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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by JacquelineM
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From Whittard of Chelsea

1886 was the year Whittard of Chelsea was founded and the year that Indian tea exports overtook Chinese. This smooth blend of Assam and Keemun tea reflects the taste of the time. Delicious brewed strong and drunk with milk.

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9 Tasting Notes

411 tasting notes

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.)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I agree it can be a bit tannin-y but in my experience you’re on the right track when you shortened the steep. But then again I always ignore steeping advice, extremely rarely go over 1 minute, but use a lot of leaf instead so maybe I’m not really the most reliable one for advice. :)

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1112 tasting notes

This is another of the teas that Whittard of Chelsea sent to me! Thank you!

I am flagging after spending the morning at yard sales, so a breakfast blend just after dinner makes perfect sense to me. This one is excellent. Honeychocolate! A little fruity. The Assam and Keemun make beautiful music together. It is certainly a bold tea, but it’s also extremely smooth. Downright velvety. Chocolate mousse smooth! Perfect with a scant teaspoon of sugar and milk.

I want to call it a classic, but I can’t — it has something a little bit different about it which makes it special. This is one I’d serve guests and save for special days. I love it.

You can find this tea at www.whittard.com! Look at the beauteous tea caddy:


Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I will have to look into this company!


Nice, the tin is lovely

Josie Jade

This sounds wonderful! I love Whittard’s teawares and have been considering placing an order. :)

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1319 tasting notes

Second of my english holiday teas, a mix of Keemun and Assam. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? I haven’t yet found my perfect Assam but I have very few bad experiences with chinese blacks in general. On top of that, I have this funny weakness for teas that are named for a particular year for some reason, although this is the first time that I remember actually having one. I just kinda like the concept, you know?

First sip had me do a double take. It was NOT at all what I was expecting. Imagine eating strawberry jam all your life and then suddenly without realising it you get some raspberry jam instead. You like it, it’s lovely. But not expected.

It’s got that particular Indian astringency from the Assam and all evened out by the Keemun into something much smoother. The Keemun has lost a lot of the smoky though. It only shows up in the aftertaste, but that said, it has a VERY nice aftertaste. Underneath it all we’ve got the Assam showing up again with that sweet honey-y note.

All in all, a nice basic black. Strong but not too strong, full bodied and with plenty of life in it. Not half bad!

You know what I’m beginning to think? My perfect Assam does not exist outside of blends.


From what I’ve read Assam teas are often produced with quantity more in mind than quality. That said, some of the single estate Assams are supposedly really good.


I’m under the impression that a lot of Indians and Ceylons are. They seem somehow more market-orientated than other regions. But maybe that’s my China-bias. :)


I love teas that are named with a year too. I think it’s the admirer of olde things in me :)

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911 tasting notes

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!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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118 tasting notes

Whoa! This is some powerful stuff. I took a sip at about 3 minutes in (1 heaping tsp for 8 oz water), and it packed quite a wallop. Not a tea I would drink black, though I’d err on the side of less milk so the flavors aren’t masked (I used 1/2 tsp sugar and just enough soymilk to turn it an opaque medium brown).

The write-up for this tea says it’s good for breakfast, and I would have to agree. It’s a better breakfast tea than their English Breakfast blend – fuller, more well-rounded, and less harsh. This might become one of my regular morning teas.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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67 tasting notes

The smell is quite attractive.

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8 tasting notes

So I haven’t posted in a while and so I decided to have something I haven’t had in a bit. I picked up this tea recently on a trip to London, and while it was a free gift with purchase, I was not at all upset at the blend concept. Keemun + Assam sounds like a rounded tea and I was looking forward to giving it a try.
First, the leaves themselves ranged from half inch to broken pieces, and majority were deep black, with the occasional golden leaf tossed in. The smell of dried leaves is quite subdued, having to really hunt for any serious aromas. After steeping, the leaves develop a fired, yet not smokey, smell. They smell almost charred, but not offensively, just very warm. All in all, the smell doesn’t really match the deep color of the liquor. Speaking of the tea itself, the smell is of dark caramel and heavily roasted carrots or beets. The taste is subtle and would be completely covered by any addition of milk or sweetener. It has a sizable body one would expect from an Assam, but without any heavy astringency.

In the end, the tea is a bit bland for my taste, but is a nice balance of the extremes of both tea types. Perhaps better in the afternoon rather than the morning. I enjoyed it, but would like to find a bit more in a black tea.

Happy sipping everyone!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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13 tasting notes

I bought this tea when I ran out of Ringtons classic 1907 blend – a favourite of mine. Sadly the tea came nowhere near my expectations of it being similar. That said it was a pleasant enough tea with a lingering after taste. Slightly astringent in the mouth. Best drank black and without sugar in my view – I think milk would overpower the flavours.

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