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Whittard of Chelsea

Recent Tasting Notes

74

Another in a swap from Awkward Soul. This tea doesn’t have a WOW! factor, but is a good stable tea. I can taste the base (with a little astringency), and the toffee/caramel flavor. It tasted better when it was hot. As it is cooling, the toffee/caramel/nut flavor is on the back of the sip (instead of more on the front).

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

Doesn’t really remind me of pudding but perhaps England has many types of pudding. It’s an interesting mix, but it’s done well. From the tea box. Good hot.

Preparation
1 tsp
Stephanie

I think England just calls most desserts pudding

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75

This is another one of those tasting notes where I can’t really tell you anything about the tea in itself because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to drink tonight and somehow settled on creating a terrifying Franken-oolong by adding a drop of almond extract and a squizzle of honey to this.

It was totally super-comforting and awesome until I got distracted by other things and let the tea get cold, and now it’s suddenly WAY too sweet and it’s all my fault and I’m still just not in love with it anyway, which is probably why I keep adding stuff to it so I can get through this box and move on. Maybe I should just not finish this one, given that it’s 1 in the morning and I have to be up tomorrow to go into town and run errands before cleaning the living heck out of my apartment before Gentleman comes down for the weekend. And I still don’t know what I’m wearing to my job interview on Friday. Whoops.

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88

I participated in the Hepatite swap this past month and yesterday i received my tea from my swap buddy. I’m not sure whether i’m more excited about getting my teas, or the thought of my swap buddy getting my teas. Heh…not that i want to spoil anything, but those of you who have um gotten tea from me, know a little of what she’s in store for hahaha.

Sami Kelsh sent this one my way and that’s awesome because it was on my wishlist of things to try someday! Mostly because of her review haha. this is delicious…delicious and creamy and man i would pick this one up again! The vanilla is there but there is also a cookie like quality to this that is so very tasty. Thank you so much Sami!

OMGsrsly

I feel a little sorry for your swap buddy’s cupboard. Just a little. ;)

Sami Kelsh

Yay, cookie goodness! Oh, I hoped you’d like this one! So glad your teas arrived safely :3

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90

Yes yes yes.

Today’s been weirdly productive by nobody’s standards but my own – finished a painting and managed to get a second steep of this in before the sun went down. Mmmm, ‘sgood. Steep two’s every bit as lovely as steep one, letting more of that lovely, creamy sweet floral-melon goodness emerge from those giant leaves – who’d have thought that what looked like such a concise spoonful would unfurl into a festival of greenery so fluffy it’s practically spilling out the top of my strainer? I’m noticing a refreshing green note around the edges of the second steep, that I can especially taste in my cheeks – not grassy, but more of a fresh, mineral green, if that makes sense. It’s SO good. I can’t wait to see what wonders steep three has to reveal to me. I’m so in love.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Good morning is good!

Started the day with a healthy breakfast of strawberries and whipped cream – hey, it was the light cream, and mostly it was strawberries! And it’s the weekend, dammit.

And then there’s this tea, another silly impulse purchase to celebrate job interview. I’ve been wanting to try something biscuitty for a while now, and when the shop assistant took the jar of this off the shelf for me to smell, I was sold. Smells just like sticking your nose in a packet of those wonderful crumbly, buttery vanilla biscuits. Yes. GET IN.

So I brewed it up this morning, and as they usually do, the scent diminished a bit while brewing and tea smell insinuated its way in, but it’s a tea, so I’m certainly not complaining. The flavour starts with a heady wave of creamy vanilla, with a sweet, nutty-buttery biscuit finish. Not nutty like you’d find in a nut-flavoured tea, but that sort of subtle toasty nuttiness you get from the slightly browned butter and flour in a biscuit. It’s got a hint of sweetness on its own, so doesn’t need fixins if you prefer your teas unadorned, but holds up beautifully under a spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk, making it just that little bit more indulgent.

And it’s still a damn sight better for me than, say, hoovering a packet of Viennese whirls.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

oh man that sounds good..

Sami Kelsh

It is genuinely GORGEOUS.

