Whittard of Chelsea

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Recent Tasting Notes

47

A very greasy biscuit with incredibly buttery smell and taste. The earl grey is easily detectable, making the flavour fairly nice. Despite being a little on the crumbly side the biscuits dunk well and no rescue missions had to take place to save drowning biscuits!

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Sugar, Sweet

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95

I love Earl Grey tea. It was one of my first teas I began to drink regularly. I am now more of a green tea drinker (and love a nice Jasmine tea) but when I do drink a blacktea, I often turn to Earl Grey.

I have found Whittard’s a solid brand of Earl Grey. I love the look of the tea itself with the violet cornflowers mixed into the Bergamot flavored tea leaves. I usually can get two maybe even three steepings out of must Earl Grey’s. Each good in their own way.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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65

I had one of these left over from summer cold brews, and I’m pretty sure I said when I last logged this one that I wanted to try it hot once it was colder. Well, now it’s colder!

I gave this one 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. It’s fair to say it’s as I imagined it would be – lovely juicy mango flavour, strong and slightly peppery, followed by the almost-bitter orange/floral of bergamot. The green tea base is just a touch on the astringent side, but on the whole fairly unobtrusive.

I’m not really a bergamot fan, so this isn’t one I’d choose to buy for myself, but I do like the mango flavouring. Next summer, I’d quite like to seek out some other mango blends from Whittards, just to see whether they stack up…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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65

Today’s work cold brew. I wasn’t entirely sure how this one would work out, particularly with the bergamot, but I was lazy last night and this was pretty much the only tea to hand, so it was a decision by default. I used 3 bags in 2 litres of water, into the fridge for 10 hours overnight. It’s not too bad. There’s a slight bitterness/borderline astringency that I think is a combination of the green tea and bergamot. It’s not actively unpleasant, but I wouldn’t want either element to be any more prominent. The mango is good, and kind of saves it. It’s slightly peppery, juicy, and pretty flavour accurate. I do wonder at the kind of mind that decided bergamot and mango would be a good combination, but that’s probably why I work in an office rather than an exciting, imaginative job.

I think I’m probably going to prefer this one brewed hot, and I have a couple of bags left so I can try that once the weather turns cooler. This is what I get for being lazy, though. It’s not bad, but I think on balance I probably wouldn’t cold brew it again.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 3 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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75

Today’s work cold brew. I figured on the strength of Very Berry Crush, I could stand to try another bagged Whittards blend this week. This one is the only other fruit blend of theirs I have, so it won by default. Having skimmed the previous reviews, I think they must have changed this blend recently, because I don’t get any rose at all (I don’t think it’s even an ingredient anymore), and there’s plenty of elderflower. Yay for that, because I love elderflower!

Unfortunately, this blend does contain hibiscus (why?), and it drowns out the more subtle apple flavour almost completely. I can taste the elderflower, though, and it’s sweet, syrupy and mildly floral in the best possible way. There’s a touch of crisp, sharp, green apple at the end of the sip, but it’s particularly fleeting and borderline imaginary if I’m honest. Still, an elderflower flavoured tea is a tea that’s fine with me!

I’d probably repurchase this one, simply because it tastes good (not too tart or sour), despite hibi’s best efforts. I’d keep it for summer cold brews, though. I have a feeling it would be hibi central hot, and I wouldn’t be a fan of that.

For reference, I used 4 bags in 2 litres of cold water, into the fridge for 10 hours overnight.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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80

Today’s work cold brew. I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this one, because it’s a hibiscus based fruit tea and because it’s a fine-shred bagged affair. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though. I used 4 bags in 2 litres of water, for 10 hours overnight, and the resulting brew is a medium red-pink. The first thing I noticed about it is how amazing it smells, like literally. It reminds me of fruit coulis. Always a good start.

It’s an even better start when the flavour actually lives up to the scent, which can be a rare thing indeed. I was expecting a strong, sour-tart hibi mess, but it’s actually not like that at all. There is an element of hibiscus, and it is a little sharp and sour tasting, but it stays in the background and isn’t overwhelming. The majority of the flavour is a strawberry/raspberry/blackcurrant combo; fresh, fruity, and very berry. I keep trying to imagine what this would be like with some carbonation – I think very good!

I didn’t expect to like this one, but it’s actually very pleasant and drinkable. I’d pick up more of these bags next summer specifically for the purpose of cold brewing – tasty and convenient!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Sil

Sounds delicious!

Fjellrev

I’m liking the sound of that too!

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78
drank Petit Macaron by Whittard of Chelsea
1430 tasting notes

Smallest amount I could grab was a 40g tin. Will have to pitch the tin, sadly… but wow this is a lovely cup.

Smells sweet, tastes sweeter, thick and rich, creamy from the coconut, with a hint of green grassy to offset the fullness. I’m surprised by this, especially after the coconut from yesterday.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Too bad about the tin! I’m sure it was cute.

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80
drank Mandarin Puerh by Whittard of Chelsea
1430 tasting notes

Had this in-store, and enjoyed it over a few hours. Immediately bought 100g (the smallest I could, phooey) and will savor it.

