Whittard of ChelseaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
A tea bag from Izzy I drank in the afternoon. Thank you Izzy!
I made same steeping parameters as in the morning. So, boiling water, 300 ml, 3 and half minutes. Worked as a charm again.
When I took the tea bag out of its foil prison, strong (too strong IMO) aroma of lemons, bergamot and limes hit my nose. Moreover, it smelled like some cleaning agent, not really enjoyable.
But when steeped, and sipped, it is completely different world. It is like earl grey, but something more is there! Tea base is light, but noticable. I think the more is jasmine and/or rose petals in. On tongue it is mellow, as well when drinking it. It is really nice to drink something hot when there is 15°C outside, foggy and rainy – typical autumn weather, or typical English (never been there) weather. It seems that summer is all gone.
This tea, well it is far from best teas I had (loose leaf is loose leaf), but from bag – I have to rate it really high. Mostly for great drinkability, no funky notes and tastes, just do not avoid it because it is over perfumed. It was punch into face, which turned out as great tea. Another example how dry and wet aroma can be different!
Rating 83 – as for tea bag. Maybe loose leaf will cause drop my rating a bit. But for tea bag?
Flavors: Bergamot, Lemon, Lime
Hanging onto summer to post my final summery tea blend reviews. It’s currently in that in-between stage – sunny and bright like summer, but slightly too cool for shorts and tshirts.
Anyway, about the tea. It’s quite good but very light, unlike limoncello. It’s sweet and gentle with a lemongrass dominant flavour. Little notes of woody herbs pop up too, with a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste from the apple. It’s really pleasant and soothing… I just feel like maybe it’s missing that final ingredient to make it pop.
Speaking of apples, they’re popping up all over the place this week like a theme. The cooking apple tree by my house is starting to drop apples as they ripen – faster than we can eat them. They’re slowly rotting and creating this slightly sweet smell in the air that weirdly I love. It’s one of the first signs of autumn. I’ll collect them later this week for the compost heap.
Flavors: Apple, Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Sweet, Wood
Cold brewed a few teaspoons of this tea overnight. It smells nice but obviously artificially peachy. The flavour is quite nice too but it needs sweetening to taste really good. I didn’t sweeten this time to cut down a few calories. It’s astringent sencha with peach flavouring – not sweet, just peachy. Refreshing? Hell yeah.
It’s the hottest day of the year so far at 31c where I’m living. For me, that’s too hot. I can’t function well above 25c. Predicting this in advance, I had the good sense to make a pitcher of this tea the night before to cold brew in the fridge.
Of course, it all went wrong. I was drinking this outside in my smoothie cup because it has a built in straw and lid so the flies can’t get to it, when a cherry from the tree above me landed on my head. No joke. My head jarred forward in surprise and the hard plastic straw lodged itself in my gums. Blood went everywhere including down the straw into my tea. Now I’m sulking inside with a painful, bruised gum and only a small amount of blood-free tea left. I hope everyone else is having a better day!
Flavors: Astringent, Mineral, Peach
Enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I’m usually guilty of overbrewing this tea and then quickly gulping down the bitter liquor to finish it as quickly as possible. But, as this is review time, I made sure to time it perfectly. 1 minute 30 seconds was just right.
The aroma is tantalising. Dry, it has a lemon and lime zest aroma – like when you’re zesting a lemon and that fine spray goes everywhere. Pour over water, and suddenly it’s smoky and earthy which was completely unexpected but I love smoky so I was breathing that in deeply. About 2 or 3 minutes after removing the tea bag, the aroma switched back to bergamot, citrus and floral notes. The smokiness just evaporated but I’m certain I didn’t imagine it.
The flavour is delicate and refreshing. It’s a pretentious tea in my opinion. Supposed to be eaten with tiny sandwiches and cakes. The texture is silky smooth and I love how it glides over my palate – sometimes citrus sticks to my throat and gets a little tingly, but that didn’t happen here.
The body is medium-light but the floral and citrus notes are undeniably pungent – it’s a weird light/heavy combo that upsets my stomach if I drink it without food. It’s also weird that this tea contains a mix of black, green and oolong teas. It works!
The 70 score is accurate though. I’m not falling in love with this tea or craving another cup. A once-a-month tea when I have to be in the mood for it.
