Whittard of Chelsea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I had this yesterday in a travel mug.

It was pretty good! Lots of vanilla, some baked goods flavours. I definitely enjoyed my cup, although I’m not sure I’d hunt down more. Weirdly vanilla isn’t a tea flavour I have a lot of unless it’s mixed in with other things.

Thanks so much, MissB! And Sil. :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70

Sipdown (120)!

Thank you MissB for the sample!

This one came in a sachet, and I definitely brewed it up in a smaller mug than I typically use because there definitely didn’t seem to be enough leaf in the sachet for a normal Roswell-sized cuppa. I was even sort of skeptical about the size of mug I did go with – 8 oz. Surely it wasn’t enough leaf bits of apples and stuff for a rich or defined flavour.

My expectation was that it’d be a “Forever Nuts” type of tea (Anyone know what the ‘original’ Forever Nuts blend was? Is there even a way of knowing?) but it was a little bit different than most incarnations of that blend which I’ve tried – and I’ve had several at this point. For one, I didn’t really taste a lot of nuts. Maybe a little bit of almond but I’m stretching here. It was mostly apple, actually, with a bit of cream in the finish. And not even a super cider-like apple flavour that some of the ingredients in here, namely the cinnamon, would lend themselves well to.

I was almost instantly reminded of those dehydrated apple chips that seem to be kind of big in grocery stores now. I know the one I work in has variations in the Natural Source, chips and produce sections of the store. If you don’t know what I’m talking about these are the ones I’m thinking of in particular:

http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2011/11/30/9049379/Brothers-All-Natural%20FRUIT%20CRISPS%2010%20varieties.png

Now, to be fair, the only ones I’ve actually tried are the Fuji Apple but it tasted like that to me! Very fresh and strong apple flavour, but no “juice” component. Side Note: The chips themselves are really weird because they are crunchy like a potato chip. That is, until you start to chew them! And then the apple-like texture comes back and you wind up with a mouthfull of spongy, apple mush. If it weren’t for the weird texture I think I’d actually like them.

But anyway; the tea was alright! I liked that it wasn’t totally like Forever Nuts – but I also think that was the intent so in that regard it missed the mark a little bit? But even still; even though it made for an interesting apple tea it wasn’t a mind blowing one either. You’re possibly better off just trying the weird dehydrated apple chip things…

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80

I’ve been low on black tea choices at work recently. I think this is the only one I have with me currently, which is unlike me, but okay because this is my last full week of work before I get my long-awaited leave. These bags were actually given to me by a colleague, who professes that she has far too much tea at home (by which she means, more than one box of English Breakfast). Anyway, I’m always up for trying something new.

For this afternoon’s cup, I used 1 bag, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. This is a fairly standard black fannings base, so it darkened to a deep reddy-brown relatively quickly. The scent is of cinnamon and clove, quite strong.

This is more pleasant to taste than I thought it was going to be. It reminds me a little of Mariage Freres Mandalay, although this is sweeter and somehow more floral in the aftertaste. The initial flavour is quite dank, and very heavy on the clove, so it comes as a surprise when the almost sugary sweet cinnamon emerges in the mid-sip. It’s a nice counterpoint. I guess the vanilla accounts for the sweetness, which takes on a dark, almost molasses-like flavour towards the end of the sip. The black tea base is smooth and adds a light maltiness, but it’s very much second-fiddle to the flavouring. I’m just grateful it’s not bitter or astringent, because I have no milk to tame anything like that at the moment!

This is an intriguing tea. I was expecting a pretty straight-up cinnamon spiced black, but it’s actually a lot more than that. The cinnamon is there, definitely, but it works really well as a sweet counterpoint to the flatter, heavier taste of the clove. The vanilla is the real star of this cup, though. It changes what could be a fairly mundane cup into something that’s almost fudgey by the end of the sip. The only slightly odd note is the tiny hint of floral in the aftertaste, but that’s easily overlooked. I have a feeling this might have been stored near a floral tea (jasmine?) at some point, which would account for that.

