Tregothnan

Recent Tasting Notes

79

Earl Grey is one of those teas that I get a sudden craving for, and when I do nothing else can substitute that lovely Bergamot taste. This Tregothnan tea has the balance just right, between their own home grown tea, the finest assam, and British grown bergamot oil, and has become my go-to tea when such cravings strike.

Whilst in the sample stage of PostTea I was lucky enough to recieve samples of four different Tregothnan teas, and this was my favourite. I received a box of ten individual wrapped bags, which is perfect for keeping them fresh. In fact, the lack of decent individually wrapped teas is a bug bear for me, so this was a definite added bonus. As one reviewer has mentioned, the tea bags are a little tight in their foil wrap, but I managed to open it without ripping. The outer box for the tea is beautiful, just British enough without being tacky, but distinctive enough to identify as British.

As I had the bagged tea to try, I only attempted one steep. If you follow Tregothnan’s instructions they simply suggest boiling water, and a brew of 2-3 minutes. I knew this was going to be too light for, I’m much more a ‘leave the bag in’ kinda tea drinker, so I brewed mine for five minutes and absolutely loved the rich Bergamot flavour, balancing the rich malty Tregothnan tea, which I know well from their Classic Blend. There are some delightful citrus-y undertones too. All in all this is an exceptionally balanced Earl Grey when drunk black. I balanced mine with just the tiniest dash of milk – I find that the Tregothnan teas ‘hold’ the milk very well and you certainly don’t need more than the smallest dribble. As always I had this tea unsweetened, but I’m sure a little honey would be lovely in there too, if that’s how you take it! I’m going to try the next cup black with a slice of lemon. In fact, I might just do that now!

This is Most English cup of Earl Grey tea you will ever have – and it definitely won’t disappoint!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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38
drank afternoon by Tregothnan
1282 tasting notes

This one came to me from Fleurdelily who embarrassingly STILL has not received a return parcel. However, I shall be going to the post office with one later today. It’s all packed up, just needs sending. I may be slow, but I get there in the end.

I’ve never had anything from this brand before, and the fact that it’s grown in Europe makes it highly interesting to me, even if it is just an old fashioned tea bag. It’s not quite afternoon yet, but it was the one that struck me as most interesting right now out of the bags that I had. Given my activities in the kitchen at the moment, I don’t currently have access to a pot, so it was a bagged tea or nothing. Easy choice then, because I really do need something calming. Right now as I’m writing this, Husband is doing his very best to end the Age of Frugality, so I’m feeling all nervous too and can’t do plock all about it.

The aroma strikes me as Assam-y. There’s that note to it, the one that is sort of like wet cardboard, and a fair amount of malty notes. A really good Assam, in my experience, also tends to have a strong note of raisins to it, but I’m not getting anything of that sort from this. But then again it isn’t actually Assam at all, is it. It’s just what it mostly reminds me of. That all sounds well and good but that’s not the whole picture. There is a certain quality to this that reminds me quite strongly of melted parafine, a smell which I have become highly familiar with due to working with melted parafine wax on a regular basis, and that smell of a candle which has just been blown out. These are not things I can say I’m at all pleased to find in a cup of tea so that does pull it down a bit.

The flavour is quite strong and again comes with a reminder of Assam with a dark malty note and a smidge of wet cardboard. No candles here, however. The whole thing tastes kind of dark, not quite black, grey. There are still no raisin notes to be found, and the end note is just ever so slightly borderline bitter. I suspect Husband’s sister would enjoy this one immensely because she likes her builder’s brew. Preferably so strong that if it steeps for just a split second more, it would be capable of climbing out of the cup and running away. (Taking tea that she made is always a gamble. She doesn’t always remember to pour for others before steeping the leaves completely into oblivion) I do suspect that this is a tea that would let her steep to her heart’s content without running out of steam before she thought it was done.

For me, however, at a rather more controlled strength, I find that something seems to be missing. Those Assam-y notes that I found are there, and they’re good and strong but it feels like they’re only making up the shell of the flavour and something in the middle is just… not there. Emptyness. Nothing.

As strange as it sounds to say that it’s a black tea with lots of strength to it but no body, that’s exactly what he have here. I never would have thought that was even possible. Still, for someone, like for example Husband’s sister, who are merely looking for a generic hot cup of tea without paying too much attention to it otherwise, I’m sure this would go down well. For me? Well… not so much.

Now, the funny thing is that when I looked up what was actually in this blend (I always try to do this AFTER I’ve made my guesses), it turns out that it’s a blend of Darjeeling and their own leaf grown in Cornwall. No Assam anywhere in sigth and the only thing in common with Assam at all is that Darjeeling is also an Indian tea. For me Darjeeling tends to have a fairly easily recognisable flavour, but bizarrely I’m going none of that here. I suspect it’s the Cornwall leaf that has altered it. I can vaguely see where the Darj is in the flavour now that I know it’s there, but I can’t actually pick any of it out.

