teapigs Blog

#teapigsbookclub book 2

Posted 13th April 2015 by Sarah

#teapigsbookclub book 2

Guess who’s back..back again. Book club’s back ..tell a friend  (..sorry)

For those of you who missed our HUGE announcement last month, and aren’t entirely sure what #teapigsbookclub is all about – let me get you all caught up! We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at penguin to help celebrate the launch of their Little Black Classic series by creating; yep you guessed it #teapigsbookclub!

Each month we’ll be choosing one book to get our teeth into, brew a gigantic pot of tea and basically just have a big ol natter about what we thought about this month’s book and we would LOVE for you all to read along with us!

Whether you’re a new kid on the block or a seasoned pro, you’ve joined us at a perfect time as we are just about to embark on our second book - ‘How Much Land Does a Man Need’ by Leo Tolstoy. Perfect for those who are intrigued by Leo Tolstoy, but feel slightly daunted by the prospect of committing to all 1500 pages of War and Peace..

We spoke to Sam from Penguin who told us about the book:

what’s the book?

How Much Land Does A Man Need? By Leo Tolstoy

what’s it about?

This is a parable of a Russian peasant’s bargain with the devil – considered by James Joyce to be the world’s greatest short story. Need we say more?! This is a story about greed, faith and losing sight of what’s important.

where’s it set?

19th century Russia, from Moscow to the Ural mountains

who wrote it?

Leo Tolstoy. Arguably the GREATEST author ever to have lived, with works including War and Peace and Anna Karenina

And why is he a great author?

Tolstoy is an absolute titan of world literature and what makes him so appealing to so many is how simply and poignantly he tells a story. His books all have a deep morality to them but his writing style is so incredibly absorbing. The final sentence in this story is a total heartbreaker. It’s also fun to be able to say you’ve read Tolstoy and it’s only taken an hour!

Why should you join in I hear you cry! Well,  if you’re anything like us, ‘Read something that isn’t a gossip magazine’ will have been a prominent feature on your New Year’s resolutions list for quite some time now..and if you’re even more like us,  you’ll currently be reading Now magazine with a cup of tea rather than diving into pride and prejudice.. WELL NOT ANYMORE MY FRIEND.

Penguin have made it incredibly easy to get stuck into some truly amazing books by 80 of the world’s very best authors – they are short, concise and at 80p per book there is really very little excuse not to get involved!

We’ve got 30 copies up for grabs as well as a pack of our signature Everyday Brew - all you need to do to be in with a shot of winning is email you name and address to hello@teapigs.co.uk with subject heading PENGUIN. We’ll pick 30 winners at random by 17.04.15

If lady luck isn’t shining down on you this time, fear not! You can pick up a copy from Amazon, Foyles or Waterstones too. We’ll be back here with our review during the middle of May (and you can read the reviews for our last book here.

Leave a comment!

3 things to know about white tea…..

Posted 13th April 2015 by Louise

3 things to know about white tea…..

1. White tea originates from Fujian province in China but is now grown by speciality producers around the world – including South India, Kenya, Hawaii !

2. White tea should be brewed with 75 – 80 degree water. We like it pure, no flavour, the amazing peachy flavour is all natural. 

3. It is thought that the gentle way in which white tea is made means that it retains more of the health benefits – a study at Kingston university found that it has anti-ageing properties alongside other health benefits hence the dedicated celebrity following – Gwyneth Paltrow included!

Leave a comment!

Win tickets to LCF

Posted 13th April 2015 by Jack

Win tickets to LCF

The London Coffee Festival is an annual event held in the Old Truman Brewery, in Shoreditch. Spanning four days, the event serves as a celebration of London’s bustling and competitive coffee scene. I know what you’re thinking: ‘wait a sec… don’t you guys sell tea?’ We most certainly do! Luckily, one is able to drink coffee AND tea. Jokes aside, there is a whole tea section at the festival and we will be taking pride of place with our matcha bar. You’ll be able to buy and try matcha drinks and treats. We’re hoping to show coffee drinkers the light and lead them to matcha salvation. We would love for you to come and join us.

The festival runs from the 30th of April to the 1st of May and we have 2 FREE tickets to give away – to be in with a chance of winning them, send us an email with your name and address to hello@teapigs.co.uk with a subject line of ‘LCF’. We’ll select a winner at random on 20.04.15

Leave a comment!

#teapigsbookclub – what A Pair of Silk Stockings

Posted 10th April 2015 by Sarah

#teapigsbookclub – what A Pair of Silk Stockings

Great news everyone, #teapigsbookclub is well underway and we’ve all had a great time getting stuck into our first instalment ‘A pair of silk stockings’ by Kate Chopin.

We hoped you all enjoyed it as much as we did  - apologies in advance if you were expecting a mega raunchy ‘50 shades of grey’ style account of a lady and her stockings..you may have been slightly let down

But if you were geared up for a realistic and relevant account of feminist and cultural issues – then we’re sure you were in for a treat!

Below are some examples of what us teapig folk thought of Chopin’s short stories - whether you agree or not, please do let us know in the comments, #teapigsbookclub is all about getting a discussion going!

