Williamson Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

Another tea from the stash in the flat. Not too bad. Drinkable, but not fantastic. I might still buy some if I see one in a store that comes in one of the elephant tins. Alas, the box in the flat is mere cardboard.

Going to take it easy today. After walking a total of 24 miles over the last three days, I have a blister that covers the bottom of one of my toes. Slow going today.

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85

On this gray, rainy morning my little son and I headed out to the store, and I happened to find this Earl Grey, along with a variety of other Williamson teas. I’m not familiar with that company, but their products looked interesting—mostly Kenyan teas, which immediately piqued my interest. (I love Kenyan black teas! And actually, I’m currently trying hard to wait until I make my “summer tea purchase” to re-stock my cupboard with African teas, but it is so hard to wait…and then THIS came along!) Well, I figured the price was terrific, and although I would have liked to try some of the other teas they had as well, I decided on the Earl Grey because it was the only loose-leaf canister there, and it looked good. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a Kenyan EG. And it is a rainy day, which in my book means it’s an earl grey kind of day. And, as I mentioned, I’ve been craving Kenyan teas so…for all those reasons I felt compelled to buy it.

Now, purchasing teas on a whim like that without prior research into the company and its practices is rare for me, and on the offchance I do make an impulse buy, I have found it is pretty much a hit or miss. But I took my chances on this one, and it turned out to be a hit!

This is a VERY smooth, sweet EG. It lacks the sharpness or tingle you sometimes get from stronger EGs. The first thing that hit me was a lovely sweet orange flavor. Yes, I know that’s the bergamot, but this somehow tasted slightly more orange-y to me than the bergamots in other Earl Greys. It was delicious, though. Different, but delicious. This tea is robust, full bodied, luscious, and absolutely silky smooth. I think the Kenyan base works really well with the bergamot flavor. I would definitely buy this again.

So, for those who like a really strong hit-you-in-face bergamot-y Earl Grey, this would probably not be for you. But for those liking a more mellow cup, this I think would be perfect.

I was surprised to find that no one has reviewed this tea before, and there are only a few Williamson teas on Steepster. It’s too bad, because this one at least is a very enjoyable and affordable tea! If you go on Williamson’s website, they give a closer look at how they process their teas and it’s quite interesting. (I just wonder about pesticide use—that’s always my big concern, and they don’t say their tea is organic)—but other than that it looks like a decent company: they use sustainable farming methods, are Rainforest Alliance Certified, family-owned, and all of their tea is grown right there on their own farms in the Kenyan highlands.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Hesper June

Okay, so this would not be for than.
I like to be slapped in the face with the bergamont:)

Charissa

HAHA! :-D

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100
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
9 tasting notes

It’s difficult to explain the scent and taste of this tea. Is it like a fruity or flowery coffee? Does it smell like spices? I can’t say, and I’ve snuffled at the box for a while now, trying to figure it out. I couldn’t say based on my memory, which was why I went for the box. Sticking my nose in the box and breathing in the scent was pleasant, but not particularly helpful.

The taste of “Lifeboat Tea” is similarly difficult to relate. It’s nice, mellow-tasting, but complex. It’s unique and the aftertaste reminds me of a flower-based tea. It’s a good aftertaste. In fact, I like to sip at this tea slowly, because I enjoy the aftertaste so much in the in-between points. And despite its mellow taste, it provides a good boost of caffeine.

I got it at World Market at $5 for 80 bags. For such a cheap, bagged tea, I’m surprised at the quality. In addition to that, a little bit of the cost goes to charity and there’s a stamp on it saying it’s, “Rainforest Alliance Certified.”

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60
drank Duchess Grey by Williamson Tea
512 tasting notes

Pretty much the same as the Earl Grey from Williamson.

Very, very fine CTC.

