I love all things Halloween-themed, as long as they aren't actually scary in any way; I like Halloween-Lite, and the cute, smiley ghosts, bats and pumpkins on the Bird & Blend Tea Co Spooky Countdown Calendar aren't going to give anyone nightmares. I've also been a fan of a countdown calendar for grown-ups for a long time. Why should the kids have all the fun and excitement of a mini treat to look forward to each day? One year, I distinctly remember that my favourite part of Christmas was the grown-up advert calendar I bought myself for December (that sounds sad, but it was probably during Covid).
For a relative tea novice like myself, the Bird & Blend Tea Co Spooky Countdown Calendar provides a brilliant, and fun, introduction to some of the delicious tea blends on offer from the Brighton-based B-Corp company. I am usually a morning coffee drinker and only have a weak, black tea a couple of times a month, because I find a standard cup of tea pretty uninspiring and I didn't really think there was much beyond Breakfast Tea or Earl Grey. My memories of trying alternative teas are limited to being encouraged by a friend to try lapsang souchong as a teenager, and thinking it tasted like a bonfire, briefly trying to drink green tea for the health benefits, and finding it really bitter (maybe I overbrewed it) and trying jasmine tea, and feeling like I was drinking perfume. So, I was really excited at the prospect of trying a hand-picked selection of top quality, award-winning teas to see if Bird and Blend Tea Co could change my opinion of boring old tea, and change it they certainly did.
The countdown starts on 19th October, and the Haunted House calendar has 13 pretty big (always a good sign) doors to open. The daily surprises can often be shared, if you want to compare tasting notes with a partner or friend, or they can be stored up for a little additional treat another time, and there are some very handy tea-making gadgets in there too. I had no idea what matcha was, other than they sometimes use it in 'Bake Off' as a flavouring, so that is something completely new to try out as well. There are instructions and recipes on the reverse of the calendar if, like me, you need a large dose of guidance with tea basics. The calendar contents are completely plastic-free and recyclable (top marks for sustainability) and there hasn't been a dud so far, no barbecues, no perfumes, just fragrant, spicy, fruity, warming cups of loveliness, often with amusing names; nice hot cup of 'Baby Spice' anyone?
Director - Grapevine Media Group Ltd
Bird & Blend Tea Co. is an independent, B-Corp and award-winning tea company on a mission to reimagine the Great British brew. After years of working in the tea industry, Krisi Smith and her partner Mike decided to use their passion for tea to create their own innovative, top-quality blends.
The couple started the business in their bedroom, packing tea and attending markets to sell their exciting creations. Building the brand from scratch, Krisi and Mike now have a growing team and a thriving online store.
Leading the way in British tea innovation, the brand now offers the country’s largest range of creative blends, using a wide range of ingredients including herbs, flowers, fruits, caramels, and chocolate.
As well as online, Bird & Blend retails via 16 UK-wide stores, based in Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Worthing and London sites: Angel, Borough and Portobello. They also attend festivals and run educational Tea Mixology workshops.
- NEW Spooky Countdown Calendar £40, Welcome to the eerie & enchanting world of our 2023 Spooky Countdown Calendar, inspired by the success of last year’s sell-out graveyard, this year it has been transformed into a haunted house that will send shivers down your spine. Behind each door awaits a spooky surprise, ranging from hauntingly delicious tea blends to ghoulishly delightful tea tools! Plus, waiting behind the last door is a spooktacular surprise! Unlock the secrets that lie within the haunted house and let the Spooky Countdown Calendar transport you to a world of cosy autumn flavours and wicked delights – a bewitching journey that will leave you enchanted, spooked & satisfied. No plastics and fully recyclable.
- NEW Buttermint Tea, £various, A mix of peppermint, apple pieces and rosehip - this blend is one of our super special limited edition seasonal blends! Here to make your autumn extra special
- NEW Rose & Cardamon Chai Tea, £various, A mix of Sri Lankan black tea, cardamom, ginger, fennel and rosebuds – another of the limited edition seasonal blends
- NEW Tea Infused Spooky Chocolate, £8.50, A mixed bag of chocolate pumpkins, skulls and ghosts, created in conjunction with Only Coco
- Bedknobs & Broomstick Tea, from £3.50, a fruity and herby tea featuring apple, chamomile, lavender and rose
- Spiced Pumpkin Pie Tea – £various, Our hero tea Spiced Pumpkin Pie is back on the wall again and it also comes in its own limited edition 150g tin, 15 parcels and 40 parcels. Perhaps our most loved blend ever, autumn pumpkin pie, spiced to perfection & absolute bliss as a frothy chai latte! Our own take on the seasonal hit Pumpkin Spice Latte, this blend has won a Great Taste Award, is an absolute cosy staple, and is also limited edition, so grab it whilst you can!
- Spiced Pumpkin Pie Matcha, £20, Think autumn pumpkin pie, spiced to perfection blended with traditional Japanese green tea powder… absolute bliss as a frothy chai latte! Perfect for both matcha and chai lovers! Available from 03.09
- Sticky Chai Trio, £30 (Duo £20), Looking for the perfect gift for the tea lover that has everything? Why not check out our Sticky Chai trio! The first of its kind in the UK, our sticky chai is blended with freshly ground spices & wildflower honey, meaning you get a perfectly spiced chai every time. Give them the gift of comfort. The Duo features Gingerbread & Original – available from 01.10