Whittard of Chelsea
Popular Teas from Whittard of ChelseaSee All 211 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I received a full-sized bag of this from Alana as part of her Secret Santa gift – thank you! I love cinnamon, so the big whiff of spicy scent I got on opening the package put a smile on my face. The cinnamon is definitely foremost, though the orange is trying to hard to hold its own. I don’t notice big chunks of orange peel or cinnamon bark in the dry leaf, so either it’s finely ground and mixed in, or they used flavoring.
After 7 minutes of steeping, I’ve got a deep reddish-brown liquor with a warm and inviting aroma; now both cinnamon and orange are equally present. I’ll take the first few sips without additives, and note that the cinnamon is nice and strong – hot and slightly numbing to the tongue. The citrus note hits more at the back of the tongue and is a nice counterpoint. With half/half and sugar, this is a very yummy decaffeinated drink – great for the winter months.
On opening the package I am hit with the scent of the tea. It is overwhelmingly clove-y with a hint of chocolate.
As it steeps, it gets less and less clove-y and smells more like gingerbread. By the end of the steeping, the whole room smells as if I live in a gingerbread house. I’m not really picking up the chocolate.
It tastes how I would imagine a chocolate-covered gingerbread house to taste like. It’s really sweet. I can’t really taste the cloves as much as I expected (this is a good thing – the smell of the tea before steeping was actually making me not want to brew it) and they are sort of lurking in the background. Made this as a latte – very nice. I’ll try it without any additives next time.
Having another little pot of this, and am going to bump up the rating a little over last time, as I’m finding the flavor more balanced between the cherry and the tea than I did last time. There’s still something a little cough drop-like in the cherry part, but the tea background I found to be quite pleasant this time.
Another Alana/Secret Santa gift – thank you! The dry leaf is composed of long, light green leaves, and carries a light cherry bouquet. Not as fuzzy as some white tea leaves I’ve seen, but still very delicate looking. At three minutes I’ve got a light golden brown liquor with a mild cherry aroma. The taste is cherry, but this first try is reminding me a little of cherry cough drops more than the fruit. I may need to play around with this one a bit to see if I can bring that out more.
One of the samples I received from Secret Santa Alana – thank you! It has a very nice fresh and vegetal smell, hinting at sweet peas, and the leaves are light grey-green and twisty. In three minutes I have a golden-green liquor, faintly aromatic with buttered vegetables.
The taste is very mild, and includes a little vegetable/seaweed flavor, a tiny bit of toastiness, and some natural sweetness. The astringency is very low, coming across more as just a slight pucker than a real dryness. Not punchy, but a pleasant green nonetheless.
And the song – Al Green’s “Take Me To The River”:
One of the Secret Santa packets from Alana – and another winner! It smells very fresh coming out of the bag, with light fruit and toasty notes foremost. The leaves are long and fairly dark, and since I don’t have much experience with Formosa oolongs, I’m interested in how this turns out.
I’ll give it about 2.5 minutes for this first attempt, in 185 degrees. The liquor is a nice clear orange-brown and the smell of the tea continues to highlight the dried fruit, coming through now as a very juicy aroma. Taste-wise, it’s a great example of a classic oolong – very silky and smooth texture, just a little bit of toasted flavor, a good amount of natural sweetness, and virtually no astringency or bitterness. A real winner.
I rediscovered this tea in the back of my cupboard and although I don’t remember it being fantastic, I thought I would try it again.
The song I have paired this with…..
This tea smells very fruity but I can’t smell much rose. The taste is pleasant, but I still don’t get much rose. The box lists mango as one of the flavourings – in my opinion, there is too much mango.
However, although it doesn’t taste much like rose, it is certainly a tasty tea. Not a go-to tea, but one I might reach for if I wanted something a bit different.
Another sampler from the Secret Santa variety sent to me by Alana – thank you! This one has a great fresh strawberry smell to the dry leaf, which also features small bits of dried strawberries. It steeps up dark fairly quickly, so I stopped it at three minutes this first time around. The smell is clearly strawberry without being artificial or cloying – very promising!
Taste is excellent – the fruit flavor is clearly there, not at all fake, and blends nicely with the strong black tea base adding just enough astringency. With half/half and sugar, the astringency is evened out and the strawberry is turned creamier. This is a very nice fruit flavored tea – delivers just as expected.
Being a huge Beatles fan, how could I not think of this song when sipping a strawberry-flavored English tea?
The first of the teas I received from my (still anonymous until they step forward or I can decipher the worn away writing on the package) Secret Santa! The leaves are very fine and curly with a nice golden hue to them. They have a light malty aroma to them and a little bit of dried fruit.
They release their color quickly on steeping, so I’m going to limit the time to about a minute and a half for this first attempt, and start the tasting without any additives. Even with this short steep time it’s got a decent amount of astringency, so I’m glad I didn’t go too much longer. It also has a pronounced malty breadiness, almost moving into the realm of a light smokiness. I’m putting in just a little sugar and half/half to round it out and see what happens. Still quite strong, not terribly complex, but a good Monday morning cup to start the day with.
I have had this tea three times since that first disastrous brewing, and each time I’ve forgotten to put it on Steepster. So, finally…
It’s way better than the last time I had it. I have had a chance to experiment with the steeping times etc. It’s pleasant right around 1 and a half minutes of steeping with boiling water, which suprised me because I usually steep black teas for much longer. However, at this time, the taste was pleasant and ever-so-slightly malty. Still not getting much of an aroma though. I will raise the rating of this tea substantially – it’s a good cup, but not a go-to tea.
I steeped this tea for 3 and a half minutes with boiling water and used 2 teaspoons for a 6-cup pot.
The dry leaves were fruity-smelling and i was really looking forward to tasting it, but when the tea was brewed, I couldn’t smell anything the taste of my first cup was bland and boring, with a very bitter aftertaste.
For my next cup, I added a little cinnamon to sweeten it a little. This usually works for blacks, but in this case it didn’t really help and there was no difference in the taste – I was kind of hoping that the cinnamon would bring out the flavour of the tea, but no such luck.
On to the third cup, with milk and sugar added. A little better, but the milk doesn’t really do anything for the tea.
Fourth and final cup. Just sugar. Much better. Still not fabulous, but not awful. And I had such high hopes for this tea….
I will refrain from rating this tea now, but I will play around with the steeping parameters tomorrow and see if i can’t make this tea better.
I needed a little oomp to get through my afternoon slump so I yanked this one out of the cupboard to give it a go. I had every intention of spiking it with a little milk but I didn’t have room in my cup so I drank it straight.
The dry leaf smells more Assam but the taste is pretty evenly Assam and Keemun. When it is hot, the Assam comes through more and it reminds me a bit of Thomas Sampson. When it cools, the Keemun comes to the fore more. It’s a fairly average Keemun so I’d have to say I prefer it hot but unfortunately I got distracted with cooking and the cup cooled down a bit before I finished it.
I’m not entirely sure if it’s given me the oomph I was looking for – it was milder and smoother than I was anticipating based on the smell – but it was a good late afternoon break!