It has a stronger bergamot than the Earl Grey did and more flavor as well. Between the two I’d prefer this one, but again, nothing I’ll keep on hand.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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59
drank Earl Grey by Williamson Tea
512 tasting notes

I had to steep 3 bags before I paid enough attention to not make this really bitter. It steeps very quickly since it is a very, very fine CTC. A stronger smell than flavor of bergamot. It’s okay but nothing I’ll keep on hand. Purchased for the tin and at least it is drinkable. :) It would be okay to take along for a meal out since it will likely steep just fine despite non-optimal water temperatures you usually get at restaurants.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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61

This is a decent, plain black tea. Nothing special but I don’t normally keep English Breakfast on hand so I can’t speak to anything missing or standing out in comparison to something else. It steeps quickly and I think it would be forgiving in less than optimal water temperatures. I can see where it might turn mildly bitter if steeped too long, but overall, it’s a nice CTC type of bag to have on hand. Good for people who want share my tea at work but don’t have the loose leaf brewing stuff on hand themselves. :) Good for throwing in a purse (in a ziploc bag since it isn’t a wrapped sachet or bag) to have on hand in restaurants that don’t “get” tea.

I didn’t taste any paper until I squeezed the bag into the second cup. ;) Normally not a squeezer but the itty-bittyness of the tea was too interesting to not poke at. Should have prodded and squoze it over another container, not over my cup!

The tin is awesome and seems to reseal tightly enough that I wouldn’t worry overmuch about storing other teas in it once the English Breakfast is gone. You aren’t paying for the tea here, by the way – it’s all the tin. I can spend this much on tea that will knock my socks off – without the tin I wouldn’t spend more than grocery store prices on the tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec
boychik

This elephant tin is just awesome right up to my valley
Mark Wendell has sale on other tins
Very tempting;)

Nicole

I so should not have looked at the Mark Wendell site. I have not wanted a yixing pot before now but I am in lurve with that black dragon anniversary pot!

boychik

So sorry;)

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91

I took my sister to the largest city in the area, and while waiting I checked out the World Market there and got this tea and some Meiji Chocorooms. …There was quite a selection of tea at WM, but my masala brain was already fried from all the CSR questions that were already flying around by the time I opened the door to the place, so I went with whatever had the most lucid of packaging.

Honestly, I’m glad I did. This is a strong, robust tea with a good flavor. I appreciate the single source (Kenya, and my masala brain would also have a problem with the plantation CSR, but Williamson is affiliated with Rainforest Alliance, so something good’s happening) and the 7p charity donation.

This really is the kind of tea that’s good for cold mornings — I have had better breakfast assams, but the balance here is perfect for autumn and winter. I think it would go great to steep with a stick of cinnamon, even. Of course, I drink it with milk, which only makes it better.

…And it was really nice to drink while eating those chocorooms…

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42

I don’t usually drink or rate bagged teas, but I got his tea because they don’t sell loose tea in the beautiful elephant caddies I was lusting after. The tea is basically a CTC with good aroma in round, stringless paper pillows and, for a bag, actually tasted pretty good. It lacks the high notes I’m used to in an EB tea, but I think that is due to the style of EB blend intended, rather than the leaf quality. This was clearly blended to meet the tastes of English tea drinkers who these days prefer the brisker, stronger flavors of Indian and African teas rather than a breakfast tea with the high notes of Chinese teas.

Contrary to the prior headnote, this is not a blend containing Assam tea. According to the company all of Williamson’s teas come from or a are blended from their own tea estates in Kenya. Thus this is an all Kenyan tea.

Th8is tea definitely has taste and character. My feeling is if you normally drink bagged tea, you’d probably rate this higher than I did

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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3

Small leaf tea,no good.

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec

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82
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
4322 tasting notes

Backlog:

I always tend to have my misgivings about bagged teas before I try them. I am glad that quite often, my misgivings were unfounded, because not all bagged teas are bad. I certainly would prefer loose leaf, and I do wish that this tea was loose leaf, but, as bagged teas go, this one isn’t bad.

It’s quite hearty and robust, with a pleasant malty tone. It has a hint of bitterness to the background, but it isn’t off-putting. It is more like a warning telling me that a longer steep time would be bad with this tea, but the very slight amount that I am getting now actually adds an interesting contrast to the cup.

Not a bad tea, and glad that I have enough to try it cold-brewed. Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a generous amount of this tea.

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89

I have been eager to try this one for a while – I can’t remember the last time I have been this excited about a plain, black, bagged tea, to be honest with you! I’m excited because it’s a tea from Kenya and I have had a lot of luck with them – especially black/bagged teas, surprisingly! AND I’m excited because it helps support a cause! An Irish Lifesaving Service!!!!!

This smells STRONG and slightly crusty/bakey! It steeps to near coffee-black in color!