I like this one much better than I thought I would, and I’m glad to have another couple of bags to finish off. This is an excellent cold weather tea, although it’s light enough that I’d try it in the summer too. Maybe even iced! A surprise hit.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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80

I love a good Earl Grey, and picking one up in Oxford seemed like a no-brainer. I didn’t expect there to be so many varieties, though! Regular, breakfast, afternoon, and flavoured varieties abound! I finally decided on the breakfast variety, as I hadn’t seen it in Canada anywhere, and I really only drink black tea in the morning. Well, this was a good choice! This is an Earl Grey that will punch you in the mouth, and you’ll like it! It’s a lovely blend of black teas, and it’s got that great aroma of bergamot to sweeten the deal. I’m really happy I decided to try this blend. It’s good and strong and has lots of personality.

Flavors: Bergamot, Malt, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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50

Another purchase from my trip to Oxford. The dry leaf here smells like…intoxicating, really. It’s got a strong chocolate liquor aroma with heady dark tea blended in. There was no way I could leave without it! Unfortunately, the brew was less impressive. I got very little chocolate in the mouth, and the tea flavour was not terribly remarkable or special. It was just a bit boring, which is sad. I have 100g, so it has many future opportunities to change my mind, but the first try was not a great one.

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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85

I visited a girlfriend in Oxford last month, and, as we all know, you are not legally permitted to visit England without purchasing and returning home with great quantities of tea. Of course.

We were a little late in the shopping day, and another tea shop Allison had wanted to show me was closed, so we wandered into Whittard and browsed about for a bit. We sampled the Piccadilly Blend that was out (fantastic, by the way!), and hesitantly opened a few containers on the shelf to smell inside. The Vanilla Shortbread was an instant draw to both of us, and we both loved the smell. The shopkeeper came over to help and heartily shook the canisters first before encouraging us to smell again, and this tea just smelled like heaven!! We both instantly said we would take 100g. There was no resisting!

We tried it the next morning, and it’s lovely! It has a delicious buttery cookie flavour with just a touch of vanilla and a hint of floral note from the cornflowers. I had mine with Alpro almond milk, and it was like having dessert for breakfast. I’m now jealously hoarding my stash back here in Canada, and dreading when I run out!

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Floral, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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72

Thanks MissB and Sil for sharing this with me! I saw Sil’s warning and steeped it at a lower temperature so no complaints there -but it’s really bark-y? I’m sure that’s just because of the base white tea because I’ve had ‘white chocolate teas’ before with white tea and they taste very similar. I liked this cup, but it’s probably not something I’d order more of – mostly bc I’m not big on white chocolate? :D But I’m happy I had a cup. A cup is the perfect amount!

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drank Baked Apple by Whittard of Chelsea
1882 tasting notes

Another tea from MissB! Thank you so much. :)

There were just two tea bags, so I made up 12 oz for me using both bags. Muahahaha.

It smells delicious. Apple and cinnamon and very nutty. I added a little honey again, because that’s how I’m feeling today.

Sipping it, I REALLY taste the chicory. OMG, this is tasty! IDK that I’d want a lot of this, but wow this cup is good. So much baked apple, chicory, nuts, some cinnamon. Mmm… Probably helps that I’m super hungry right now. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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67

Received this from the awesome Miss B via the equally awesome Sil!

Really excited to try it.

First had a few sips straight up, it was decent, but not spectacular. A bit of milk brought out the shortbread aspect far more.

It’s not as vanilla as I would hope, I far prefer something like WP Golden Orchid or Tippy’s Tea Not So Vanilla as far as a vanilla tea goes. Real vanilla beans and whatnot.

Super happy to get to try this though, something that would otherwise likely never cross my path! Thanks you two!

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58

As soon as I saw this tea in the giant bag of tea compiled by many steepsterites, I snatched it up and quickly got the kettle boiling. (1) Vanilla shortbread sounds ah-mazing and (2) I was excited to try a tea from an English company as I will be in London in just a few months!! However, perhaps my expectations were too high for this, or maybe I brewed it incorrectly because I am finding myself disappointed. I am not really getting any vanilla or cookie. I am getting a nuttiness that could be perceived as the shortbread if I try hard to picture it that way but its not a flavor that would come to mind had I not known the name of the tea. Also, the flavor tends to end pretty abruptly which sounds like a weird description but that’s how its coming off to me. Usually a flavor continues right through a sip and lingers a little after you’re done but the nutty flavor just sort of dies off quickly leaving behind a slight butteriness. Nonetheless, I am so grateful to MissB for sending this back to Canada for myself and others to try and thank you to Sil and Cavocorax for getting it to me. Tea friends really are the best friends!

