What no beer? – The Session #59

I Almost Always Drink Beer, But When I Don’t…

This months Session topic is brought to you by Mario of Brewed For Thought, he knows we love to talk about beer, but wants to find out what else tickles our taste buds.

For me there are a few, wine is one. It was wine that led me down the path into beer blogging as my first experience was writing mini reviews for Naked Wines. They are an online wine merchants that offer more of a social networking vibe, customers can chat to each other, help to select new wines and even offer a dedicated support network to favourite wine makers. Through a monthly subscription in return for cash back, money paid then allows NW to support wine makers who normally wouldn’t get their wine into UK drinkers homes. I don’t tend to drink much wine these days though I have to admit, (apart from the 6 bottles of Port I acquired for Christmas), so I visit the site less often. I did make a few friendships through NW though and still keep in touch which shows at least that the concept works. If you like a drop of grape juice then I’d definitely recommend giving them a try.

Another passion that is further up the pecking order is a good quality Whisky, preferably single malt.

From early taste experiences of often harsh mainstream blends I rarely drank Scottish whisky, opting for smoother Irish Whiskeys such as Jameson’s and Bushmills instead. I then went full circle and had my first taste of Lagavullin which is a rich smokey peat driven beastie that totally blew me away and from then on in I was hooked.

Through beer and in particular beer twitter folk such as Ghosty, Steve, Andy and Paul to name but a few I’ve sourced a few beauties this Christmas including the absolutely lovely Edradour and Bunnahabhain. I’ve still got a lot to learn here and marvel at just how many distilleries Scotland alone has to offer.

None of these though do I turn to as regularly as my other “can’t do without” love. Yes if it’s an alcohol fix I need then wine and whisky serve me well but each pale into insignificance when compared to how much tea I drink.

I’m not talking “poncy” tea either, like a finger in the air, china teacup Earl Grey, or a one of those “sound utterly fantastic but taste generally awful” fruit teas either. I want a good old English style everyday cuppa. Strong, with milk, sugar and served in a large steaming mug. My particular preference is Yorkshire tea, it’s a strong blend that always delivers punchy flavour.

I’m fussy about how it’s made too. It has to be piping hot for starters and a nice rusty colour, like an Essex girls fake tan on a Saturday night. Some people try to get this colour by a lack of milk but that is an epic FAIL, the result, dishwater!

As my Mum would say, “you could stand a teaspoon up in that”…

No, you need to allow the bag or tea leaves time to stew a little to release all that lovely taste and colour, then carefully balance the milk added as to not spoil your creation, one sugar please and voila, tis done. 😉

Lastly I do like a good coffee too, I don’t drink it much these days as my old bean to cup machine bit the dust. I am fascinated though by the talk of the fantastic range of coffees being sold by Hasbean, the site looks great and he updates videos regularly to subscribers about the latest releases.

New Years resolution is to hater some cash and get a new machine and sign up….


P.S: Check out the alternate edition of The Session 59  😉

13 thoughts on “What no beer? – The Session #59

  1. Great post here Phil. Glad you discovered some other tasty drops. I wasn’t so keen on the regular Edradour I tried at the distillery. Lagavulin is my grandad’s favourites, but I’m still not quite there with the lower Islays. I think it may perhaps take a visit to the distillery to “get” it.

    Love coffee too and tea when the mood takes me

    • Cheers Steve, I love Islays definitely my favourite these days and I’m guilty of ignoring far too many others, I’ve had quite a few recommendations recently that I intend seeking out to try and broaden the horizons….if it’s not one thing it’s another 😉

  2. Ah! the humble cuppa cha! I’m do partake, but usually as a hangover cure, more of a coffee drinker myself and funnily enough I also linked HasBean in my post too! I agree with your tea making methods though…there are people at work who couldn’t make a nice cup of tea if there life depended on it. But sugar??? c’mon Phil!

    • I hate anyone else’s tea, it’s never as god as mine. 😉

      It has to have a little sugar though, I have tried to wean myself of it but it tastes shite without it.

  3. I enjoy many of the same drinks as you do, but I find that my adventures in beer have allowed me to really taste this drinks as if they’re completely new to me. Wine didn’t lead me to beer, but beer helped me understand wine. Good post!

    • Cheers Zac, I do have the odd drop of wine now and then but don’t find it as exciting in terms of the flavours you can get, I’m sure there will be folks that disagree with that. That said as you have mentioned I like to try loads of new things too, expanding the knowledge.

  4. I guess nothing floats my boat like beer. I know a little about wine and appreciate it–I should, my brother is a vintner!–but I usually opt for beer at mealtimes. Like you, Phil, I’ll dip into a single malt from time to time, but I could live without it. Couldn’t live without coffee throughout the day, usually French roast, and my other caffeine dependency, Diet Coke. The wife is trying to wean me off of the latter, but we’ll see. She’s a martini gal. And I just don’t go there.

    • Me neither really Tom, I do love a coffee and I was a big drinker of diet coke too a while back, I still prefer it to anything other brand or type. I like proper martinis but rarely have one.. Coffee now, I really can’t wait to get back into that scene, roll on my new machines arrival. Cheers

  5. Belvenie is superb mate. I love that stuff. I was fortunate to acquire a bottle as a Christmas present! I also got a coffee-grinder so I can order the authentic beans.

    I’m always seeking better wine-resources. I used ‘Uncorked’ back when I was working in London. I used to pick up a bottle of Paulliac as a treat! I have a Troplong-Mondot 1999 reserved for an occasion which should be awesome.

    I’m currently looking out for obscure Italian micro wine producers so if you can help me out send me a tweet. I love Italian wine but stay clear of supermarket stuff.

    • Cheers Thomas, tweet already tweeted 😉

      NW are worth a try as they have some undiscovered gems, may not be a place to find something specific, but they will always try or advise if there is something you have in mind that isn’t in stock. I may have a voucher somewhere if you decide to give them a try. Drop me a note if so.

  6. I do seem to be following your route into blogging, avid user of naked wines and i too write mini reviews of wines we have tried. Whilst I probably still drink more wine than beer, that change is coming more and more to beer as first choice. Along with my love of whisky which again I’m trying to learn more about. I’m with you on he tea, strong builders only thank you very much steaming hot, but if you are going get get coffee you can’t go wrong with Hasbean, superb coffee well worth a try!

    • Great news mate, I hadn’t realised you were pulling a blog together, be warned it will take over your life 😉

      Seriously, give me a shout if I can help at all.

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