Whittard of ChelseaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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/
This was literally beyond belief in-store, at Covent Garden in London. Just brewed it now – thankfully I wrote down it’s a white tea and brewed it at a lower temperature – and it’s just okay. I think it was heavily, HEAVILY sweetened in-store, and I just haven’t done it up as much. Or, that because there are so many bits and pieces to this tea, it’s something I need to brew larger quantities of to get everyowthing in there.
Does it taste like white chocolate? Kind of. It’s creamy and whatnot, a bit of white chocolate -ish, but.. nowhere near enough.
Flavors: Butter, White Chocolate
Warm and spring-like weather, to me, is perfectly suited to Jasmine tea. Hence, today was the perfect opportunity to give these tea bags a try! I used 1 bag (which looks to contain maybe 1.5tsp of leaf), and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. While tea bags have the advantage of convenience, they can suffer in terms of the quality of the leaf. This looks to be the case here, as the bag contains primarily very fine-shred fannings. No variety is specified for the green tea, either, so I can only assume it to be a blend. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow, the scent lightly floral.
To taste, this one comes across as a very mild, light, jasmine flavoured green tea. The initial sip is a primarily a smooth, slightly buttery green. There’s a tiny bit of bite towards the end of the sip, almost verging on bitterness, but it’s actually quite pleasant in that it gives what is a very mild-tasting tea a little texture and depth. It doesn’t impact on the overall flavour, which is fairly sweet and floral, too much.
The jasmine emerges in the mid-sip, and adds a sweet, floral accord. It’s not a heavy, perfumey jasmine, and it’s by no means overpowering. It’s still possible to taste the green tea base underneath, and it really just gives a taster of what jasmine as a flavouring can add to a tea. It fades fairly quickly and doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/05/01/jasmine-green-tea-whittard-chelsea/
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. :)
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:
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…
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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. :)
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!
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!
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.