A strange phenomenon this. Interesting, yes. But flavour-wise rather meh.

alaudacorax

That took me by surprise – tea gardens in Cornwall?! But after all, they’re just another camellia, and there are plenty of those in UK gardens. I don’t think Cornwall goes higher than a few hundred metres, though, and I had it in my mind that you had to have a fair amount of altitude to grow decent leaves. I’ve probably got that wrong, though.

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81

If any if you dear readers would ask how it feels to be in a meadow while feel the midday’s heat in the highlands? Its calm and serene and raw and brisk much like this tea! Tregothnan Tea grown in the northern hemisphere seems to capture the calm of a winters season and serene floweriness after a winters thaw. Naturally a tropical plant, it still imparts raw and brisk flavors untamed to be made lively for a drinker who seeks the liveliness of a jungle with much of starchy richness and malty flavors. The added orange essence compliments a floral meadow much beloved in this tea. A must for any one trying a truly unique tea made in England!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

I think you need to drink this in Scotland with some shortbread!

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67
drank Echinacea by Tregothnan
1096 tasting notes

I selected this tea from a garden centre yesterday and my husband bought it for me as a birthday gift. We only went to the garden centre because they have a large aquarium and we have recently purchased a tank so we needed to stock up on little fish (we got 6 Cardinal Tetra and 2 Skunk Corydora). I have never tried echinacea tea before so I thought it would be lovely to try it, it even says on the bottom that it is great to drink in winter. In February now and where I live had been getting colder and colder each day so I thought it would count as winter conditions.

My family had booked a restaurant for my birthday so with the tea purchased I rushed out of the shop and headed on home to start my ritual of wondering what to wear and what make up to use (this takes me hours to decide and in the end I am never happy with the result) so as you can imagine I was busy all night. Then when I was being picked up to head on down for dinner I opened my front door and found that 4 inches of snow was settling on the ground and it was still pouring down. The rest of the night the snow became more violent in the wind and more and more settled onto the ground. On the drive home there must have been 10 inches of snow everywhere and it meant it was one slow and arduous drive back.

Waking up this morning and feeling a little rough from my Jack Daniels last night I remembered that I had bought a winter tea. Either I had good timing buying the tea or the heavens has opened up and given me a birthday gift as now I can drink this tea as designed. So as I sit here with my faithful cat friend by my side and wrapped up in two blankets here is my analysis.

Colour: Golden brown honey.
Smell: Very peppery and herby.
Side Note: The tea bag floated (no matter how hard I tried to sink it).

Taste: Similar to cardamom pods but not quite as strong and with a peppery kick that tickles my lips. It reminds me of Indian Masala tea but on a weaker scale. It’s very warming which is why I imagine it says to be used as a winter tea, as I drink more and more my body seems to be tingling all over with relaxation and warmth. It is a very odd feeling and appears to be making my stomach feel full. For me the taste is not desirable but it is certainly interesting and with quite a few tea bags left I will drink this again but after this snow has cleared it will not be for a while.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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45

Tea bags – with strings – individually wrapped – 10 in a box. Each tea bag contains enough leaf for a 1liter pot. I drank this pot without milk or sugar. This is not a strong tea in flavor, but it makes a nice dark brew — much better color than the Tregothnan Afternoon blend. The overall impression I get is a fairly generic grocery store all-purpose black tea. It’s serviceable, but nothing to write home about. It doesn’t offend by being too much of anything. {and after the trouble I went through to obtain it, that is somewhat offensive}

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33
drank afternoon by Tregothnan
30 tasting notes

Brewed in a 1 liter polish pottery tea pot. Used one tea bag, just as I did with the Earl Grey, but the soup was so pale, I wonder if I should use more? Using the same standards that produced success when brewing the Earl Grey and the Classic, this time I ended up with a pale cup. On the one hand, that may be the point of “afternoon” tea, but when I compare it to my personal favorite brand, Ahmad, I can only say that this tastes exactly like hot amber water. No flavor. So either I need to add more tea, or I need to stick with my Ahmad. Tregothnan Afternoon tea does not impress—just as well, since it’s not easy to obtain. I bought it on a lark, because of it’s provenance, and I really didn’t have high expectation for flavor anyway. Tourist tea. That’s all it is.

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68

One sachet will brew a 1liter pot. Individually wrapped tea bags with strings, 10 in a small box. Packaging not very attractive—which is not necessarily a bad thing, as some american tea companies are all about the packaging, and less about the quality of the leaf. Be careful when opening the packet, it’s a tight fit, my first attempt resulted in ripped tea bag. Of course, I brewed it up anyway using a mesh filter. That incident did allow me to view the contents, and it is a very fine texture, as most english brands are. Second attempt, paid strict attention to the top selvage and was successful. (Yay) Once you get past the packaging, the opened packet has a lovely aroma. I drink my black tea without milk, I like to taste the stuff unadulterated. I don’t add milk or sugar to Earl Grey anyway… and this has a smooth mouth feel, does not dry out my tongue. Less of a lemony note than Ahmad Earl Grey, which is my daily tea, my standard of comparison. I also brewed it a rather long time, as I got distracted during dinner time, and walked away. No problem, I have discovered that most British tea blends are rather gracious about overbrewing — they will still turn out fine. And if you think brewing it was almost too tricky for me, you should have seen me ordering it! Apparently, my bank feels that my visa is safest if I don’t use it at all. They wanted the last 4 of my SSN “for security reasons”… luckily, I have two Visas, or I would not have any tasting notes for Tregothnan. I am still trying to find the magic combination that allows me to try Fortnum’s tea. I refuse to pay $150 for 12 oz of tea…. but that is another subject entirely. Give me time, I shall surely find a way, this Yank may be slow, but she gets there eventually.

yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

do you still have some of this fleurdelily? i would like to try it if you can swap some out :)

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2
drank myrtle by Tregothnan
30 tasting notes
I ordered this because I’ve never seen myrtle sold in packages before. Herbals often have a mild flavor, but this had no flavor. The leaves float for awhile, then they eventally sink to the bottom. I left them in my cup, waiting for the water to achieve any slight color, any at all… or any flavor at all. One cup is all I will ever need, this is a novelty, and I don’t see the point of it. No color, no flavor, no noticeable effects…. worse than chamomile. Threw it out.

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63

AHA! A second steeping reveals the not-very-surprising secret to Tregothnan tea – it must be enjoyed in the English style, i.e., with milk added. The milk mellows the astringency in the tea and instead complements it into a warm, toasty flavor that is extremely enjoyable as a breakfast or dessert tea. The tea takes very well to sweetening (though one should use less sugar than one is used to, as the tea does seem to accentuate the sweetness upon mixing), and is light years better than the unadulterated cup. I suppose it was just a silly error to have attempted this tea without addition, as it was clearly blended and balanced with the typical British tea drinker in mind, and is definitely a vast, vast improvement over my earlier cup. So, if you enjoy “straight” tea this is not the one for you, but if you enjoy a typical British cuppa with milk and potentially sugar or honey, then this may very well turn out to be the internally warming, soothing cup you were looking for. The note on the tin, “enjoy black if you prefer” should almost certainly be ignored; this tea needs milk in order to complete its balancing act and fully express its toasty warmth. Is it a top-tier tea? Well, no, I’m not willing to say that, but it is definitely more than simply a novelty, and I would certainly be curious to see if Tregothnan continues to develop their tea over the years into a more formidable product.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
PostTea

I loved reading both of your reviews. Your first I thought a little harsh, but it was quickly remedied by the second. I supposed, being English, I’ve never thought to have this tea without milk, and so your initial thoughts were quite far from mine. I personally feel that this Tregothnan blend is great – it packs in enough flavour without being too overpowering for the average ‘british brew’ drinker. I found also that you don’t need as much milk as might normally take (I take very little at all, and found it ‘held’ the milk well) just as you found with the sugar. You’re right, it’s not a top tier tea, but it is the closest we British can come to enjoying the great British tradition of drinking tea! Blended in Tregothnan, drunk in England :) I’d say it is a novel day, one of a kind, but it is certainly no gimmick! My favourite morning brew at the moment!

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63

Out of curiosity, I ordered a 100g tin of the English Estate Classic Tea from Tregothnan – proudly marketed by the company as “The First and Only English Estate Tea”. Of course, reading the fine print, the tea is actually a blend of “finest Assam and China” with some of the UK-grown Tregothnan tea (from the estate in Cornwall). It is hard to tell what proportion of this tea is actually from the UK, and how much is Assam/Chinese, and further hard to tell what quality Assam/Chinese tea is actually being used; one would assume, by the tea production of these countries, that the blend must be heavily foreign tea with only touches of the UK product, but of course this is all guesswork.

What is not guesswork is the tea itself which, while I wouldn’t call disappointing (as I didn’t have great expectations), is not a particularly fine tea. At 3 minutes’ steeping time the tea had an overly strong tannic bite, wooden flavors, and astringent finish; on my next steeping I will err on the side of caution and try 2 minutes (the tin itself recommends “2-3 minutes”, though oddly does not offer any clues as to the tea:water ratio). The tea was not unpleasant but certainly was nowhere near the quality one would expect from the price. A touch of sugar helped to mellow the tea and make it slightly more enjoyable, but did not inspire any warm feelings of enjoyment that one would expect from the British tea tradition.

Perhaps my opinion will change on further steepings, but on the first one I felt I’d had my suspicions confirmed, that while this tea is an interesting novelty, it is still a long way from being considered a quality black tea. I will certainly update my notes if further steepings indicate otherwise, but at the moment it’s hard to imagine I will be trying this tea beyond this first tin.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100

No other way to put it. This is THE definitive Earl Grey. British-grown tea (blended with Assam) scented with British-grown bergamot oil. And it sure does taste like it. The black tea base was malty, floral…and balanced absolutely perfectly with the citrus-sour bergamot. A second steep yielded a more diluted bergamoty cup but with no astringency or bitterness. In a word, “Wow.”

Full Review: http://www.lazyliteratus.com/1152

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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