mustard for me.

My issues with the standard reusable cups were twofold.  Firstly, when I’m out and about I’m normally pushing a buggy, which means I can’t carry a reusable coffee cup.  I have tried to balance it in the buggy basket but that only resulted in spilt tea.  And while you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, you should definitely cry over spilt tea.

The other times I want to use my reusable coffee cup are for the bus commute to and from work.  I don’t have time for a cup of tea before I leave the house, so I like to use my commute to drink tea and read the news on my phone.  The problem is I’m normally fumbling in my purse to find change for the bus, or trying to find my ticket, and having one hand out of action whilst holding the cup wasn’t ideal either.

What I wanted was something like a flask, that could be sealed up and chucked in my bag without fear of spillage, but was easy to drink on the bus.  Drinking tea out of a flask cup on the bus isn’t ideal and prone to spillage if the bus starts or stops suddenly.

After intense internet searching, I didn’t think such an invention existed.  Then, randomly one day, I came across the Hydro Flask – a reusable coffee cup that promised to not leak when sealed up.  After reading a little about it I bought one as a treat to myself in the hope that it would solve all of my tea based problems.

best reusable coffee cup uk

I have been using my Hydro Flask for a month now and I’m ready to say hand on heart that it is the best reusable coffee cup out there, by a mile.

I have tossed it around my bag for a month on all kinds of adventures and have had zero leaks! Bus trip to make?  I pop it in my bag and have two hands-free to get on the bus with ease.  Off to the park with my little ones?  I pop it in my bag and off we go with the buggy.  Car journey to make?  I pop it in my bag and don’t have to worry about it spilling when we hit a bumpy road.

It keeps drinks piping hot for hours.  So hot, in fact, that I have to make my tea or coffee and leave it to cool for 5 minutes or so before decanting it into the Hydro Flask otherwise it’s scalding hot and undrinkable for a good couple of hours, which, yes, I did learn the hard way.

The Hydro Flask is also great at keeping cold drinks cold.  This means I don’t have to carry about a separate reusable coffee cup and water bottle – saving my back and freeing up precious space in my already bulging mum bag.

What I love most about the Hydro Flask is that when you screw the cap back on it doesn’t cause the liquid to displace if you’ve been a bit overzealous and happened to fill it up a bit too much.

It’s also easier to clean than a traditional flask – no fiddly components – just a solid lid – so it’s not prone to fusty odours that flasks can be prone to.  As I say, best reusable coffee cup ever!

My only criticism is that the body of the cup does not get hot, so you don’t get that comforting warm feeling you get when holding a cup of hot tea, but then if it did then it wouldn’t keep the tea or coffee warm, so I guess you can’t have it all.

You can buy the Hydro Flask in varying sizes – from a small 12 oz, a medium 16 oz, to the large 20 oz, which rather handily are the standard coffee shop sizes.  I plumped for the medium – the large felt a little too large, even for my liking.

Even with the medium, it’s got a nice wide mouth and so far I’ve found that coffee shops are happy to fill it, so I’ve been making sure to get my reusable cup discount!  With my tea habit, my cup will pay for itself in no time!

If you’re also after the best reusable coffee cup too, then I’ve found the Hydro Flask online on Amazon or Cotswold Outdoor if you’d prefer to avoid Amazon.

In case you’re curious, I paid full price for my Hydro Flask and am just sharing the love of this rather fortuitous find that has vastly improved my tea drinking on the go!

Food & Drink, Summer

How To Dry Mint Leaves for Tea

how to dry mint leaves for tea

homemade peppermint tea

Let’s talk about how to dry mint leaves for tea.

I never used to be a peppermint tea kind of lady but in what feels like a lifetime ago (pre kids) my partner and I went on holiday to Morocco.  In the middle of Marrakesh’s bustling main square, Jemaa el-Fna, we found a quiet cafe – a refuge from the searing 45°C African heat and the unrelenting snake charmers.

All the guidebooks warned us against drinking tap water, anything with ice in it, or the freshly squeezed orange juice served ubiquitously all over the square, for fear of stomach upset, so our options were dwindling.   Boiled water seemed like a safe bet, and besides, the heat had been so intense that we had reached the point where it was so hot we figured we may as well try the hot drink on a hot day trick, because we felt we simply couldn’t get any hotter.

We ordered up some peppermint tea, and what arrived were some pretty little glasses stuffed with fresh mint leaves and some freshly boiled water on the side.  And do you know what?  That tea, on a roaring hot day in what felt like the busiest place in the world really hit the spot.  We ending up in that cafe many times during our time in Marrakesh, drinking their fresh peppermint tea.

Since then we’ve grown peppermint in our garden for the purpose of having some fresh peppermint to hand to make tea with.  Which is all well and good in the summer, but in Scotland in winter doesn’t really work.  Here I’ve resorted to tea bags, but after the whole plastic in tea bags thing I’ve been thinking about how to de-plastic my tea.

Right now our mint plant is growing so vigorously that we have an over abundance of fresh peppermint – more than I can possibly drink – so I have been drying mint leaves in the oven to store for the winter.

Some people hang their herbs up to dry but with a lack of space and a lack of a warm dry space, I prefer to dry mine in the oven.  If you’re in a similar predicament here’s how to dry mint leaves for tea in the oven.

how to dry mint leaves for tea

How to Dry Mint Leaves for Tea

How To Dry Mint Leaves for Tea

Ingredients

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Clean dry jar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 80°C
  2. Pick the peppermint stalks (I cut just below the last leaf) and place in a colander.
  3. Give the colander a good shake to remove any beasties, and then give the stalks a wash under cold running water.
  4. Gently dry the leaves using a tea towel and remove any discoloured leaves.
  5. Spread the stalks out on a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 1.5 hours - keeping an eye on them to ensure the leaves don't burn.
  6. You can tell the leaves are fully dried out when the leaves become very crisp and brittle. When they are sufficiently dry remove from the oven and gently remove the leaves from the stalks, placing the leaves in a clean dry airtight jar.  I then compost the stalks.

Your mint will store for at least 12 months if kept in a cool dark cupboard.

Rather than cutting up the whole of my peppermint plant, I’ve been cutting an oven dish worth of leaves every week or two, to allow for new growth so as to keep me in fresh leaves for tea over the summer, and to build up a nice stock of dried mint for winter time.

To serve I add one to two teaspoons of dried leaves to either a strainer, infuser, teapot, or reusable teabag (whatever you’ve got, basically), then add boiling water, and allow it to infuse for a few minutes before drinking.

drying peppermint leaves in the oven

dried peppermint leaves