Full review with some nice pictures: https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/whittard-afternoon-tea-review/
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Smooth
Love the aroma of this tea, it’s very fragrant and tropical. I get this really lush juicy aroma of mango and passion fruit, but there’s also something starchy about this tea that I don’t think anyone else has picked up on from the tasting notes I’ve read. It’s just a vague hint of sticky rice but it works so well. You have to really stick your nose in the cup to find it.
The flavour is also delicious, even though I slightly over-brewed it. I’ve had this tea many times, so I know what it’s capable of delivering when I get the timing just right. The green tea isn’t anything to shout about, it’s the fruity flavour with citrus kick that’s the highlight of this tea.
There’s a chemical/nail varnish tang that I’ve noticed as well – it’s not ruining the cup but I can’t ignore it either. It’s happened before when brewing these tea bags but not when brewing the loose leaf version. It’s still a good tea so I’ve rated it as such.
I also adore the new tea discoveries caddy it’s available in, so pretty.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus Fruits, Green, Mango, Tropical
It’s late and I’ve been staring at this laptop screen all day, so this cup of chamomile is very welcome!
The dry flowers have a really beautiful fresh hay aroma that’s doused in a natural sweet honey high note. I’m kind of sad that the hay aroma didn’t stay after I brewed a cup. I was also a little worried at first, because it was a vibrant lemon yellow colour at the start of a brew. My experience with chamomile teas in the past has always been a dull but light gold colour. I double checked the label but there’s definitely no artificial colours added. After 2 minutes it was back to the gold colour I love.
The taste pales in comparison to the aroma, but still I had no trouble slurping it down. So good, so sweet.
Chamomile puts me to sleep fairly quickly, and it’s too dark to take pictures right now, so I’ll update this tasting note with a link to my full blog article tomorrow sometime. Goodnight!
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honey, Musty, Sweet
Decided to give this tea another go, I do have 3 more bulbs to get through and I can’t bear the thought of throwing tea away.
First steep was the same as before; disappointing. No rose flavour or aroma at all. The marigold has a nice warming flavour but it overpowers everything. I can get 3 small cups from my teapot, so by the third cup it was very bitter too from the green tea.
Instead of throwing it away, I decided to refill the teapot for a second infusion. It’s milder this time and quite calming. The marigold is still the dominant flavour but it’s somehow starting to become creamy. Distinctive nutty notes are coming through too. More palatable but no flavour from the green tea leaves.
It’s going back in the cupboard. Maybe I’ll try again in the summer. Might even try it iced, although I’m not sure how that will work with a blooming tea or if it will suit the warmth of the marigold.
Bought this as a Valentine’s gift for myself – it was disappointing. The name would suggest some sort of rose based tea… but actually, there was no hint of rose at all. The blooming tea ball expanded to reveal 2 very pretty marigold blooms and the tiniest rose bud I’ve ever seen.
It was delicious, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. If you’re still interested in trying this tea, check our my full review https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/whittard-rose-bloom-flowering-tea-review/
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Nutty, Sweet
I have this loose jasmine green tea in the new Whittard Tea Discoveries caddy. It’s quite good, I love the soothing aroma and flavour once brewed. I buy it online… for the quality, I think it’s a little overpriced but still worth it.
It has a clear, golden yellow colour when brewed and a light, slightly sweet flavour. I have noticed that some batches have a little musty taste to them – I would guess because they’re old stock.
I wrote a complete review on my blog here https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/whittard-jasmine-green-tea-review/
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Smooth
Tea bag of unknown age, but in foil wrapper, so it should be still okay.
It was pleasant, bold black tea. No bad taste, stongly malt one. I can not find any downsides of this tea. It wasn´t much complex – but hey, it was a tea bag, right?
Colour was dark copper, as expected from black tea bag. I would prefer bit of sweetness, but it wasn´t bitter at all. Honestly I am really surprised of this one. Robust, malty, rich tea. And better than that Sebastea High Grown loose leaf I bought the other day.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
This is wildly different from the loose leaf version of this Tea Discoveries line. The loose version is true to the rose flavor, complete with aroma, but this…this tastes like drinking black tea steeped in fruity candy. Not sure what happened here. It reminds me of artificial banana candies, like banana Now and Laters. Or strawberry banana candy. Neither milk nor sweetener helped.
