Taylors of HarrogateEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown 54/375! I’ve decided I want to try to get to 200 tasting notes by the end of the year, and under 400 teas in my cupboard by my 3rd Steepster birthday. Since I don’t know when I’m going to be working (zero-hours contract) and I have family over tonight for a pre-Christmas party, I’m trying to fit a couple of notes/sipdowns in now before it gets too hectic.
I made this the same way I did when I had the flu, and I’m pleased to report that it wasn’t just the illness making me think this tasted nice! Man I wish I’d brewed it this way more often. More concentrated with milk and sugar, the citrus flavour comes out way more and it isn’t just a lame-ass chai, it’s the embodiment of Christmas in tea form. Still, I’m glad we parted on a high.
Ahh, that’s more like it! I think the flu might be helping to actually make this tea taste better than normal! I haven’t had a cup this good since I first received this tea, which was SUCH a long time ago that I really thought they would have no flavour left by now. This was a Christmas gift from my might-as-well-have-been-flatmate’s boyfriend when we did Secret Santa in my first year of uni (2012) which makes this tea almost exactly four years old and definitely the oldest in my cupboard. It’s a bagged tea rather than loose leaf, though I’m pretty sure it’s the same as the loose version, which might explain why it’s held onto its flavour so well. I used a small mug so the tea is fairly strong, and added a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of semi-skimmed milk and this is really tasty! The cinnamon and other spices are what I usually find most dominant in this tea, but today it’s super citrussy and the orange is definitely the stand-out note. I’m not sure what the base tea is in this blend but I suspect it might be something with natural citrus notes, as the flavour is more complex than just ‘orange’. The spices play around in the background, complimenting the orange and lingering after the sip. The cardamom is a little more dominant than I’d like, seeing as I’m not a fan, but I can live with it. I only have a couple of bags of this left now – I wish I’d figured out how to brew it like this sooner.
So, this is the last of the bagged Taylors of Harrogate teas I subsisted on in Lexington. Of the bunch, this was far and away my favorite. As a matter of fact, I plan on trying the loose leaf version just to compare the two.
I prepared this tea using the one step Western infusion process I tend to favor for non-Chinese black teas and many black tea blends. I steeped the tea bag in approximately 8 ounces of adequately hot water for 5 minutes. Again, I have no clue what the water temperature was, and I did not attempt additional infusions as I never reinfuse bagged teas.
After infusion, the dark mahogany tea liquor produced integrated aromas of bergamot, cream, honey, toast, caramel, and wood. In the mouth, I picked up on smoothly integrated notes of bergamot, wood, brown toast, honey, cream, malt, caramel, butterscotch, and cocoa. The finish was mild and slightly citrusy. The bergamot presence continued to shine, underscored by fleeting impressions of wood, caramel, cream, malt, and butterscotch.
I found this to be significantly better and more sophisticated than many of the bagged teas I have tried in the past. Unlike at least one previous reviewer, I did not note anything that seemed overtly artificial about this tea. For a bagged Earl Grey, it certainly was not bad. I could see myself reaching for this again in similar circumstances in the future. I am definitely planning on trying the loose leaf version soon.
Flavors: Bergamot, Brown Toast, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Wood
This is another of the bagged Taylors of Harrogate teas I got to try during my stay at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa in Lexington, KY. I know I have said it before, but I honestly tend to loathe bagged green teas. This one did not do much for me, but that being said, I did find it to be slightly more drinkable than most standard bagged green teas.
I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion process. Again, I never attempt to reinfuse tea bags. I steeped this tea for approximately 3 minutes. I have no clue what the water temperature was. Even though the back of the packet suggested that the bag should be steeped from 1-2 minutes, I decided to go with 3 as I could not pick up much of an aroma after 2 minutes had elapsed.
After infusion, the straw gold tea liquor produced mild aromas of grass, straw, and honey. In the mouth, I picked up a substantial note of honey on the entry that was quickly chased by milder notes of grass, straw, and hay. There was also a slight floral note that was most apparent on the finish. It reminded me a bit of flower nectar.