Nightshifter

Oh this makes me feel better- thank you! It sounded ah-mazing to me also, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in the US and shipping was almost $40 just to try it from UK.

MissB

It just wasn’t my cup of tea either. It’s a huge benefit to go in the store (in London – you must go!) but really, I wasn’t wowed by anything other than maybe the white chocolate from them, brewed in-store. I couldn’t get it to taste the same though.

VariaTEA

If I get to the store I will certainly try their white chocolate, brewed in store. It was fun to try a new company and I am sure I would love visiting their shop (which hopefully I will get the chance since I only have three days there and need to also accommodate a friend). Thanks again MissB!!

And Nightshifter, IMHO you are not missing out at all so don’t feel bad about not getting any of this.

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90

I think this is my favourite vanilla tea, ever.
Mind you I haven’t had that many and there was a time they didn’t sit well with me. But this one is simply delicious. Thank you Miss B for the sample, and Sil for coordinating things!
I had half a cup sans dairy, and half with. Without, it is quite pleasant, but with is where I find the “shortbread” aspect really comes out. Oh man, I can actually taste buttery cookie! The vanilla is a really nice addition as well, making things extra creamy.

Fjellrev

Drool, vanilla shortbread.

Sil

there will be come out in the box to jones whenever i can fill it.. bhwahahaha

Sil

come = some

Indigobloom

Yes, I second the drool! :P

Sil, dunno how you’re gonna part with it heh

M

This sounds amaaaazing.

Sil

it’s already partitioned out… once it’s in the box for the west coast or peeps here in toronto, it can’t come back out… otherwise whatshesaid would have no more caramel teas coming to her

Indigobloom

M, it IS!!! I have only half a cups worth left or else I’d send you the rest to try :)

Sil, good point heh. In Sil we trust!

Nightshifter

Annnnnnddddd.. now I need this. Yum! :)

Indigobloom

Welcome to the club Nightshifter :P

OMGsrsly

Oh, Fjellrev! You can have some if you send me your address. :D

Nightshifter

Where can it be purchased in the US? I’m only finding UK so far. Also how does it compare to GO? Sorry for the early AM questions. :P

whatshesaid

whatshesaid loves caramel teas :)

SOUNDS AMAZING!

Sil

nightshifter…no idea…this was a present from a friend travelling abroad :(

Indigobloom

hehe meeeee toooo whatshesaid :P

MissB

Yep, I grabbed this in London at the most amazing location… You’re all going to start hating me for sharing tea that you can’t easily get in North America. I’m positive though that Whittard ships ask over the world, they’re just really pricey,even prior to shipping.

So glad you liked this! You got a ton more out of it than I did… Now I’ll have to try it as a latte.

Indigobloom

No H8 MissB! Maybe a little jealousy though ;)
Did you have it with milk? I found it loads better that way

Kirkoneill1988

sounds tasty! :D

Indigobloom

Kirk, it really is!!

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drank Baked Apple by Whittard of Chelsea
2831 tasting notes

Thanks again MissB! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this tea, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. A nice apple tea, with just enough sourness to make it a tart apple, and just a hint of spice. I’m quite impressed that it does indeed taste like apple. Not a tea I need stocked, but I would definitely drink this again! I do wish it was looseleaf, though.

Also, resteeps decently, though I’m only doing so the one time.

Brewed at 100C for 3 min. Rating 76.

