Williamson TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Williamson TeaSee All 15 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
So this weekend after we went to Sask Expo, we stopped at Churchill’s in Saskatoon. It’s basically a British Foods store, and Laura REALLY wanted to go because she’s British and it’s one of the only places she can conveniently find a lot of the foods she grew up with.
I’d actually never been before, despite having previously lived in Saskatoon and walking by the store many, many times. I personally ended up grabbing some Pineapple Jam and Red Currant Jam, which I’ve yet to try. I also grabbed the big beautiful Elephant tin of this tea! I remember a while back on the discussion board this company was being discussed, and everyone was in love with the tins. They’re so much prettier in person, and I’ve never seen them anywhere else before (in person, that is) so I took advantage and bought one. For bagged tea, it certainly wasn’t cheap but this is definitely 100% one of those cases of getting a tea purely because of the packaging.
I tried it first thing this morning, and as far as Earl Grey goes (and bagged EG in particular) I actually thought it was pretty good. My understanding is that the difference between Williamson’s Duchess EG and their regular EG is that this uses Kenyan tea as the base? I wouldn’t say you can necessarily say the base is distinct enough that you’d know it’s Kenyan tea without the prior knowledge – but Kenyan black tea is actually quite citrusy as is, so I think that only helps/strengthens the profile of the bergamot in the blend.
I’d call this rich, and just a little sweet with the perfect balance of bergamot and no astringency. It’s smooth, and I’m sure would probably take milk well. That makes for a pretty convenient early morning tea – with gorgeous packaging to boot.
I bought 3 of the Cru tins of Williamson tea including this one, Earl Grey with Blue Flowers and Zinga Black. Tried all 3 and they are all just very bland. I’ve ended pourig the tea out into one of my own blending tins and adding some stronger teas to get some taste! Smell great and the containers will be great for other loose leaf teas but they just come across as really really weak in flavour and body.
Got a sample of this from Carol Who. Took a while to try it since I’m not big on Earl Grey, but I’m coming to the end of my sample bucket. :o So it’s about time I try it.
Kinda bland…nothing really to write home about. But at least I gave it a shot? XD
The rest of this sample will have to find a new home. Thanks for the sample, Carol Who!
Sadly this tea does not come in one of Williamson’s gorgeous elephant caddies – only their teabags do. I snagged this in Selfridges’s Food Hall, where the didn’t have all of Williamson Tea’s selection of loose leaf teas, but they did have all the elephant caddies, for those interested.
I hadn’t tasted many Kenyan teas before this one (one or two, from The Tea House – Covent Garden and from Whittards), since they don’t seem as readily available as loose-leaf tea sold not as part of a blend. So I was really interested in tasting what seems to be Williamson Tea’s speciality – Kenyan Tea.
This is not as strong as I was expecting it to be, compared to my past experiences with Kenyan Tea, and it was more delicate, not just in flavour but in body too. If you don’t like Ceylon, but want something to fill in for the (unfortunate) Ceylon gap in your cupboard, give this a try. You can certainly brew it strong enough for milk, if you insist. It takes it rather well. But it’s best drunk plain, where it’s slightly woodsy taste has a chance to shine.
Is it as strong and malty as Assam? No.
Is it as sparklingly fresh as Ceylon? No.
Is it as delicate as fragrant Darjeeling? No.
But it seems to have combined the best qualities of all three, into something quite unique.
This tea makes me smile every time I drink it. Give it a try, if you get a chance.
I got a 20g sample from my father, so I had to try it as soon as I got it, let’s see!
First infusion was quite very nice! Enjoyed a bit of bitterness, and a hype from the caffeine! I find it a bit too ‘heavy’ (as in caffeine) for a darjeeling tea.
Second infusion was even better! No more caffeine hype though. It was a lot lighter as I expected, but it had a slightly different taste. I believe I tasted some chocolateness there.
My first taste of Williamson Tea’s range. Bought this at Selfridges (they tend to have a unique variety of teas – it’s worth visiting their food hall for a peek at what they have to offer). I bought one of their gorgeous elephant tea caddies (alas, they only do them for tea bags), and two tins of loose leaf tea – a Tippy Assam and a Kenyan (their specialty). The tin is nice and informative, the tea is delicious and malty, and takes milk well. It brews on the stronger side of Assam, but it is not powerfully astringent, so you can drink it plain as well. A very good Assam, less sweet than F&M’s Assam Superb, and with less depth of flavour than Whittard’s excellent Assam Hazelbank, but nevertheless recommended.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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