All in all, I found this to be very boring, but then again, who really gets excited over bagged green tea these days? For what it was, it was pleasant, but not something I would reach for on my own unless I had no other options. I do not think I could move myself to recommend this to anyone.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay, Honey, Nectar, Straw
While reviewing prior tasting notes for this tea, I noticed that the previous reviewers ended up drinking this tea during hotel stays. I am no different in that regard. I returned from a week long conference at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa (nice hotel btw) in Lexington, KY yesterday evening. While there, I spent a great deal of time consuming complimentary glasses of Taylors’ Earl Grey, Pure Green Tea, and English Breakfast Tea. Each was the bagged version, and in all honesty, I came to the conclusion that Taylors of Harrogate does bagged teas pretty well.
I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion process. I never attempt to resteep tea bags. I steeped the tea bag in approximately 8 ounces of adequately hot water for 5 minutes. I have no clue what the water temperature was.
After infusion, I noticed that the dark amber tea liquor emitted aromas of malt, toffee, toast, and butterscotch. In the mouth, I detected notes of cream, malt, oak, toffee, brown toast, and butterscotch. This was very smooth and mild for a bagged English breakfast blend.
This was far from the worst bagged English breakfast tea I have ever had. While it may not be something I would go out of my way to acquire again, I would drink it with no complaints in a similar setting. Of the three Taylors of Harrogate bagged teas I got to try over the course of the past week, I found this one to be the middle child of the bunch. I did not like it as much as the Earl Grey, but I liked it much more than the Pure Green Tea (I normally hate bagged green teas). In the end, I would say that this is a decent bagged breakfast tea. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to try the loose leaf version of this in the near future so I can compare the two.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Butterscotch, Cream, Malt, Oak wood, Toffee
I recently did a gong fu style brewing of this tea, and I must say that after preparing it western style originally, it definitely has more flavor and character when prepared in the gong fu style.
Flavors: Fruity, Smoke, Smooth
This… This was the best black tea, bagged or otherwise, that I’ve ever had. Oh my lanta. Drank it with a splash of skim. It tasted… it tasted like brownies. I don’t know how else to describe it. Chocolatey and earthy and rich and creamy and comforting.
It. Was. So. Good.
I need to buy some ASAP.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Earth
Bought this on Amazon the other day for those times when I can’t have caffeine. This is one strong tea. It’s not exactly bitter but I am not sure how to describe it. I won’t actually be having this with breakfast because in the morning I still drink caffeinated tea. But I could see drinking this with breakfast if I totally abstained from caffeine. It is not great mind you but not that bad either.
Brewed two tea bags in 16oz of boiling water for 3 min.
FYI…This tasting note refers to the loose leaf version of this tea.
This is the third and last of the Taylors teas that I picked up last weekend. I hope it will be the best. So far, I haven’t been thrilled by their offerings. The first two I reviewed here weren’t very exciting. Oh well, I’m putting on my open-minded pants now.
Let’s cut right to the chase. This tea was packaged like the two Taylors teas I already tried: metal container, inner foil wrapper. The unbrewed tea leaves were short and dark brown. However, they didn’t have the through-the-grinder appearance of the others. This might be attributed to the fact that this is black China tea versus orange pekoe.
I’ve imbibed a lot of black Earl Grey teas lately so the smell of bergamot is acutely registered in my nostrils. The unbrewed leaves of this blend, though, had a bergamot-like aroma that my nose hadn’t encountered before. The smell was definitely bergamot but it had additional flowery attributes. At first, I wondered if there were chemical or other additives, but the container label clearly stated that, other than black China tea, the only other ingredient was NATURAL oil of bergamot.
As usual, I followed the company’s brewing instructions for the initial trial. I set the Breville tea maker on 212 degrees for five minutes. The brewed blend was dark amber in color. The aroma was faintly syrupy.
The taste of this tea was fruity and sweet. I don’t know if I could pick this flavor out of a lineup as bergamot, but I did like it. It was mellow, smooth, and slightly honeyed. What’s not to like?
There was no astringency (unlike the other two Taylors teas) and the entire cup (minus the vessel) went down very smoothly and easily. The aftertaste was affable with only a brief hang time.
My hopes were realized this morning. This is definitely my favorite of the three Taylors teas. I will drink all of the contents of the other two Taylors containers, but I will be smiling while I finish this one.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Sweet
Here’s another Taylors tea that I picked up this weekend at the World Market store. To be honest, I purchased them because all of the Taylors selections were only $9.99 each for 4.4 ounces of tea. I can’t resist a good tea sale.