Flavors: Earth, Orange, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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One of the stores in the City of Westminster (London) gave me a small tester of this.

It was disgusting.

I’m not sure if there was a cleaning agent still on the cup or strainer, but, all I tasted was chemicals. I couldn’t do more than one sip.

Flavors: Artificial

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bathdown (115)!?

Are “bathdowns” a thing?

Regardless, I finally had my first tea bath! It was really soothing/comforting. I’ve had these teabags in my cupboard for what feels like years (though I don’t think it’s actually been that long) because I got them in a swap. I’m really sorry, but I don’t remember who the swap was with. Frankly, I just don’t like Sencha though so I put these to a different kind of use, and I’m actually really happy I did.

I didn’t expect two little ol’ teabags to infuse as much as they did but my bath water was a lovely chartreuse green colour and the aroma was really nice and marine/kelpy with a kind of floral edge. Not sure whether I can attribute this to the tea or not, but the bath felt especially comforting/relaxing. I wanted a face scrub type mask and cucumbers to complete the spa vibe so badly.

Of course, then I finally went to wash my hair – and I just dyed it a blackish purple colour yesterday afternoon so some of the dye bled out and my pretty green bath water became a gross brownish colour. Yuck. But a superb experience overall, truly. I may even go out and buy some grocery store bagged green tea just so I can do it again ‘cause I don’t have any other bagged teas that I think would work nicely for this.

Also, obviously no rating ‘cause I definitely didn’t drink my bath water…

Rosehips

That sounds really interesting. I may need to try that

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30

Rich and varied flavours are overpowered by it’s incredible bitterness when brewed to any typical method. Varied temperature, steeping time and filtered water still result in a palatable astringent tang after the first sip.

Flavors: Astringent, Earth, Smoked

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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90

Wow. What fragrant and flavorful tea. The first thing that I can say about this tea is that it’s not an everyday tea. Nor is it a session tea in my mind. The floral and fruit flavors are bursting at the seems though, and that’s not something that every flavored black tea can deliver. It manages to deliver what’s advertised AND taste like a black tea- body, astringency, earthiness are all in line with a medium tasting black tea.

Tea Journey: When I sip on a cup of picadilly blend I’m transported to a more refined, sophisticated time and place. I imagine that I’m on a garden terrace, overlooking beautifully kept gardens and lush orchards. The gentle afternoon breeze that rustles the greenery below me reminds me to take another sip. Refreshing, bold, complex. I ponder the meaning of my place in the world as I watch the Picadilly perform a waltz in my clear glass pot. Black, gold, and royal blue.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Rose, Strawberry

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

Another one from the spectacular MissB. Muchas gracias! I was so excited to try this so I purposely left it for near the end. I appreciate a good white chocolate, and the thought of it paired with a delicate white sounded like this would be a sure winner. However, I find the base to be a little too vegetal for my liking. I’m really whiny about that, though. There’s also a a rich butteriness and not sure if it’s from the base, the white chocolate, or a combination of both.

With a different white base, I could see this being a total win. It makes me miss RLT’s White Chocolate matcha.

By the way, I just ate a little square of the white chocolate from the dry leaf and it tastes like a church to me. A church. You know when you walk in and there are tons of candles burning, it has a hint of subtle stale smokiness (possibly from its age) with a waxy note. When I told my mom that this tastes like a church, she totally got me right away and figured that it tastes like wax. Crazy!

__Morgana__

Lol on the church taste.

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55

How i got it: Got a bag from an exchange with a workmate

Experience: On the aroma side, this tea’s smell is composed mainly by the scents of the base tea (similar to an Assam) and the clove, and has a mild intensity. Its taste, however, is surprisingly mellow in comparison with its aroma. There’s a vague hint of ginger in the end of the sip, and (in contrast from what I sense in the tea scent) I think this tea could may be Indonesian, given its similarity with Whittard’s Spice Imperial. Hints of orange, and very nuanced notes of cinnamon. Relatively well defined, good duration. Not bad overall, but I miss the traditional Chai spiced (and spicy) taste, more intense and complex. Just good, in my opinion.

Would i buy it?: Again, it’s not a bad tea, but doesn’t get very much better than that. I think the answer would be no.

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79

How i got it: Bought it

Experience: Well, long time away from Steepster… Those occasional colds impair my tasting capabilities a bit, so i store my new teas to try them later. Now, let’s get to this one. I’m satisfied to be able to recognize the spiced and slightly smoked smell of the Keemun in it, plus some Assam notes in the background. Its flavor is very intense (I could say this blend follows the same line of Whittard’s Breakfast Earl Grey in that aspect), and is well defined and lasting. Has a good richness level, too. The sweet and chocolate-y notes of the Assam are mixed with the spiced and wooden ones from the Keemun, the former prevailing specially to the end of the sip. Depending on the time you gave it, you could end with some astringency in the aftertaste. Very good, I’d say.

Would i buy it again?: Maybe I’ll get it again sometime, if I get to miss it.

