Becky's from Holland

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drank Earl Grey by Becky's from Holland
81 tasting notes

This was a random tea I picked up on a whim and reviewed during the year – I’m just using up the final teabags to make some Earl Grey biscuits before Christmas. When baked, there’s a slightly toasty flavour to the biscuits from the tea, but the bergamot has all but vanished. As expected.

As for the tea itself, it’s rich bitter and robust when brewed, but very one dimensional and with only a hint of bergamot. I describe it as “average” in my full review https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/beckys-from-holland-earl-grey-tea-review/

I think the colour of this tea was my favourite aspect – dark red amber with a hint of orange.

Drinking this tea isn’t an amazing experience, but once again, it’s not strictly a bad cup of tea. Just not one I’d buy again.

Slightly off-topic side note:

On the subject of Christmas biscuits and the Christmas-themed teas a lot of Steepsters are drinking, I’d be interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on Christmas vs Happy Holidays. I was working with an American tea company (who shall remain nameless) on a few emails and accidently wrote “Merry Christmas” repeatedly, rather than Happy Holidays. The response I got from the tea company was a bit of shock – as if I’d offended them. I get the feeling that they thought I was a Christian suggesting everyone celebrated Christmas by using this language.

It seems that there’s definitely a difference between Christmas and Holidays in the states, at least. My understanding is that in America, Christmas means a strictly Christian-only celebration of the birth of Jesus, while Holidays is a catch-all for everything festive in this season. Have I got that right?

I’m not a Christian. I’m not religious at all. It’s just that in the UK, “Christmas” is our catch-all for everything festive. We rarely, if ever, say Happy Holidays. And I know it’s not just me – large companies and brands use Christmas too. Look at Whittard of Chelsea’s website. Their festive range is called the “Christmas Emporium” featuring their “Christmas Tea”.

I’d be really interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Do different countries have different sayings? Does “Christmas” mean religion to you? Would you feel offended if you came across a Christmas tea rather than a holiday tea?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Martin Bednář

Not all teas are “great”.

And as of your off-topic note. We call it “Vánoce” which means just Christmas. We wish each other Happy, or Merry Christmas. I am Christian, but certainly it doesn’t offend me hearing it from not religious people. Maybe it is US thing as it is bigger melting pot of cultures?

I am surprised that it someone takes as a offense. Anyway, I was surprised to see on Sonnentor (I suggest not checking their website :P) tea bag written: “Adventstee” and translated to English as “Santa’s Secret Blend” or something like that. I think it’s quite sad.

Anyway… to your questions: “Veselé Vánoce!”, "Christmas doesn’t mean “only” religion to me — but I am not native speaker and I was studying British English. I wouldn’t be offended, even being Christian. T think it is nice name and if they don’t like it — let them use “Xmas” to avoid “Chirst” in that. I am sorry you had this experience.

gmathis

You may wish me a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Cheerful Boxing Day, or a Pleasant Wash-Your-Dirty-Socks day. I will understand that your greeting is one of goodwill and friendship. I’m sorry to hear that someone didn’t.

Courtney

I am Canadian, and it is a bizarre thing here. I am not religious and do not feel offended if people wish me either Merry/Happy Christmas or Happy Holidays. However, when I was a teenager in the 2000’s we were taught to use “Happy Holidays” at work places to ensure nobody felt offended and everyone was included. I now always start with Happy Holidays unless someone says Merry Christmas in return, to be sure I am including every celebration that happens during this time. This seems perfectly normal to me! But I can completely understand if someone from another country/culture does not subscribe to this and I would never go out of my way to ‘scold’ them for wishing some sort of happy celebration!

But, at least in many places I’ve lived/worked, this has morphed into something quite unnecessary (imo) where the older generation (not everyone, but some people, especially in smaller places) took this as an offence and specifically go out of their way to say “Merry Christmas” as a sort of rude way to imply this place/country celebrates Christmas in the formal sense and only that. I used to work in customer service and would get many people reacting poorly to Happy Holidays or even ‘correcting’ me because of myriad reasons that I find to be ridiculous and often fall into the category of racism. A personal aside: I think people often forget that our country is much more beautiful with an abundance of diversity, cultures, and celebrations; and our country had, and still has, a incredible and diverse indigenous population here prior to any semblance of a religious Christmas.

Courtney

gmathis Exactly! You can wish me a happy anything!

Roswell Strange

Also in Canada – but my experience is one similar to Courtney. In all of my retail/service jobs I have always elected to say “Happy Holidays” as a greeting, unless my customer has said otherwise (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc) & then I mirror their greeting. I did it to be as inclusive/non-presumptuous as possible – though I did live in an area of Canada where the overwhelming majority of people celebrate Christmas. I did, occasionally, have the angry conservative or elderly customer who would be offended I said “Happy Holidays” instead of Christmas but I always brushed them off.