Flavors: banana, Floral, Fruity
Another sipdown! (168/397)
This was quite a nondescript fruity ‘red berries’ sort of tea, the cranberry more prominent than the raspberry. I’ve had several cups over the last few days trying to finish this off, and experiemented using different amounts of the instant tea. I found it to be quite one-dimensional, one flavour that was simply weaker or stronger depending on the amount used with no particular nuances or notes which presented themselves at different temperatures or such. That being said, it was pretty tasty and a comforting cup to sip on while playing chess with the beau. I like that it’s quick and easy to make up a cup, and you can even stir the crystals into cold water for instant iced tea, but it just wasn’t good enough to hold a candle to my stash of loose leaf. I’ve tried several instant teas now, and while this one was not the best – nor was it the worst – none of them have been able to convert me. On to the next one!
Welp, I caved and opened another new instant tea. I figure it’s only a small sampler and I’ve had them all entirely too long, so I should try to get through them the same as I am with my other ‘proper’ teas. I’ll save a proper review for later since I have to go to bed now – I’ve got to get up early in the morning for my first driving lesson since I failed my test over a year ago, and I don’t want to be tired for it. It’s fruity, but I’m not sure I’d say cranberry and raspberry specifically, and quite sour too. I think I’ll use less tea crystals next time.
Okay so this is a bit of an atypical one. For a start, I am like 80% sure I wrote a tasting note on this tea a couple of years ago when I had a big tub of it. Not only is that not showing up, but the tasting note section is entirely blank, yet it says ‘10 tasting notes’ at the top of the page. When I click the shortcut to view the 10 tasting notes, it just takes me right back to the bottom of the page where it states that there are no notes on this tea as of yet. Super bizarre… Another thing is that this is an instant tea. High in sugar, and sure it contains black tea, but it’s dehydrated and granulated and not exactly what most people think of when they hear ‘tea’. Still, that’s what it’s called and it does – at least in my mind – qualify as tea enough to be written up on Steepster. It’s pretty tasty! Don’t judge me, guys. So here’s the thing; I had a lovely day trip to Durham today with my boyfriend and his mam. It was lovely but freezing, and on the way back we stopped into a pub and I had a glass of mulled wine. It got me into the Christmas spirit and warmed me up, and when I got back home I wanted a similar drink to keep up my internal warm fuzzies, but I also wanted tea. So here we are. It fits the bill. The sugar is enough to temper the tart fruits, but not overpowering and there is some sourness which I don’t mind. I don’t know that I can pick out the individual fruit flavours – I probably would have just said ‘berry’, but the box says apple and strawberry. It’s nice!
Another tea that I had failed to list in my cupboard….I guess I am not as far into decluttering my stash as I thought. On a happy note – someone stopped by my youngest daughter’s dorm this morning just to get their travel mug filled with the Teavivre jasmine tea I took her last weekend. Apparently it was a big hit!
This one is so delicious that I have hoarded it, saving it for only the most special occasions, and now it is past the use by date. It tastes fantastic, but I have to get serious and finish because it would be a huge waste to let it truly go bad.
It is so coconut-y and vry easy going even though it is a blend of black tea and green tea, which can sometimes be a lttle difficult to work with as the green can get “burned” or the black may not give up its best flavor at a lower temp. Nope, I really didn’t give it special treatment but it turned out awesome.
Hubby and I had his and hers teas this evening in front of the fire. He had puerh while I had this, served with garlic and herb goat cheese, crackers, and Woodstock organic bread and butter pickles.
And only AFTER I was all done handling food did I open the book that GGMathis sent for me to read – Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! I also got the CUTEST Thanksgiving…ahem…HENSgiving card that she made! I should show it to the chickens tomorrow. They will be so pleased! They will be so excited for Thanksgiving as they always get to enjoy some of the bounty.
Some mild tea experimentation happening with this one…
I wanted to brew Gong Fu on Thursday night when I got home from work, but I also was craving something more flavoured than a straight tea as well as lemon. At first I was just going to add a lemon wedge to a more full bodied and brisk straight black tea and do a sort of lemon/black type thing not super unlike the black tea and straight basil that I brewed Gong Fu not too long ago. However, while I was searching for the right straight black tea I ended up finding my tin of this tea – a whisky flavoured black tea.