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90

Oh, I like this.

Bought on terrible, terrible impulse to celebrate that I have another job interview lined up! Yippee! The bad news is that the office is in “Oxford,” but technically it’s in a tiny little place outside of Oxford that takes an hour and two buses (rounabout through Abbingon) to get to from Oxford central. Oh well. INTERVIEW. I rock interviews! I am excite. Things just might be looking up for Kelshy! bangs on all the wood within reach

So, milk oolong. The dry leaves are cute and smell of sweet grass. A good start. It’s already streets ahead of the other oolong I have from Whittard, which admittedly is decidedly underwhelming. This tea, on the other hand, yields a pale yellow liquor, and the sweet grass notes are joined by a soft floral, almost honeydew melon flavour, as well as a lightly creamy mouthfeel, with just a delicate hint of that characteristic oolong wholesomeness. Good Gosh, this is so pretty. It tastes of joy.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec
__Morgana__

Congrats, and good luck!

Sami Kelsh

Thanks so much! :)

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76

Just wasn’t doing it for me today. I probably wanted something greener. Oh well.

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I have never really been a fan of flavoured teas but a friend gave me a sample of this, so I thought I would give it a try. It smells really strongly of sticky toffee pudding so that is a good start. Steve had told me that he found the tea disappointing so I loaded the teapot with more tea than I would otherwise have done and poured on the water. Waves of sticky toffee pudding smell arose from the pot. Good start. After a longer than usual steep, I was able to taste the tea. The base tea is malty and rich (possibly an Assam?), and the gingery sweetness of the pudding comes through with an element of dates. It was really quite good while hot and definitely reflected the name in its flavour, but as it cooled it quickly became bitter and less palatable. I’ve finished the sample now but might be tempted to buy a packet for myself if passing a Whittards, although I do wonder if its sugary sweetness would pall after a while.

Flavors: Caramel, Dates

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Angrboda

This one is on my list for next I’m in a Whittards. I need it in my life, I think. We’ll have to stop in at one at the next opportunity, because Husband discovered that he very much likes their afternoon Earl Grey, so that’s my way in. :D

Roughage

This is a tea that I have enjoyed in small quantities. I did not mention in the tasting notes but it does not resteep well at all, so only one cup per pot. If I am passing a Whittards I shall see about picking you some up, Angrboda, if you wish.

Angrboda

No need. It’s pretty easy to get to a Whittards when we’re visiting Husband’s parents. If we want to go shopping, we’ve tended to go to Cambridge, which is far enough away to be an outing and close enough for a suitable day-trip. ‘Tis a place full of lurking dangers. Last time I went past WHSmiths with a mantra of ’it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist.’ in my head. I have been known to spend half my pocket money for a full 10 days in there in one fell swoop… Oops! :D

I’ve reached the point now where going to England doesn’t actually feel like really travelling anymore.

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91

This is basically a pure spice mix with no black tea base, hence the reason it is caffeine free. I came across this today while browsing Whittard’s Covent Garden London shop and immediately purchased it after reading the ingredients. It is the same mix of spices I use when making masala chai mix at home. I love chai but usually I cannot have it at night due to caffeine and this blend removes that. Chai all night long!

I brewed for 6-10 minutes as suggested for a stronger taste and it was perfect! Very obvious cinnamon flavour with the other spices lingering in the background. Added 1/2 tsp honey for sweetness but I think this blend would be excellent straight as well.

It also says to not drink this with milk but I may use this when I make masala chai. Overall, very happy I came across this.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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75

Ok, I don’t know what it is I did differently this time (I think I might have underleafed slightly?) but this is the best cup of this tea that I’ve had. It’s a lighter tea, as befits a Darjeeling, but there’s a distinct raisiny flavour that comes through just before the end, when it goes a little leafy/earthy and it’s actually really nice. Bumping the rating accordingly. I’m glad I bought this one. I still don’t trust Darjeelings that don’t stipulate whether they’re first or second flush (it makes such a difference) but I’ll happily drink this one in the meantime.

