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  1. White Bone china mug Home is where your story beginsIn my younger years I never understood why some people would only drink their tea out of a bone china cup.  To be honest I used to think that they were being blooming awkward.  That opinion changed when I started developing the Wildfox Home Signature range. 

    I spent weeks looking into what type of giftware mugs were available on the market.  What were my competitors selling, what was the price point and what do customers want out of a ceramic based gift?  I assumed that most people didn’t care or didn’t even know about the type of mug they are using for their beverages.  However, quite quickly it became evident that bone china was the preferred choice of ceramic when it came to gifting drink vessels.

    Naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I set about ordering some samples to conduct my research.  Lots of tea (with milk and 1 sugar) was consumed all in the name of product exploration!

     

    Well……. I am a woman transformed! I was astounded to discover that drinking out of bone china is a rather pleasant experience and that there is some truth to the myth of why tea tastes better out of a bone china cup / mug. 

    But why? 

    Now, I am the sort of person who likes to know how things work.  So for your benefit, as well as satisfying my own curiosity, I have extensively researched this very topic and complied my findings into my latest blog.

    A bit of background information for you first…

    Bone China is classed as a high grade porcelain.  However, some would say that bone china is the English version of porcelain. 

    You can tell when a cup or mug is made from bone china as it has a high level of whiteness and it lighter than other ceramics.  Even though it is lightweight it is considered one of the strongest types of porcelain.  It is highly wear resistant and an absolute doddle to clean.  Have you ever had to scrub or bleach the tea stains out of a bone china mug?  No! Neither have I.

    Here’s another fun fact for you.  Bone china becomes translucent when you shine a torch through it.  Honestly it does!  I popped a torch inside one of our “Home is where your story begins” mugs and it was quite mesmerising.  The bone china took on a warm white glow and the illustration of the houses really stood out.  It would make a wonderful tea-light holder don’t you think?


    All these quality features of the porcelain are great but why does your tea taste better? 

    Apparently, it’s all down to the smooth surface of the inside of the mug. 

    A smooth surface keeps the natural tannins in your tea from sticking to the inside of your mug. 

    If a mug is porous, it will absorb and retain aromas and flavours of your previous drinks.  This tends to be the case with a lot of cheaper earthenware mugs.
    If the inside of the mug is not porous then the flavours remain in the tea itself and the aromas will escape from the top of the mug, thus tantalising your senses whilst you drink.  When I started drinking tea out of bone china, I noticed that each brew was that little bit more fresh & crisp.

    Also, due to the lightweight and thinness of bone china, the rim of the mug is slim which allows the tea to glide gently onto your tongue and giving your tea maximum exposure over your taste buds.  And that is why tea tastes better drinking out of bone china. 

     

    Yes, bone china is more expensive than your cheap supermarket ceramics but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to quality drinkware. So next time you are thinking of gifting a mug, think about investing just that little bit more in a quality bone china piece.  Your recipient will no doubt enjoy many years of tea drinking happiness and thank you for it.   

  2. Hi there,

    I have noticed that so many of you are getting ready for the cooler months of autumn.  What a fabulous season it is!  For me it’s grabbing a soft blanket, getting snuggly on the sofa with a cuppa & a biscuit or two and watching the change of the season from the warmth of my own home. There is something so comforting and ‘hygge’ about coming in from the cold & bunkering down at home as the weather turns.

    Nothing is more homelier or hygge inspired than good old fashioned homemade baking. Since Wildfox Home is all about the feeling of home, I figured that this month’s blog was a great time to share with you one of my favourite recipes -  Helen’s Chocolate Chip Cookies!  I have used this recipe for years and it NEVER fails to disappoint. For those of you on a strict weight loss diet, I would advise you look away now.  As for the rest of you who don’t mind indulging in a little comfort eating this autumn, please read on….

    chocolate chip cookies on linen table cloth

    * Photo features our "Home is where your story begins" 100% cotton tea towel 

    Now I’m a bit of a lazy baker so I use my free standing mixer for the majority of this recipe.  If you prefer to use the a traditional spoon and bowl method, please be my guest.  However, the mixture does form into a stiff dough eventually so don’t say you weren’t warned!  (Unless you have arms like Popeye, then please carry on as you were).

     

    Ingredients

    225g unsalted softened butter

    225g caster sugar

    170g condensed milk

    350g self-raising flour

    100g chocolate chunks (dark, milk or white – whatever your preference)

     

    Throw the butter and sugar into the mixer bowl and get your machine creaming the two together for a couple of minutes.

    Add the condensed milk and stir in well.

    Sift the flour and add to the mix, working it in well.  It should form a stiff dough. (Now you know why I mentioned the free standing mixer)

    Finally add the chocolate chunks and stir into the dough.  I find it easier to use a dough hook and set the machine to a low setting to work these chunks in.

    Set out 2 square pieces of cling film or foil.  Divide the cookie dough in half and place each half onto a square of cling film / foil. 

    Now the fun bit (the kids will like this). Using the cling film, so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands, roll and form the dough into a thick sausage shape.   Wrap and seal the cookie dough sausage shape in the cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill and harden.

     

    Preheat your oven to 180 C and put a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a baking tray.

    Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and peel off the cling film. 

    Cut off slices about 1.5 - 2cm thick and place onto the baking tray.  You should get about 25 – 30 cookies in total. 

    Bake in batches for 12 – 15 minutes or until the outer edges are golden and the centre is still soft and pale.  Don’t over bake them here.  They will set, I promise.

    Leave to cool on a wire rack.

    Then…

     

    Get yourself into some comfy lounge wear, make yourself a mug of warming brew, and enjoy your cookies!

     

    See!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  Let me know how you get on with making your cookies or how you like to eat yours by leaving a comment below.

     

    Helen x