Whittard of Chelsea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Darjeeling, this Darjeeling in particular, had been on my mind lately. I’ll go to choose a tea, and this will always be one of the ones I consider, but I’ve been choosing other teas for various reasons. Well, today this one won out, and I’m glad it did. I still pick up on the muscadine flavor which always makes me smile. I think this is a great late summer tea, and I think I’ll be saying yes to it more often.
I was in a Darjeeling mood, and this one was in arm’s reach. Lovely sweet dry hay flavor with muscatel notes following. Even though this is a blend I’m liking it more and more (I usually get all starry eyed over First Flushes). It steeps up beautifully at a lower temperature allowing the flavors to really come out and play.
I made this after breakfast so I could just sit and enjoy. I realized while I was sipping that this tea reminds me of muscadines. More to the point, it reminds me of the large bronze muscadines my grandpa grows on this farm. It is the earthy note combined with the muscatel one that does it. My grandparents also grew zinnias for a while, so the floral note in this tea combined with the other notes really took me back to the days when my grandpa would hand my sisters and I buckets and tell us to, “head on out to the vine.” I loved picking fruit on his farm because he’d tell us stories or let us talk his ears off about all the things that little girls find important. My parents would come out and help us move step stools so we could get the fruit at the top of the vines. Then, when our buckets were full, we’d take them into my grandma, and she’d turn them into muscadine jelly. Now that I’m grown and make jelly of my own I appreciate all of the work she did so much more. While she and my mom were working in a steamy hot kitchen my grandpa and dad would take my sisters and I swimming at the creek, so we’d come home to lots of jars of pretty jelly lined up on the table. It seemed magical to me, and I guess in a way it was.
Happy memories. Lovely tea. Not a bad start to a Sunday.
Here is the Wikipedia page for muscadines if you haven’t heard of them before:
From the HHTTB2
I’m a Darjeeling fan. I know it’s one of those teas that people love, or hate, or love to hate, so I wasn’t surprised by the less than stellar rating this one has received. It’s definitely a blend and probably not the highest quality, but it is decent Darjeeling.
This tea has plenty of muscatel notes. The flavor is strong from the first sip. There is also some spiciness and a good floral note that reminds me of honeysuckle. It’s really interesting and pleasing. There is a nice amount of astringency. Not so much that it’s harsh, just present. As the tea cools the grape-y flavor lessens somewhat, but it is still the dominant flavor. I enjoyed two steeps, and the flavor was consistent in both cups.
I can see this being a nice afternoon tea. I’m glad I was able to try it.
I got this tea from my friend and had doubts about it because mint is not one of my favourites (therefore I’ve never drunk mint tea before so i cannot compare). Unexpectedly I really enjoyed it. Quite refreshing and fine taste but still would not buy it by myself. Glad that i own it, though :)
Another in a swap from Awkward Soul. This tea doesn’t have a WOW! factor, but is a good stable tea. I can taste the base (with a little astringency), and the toffee/caramel flavor. It tasted better when it was hot. As it is cooling, the toffee/caramel/nut flavor is on the back of the sip (instead of more on the front).
Generally I like flavored green teas but I’ve got a problem with orange peel in green tea (or at least in this one) but it’s just a matter of taste and to others it might seem hair-splitting. If I steep the tea a bit longer then the orange peel will dominate the tea (for my taste) but if I steep it for a shorter period of time then it’s going to be too mild. Maybe experimenting with the amount of tea will solve the problem. Still, not a bad choice, I can enjoy the mild infusion in the evenings.
(p.s.: I used loose leaf not the bagged ones)
I participated in the Hepatite swap this past month and yesterday i received my tea from my swap buddy. I’m not sure whether i’m more excited about getting my teas, or the thought of my swap buddy getting my teas. Heh…not that i want to spoil anything, but those of you who have um gotten tea from me, know a little of what she’s in store for hahaha.
Sami Kelsh sent this one my way and that’s awesome because it was on my wishlist of things to try someday! Mostly because of her review haha. this is delicious…delicious and creamy and man i would pick this one up again! The vanilla is there but there is also a cookie like quality to this that is so very tasty. Thank you so much Sami!
This was the only tea that I tried to make at the end of a very long workday that remotely appealed. I can’t explain it. Everything smelled wrong and not as it should, except this. This was the miracle tea that made everything all better.
Oh, my kingdom for a life with a steady income and some measure of certainty about my future. Just a smidge. At least this tea is consistently creamy and biscuit-y and perfect and just fills me with quiet comfort and joy.
Good morning is good!
Started the day with a healthy breakfast of strawberries and whipped cream – hey, it was the light cream, and mostly it was strawberries! And it’s the weekend, dammit.
And then there’s this tea, another silly impulse purchase to celebrate job interview. I’ve been wanting to try something biscuitty for a while now, and when the shop assistant took the jar of this off the shelf for me to smell, I was sold. Smells just like sticking your nose in a packet of those wonderful crumbly, buttery vanilla biscuits. Yes. GET IN.
So I brewed it up this morning, and as they usually do, the scent diminished a bit while brewing and tea smell insinuated its way in, but it’s a tea, so I’m certainly not complaining. The flavour starts with a heady wave of creamy vanilla, with a sweet, nutty-buttery biscuit finish. Not nutty like you’d find in a nut-flavoured tea, but that sort of subtle toasty nuttiness you get from the slightly browned butter and flour in a biscuit. It’s got a hint of sweetness on its own, so doesn’t need fixins if you prefer your teas unadorned, but holds up beautifully under a spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk, making it just that little bit more indulgent.