Now, I already know that Whisky and Lemon go well together so as soon as I saw the tin I was convinced; this was what I was craving: a flavoured black tea that’s not too out there in terms of flavour and that would suit lemon. However, this is definitely not the type of tea that I would normally brew Gong Fu so I was just going to make it a Western mug with a squeeze of lemon. At the last minute, as the kettle had finished boiling and I was about to measure out the tea leaf, I decided “Fuck it; let’s just do it Gong Fu and see what the fuck happens!”.
It was a good call.
Obviously this is different than your standard Gong Fu session, for several reasons. It worked well though; the first infusion had a lot of the Whisky flavour from the tea and just a hint of lemon – it was full bodied and very strong/intense but didn’t come out bitter or harsh. Infusion two was still whisky note heavy but the lemon had steeped more into the cup so there was a stronger citrus note a bit of a bite of acidity. It was very much a “Hot Toddy” meets “Whisky Sour” kind of vibe that I was completely into. It was so extremely on point for what I had been craving taste wise, and I still got the physical sensation of brewing Gong Fu and that was equally satisfying. Infusions three and four were pretty similar, but four had a lot less Whisky notes and was more just a brisk, malty black base.
Infusion five the the turning point; it was just too soft a black tea taste with too much acidity from the lemon juice being steeped out – so that was where I stopped brewing. Even still, while it was a short session it was the kind of session that sort of “recharges” your soul and where you feel both at piece and also invigorated.
Loved this combo!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Jt4wQr-so
Tea Infused Salad Dressing!
I tend to hyper fixate on ideas/concepts occasionally, and the most recent example of this is tea infused salad dressings. The first one I tried out was Spicy Pina Margarita but I wasn’t super happy with the result so I did a lot more research, and consulted with a couple coworkers for ideas. Then, I was right back at it!
This was my second attempt, and here’s the recipe that I used:
- 1/3 Cup of Distilled White Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of tea
- 1 clove of garlic (optional, but I did add it for this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons of buckwheat honey
- 2/3 Cup of Olive Oil
- Black Pepper & Salt to Taste
- Mason Jar
- Cheesecloth or some other form of straining device
Basically, you pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Then, immediately take it off the heat and add in the tea and a crushed clove of garlic. Let that “steep” into the vinegar until it’s completely cold. Then strain it into the mason jar. Add in the honey, shake together until blended. Then, slowly add in the olive oil and shake very vigorously until emulsified.
And bam! You’ve made salad dressing/vinaigrette! It was actually a really easy recipe to follow along with, and I’m super happy with how it turned out! I think the flavour of the tea is definitely quite noticeable, and it just works really well with everything else going on in the recipe – honey, garlic, and whiskey? I mean, that’s a perfect pairing as far as I’m concerned. You can also use any type of honey, vinegar, or oil if you want to slightly tweak the profile to best match whatever tea you’re doing. I went with white vinegar/olive oil because they’re basically the “plainest” options and I really wanted the focus here to be the taste of the tea. For the honey, I chose buckwheat honey to add more depth and richness to the flavour because I didn’t think whisky was something that should necessarily be super “light”. Plus, the molasses/nutty notes of the honey are also great pairings with that flavour.
Other things you could switch around are the spices you add during the “steeping” process, and instead of honey I could have also used agave or eggwhites as my emulsifier. I happen to love the taste of honey, and really lean towards sweeter dressings so that was the best option for me. I also own a lot of “weirder” honeys, which gives me more customization options. Also, you can up the acidity by doing things like adding lemon/lime juice too. Have fun and play with it! The key things are just that you need an acid (vinegar), oil, and emulsifier and you want your ratios to basically match what I outlined in my recipe above…
But yeah, a successful project that I will 100% be trying with other teas! And, for the record, I have now finished off this dressing in different salads because I liked it so much.
Evening cuppa post work.
Still working on finding a good for me balance of teas at home to at work ratio. I’m sure, with the amount that my at work tea drinking has sky rocketed upwards, my caffeine tolerance will rebuild to being very high, but in the meantime I definitely need to be really careful to not overdo it on the caffeine. I also want to make sure I’m consuming the teas I have at home in addition to what is available at work though: otherwise I will NEVER have a smaller tea cupboard…
This was something I made sure I had right after getting home from work though: I was craving that strong, black base and boozy whisky profile. Really I was also just craving some Tennessee Honey Jack Daniels, but that wasn’t accessible to me at all so this was
kind of a backup to that craving. This was such a satisfying cup of tea for me! Super, super smooth but also really heavy/dark and sweet.