You know, I tried to do some research as to what types of tea people were drinking during the Victorian period, and man, it’s a challenge. Google “Victorian tea” and you’ll just get the yelp listings for like a million Victorian tea rooms, presumably with delicate china cups and frilly doilies on the tables. And now I really want to go out for an afternoon tea, which is something you’d think I do more often as a dorky tea enthusiast and recent UK resident, but I think I’ve only done once since I got here, and it was only because my friend and I happened to stumble upon a Victorian tea room on a daytrip to Buxton over the summer. I remember my sandwiches were made from Lancashire cheese and caramelised onion chutney. Yum!
So I don’t think they would have had this tea in Victoria Waterfield’s time, but it suits her and her era beautifully. The initial fragrance upon opening the bag is blackberry, fading into floral earl grey. Brewing at a lower temperature, as befits the white peony in the blend, yields a delicately perfumed cup. There’s a definite floral presence in the flavour, balanced by the sweet berry finish, a union of innocence and plucky sweetness. Nothing overwhelms here: it really is such a light, lovely, perfectly balanced combination of flavours, perfect for enjoying over a quiet afternoon with delicate sandwiches and little cakes, or as a treat to yourself after shooting a cybermat point-blank, then putting it in your purse for safe-keeping.