This is very robust! A nice strong black bagged tea, indeed!

An impressive bagged!

I’m sending 40 bags to Liberteas and will probably share my 39 bags with others, too, but I am saving some for tea-on-the-go as it’s perfect for that and for mornings!

TeaEqualsBliss

Be careful NOT to over-steep this!

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drank Irish Breakfast by Williamson Tea
1798 tasting notes

I guess I have owned this tea for about two years. It is one of the first loose leaf teas I bought, undoubtably at TJMaxx before I found out about Harney and Sons and Southern Season with their vast selection. Since discovering some really good teas, I have let several others just sit on the shelf. I really didn’t have a “mood” as to what to drink today, so I decided to revisit this one.

If you are not looking for nuance and you plan to add milk and sugar, there is nothing wrong with this tea. It isn’t as good as Thomas Sampson or Grace Rare Tea Pure Assam by any means, but it makes a hot cup of tea to warm you. I will not be repurchasing this, but I have changed my mind about just sticking it up on Freecycle with my other neglected teas. And youngest will enjoy it as she likes Irish Brekkie with lots of milk and sugar.

Because of the leaf size, I only gave it three minutes, and that was plenty. Boiling water.

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99

Wednesday June 15, 2011
2nd Steep of the Day
Wanted some Brisk English Black Tea (did I Get It)
Steeped a AVON TANKARD STEIN (32 Full Oz’s)
This is a Great Bold Black Tea from Williamson.
A full Quart with 3 Teaspoons of Sugar was great.
But I have to Start it a Little Earlier in the Afternoon next Time
Keep on Steepin

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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99

Saturday May 7, 2011
1st Steep of The Day
Early Evening English Breakfast
This is a Good Strong Blended Black Tea
Great Flavor Rich Bold and Robust.
Great Sipping Cup with a Great Book.
Keep on Steepin

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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99

Saturday Apr. 30, 2011
1st Steep of The Day
I Got My Thomas Jefferson Biography by Page Smith
And Repeated the Cup From Last Evening
Early Evening English Breakfast
This is a Good Strong Blended Black Tea
Great Flavor Rich Bold and Robust.
Great Sipping Cup with a Great Book.
Keep on Steepin

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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99

Friday Apr. 29, 2011
2nd Steep of the Day
Early Evening English Breakfast
This is a Good Strong Blended Black Tea
Great Flavor Rich Bold and Robust.
The English Know how to Do Tea. So I can
Keep on Steepin

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

Yes, this tea is fannings in a bag but with a 2 minute steep it brews up an eye opening experience. The tea is malty and strong and I really love it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

I needed a strong tea this morning and tea doesn’t get much stronger than this. 3.1g of Kenyan tea in a hemp bag with no string steeped for 2 minutes. Steep any longer and the spoon will stand up in the cup. Lifeboat has to be one of my favorite teas. I buy it when I find it as its a British tea and very hard to find. I’m sitting here thinking why do I like this tea so much. Its very brisk and does have some astringency. Its not bitter and has a wonderful taste. It will wake you in the morning as it is as strong as coffee. I’ve tried most of the English teas and I prefer this one. The tea uses no pesticides and is Fair trade. All this and it supports the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

This has got to be my favorite tea bag. A 2 minute steep gets you a robust, brisk, malty, and chewy cup of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

I have been so busy lately with 3 granddaughters playing sports. I had to get in a tasting note this morning. This is a great breakfast tea. This tea is brisk and robust while being tasty and only slightly astringent. A very nice tea. This tea also supports the RLNI which is a very good cause.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

After I figured out that Twinings Irish Breakfast tasted better with a 2 minute steep, I decided to do the same with Lifeboat tea this morning. This is my second cup and even though it is a tea bag, it tastes wonderful. The tea is brisk and robust without the bitterness or too much astringency. I know that the tea in the bag is more than likely fannings, but if you use quality tea you get quality fannings. This is a very good tea as long as you don’t over steep it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

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84
drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
429 tasting notes

I needed a strong cup of tea this afternoon and this one fits the bill. It’s robust, brisk and very bold. The tea isn’t bitter and has a little astringency. If you steep too long it does get bitter but a 3 minute steep produces a very nice cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
LadyLondonderry

I need to explore Kenyan teas. This one sounds good!

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