I have never been offended when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or any other alternative because I know that the well wishes come from a place of good spirit and intent even if it’s not the “thing I celebrate”.

Since working in an office environment instead of a retail one, I’ve had a different experience – albeit my company is quite liberal, but I received emails this holiday season with anything from “Happy Holidays” to “Happy Hanukkah” to “Good Yule Tidings” in the signatures. Definitely no corporate enforced use of only Happy Holidays, nor an assumption that everything was celebrating Christmas.

In my personal life, I say “Merry Christmas” because that’s what I celebrate – though I am not religious and do not personally associate Christmas exclusively with religion. I always hope to not offend anyone, and will happily return a “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Holidays” if wished one.

Mastress Alita

American here, I also prefer “holidays” to “Christmas” for it feeling more inclusive, as I am not Christian and do not celebrate Christmas, but a different winter holiday (one pretty much no one else observes — Festivus — so “holidays” works nicely to me to include even someone like me). And I live in an area of the states where everyone celebrates Christmas, and you are expected to celebrate Christmas, I am treated at work and everywhere else like I should (and must) follow all the “normal and expected” Christmas traditions regardless of how it makes me feel even though I’ve told everyone I don’t observe. Honestly, that just makes me more bitter and sour towards those that do observe Christmas and has earned me a “Grinch” title when I don’t want to be that way.

Mastress Alita

(And yes, I’m in an area described like Courtney, where “Happy Holidays” is “offensive” and you will be “corrected” because “Christmas” is the “only true winter holiday” sort of people).

Izzy

Martin I wish you Veselé Vánoce!

gmathis that’s an awesome attitude to take on this. I wish you a happy, tea-filled Christmas day, spent doing whatever makes you happy :)

Courtney that’s really interesting to hear, but also quite sad that people use “merry Christmas” to shun people who don’t celebrate the traditional way, rather than connect and share with them. I always thought this season was about inclusivity. Saying “merry Christmas” means, to me, “I’m enjoying Christmas joy, and I want to share it with you, even if you don’t celebrate the same way as me.” It’s horrible to think that it’s being twisted to mean the opposite and I wish you hadn’t had those bad experiences in your customer service job. It’s really disheartening to have any message of goodwill met with hostility.

Perhaps that’s why I received the backlash that I did. Although, on a happier note, once I apologised and explained that I meant no offense, I was wished a merry Christmas in return and no harm was done. Different perceptions and a lack of communication is a bad mix – but easily solved if you’re both willing to listen. That’s got to count for something.

Anyway, I wish you a very joyful and festive holiday season :)

Roswell Strange another excellent attitude to take and a brilliant way of summing it all up. It’s good to know that you can just brush them off – I really admire that quality in others. Personally, when I’ve offended someone (unintentionally or not) it makes me feel awful for days until I’ve cleared the air with them. Merry Christmas to you!

Mastress Alita If I didn’t know that, and we met, I’d definitely (and mistakenly) wish you a merry Christmas. But I’d also apologise profusely the moment that you tell me that you don’t celebrate and prefer a different greeting. I think you have every right to be a grinch if your entire community refuses to respect your wishes. To mistakenly offend and then apologise is one thing, to actively discourage, ignore or repress is another entirely. That’s a malicious and horrible thing for them to do and I’m sorry that you’re subjected to it.

I wish you a very sincere happy holidays, and I’d love to hear more about Festivus if you’re willing to share.

I think, from now on, I’m going to amend my merry Christmas. I want my festive greeting to express the inclusivity it’s supposed to represent – and “merry Christmas” doesn’t seem to express that as well as I once thought.

Are there any other alternatives to happy holidays?

Leafhopper

Courtney and Roswell Strange, I also live in Canada and believe that “happy holidays” is more inclusive, especially at work. I’m not religious but do celebrate Christmas, which I think has become kind of a secular holiday anyway. In my personal life, I’ll wish a merry Christmas to people I know who celebrate it, but am not offended to be wished happy holidays, happy Hanukkah, season’s greetings, or anything else. I’ve definitely known very religious or conservative people who insist on “merry Christmas,” and it’s sadly become kind of a cultural point of contention.

ashmanra

I would not be offended by anyone greeting me in a friendly manner with whatever they celebrate if they truly mean it nicely!

tea-sipper

I like to be inclusive and positive towards ALL THE THINGS, so happy holidays includes everything, including holidays I’m probably too ignorant to know about. (And am I wrong – does “happy holidays” also include New Year? Well, even New Year isn’t January 1st for all.)

Martin Bednář

Well, we have January 1st a bank holiday, so time between Christmas and January 1st is called “between the bank holidays”. If you wonder what we celebrate: it is a “Czechoslovakia split into the two sovereign states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”

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