And it ought to give me enough of a boost to push through day two of this wretched headache and finish this painting of the Ninth Doctor!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Raisins

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75

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70

This is another one from the big bag of Sil! I drank it while I was at work and I forgot to log it. It was good, but like Sil says, it was fairly light. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t rush to grab more of it.

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74
drank Rhubarb & Cream by Whittard of Chelsea
4033 tasting notes

sooooo i drank the world tonight. and just when i was about to call it quits, i realised i was at 161. No way i can leave my cupboard at that! Soooo here’s another one haha. This one is another from awkward soul via terri and it’s interesting. After the much richer creamier teas that i had, this one is on the light side. I AM getting rhubarb taste here but different from the rhubarb that stacy used in ruby pie. It’s creamy and the black base in this one isn’t bitter or overpowering. Overall, not a tea that i’m going to be in love with, but still a good cup this evening…

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88

TTB Tea 13: I picked this one for my studying before the organic chemistry test tomorrow. I feel as though it was a good choice! The flavor is very nice without being astringent or bitter. It was malty, a little chocolatey, and rich without any added flavors. And it gave me a nice caffeine boost!

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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83

mmmmm i like this one. Though it’s the sort of tea i probably should turn in to a decadent cup of amazing by adding a little sweetner, but i won’t. This was another share from Awkward Soul and i am a happy camper. Rich, dark, satisfying yummy tea!

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23
drank Lemon and Rose by Whittard of Chelsea
4033 tasting notes

Another from awkward soul, via Terri, but it’s not for me. This has a fairly strong floral presence which meant I couldn’t get much past the first couple of sips :( off to someone else who might like it more!

Helena

well it had rose in the name.. that should be a hint :D I can’t stand overly floral teas :D

Sil

sometimes the floral takes a back seat…sometimes lol

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88
drank Ceylon by Whittard of Chelsea
8 tasting notes

Quite nice and silky. This is one of those teas that gets better with re-soaking.

Use this with a tea infuser ball or a really good filter — otherwise the shavings get everywhere.

Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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76

I feel quietly positive about today’s interview, so there’s something, yes? Quietly less positive about the fact that I put on too much weight over the winter to be able to button up my blazer, but I just installed Pact on my phone and I’m hoping that’ll keep me at least reaching for fresh fruit instead of Wotsits when I’m hungry between meals.

And then there’s this tea. So I overleafed and oversteeped largely by mistake, and then added too much milk to use up the last of the jug because today’s its best before date, and then because I was out of the nice unrefined sugar I like to use in my tea, I added the teensiest drizzle of vanilla syrup instead. And what this magic combo produced was a predominant flavour that was so familiar, yet I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until I was about halfway through the cup.

It had a sort of sweet, roasty, almost grain flavour, but not exactly. It was like the maltiness of the tea had been turned up to eleven. And then it hit me.

The malt.

Ovaltine.

It was as though someone had put Ovaltine in my tea. Like Ovalteane. It was uncanny. And actually really, really delicious. I think I’ve found a new way of drinking this tea when I want something a little different. Because wowzers. That’s good stuff. Who’d have thought?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
keychange

Uggh. I hear you about these stupid blazers. why can’t we just wear hoodies everywhere? so much more forgiving.

Sami Kelsh

It turns out that the interviewers and the other candidates at the interview were dressed like sort of hipster ladies in their twenties, so I probably could have gotten away with the yellow sweatshirt I always wear with a bow tie, really. Or a cat sweater. I’d probably have hands-down got the job if I’d been wearing a cat sweater.

I’m going to start wearing a cat sweater to all my interviews. I don’t want to work somewhere that a cat sweater doesn’t make the right first impression.

keychange

Yeah, I get it. Work environment is everything, as far as I’m concerned.

Sami Kelsh

Agreed. I really really want a cat sweater job.

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76

Sipdown!
This was a very unusual, but rather good Yunnan, and it helped me this evening through a slump at work. Nothing that I would rush to buy again, but it was nice while it lasted.

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76

Despite having purchased a gaiwan months ago, I only used it for the very first time today. I didn’t want to use a tea that was too pricey or short-stocked for my maiden voyage, so I went with this one, which I still have a good 25 grams of after a year in my cupboard.

