Picture the scene. It’s Monday. Your day has got off to a shaky start. You have woken up late due to a sugar hangover from a GBBO inspired social gathering the day before, and nightmares of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry inserting their French batons where they really shouldn’t. You have rushed your make up and your eyeliner is smudged so you look like an oompa lumpa who has gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson rather than a polished young professional. And your hair – the only redeeming feature of your face that morning when inside – decides to transform itself into a voluminous poodle stuck in a static chamber, the moment you set foot out the door. Great.
The day doesn’t improve. In fact, fitting Kayne West and Miley Cyrus’ egos into a tiny tea caddy the size of their brains seems easier than your job that day. You stumble home, delirious from a combination of stress, severe crack-like sugar withdrawal and nightmare flashbacks of Paul Hollywood’s flauna (I hope you have watched GBBO. If not, I assure you this isn’t another word for scrotum – google it. Make sure you don’t confuse the two…). You collapse into your front door, wondering why the Universe decided to release its irritable bowels – after a heavy night on the sauce I might add – on you from a great height that day. You are brassed off and desperately looking for a saviour.
Only one thing can lift you out of your malaise. A brew. A Jolly good brew. A Jolly Brew.
Star Crossed Lovers
This folks was the situation I found myself in when trying Jolly Brew‘s tea for the first time. I know, not ideal. Normally in these situations I would reach for a trusty tea steed like a sturdy homemade chai latte or a flavoured black tea that says ‘it’s ok, it’s ok that you have looked like a domestically abused Alice Cooper with an afro for the last 12 hours. It’s ok that you have shown the competence of a blind, comatose toddler trying to organise a G8 summit today at work. It’s ok that you have momentarily sucked at life. Drink me and LIVE!’ (If you listen carefully, all tea speaks y’know. At least that’s what the voices tell me…)
BUT as I tore open the fridge door to eat something nourishing (and by nourishing I mean chocolate) with serotonin inducing ingredients and a gazillion little happy promoting calories (or more likely, a week’s worth of chocolate guilt), Jolly Brew’s cute postcard dropped off the fridge where I had pinned it. It was a sign; had the stars aligned and the Universe finally given up binge drinking, taken some Imodium and given me a break? I was about to find out. I plumped for the Mint Choc Royale sampler that the chaps at Team Jolly had exercised their generosi-tea to send me, in the hope it would satisfy my sugar craving that was bordering on catastrophic cold turkey levels.
I was initially skeptical as to how the mix of black tea, blackberry leaves and peppermint could realistically mimic the taste of mint chocolate; similar to seeing someone on a dating website proclaiming they look ‘rather a lot’ like Ryan Gosling when their stats clearly state they are a five foot two dinner lady from Wakefield (and a Virgo too). Yet, this cheeky little packet artfully began the seduction process the moment I tea-sed open its zip. I was greeted with the glorious aroma of peppermint and a deep, irresistible cocoa-ey scent. ‘Oh god,’ I exclaimed. ‘OH GODdddddd!’ It smelled like I had just motor boated a Mint Aero, rubbed myself against it and smothered its juices all over my face. Twice. ‘JeSUS that is INCREDIBLE.’ I had to sit down. It’s blissful fragrance had almost brought me to #teagasm and I hadn’t even put this stuff in my wanting , moist mug yet. Wow. Premature tea-jaculation doesn’t usually happen to me.
Steph: ‘Why does it sound like a When Harry Met Sally montage in there?!’ bellowed my long suffering Tea Witch Apprentice Steph.
Me: ‘Have a go on this babe. This is the good shit. It smells as if After Eights and Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate ice cream had a big confectionery love-in and made multiple good looking, stupidly popular and unfathomably lovely mint children.’
Steph: ‘Right…yeah…you sound like a total tea twat. Is that a polo neck and a monocle you are wearing?! Anyway, it’s literally just tea.’
