I’ll be the first to admit that here at Tea and Spanking, I spend rather more time talking about spanking than I do about tea. But make no mistake, while spanking is all well and good (and amazing and life-affirming and breathtaking and sexy), you can’t underestimate the importance of a nice cup of tea here at TeaAndSpanking Towers.
I have six different types of tea bags on regular rotation throughout the day. It used to be four – Twinings Everyday, Twinings Earl Grey, Chai and Yorkshire Biscuit Brew. But since the start of lockdown, my already high tea intake has skyrocketed and in order to stop myself bouncing off the walls in a caffeine-fuelled cuppa frenzy, I’ve introduced a couple of decaffeinated options to the tea shelf.
Decaffeinated tea is not the same but it serves a purpose. Mostly it serves to shut up the inner voice in one’s head asking “Should you really be having another cup of tea?” It’s fine, judgemental head-voice, this one’s decaffeinated!
But in addition to my six stalwarts, I like to mix it up a bit and try other types of tea from time to time. Which is where Mrs McCartney’s Fifty Shades of Earl Grey comes in.
You’ll notice that there’s a clever bit of wordplay in the name. I might not be a fan of E L James’ Fifty Shades trilogy, exactly, but I do have a grudging acceptance of the book series which brought my particular brand of kink into the mainstream.
My first impression of Mrs McCartney’s tea when I opened it was therefore not good. Looking at the photo of the tea-bags I was sent, you may well find yourself asking the same question that I did. Where the hell is the “Fifty Shades of” bit on that label?
Turns out it is there. But it’s so teeny tiny that you really need a magnifying glass to see it.
Don’t be embarrassed about the Fifty Shades reference, Mrs McCartney. That’s literally the reason I bought this tea in the first place! I wanted a tea with the delicate aroma of bergamot, Christian Grey’s sweat and Ana Steele’s infuriating winsomeness.
On the blurb on the website, Mrs McCartney tells us about former nineteenth century Prime Minister, the second Earl Grey and asks whether he might have been the inspiration for E L James’ character. Well no, Mrs McCartney. Christian Grey is a fanfic style rehashing of Edward Cullen. Glad to have cleared that one up for you.
The tea itself is very good though. There’s a powerful bergamot smell that hits you and wafts around the room for a bit as soon as the boiling water hits the tea bag. The kind of smell that makes you take deep breaths and turns your thoughts to deep contemplative matters such as what the hell bergamot actually is anyway.
(Not as stupid a question as it might first appear, actually. Because sometimes bergamot is a herb and sometimes it’s an orange and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of consistency across tea brands as to which one is used.)
The flavour of this tea is intensely satisfying. The strident bergamot flavours make their presence known but don’t overwhelm the taste of the Ceylon tea underneath. I drank mine with milk because that’s how I drink my Earl Grey and I will not countenance any argument that this is wrong.
Mrs McCartney is the stepmother of Paul McCartney. She likes to keep the whole Beatles connection under her hat though with only a few subtle clues that give the game away to the eagle-eyed tea/Beatle enthusiast.
Like the fact that she uses the Beatles famous font on her tea packaging, or the fact that all her teas (with the honourable exception of this one) are named after songs from the Fab Four – ‘Strawberry Green Fields’, ‘Penny Lane Peppermint’ and (my personal favourite) ‘Maxwell’s Silver Needle’. Oh and the fact that she’s written two autobiographies both of whose titles are the names of Beatles songs. And she sends out a free signed photo of her family with every tea purchase.
Signed by Mrs McCartney and her daughter, you understand. Not whoever that chancer is on the right.
Blatant cashing in on her stepson’s success aside (and you know, I’m sure Paul doesn’t actually mind), Mrs McCartney does, it has to be said, make an excellent brew.
I’ve already worked my way through half of the pack in the name of research. And every time I get that that waft of bergamotty citrus before I take the first sip, I get a sharp burst of pleasure, which though not sexual in nature is something just as good. It’s the pleasure that comes from drinking a damn fine cup of tea.
And that’s very important indeed.
Mrs McCartney’s Teas are available for sale at mrsmccartneysteas.com.
Obligatory This-Is-Not-A-Sponsored-Post disclaimer here. This review was written without the knowledge or the permission of the tea purveyor in question. The tea was purchased with my own money. If, however, anyone does fancy sending me tea in exchange for an honest review, then I would be totally up for that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk tea. And, I’m specifically looking at you here, Twinings. Although I appreciate that being Official Provider Of Hot Beverages to Her Majesty the Queen might for some reason make you reluctant to be associated with a BDSM-themed blog.