Using the gaiwan was pretty easy – pretty much the same premise as opening the lid of a pot just enough to drain the cooking water off boiled pasta. I only got a big piece of leaf in my cup once (which is better than my track record with draining pasta). Whittard only has western-style instructions on their site, so I used Teavivre’s gongfu instructions for their Huang Shan Mao Feng as a guide (80 C, 5s rinse, 30/60/90). I started at around 85 C for the rinse.

Rinse (I don’t know if you’re meant to taste this, but I did): butter! Somewhat salty. Mild flavor of some type of cooked greens.

1: Similar to rinse, but more cooked greens & less buttery. Getting some bitterness.

2: I poured this one off after 30s, but it seemed a bit weak, so I poured it back into the gaiwan for another 30s. This made it kind of unpleasantly bitter, like overcooked greens. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go any further after this cup, but…

3: I poured this after 65-70s. Still bitter. Don’t think I’ll go for a fourth.

Obviously my gongfu skills need refining, and this tea is hella old, and I very likely overleafed, but I’m inclined to think my original 91 rating was more of a reflection of my beginner’s enthusiasm than the tea’s quality. It’s probably not a good sign when the rinse is my favorite steep.
And now my head hurts. Dropping the rating like it’s hot.

Flavors: Butter, Kale

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
yyz

That’s too bad. My favourite initial steep time for greens is 45s. I usually increase steep times between 5-20s depending on the tea type and how the flavour is developing and changing between steeps). If you enjoyed it before it might be that 60s was way too much or perhaps you can experiment with less leaf? I often use less leaf than is recommended for gongfu. It takes some time to experiment to find what works for you.

adagio breeze

Oh, I’m definitely not going to write off gongfu-ing greens! Teavivre’s leaf recommendation was 4g for a 3oz vessel, and I think my gaiwan is 6oz (I’ll have to check), and 7g seems to be Verdant’s standard for gongfu brewing, so I figured that amount sounded about right. Teavivre’s steep time progression did seem a bit (ugh I hate myself for this but I can’t think of a better word) steep.

adagio breeze

Also, I feel kind of boastful saying “I brewed this gongfu style” when my skill is not that great, haha.

yyz

Yay! There are some teas that I pretty much only brew that way(straight oolong, white and green teas). Blacks I find are interesting some ( especially the really tippy ones I can get away with reall

yyz

Eek. I meant that I can get away with really short steep times for some blacks 5s poured off slowly, especially jinjunmeis, others need about 50s and others are really best western styles IMHO. Have fun experimenting!

adagio breeze

Thanks for the tips!

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60

(edit:~This is embarrassing, can not remember if this is something I took out of the euro travelling teabox or a sample Meliorate sent me uh, a year ago.~) Nevermind all that, a tea from the euro tea box.

I had left it near the kettle, because, yay, the weather is turning that way where I want fruity flavoured green teas. Green tea with peach, yes please. Though sadly what i really really want is The-o-dor´s Peché Mignon which I can not get without paying A LOT on shipping and will have to wait for a large order in a few months.

This tea did not work as a dupe for Peché Mignon at all. Thin, almost bitter base, insipid fruit-like flavour and maybe some rose in the background. Nope. Maybe I would not be so critical if I did not want so much Peché Mignon right now, but oh well, I think I would never really love this.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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75

Ok, so this is a weird tasting note.

I’ve been SERIOUSLY missing Adagio’s grapefruit oolong, but a) I can’t afford to pay for all that shipping on my own (trying to get a UK group run together and now a bunch of flavours are out of stock, ouch!) and b) I really shouldn’t even be buying any more tea for myself until I’ve drank more of what I’ve got in the kitchen anyway.

So I decided to take this relatively bland but acceptable oolong, and grapefruit it myself. So I added grapefruit juice.

And you know what?

It’s no Adagio grapefruit oolong, but it’s tastier than Morrisons grapefruit juice or this tea would have been on their own. Tart but wholesome. I think I’ve found the way to make me drink these teabags.

This isn’t creepy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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