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drank Ceylon by Whittard of Chelsea
289 tasting notes

This was better than I expected. Not much depth to it but a nice full-bodied citrusy liquor that was quite drinkable.

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78

How i got it: Bought it

Experience: Intense aroma, malty and slightly caramel-like, this tea’s smell shows a bit of complexity and some nuances despite being a strong one. I’d say it has some similarity to a Ceylon’s aroma, too. Its flavor is intense, malty and has some bitter and chocolate-like notes at the middle of the sip, while toasted and wooden hints appear more to the end. Well defined and lasting. Is a bit under the level of La Teteria’s Assam Hazelbank, but a good tea nonetheless.

Would i buy it again?: There are good possibilities, if I’m not trying some other Assam.

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61

Sipdown (125)!

I doubled up on the teabags from Scheherazade because I made a very large, 16 oz. mug of this last night – I was experiencing some insomnia and thought the jasmine would be relaxing and help me sleep. It just tasted really ‘cheap’ and chemical to me – and no, not just because this is a bagged tea.

Despite not loving the jasmine notes I actually liked the green tea used in it though; it was light and buttery with a peachyness to it that I found really pleasant. If anything in the blend relaxed me and helped me get some sleep it was that aspect of the tea.

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69

How i got it: Bought it

Experience: The first smell to this tea gives an impression that reminds very much of a Twinings’ Lady Grey: citric aroma (orange peel, maybe?), clove and probably cinnamon and nutmeg, which makes it suitable for cold days. Its base tea is a light variety, to the likes of a Darjeeling tea, but i couldn’t say for sure. This tea and the added flavors make a balanced mix of a mild intensity and some astringency that is good, but lacks a bit of taste definition and duration. Aside from that, one could say it’s like an Lady Grey more natural in its scents, while not that great in its base tea. Good overall.

Would i buy it again?: Not sure about it

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83

This tastes a lot like this Persian apple rosewater drink I made once, though brewing a pitcher of this is much less work. I get a lot of apple and rose and not so much elderflower, which is a little disappointing since I’m a massive fan of elderflower everything. It’s still very nice, though—especially for an herbal—with a lot of sweetness from the licorice root and a bit of tartness from the hibiscus (though not very much). Still, it doesn’t compare to Fortnum & Mason’s Elderflower Green, one of my all-time favorites. I’ve only tried this one iced, since the flavor profile just seems like it works better cold to me.

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85

The sweetness of white chocolate is perfectly blended with the delicate flavour of white tea. The smell is incredible, as soon as the shop assistant poured the tea on to the scales it smelt like we were in a chocolate shop!

Great tea when you’re craving something sweet!

Flavors: Sweet, White Chocolate

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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66

Pretty good, cookie-ish flavor. Mainly vanilla comes through. Honestly, I think the Upton Earl Grey Creme is much better at being a vanilla cookie, and I appreciate the base much more than here.
Thanks MissB! I have so many flavored black teas to try now!

Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
MissB

Woohoo! This wasn’t a huge fun choice for me either – loved the name, didn’t sell on the flavor. Still fun to try.

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84

Backlog.

Quite delicious – thanks MissB (and Sil for packaging everything up)! This was a sipdown, as I only had one cup of it, but man was it delicious, and I definitely resteeped it at least twice. It did remind me of a tea from Della Terra, I believe – their version of White Chocolate. It also looked quite similar, if my recollection is accurate, with little squarish thin chocolate pieces. Quite tasty though – lightly sweet/chocolatey, with a great, flavourful white base. I had quite enjoyed it from DTT as well, but at least now I know of a second, although very inconvenient, place to get it.

Kristal

Does a sipdown refer to using up a bunch of different kinds of teas in a short period of time, or simply just drinking a bunch of different kinds and adding tasting notes in a short period of time, lol?

Kittenna

Sipdown is finishing off a specific tea! A bunch of us on here use it pretty frequently. It means our “cupboard number” goes down, haha.

Kristal

I see! I used the term once but incorrectly- I just thought it meant drinking a whole bunch of different kinds in one sitting :)

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55
drank Sencha by Whittard of Chelsea
1694 tasting notes

Sencha is one of my favourite varieties of green tea, so I was interested to try these tea bags from Whittard of Chelsea. I used 1 bag (approx. 1.5 tsp of leaf), and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. As with many bagged teas, this one looks to contain primarily fannings. They’re a very dark green (almost black) in colour, which seems odd for a Sencha, but the resulting liquor is a more characteristic medium yellow-green. The scent is mildly vegetal and a little musty.

To taste, this one comes across as a smooth, mild green tea. There’s a hint of pepperiness in the initial sip that’s very pleasant and distinctive, but this fades quickly to a light, sweetly vegetal flavour. There are hints of fresh cut grass, and a vague hint of spring greens, but the overall flavour lacks definition. A longer brew time doesn’t solve this problem; one cup I left for 3 minutes to try and eek out some extra flavour, but it resulted in bitterness and astringency. This one is clearly on the mild end of the flavour spectrum by nature.

See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/05/07/sencha-green-tea-whittard-chelsea/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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