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80

As I am “living” in a British hotel for a while (in order to find our own place soon, I hope), I just couldn´t continue trying to enjoy the tea bags of PG Tips provided, so I discovered a Whittard of Chelsea tea stand in the shopping centre nearby and opted for a pack of Russian Caravan teabags. I know it could be a lot better, but in a hotel room, using the water boiler and cups provided, teabags are just plain practical. This tea can be drunk all day, has a slight smokey feel to it, but is never headed plain bitterness…that´ll do nicely on hotel, as far as I can tell. I´ll try to check out the loose tea variant at home pretty soon.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank White Chocolate by Whittard of Chelsea
6037 tasting notes

Another tea from MissB that i sadly ruined…so i’ll have to try again. it smells DIVINE! but it IS a white tea…and silly old me went and treated it like a black tea so it was an incredible smelling bitter brew :( the hints of what it would taste like though, lead me to believe that it will be a good one. we shall see!

Red Fennekin

I have a feeling that a friend of mine used to make me this tea when I went around to visit. If so, you’re deffo right about it seeming like a good one – it’s pretty delicious if you brew it “right”! :-)

Sil

that gives me hope lol

MissB

This was unbelievable when I had it in store.

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74

This is called ‘Instant Tea’ and it claims to have instant black tea amongst it’s ingredients. It must only be a small amount as the crystals look more like sugar or sherbet. It’s sweet and lingers in the air, rather dusty and fine though with a sweet fruit and floral scent. Not hugely familiar with damson plum specifically.

I tried this both warm and cold today though it tasted the same for both drinks. The liquid is a pink/red colour and tastes highly floral and sweet though also light. It isn’t until the after taste that a fruit note dances onto the tongue and even then it’s too sweet for plum. More berry like than plum. Even in taste the instant tea is sherbet like and it has that edge of sour yet sweet sugar crystal type powder in each sip.

I’m not sure, the idea of this is a replacement for cordial and fizzy pop so it was never going to meet my satisfaction as a cup of tea, though even in despite of that it’s rather pleasant. I like that it’s floral and light, though sweet it isn’t too much and it does make a nice treat in the day. Not the greatest tea for my diet though considering the sugar but I will let myself off this time.

In basic terms I think I may purchase more of this in the summer as an aid to tea, mixed with some ice green tea I believe this would make a wonderful summer tea punch.

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77
drank Baked Apple by Whittard of Chelsea
6037 tasting notes

Another from missB honestly, so very generous and i’m really looking forward to sharing these teas with the tea gals (and guys!). Super exciting to get packages in the mail from her travels and a great tea journey for trying new things. Makes me even more excited for someday getting out there with my other half…once my cupboard is mostly empty and in need of restocks lol I half expected this tea to be similar to David’s TEas apple custard thing..but this one doesn’t have that weird after taste and the apple is much more baked goods like lol thanks for the share again MissB!

Suziqzer

Sounds like a good one. Love MissB!

Sil

yeah..she’s galavanting around the world, sending back tea for me to share with everyone heh

Amariel

Oooh, sounds lovely!

MissB

Aw, you guys rock. These solo bags of Twinings were a great find.

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58

This is my third go at this one. I’m still not sure what to think of it. At first I was too shocked by the sourness to notice anything else. I certainly didn’t expect that – I’m not very fond of sour teas. I tried twice to sweeten it with honey but instead of eliminating the sourness it just made me gag. But –

This time I mentally prepared myself for the sourness. I decided to keep the tea bag in longer than the package suggests, and I think it did the trick. Tasting it now I realise that it actually tastes exactly like it should – it tastes of baked apples. When the tea hits the tongue it’s still shockingly but not unpleasantly sour. As you begin to swallow you can taste the cinnamon and the pie crust. Wait, pie crust? Baked apples, not apple pie! I must’ve meant the almonds, hazelnut brittle and the mysterious “flavourings”.

It’s not the kind of tea I’d drink to calm myself down after a stressful day. This is more of an interesting gourmet experience. I still have 12 tea bags left – that’s pretty good conditions for falling in love.

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cinnamon, Pleasantly Sour

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Baked Apple by Whittard of Chelsea
1263 tasting notes

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89

I don’t seem to have this tea any more, and I don’t know where it went! My mam has a tendency to throw things out, and not remember afterwards, so maybe that’s what’s happened to it. I only drank this twice after I bought a whole bag of it, before it vanished, but both cups were lovely! It was the first rooibos blend I tried, and I really liked it. Perhaps it will turn up one day (probably completely flavourless), but there is a distinct possibility that it will come back into my life in one way or another a few years down the line. I remember the strawberry taste being very natural, and quite strong, but not overpowering the base. It would be interesting to try this again and see if my memory is right. Now that I’ve realised it’s gone, I miss it.