Juliana:

 “When I was told about the #teapigsbookclub, I thought I wouldn't finish the book on time. I am a very slow reader, but this small collection of 5 stories was just perfect to make me want to go for it. And I actually finished on time, hooray!

Each story feels very intense (but not in a thriller/terror way), and it shows a little bit of American life back in the 19th century. My favourite story was the title story, which I thought to be very contemporary. It's about Mrs Sommers and the $15 that she comes into and it unfolds on how she spends it. No spoilers here, but I think every person can understand her decisions and at the same time, feel embarrassed about the materialistic kind of happiness she aims for herself.”

Sarah:

 “So I finished it last night – and really enjoyed it!  

I LOVE a good feminist author, and Kate Chopin is up there as one of the best - although a collection of 5 separate stories, each one tackles very similar core themes such as self-worth, female liberation and gender and racial equality (All the biggies then)

 I couldn't help but hear a faint ringing of William Wallace's 'FREEDOM' once I'd finished 'The story of an hour' - so many emotions captured within a couple of pages - absolutely great stuff! 

 Marriage isn't painted in a particularly good light and it takes the death of a husband or financial independence for a woman to be truly free - or you know, the ultimate price of death. I found that Chopin managed to shine a light on the gritty reality which would normally be kept well and truly hidden behind closed doors and opened up the debate regarding women’s social status.

 Gender equality is still just as prevalent today (Patricia Arquette made that perfectly clear in her winning Oscar speech) and it's incredibly interesting to see how many parallels can still be seen in modern society.  

 Basically, I could go on for hours - I nearly got my highlighter out and everything. But I really enjoyed it - I think it raises a lot of really important questions about society which are just as pertinent as ever. ”

And here’s teapig Becky’s review:

“The idea of a small book split into a collection of small short stories is wonderful – each bitesized chunk can be read in no time on the tube or bus (or during your lunch hour at your desk!) The stories were incredibly atmospheric, I really felt like I was reading a piece of history. But as Sarah and Juliana said, the topics are so relevant to today”

We’re taking this book club seriously, and although we can’t all sit around with a nice glass of wine, eat cheese and talk about the book – we’d still LOVE to know what you thought :)

The second #teapigsbookclub book will be announced on Monday so keep your eyes peeled as we’ll have some more books to giveaway!!  

Leave a comment!

£20 Gousto voucher just for you

Posted 9th April 2015 by Sofia

£20 Gousto voucher just for you

We talk about food, a LOT. Lunch is an office obsession and when we started getting fruit delivered to the office there was an actual stampede. So it’s no wonder we made friends with Gousto. They deliver weekly recipe boxes to your door.  You choose the recipes for the week (they have loads) and they send you EVERYTHING you need to make them, ready weighed. So you can make fancy recipes with very little fuss. We love it.

We’ve chatted to Ruta from Gousto to learn more. And she’s given us her favourite recipe AND a £20 voucher for you to use against your first box.

How did it come about?

The idea of Gousto was born from our desire to cook adventurous meals but it was a struggle with our busy work lives, rarely finding the time for grocery shopping.

What’s so special about it?

With Gousto you don’t need that epic shopping list or fight through that soul-crushing queue at the checkout. All you need is your weekly box. We will deliver everything you need straight to your door, so we will do the hard work for you.

What’s your favourite recipe?

We do a really lovely rainbow salad with honey & cumin-roast beetroot, carrot and feta with a zingy ginger, lime and coriander dressing and toasted pumpkin seeds. It sums us up nicely; colourful, healthy, quick and above all easy.

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients for 2 people:

-          250g beetroot

-          120g cous cous

-          200g carrots

-          100g Feta

-          2 tbsp honey

-          1 lime

-          1 tsp cumin seeds

-          15g fresh ginger

-          10g fresh coriander

-          30g pumpkin seeds

-          1 vegetable stock cube

-          salt, pepper, olive oil.

Method

-          Preheat the oven to 220ºC/ 200°C (fan)/ 425°F/ Gas 7, boil a kettle.

-          Cut each beetroot into 8 wedges Peel the carrots, quarter lengthwise and cut into sticks (approx. 1.5cm), place the beetroot and carrot on an oven-proof tray. Coat the vegetable tray with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and cumin seeds, season to your taste with salt and pepper. Crumble over 100g (all) of the feta, drizzle with the honey and mix well .Put in the oven for 15 min or until the carrots are slightly tender with some crunch. Meanwhile, dissolve the stock cube(s) in 200ml (400ml) of boiling water. Add the couscous to the stock and cover Set aside for 10min then fluff with a fork Put a small pan on a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the pumpkin seeds and toast for 3 min or until golden brown, set aside Make the dressing: grate the ginger finely, chop the coriander coarsely. Combine the coriander, ginger, juice of half the lime and 2 tbsp of olive oil for the dressing. Mix well with a fork until emulsified Season to your taste with salt and pepper 

-          Serve the beetroot, carrot and feta on a bed of couscous, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top Enjoy! 

If you like the sound of this, we reckon you should give Gousto a  try – if you follow this link you’ll get a HUGE £20 off your first box. Happy fancy cooking!

Visit https://www.gousto.co.uk/teapigs20 and choose your recipes!

Leave a comment!