Whittard of Chelsea
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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
The tea leaves had a delicate fragrance. When dry they almost had a faint hint of chocolate (or maybe I’m just going mad). Anyway, when I brewed this tea, it was refreshingly light and extremely delicate. I will have to tweak the steeping times though, because I don’t think I steeped it for long enough.
Another of my Angrboda teas, and this one is a nice solid black blend. My first steep, even though I thought I shorted the time a little, seemed a bit over-tannic to me. The second steep is milder, but nicely mellow. Overall – a decent cuppa. (I would like to try this iced sometime.)
Smells really good and spicy, and not in a overwhelming cinnamon sort of way. From the outside of the bag, it looked like green tea since there was green dust around it. Once it was steeped, it turned a dark brown. Delicious blend especially with milk and sugar. It was a little too bitter for me plain. The blend of spices is great. One of the best bagged chais I’ve had IMO since it wasn’t too spicy.
Thank you Caitlin for sending me 2 samples of this!
Interesting tea. I only really liked it when it was sweetened. But I didn’t get enough rose with all the fruit. The rose flavor only really popped out occasionally, and one time, popped out as a soapy flavor. Which I didn’t really enjoy.
Overall, not a bad tea, but not one I’ll reach for again.
Now, on to another Angrboda tea… :)