You’ve had a productive day. You smashed the recommended daily water allowance by 18 litres (ish). You walked to ALL THE PLACES. And you nailed your five-a-day – that’s fruit and veg by the way, not Elf’s main food groups of candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. EPIC WIN.
Arriving home from work, you want to continue this healthy day fit for a lifestyle blogger with a perfectly calligraphed logo (pah, who would want one of those?!). Only one thing for it then: spin class AKA a Guantanamo Bay-esque torture chamber. Yes, the exercise phenomenon with dichotomous attendees ranging from muffin top mummies escaping their horde of screaming dependents, to extreme Lance Armstrong wannabes head to toe in lycra, yet with a full compliment of tes-tea-cles. Thankfully, you defy convention and sit metaphorically and literally in the middle of them, as a slightly insecure twenty something attempting to become Deliciously Ella.
The ordeal begins. You start strong, responding to every barked order to stand up, sit down and PUSH IT, PUSH IT REAL GOOD from your Salt n Peppa inspired executioner – I mean gym instructor. But then…disaster strikes. Every girl’s worst nightmare, up there with the local newsagent running out of Grazia magazine, Jammy Dodgers (self confessed chain eater), and Prosecco. Right in the middle of this heinous experience of physical exertion, at the WORST possible moment ever (mid way through an interval hill climb, if you must know), you have an unexpected Jammy Dodger visitor of the lady kind. Your legs go dead. That familiar gnawing pain revs up in your loins. And any hope of reaching 120rpm in the next…oooh let’s say week…are foiled. Shit.
You flee the class, flee as quickly as your menstrual mangled legs will carry you and fight back the tears as you race home to the comfort of your own toilet bowl. You need tampons. You need a sex change. Yet most of all, you need a bloody (no pun intended) good brew; a cuppa that will keep your healthy day intact whilst saying ‘up yours mother nature, you unscrupulous BITCH.’
I loathe to admit it chaps, but this genuinely was the sticky (LOL) predicament I had endured when tasting BTC Gingerbread House for the first time. It’s no secret that I bum BTC blends until the cows come home: their Full Monty is as much a part of my life as family, so I have adopted it as a second cousin; their Secret Recipe tea is potentially my favourite tea EVER; and a ye olde vintage version of their Christmas Chocolate Orange is a staple of my work ‘why isn’t it home time yet?’ survival kit. I knew that only a Birdhouse brew could lick my post spin wounds. Oh, hang on…that does sound grim. You know what I mean though – it would make me less likely to kill people or myself after such a humiliating experience.
When the brewtiful Becky of Birdhouse announced the launch of seasonal ‘Noel’ teas a few days before, I shot to her shop quicker than a rat up a tea spout. Once I had stopped coveting all the new blends, accessories and shiny things in BTC’s Christmas range, I chilled my tits long enough to buy the caffeine-free Gingerbread House fes-tea-ve blend. I went for this brew over the others as my caffeine addiction is bordering on the ‘do you even sleep anymore?’, and I personally think mulled wine flavoured things taste like placenta. I’m guessing. (Clearly distracted by the female reproduc-tea-ve system this evening – soz!)
BTC Gingerbread House combines a heady mix of rooibos, ginger (we all know how I love a bit of ginger…), orange, fennel, liquorice, aniseed, honeybush (…and bush, obvs), and safflower petals. Upon ramming my schnozzer in BTC’s iconic packet post spin-gate, my nostrils were cuddled by thousands of spicy sweet gingerbread angels whispering ‘screw mother nature and JOIN US in taste heaven.’ So that is exactly what I did.
I brewed a teaspoon of the angel dust for the recommended four minutes, popped in a dash of milk and settled down to a cuppa to restore my pride. BTC’s blend had an irresistible earthy aroma from the rooibos and fennel, chased up by some cheeky spice from the ginger and zingy savoury sweetness of the aniseed on first sip. As I delved deeper into the cuppa depths, I also enjoyed the sensation of a Blackjack sweet stomping across my tongue from the liquorice flavours, and the creamy undertones of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange caressing my inner cheeks from the orange pieces. It was like the elves in Santa’s Grotto had decided to have a pre-Christmas orgy in my mouth…where the only attendees were really hot gingerbread hookers. Naturally, I adored it.
Birdhouse Tea Company Gingerbread House is a refreshing caffeine free alternative to the usual suspects of cinnamon, mulled wine and chai spiced blends on offer during the festive tea-son. Its warming character, and right mix of savoury and sweet flavours recreated the taste of a gingerbread fortress that even GBBO’s Mel and Sue would fall over themselves to double entendre the crap out of. I loved its creamy mouthfeel, decadent yet different Christmassy flavours, and versatility; I tried it the day after as a latte to great teagasmic effect. If you sup on Gingerbread House and still feel like Eboneezer Scrooge this holiday season, then you should probably seek professional help, you miserable bas-tea-rd.