There’s something about the end of September that brings about a certain nostalgia. Perhaps it’s that feeling that lingers from our younger days, where going back to school would signify excitement for some, and dread for others. And even if those days are long gone, the start of a new season, anticipating the cold, certainly brings a need for added comfort.

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Enter tea. The British notoriously use tea for most situations, and I’m starting to appreciate their point. Tea makes you pause for a moment, and let’s face it – most of us do with a little pause several times a day. Take a minute, sip, decide on your next move without rushing. Yes, I’m starting to catch on to that frame of mind.

The name is striking – Celestial Seasonings – and the packaging artistic and attractive. In fact, with a history behind each iconic painting used for the packaging, you just feel that you’re on the right track trusting these tea producers. The boxes are printed on 100% recycled paperboard with 35% post-consumer content. The botanicals are purchased ethically, supporting the people and places in the world that produce their ingredients. These issues are increasingly important nowadays.

The good news doesn’t stop there – there are so many different teas to choose from. Today I’ll focus on two that have made me happy. I’m looking forward to discovering more and adding to my collection!

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Dirty Chai Tea

For those times when you could do with a refresher and a gentle boost, whilst still enjoying a comforting taste… meet the tea with added coffee. Yes, that’s right – this special blend contains 40% black tea, a mixture of spices and 10% espresso. That means that you can get 46mg of caffeine in each brew, with a delicious flavour that you can enjoy while it perks you up. Incidentally, this tea bag will give you two cups of tea (or a pot) and infuses very quickly. Now what did they mean when they said that you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Sleepytime Vanilla and Sleepytime Blackberry Pomegranate

My beef with teas that are meant to promote sleep has always been the taste. If I cannot drink it, then it’s not going to get to work. The clever people at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder Colorado have managed to infuse this tea with a vanilla (and blackberry pomegranate) flavour that lulls you into a gentle sleep without any hangover sleepy feeling. I would recommend this if you have trouble sleeping, or even if you feel that you need help winding down after being on the go all day. A restful sleep will set you up to be able to better face the day ahead.


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Last Sunday, after buying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, we decided to make a healthy smoothie and somehow we made one every day for a week, because once you get into the routine of making it, it seems to only take a few minutes. Which, let’s face it, is just about all I can manage most mornings when I need to rush off to work. It’s been a particularly busy week for me, and it will definitely be this way for the next month at least. And that is why starting the day with an energy boost to keep me going was a life-saver. It kept me sane.

Sunday: carrot, beetroot, kale, banana

Monday: banana, apple, coconut milk, almond milk, ginger

Tuesday: banana, apple, coconut milk, almond milk, ginger, teaspoon of Energy mix

Wednesday: banana, apple, coconut milk, ginger, goji berries, wheatgrass

Thursday: banana, apple, beetroot, ginger, coconut milk, goji berries

Friday: banana, apple, coconut milk, wheatgrass, ginger, goji berries, hemp protein powder, cocoa nibs

Saturday: banana, frozen blueberries, coconut milk, ginger, goji berries, wheatgrass, hemp protein powder


IMG_20150724_175713This summer Costa Coffee launched their latest innovation; Shaken Iced Coffee, a trend gaining momentum in London, the birthplace of Costa, and one that is set to take the world by storm. I was lucky enough to be invited to the official launch last Friday 24th of July, when the Costa teamed up with the President of the Bartender’s Guild, Rodney Pisani at an event held at Costa Coffee at the Embassy Shopping Complex. Rodney explained to all of us why ice and coffee are the perfect combination. He explained the similarities that exist between shaking iced coffee and shaking cocktails, demonstrating how it enhances the coffee’s rich, smooth flavour while adding a new dimension to the drinking experience.

Now – I’m a coffee devotee and am constantly on the look-out for a great coffee. When it comes to iced-coffee, finding a good one is difficult in my opinion. They tend to taste like watered-down coffee with ice.. but not the one at Costa. I was thoroughly pleased. Not too sweet or icy or milky. Cooled me down following a short hike from the car to their outlet. Yes, finally an iced coffee that works!
Rodney said, “These iced coffees are some of the best I’ve ever tasted…the recipes and methods work really well to ensure consistency of taste and texture.” Yep. And here he is in action… Making iced coffee and iced cappuccino during the demonstration.
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Just like the range of hot coffees, these shaken coffees are made using Costa’s unique Mocha Italia blend of slow-roasted beans, giving people the option of enjoying their usual daily coffee fix shaken ice cold, the perfect refreshment for a hot summer’s day. Rachelle Tabone, Marketing Manager of Costa Coffee said, “They are the best for fuelling and cooling the walk to work or simply relaxing”.

Little did we know that we had been assigned teams so that we’d be asked to make one of these ourselves (note the layers). Well, we did make one, with the obvious messy result – but the others must have been worse because Rodney chose ours as the winning team YAY! Well, practice makes perfect. I might try that again, but in the meantime there’s always Costa.

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Shaken iced coffees are available at all Costa Coffee outlets now in five locations around the island including Malta International Airport, The Point; Sliema, The Embassy; Valletta, Bay Street & Balzan.