And it’s still a damn sight better for me than, say, hoovering a packet of Viennese whirls.
What did I do before milk oolong? Seriously, what? I honestly don’t know. Bumping the rating up on this one a little because I just love it so much.
I’m on, like, my fourth litre of cold resteeps of this spoonful of leaves and I swear they’ve STILL not fully unfurled and every new tea is as magnificent as the last. SUCH JOY. Such creamy, green, almost melony joy. It’s the Friday before a long weekend, and everyone in my office has buggered off to the department head’s leaving do, so I’m all on my lonesome, catching up on tea and deciding where I want to go when I head into London with Gentleman on Sunday. It’s positively glacial in here. Bliss.
After reading *TheTeaFairy*’s inspiring note about Mandala’s milk oolong the other day, I developed such a hankering that I’m really grateful that I had a little ziploc of a milk oolong of my own that I brought with me to tide me over until I can move my whole tea stash down from Manchester into my new flat here on the weekend. I do love a good resteepable tea that I can just keep drinking all day, and man, does this one go on forever. So much lovely, sweet honeydew flowery goodness, perfect for an idle Tuesday of drawing some things for a secret project for an interesting publisher, wandering to a wool shop down the road from Gentleman’s home, and making Hungarian cucumber salad. I shouldn’t be in such good spirits for someone so recently unemployed, but I think just not being in a godawful job anymore is enough to make me feel a little better about the world.
Yes yes yes.
Today’s been weirdly productive by nobody’s standards but my own – finished a painting and managed to get a second steep of this in before the sun went down. Mmmm, ‘sgood. Steep two’s every bit as lovely as steep one, letting more of that lovely, creamy sweet floral-melon goodness emerge from those giant leaves – who’d have thought that what looked like such a concise spoonful would unfurl into a festival of greenery so fluffy it’s practically spilling out the top of my strainer? I’m noticing a refreshing green note around the edges of the second steep, that I can especially taste in my cheeks – not grassy, but more of a fresh, mineral green, if that makes sense. It’s SO good. I can’t wait to see what wonders steep three has to reveal to me. I’m so in love.
Oh, I like this.
Bought on terrible, terrible impulse to celebrate that I have another job interview lined up! Yippee! The bad news is that the office is in “Oxford,” but technically it’s in a tiny little place outside of Oxford that takes an hour and two buses (rounabout through Abbingon) to get to from Oxford central. Oh well. INTERVIEW. I rock interviews! I am excite. Things just might be looking up for Kelshy! bangs on all the wood within reach
So, milk oolong. The dry leaves are cute and smell of sweet grass. A good start. It’s already streets ahead of the other oolong I have from Whittard, which admittedly is decidedly underwhelming. This tea, on the other hand, yields a pale yellow liquor, and the sweet grass notes are joined by a soft floral, almost honeydew melon flavour, as well as a lightly creamy mouthfeel, with just a delicate hint of that characteristic oolong wholesomeness. Good Gosh, this is so pretty. It tastes of joy.
I have never really been a fan of flavoured teas but a friend gave me a sample of this, so I thought I would give it a try. It smells really strongly of sticky toffee pudding so that is a good start. Steve had told me that he found the tea disappointing so I loaded the teapot with more tea than I would otherwise have done and poured on the water. Waves of sticky toffee pudding smell arose from the pot. Good start. After a longer than usual steep, I was able to taste the tea. The base tea is malty and rich (possibly an Assam?), and the gingery sweetness of the pudding comes through with an element of dates. It was really quite good while hot and definitely reflected the name in its flavour, but as it cooled it quickly became bitter and less palatable. I’ve finished the sample now but might be tempted to buy a packet for myself if passing a Whittards, although I do wonder if its sugary sweetness would pall after a while.
Flavors: Caramel, Dates
This is basically a pure spice mix with no black tea base, hence the reason it is caffeine free. I came across this today while browsing Whittard’s Covent Garden London shop and immediately purchased it after reading the ingredients. It is the same mix of spices I use when making masala chai mix at home. I love chai but usually I cannot have it at night due to caffeine and this blend removes that. Chai all night long!
I brewed for 6-10 minutes as suggested for a stronger taste and it was perfect! Very obvious cinnamon flavour with the other spices lingering in the background. Added 1/2 tsp honey for sweetness but I think this blend would be excellent straight as well.
It also says to not drink this with milk but I may use this when I make masala chai. Overall, very happy I came across this.
sooooo i drank the world tonight. and just when i was about to call it quits, i realised i was at 161. No way i can leave my cupboard at that! Soooo here’s another one haha. This one is another from awkward soul via terri and it’s interesting. After the much richer creamier teas that i had, this one is on the light side. I AM getting rhubarb taste here but different from the rhubarb that stacy used in ruby pie. It’s creamy and the black base in this one isn’t bitter or overpowering. Overall, not a tea that i’m going to be in love with, but still a good cup this evening…
TTB Tea 13: I picked this one for my studying before the organic chemistry test tomorrow. I feel as though it was a good choice! The flavor is very nice without being astringent or bitter. It was malty, a little chocolatey, and rich without any added flavors. And it gave me a nice caffeine boost!
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Nuts