Me: ‘Seriously, you have to smell this though. You will want to rub it in your gums. Promise you.’ *Rams packet under nose like a crazed tea pusher*
Steph: *Sniffs packet* ‘No…that just smells like te…WHOOoooAAH Nelly!’ *Sniffs vigorously* ‘That smells – I can’t believe I am going to say this, don’t you dare bloody blog about this – pretty bloomin’ good. Can I…I mean if you have enough…and you want another opinion…’
Me: ‘Spit it out Mrs ‘If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get me Breakfast blend”
Steph: ‘Can I…try some?’
You heard it here first. The smell of Jolly Brew was so good, that even Dame ‘No Tetley, No Tits’ wanted a go. Who’s the total tea twat now?
The Main Event
After this heady praise from Steph already, I was full of an-tea-cipation and frothing at the spout to continue my liaison with my Jolly Brew. I couldn’t get the leaves into my infuser quick enough, the kettle to boil fast enough, or the utterly delicious smelling leaves to steep speedily enough. It was the longest yet most exhilarating five minutes of tea foreplay I had ever experienced, with the brew filling the kitchen with the smell of liquid mint chocolatey heaven. I felt like I should be reciprocating with candles, a sensual massage and a lacy Victoria’s Secret number. But even I admit that would be marginally weird for a cup of tea…I stress marginally. Instead, I set up the area where we would make sweet love, with a truly decadent china tea cup wine glass from Cheerupteacup and even a proper tea pot. I had to scrub up good for this brew.
Finally, the tea was ready. Time for a deep breath. This was it. The flir-tea-ing was over. The moment for ultimate #teagasm had arrived. It could only be likened to finally getting the person you had fantasised about for years, built a shrine to in your bottom drawer and had – in your mind’s eye – planned mortgage downpayments, wedding venues and children’ names (Samwell and Benjen if you are wondering), back to yours. Brimming with excitement, I took my first, tentative sip…
…and I was not disappointed, treated to an explosion of #teagasmic delight. The delicate yet distinct peppermint caressed my palette, whilst the sumptuous blackberry flavour and black tea juxtaposed together to lovingly stroke my tastebuds with a warming dark chocolate taste. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t drinking a milky mint hot chocolate, the depth of flavour was so good. This was pure, unadulterated and calorie free tea porn, with one cup providing lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’, numerous ‘yes, YES, YESSSSS’es and multiple glorious, prolonged, dirty #teagasms. So I did the only logical thing after such an experience. I went for another round straight after the first – can’t fault me for stamina.
For our second date, Jolly Brew and I added some spice to our encounter…a little bit of milk and a dash of sugar, just to mix things up a bit. Easy tiger. I have to say, this second mug (I simply could not get enough in my dainty teacup) was even more #teagasmic than the first. The milk enhanced the chocolatey and full bodied mouth feel, and settled down the peppermint flavour to even more closely resemble a Mint Aero than when drunk black. With this mug, I actually sat on a bed in a darkened room in my underwear to truly appreciate each and every little tea tingle. Tan-tea-lisingly good.
Oh, and what did Steph think? Like teenage girls over the Spanish holiday camp heart throb, we were both fighting over who could have the last steamy fling with the tea that was left before we had to fly home. (I won…don’t mess with The Tea Witch, bitch). Team Jolly, this is not only a first in the Witch household, but also a miracle like conversion of Lady ‘No PG, No Put Out’. I salute you!
This #teagasm was one I gossiped about with my friends. It was a #teagasm that I sent snapchats to people about saying ‘guess what (or should I say who) I have just done ;)!?’ Finally, it was a #teagasm that put a noticeable twinkle in my eye and a spring in my step the next day, the kind where people simply know from your aura that you got lucky last night.
Jolly Brew’s Mint Choc Royale is possibly one of the best flavoured black teas that has ever passed my adult, tea stained lips. I am not usually a fan of peppermint, and am always dubious when a tea claims it tastes like chocolate, let alone mint chocolate. But honestly, Team Jolly are not lying when they labelled this tea. It absolutely does taste like Mint Choc Royale. I am not suggesting that you try it. I’m not politely asking you to try it. I am ORDERING you to try it. Again and again and again until you can’t take anymore and are dangerously giddy with tea ecstasy. You will love me for it. You will love me oolong time.
Who else has tried Jolly Brew? Do you feel the need to rush to Victoria’s Secret every time you’ve got a brew on too!?