Sipdown! (10/203)

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78

1 teabag used.

It is a pyramid tea bag. Small rolled leaves unfurl and expand across multiple brews. It is unfortunate that it is not mentioned on the packaging that this tea can be brewed multiple times. It would be easy to brew it once and throw it out unaware that it has more brews left in it.

~5 minutes, as instructed.

Full flavoured, lingering sweetness. The sweetness is at the back of the throat. I would say that this is not as fresh tasting as the Dayuling from zen8tea.

8 minutes – The sweetness coats the mouth.

~15 minutes – A sugar-like sweetness on top of a hearty-sweet deeper sweetness.

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A very nice Assam! I have been curious about this one for some time and now thanks to a wonderful new Steepster tea friend I was able to taste it for myself. Bold and rich, malty with just enough natural sweetness. A smooth and enjoyable cuppa!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

Taken from the round two return of the EU-TTB (European Travelling Tea Box). Just an fyi the sign up to join the tea box is open for round three if anyone is interested?

Served this Chai the way I usually take mine, with a few pieces of rock sugar and a splash of milk.

Smell is warming and mildly spicy, more cinnamon and nutmeg like above all else, so I suppose it does have a Christmas aroma.

Flavour wise it’s mild yet dark and the spice notes linger on the tongue. Cinnamon and nutmeg are still present but so is ginger and a little bit of pepper. I am not sure what the actual ingredients are as this tea is no longer sold but taste wise those listed above are what I liken them to (if they don’t contain those anyway). It’s fairly smooth at the start so the black base is not too rich or astringent. Nice strength overall.

In a way it’s like eating a cinnamon Christmas cookie. Oh God!…now I’m thinking of Christmas before my beloved Halloween! Keep calm and stay away from Christmas teas.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

My colleague spied my bag of this on my desk at work last night and, after I invited her to take a whiff, remarked that it smells just like “ripe, golden peaches in the sun.” Yes, yes it does. And what a beautiful description.

It really is one of those that demands no sweetening – in fact, I think adding sugar would make it cloying – as it’s got such a lovely naturally sweet quality to it. Not sugary, but just that subtle sweetness you get from something like steamed artichokes and green beans. This is doing it for me today, and getting up to go to the kitchen to resteep is giving me an excuse to wander away from my desk for a while when, frankly, my workload is finally winding down and I’m desperately trying to stretch it out over the week. Feels a lot better than being swamped, that’s for sure. I think the restful times are finally allowing me to get over this blasted flu!

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80

Exciting times in this neck of the woods. I have an actual engagement ring now, and some pretty decent job prospects in the pipeline (Gosh willing) and in spite of my mountains of debt and stuff, I’m not quite so super scared all of the time. That’s good!

Plus, the Doctor Who anthology I’ve written for has already raised over £1000 for Caudwell Children, which is amazing and I’m so proud to be named among such epically good writers (and some other very impressive contributors) in this collection. Like hot JAM, you guys.

As to the tea, I may have slightly bought it because it was on sale for £3 off regular price, but. Man. This smells like peach nectar. Like, JUST like peach nectar. I’d easily believe you if you said this was a peach-flavoured green tea, based on the smell. It’s intense and so inviting; it reminds me of family and home and the little glasses of peach nectar my grandmother would serve when we came to visit.

And as for the taste, it takes on a slightly more grassy and vegetal quality once brewed, but instead of going away or being buried, that note of peach nectar (not fresh peaches, peach nectar) is joined by something like steamed artichoke. This is one that demands at least a second steep, as you can see the leaves clearly have some more unfurling to do after the first. Absolutely lovely.

carol who

Congratulations on the engagement ring!

You do seem to be having a great string of events going on in your life! The DW anthology sounds awesome.

And you are having a nice cup of tea!

Life is good! :D

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