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Make Mum a Wee Cup of Tea This Mother's Day 2021

Mother’s Day is coming – I can picture it already. I’ll wake up to the sun lighting up my bedroom on a mild spring morning, the sounds from the kitchen telling me that my darling boy is busy preparing a lovely breakfast which he brings to me in bed on a tray; perfectly browned toast and creamy scrambled eggs, loose leaf Earl Grey tea in my favourite china mug, a little bowl of strawberries, plus a home-made card announcing just how much he loves and appreciates me.

And then I wake up from that delicious dream, and find my teenager dead to the world and unlikely to get out of bed this side of noon, and even then he’ll probably be grumpy with a hangover. The kitchen bears the tell-tale signs of a midnight feast, but at least he’s tidied his room judging by the mountain of washing on the floor, and there is a heap of dirty dishes in the sink as a result of the latest crockery amnesty.

And yet, I love every messy, grumpy, moody, snappy, but kind, thoughtful, funny, loving and bright ounce of him. I’d like him a whole lot more if he made me a cuppa now and again, though!

We like our tea, me and my lad. I favour Earl Grey, he likes a peppermint tea to unwind with. I certainly wouldn’t want to be an 18 year old right now, the scary prospect of leaving high school and that safety net being taken away whilst everything feels so uncertain, so I’m glad he enjoys a caffeine free option to help him relax. He does love a good full flavoured Breakfast Blend too, but he’s keen on all flavours of herbal teas. The Wee Tea Company is an absolute godsend to us, with their beautiful little shop in Dunfermline town centre, although they will post their delicious teas to you.

Historically, tea was very much a drink enjoyed amongst female company, since women were not allowed into the male domains of pubs and coffee houses. Heaven forbid ladies should get together to have opinions and discussions! So, they would gather in private houses and tea rooms, making tea a perfect cuppa to make your mum on Mother’s Day (or any day, kids!). Modern day mums face very different challenges than the women of the 17th Century did when tea first became popular in Britain, but there really is a tea for every occasion.

Traditional caffeinated teas, be they whitegreenoolong or black teas, give us a boost of energy. In our house, however, we tend to favour black tea and have tried a few of the different kinds from the Wee Tea Company. As well as the wonderful Earl Grey and Breakfast Blend teas, I really enjoyed the lightness of the Darjeeling tea, and was surprised to savour in the dark, brooding smokiness of the Lapsang Souchong. However, my absolute star out of the black teas (don’t worry, Earl Grey – you are still my number 1), was Assam with its full, malty flavour.

Sometimes, though, although we need a little pick me up caffeine isn’t always the best thing for us. The range of flavours of fruit infusions and herbal teas now is endless, but have you ever bought fruit tea bags in a supermarket only to find it looks like a bag of dust and leaves very little flavour in the water? It’s such a disappointment, when it smells wonderful and juicy as you lift the cup to your mouth but then it tastes like a strawberry was dunked in the hot water for all of 20 seconds. That was my thoughts on all fruit teas, until I tried the Wee Tea Company’s Mango Mash-Up! Wow! With big chunks of dried fruit it seriously packs in fruity flavour. As well as having it as a hot infusion, try it iced with lots of fresh fruit and mint on a hot day, or pop a good glug of white rum and coconut liqueur in there too for a fabulous summer punch. 

So with my opinion of fruit infusions well and truly reversed, I couldn’t help but work my way through some of the others. Lemony Ginger just tastes like it is doing you good. If you are a bit under the weather, add a little squeeze of honey, a slice of fresh lemon, or – at the risk of making myself out to be a right lush – a glug of whisky for a comforting, soothing hot toddy.  My favourite fruit tea, though, was the Blackcurrant and Liquorice. I love liquorice in a tea, it’s really tasty paired with peppermint too, but with the blackcurrant in this infusion it took me back to being a little girl. I was the kid who would eat all of the Black Jacks and leave the Fruit Salad chews for my brothers, and I loved a blackcurrant and liquorice boiled sweet. So a little bit of nostalgia nudged this fruity aniseedy blend into my top spot. All of the fruit blends I tried were so bright and zingy in flavour they really did give me that little bit extra get-up-and-go that I needed without the caffeine – perfect for this busy mum.

And then, there are the times when we manage to sit down and unwind. The kids are finally in bed (or in the case of my adolescent lad, he’s just going out as I’m sitting down for the day…), dinner is done and cleared away, you’ve caught up with your favourite TV show, and as bed beckons you click the kettle on and just want something to help you relax into a good night’s sleep. My teenager loves his peppermint tea at bedtime, but I absolutely adore comforting camomile. This herbal tea is quite simply plump camomile flowers, they infuse to give a beautiful sweetness to the tea with notes of honey that truly relax the body and mind. Absolutely heavenly on its own, or try mixing it with some of the Lemony Ginger if you prefer a little more zing and the peppery warmth from the ginger. I can’t think of a nicer cup of tea to have at the end of a hectic day and it always feels like a real treat just taking that time for myself.

With so many tasty and varied teas available, try straying from your regular choice and taste some of the other options. Have a go at mixing teas together to suit your own palate – maybe some Lemony Ginger paired with spicy Mighty Chai? How about adding Peppermint Tea to some Blackcurrant and Liquorice? Whether it’s a soak in the bath with a relaxing camomile tea, or breakfast made by your nearest and dearest with a cup of good old Breakfast Blend to kick start the day, there’s a cuppa out there for everyone.

I really hope all of the mums out there can take some time just for them this Mother’s Day. And not just mums, but those who don’t have their mums around to spoil this year. Those who hope beyond all hope to be a mum some day. Just take a moment or two to send some love your own way. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Jill Blair – Guest Tea Blogger, Tea Jenny and Mum (not in the order).

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