I tried out the Taylors Tea Room blend yesterday and I’m starting to see a pattern. The leaves are very finely ground. The packaging says the leaves are hand rolled in the traditional British way. I wonder if they are hand rolled and machine ground.
As I was saying, this tea had many of the same unbrewed characteristics as yesterday’s blend: metal container, short brown ground-up-looking leaves, and rich tea aroma.
I brewed the leaves at 212 degrees for five minutes. Taylors’ brewing instructions also seem to be standard for their teas.
The steeped color was a dark amber. The odor was faint with tea attributes only.
The flavor contained (again, like their Tea Room variety) only semi-robust tea characteristics. There was nothing more or less. This blend is said to contain two types of orange pekoe so maybe I shouldn’t have expected anything more exciting. I would have been willing to lower my expectations if this blend hadn’t also contained a bite of astringency.
So, to sum up my Taylors English Breakfast Leaf Tea experience:
o Ho-hum tea taste
o More than a hint of astringency
o Not horrible but booooriiiiing
I saw a few Taylors tea selections this weekend at a very reasonable price at our World Market store. I had heard of Taylors but hadn’t sampled their wares.
When I removed the lid on the metal container of this one and snipped open the inner foil packaging, I was surprised by how ground up the tea leaves appeared. They were brown and extremely fine, almost like powder. I would expect this characteristic if I cut open a tea bag. The aroma was potent and rich, more like Chinese tea than an Indian and African blend.
As always, I followed the manufacturer’s brewing instructions on the initial launch. In this case, that meant 212 degrees for five minutes.
The brewed liquid color was dark, almost like black coffee, except for the golden highlights. The smell was nondescript.
The flavor was plain and simply, like tea. No undertones or harmonious or complementary taste attributes materialized. It just tasted like tea. If you were to ask me what kind of tea flavor appeared, I would say Darjeeling was the dominant flavor. The Rooibos was not shouting to me. At best, the blended African tea flavor was only knocking on the door.
The overall flavor power was good but it was offset by a twinge of astringency. This slight bitterness remained on my tongue and kept slapping around my taste buds.
I am not wild about this blend but I will probably drink all of it. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. I will most likely mix it with other livelier black teas. It’s just a little dull and featureless on its own.
Aroma: The smell is amazing, filling the room sweet rhubarb and vanilla notes.
Flavour: An amazing fruity iced tea, but also creates a gorgeous tea when brewed hot too! The flavour is obviously fruity, but there’s also a wild mix of sweet vanilla, sour rhubarb and a light musty hint of hibiscus. Its melodic and captivating. However, it it’s disapointing that the rhubarb taste comes from flavourings.
For more visit www.TastetheTea.co.uk
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Musty, Rhubarb, Sour, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla
What was I thinking expecting loose leaf tea from a tea bag company? Having said that, I think if I can find a fine sieve, this tea will be similar to the bagged version. The price was right at 7.50 for 250g! The size of particle is similar to Twinings English Breakfast. It also tastes better. Little dark right now, so will work on tweaking the brew. By the way, a good tip is that fine teas are much heavier, so use 1/2 as much otherwise you will end up with bitter tea.
I bought this, since I was missing an afternoon tea shop I visited in Denver. There I had brisk, lush Scottish Breakfast. I thought this tea would fulfill some of that feeling.
Maybe it’s going from loose leaf to bagged, but this tea was just blah to me. Just astringent and one note. I only had one cup, and decided to use the rest of the tea to make for kombucha.
For a bagged tea, it’ll do. I think I would prefer other “grocery store” British blends to this.
This one is so good. It really does taste like blackberry juice, not straight-up hibiscus like so many fruity tisanes, and while I could do with the elderflower being a little stronger I can occasionally catch a hint of that floral goodness on the end of the sip. I love this iced, and I’m going to be sad when I use up my box. If only it were available in the US—I know it’s on Amazon, but I don’t shop there and even if I did it appears to be going for something crazy like $20/box. Please please please add this blend to your US distribution list, Taylors of Harrogate!
I picked this one up at Walmart for $6 Cdn. The box contained 40 bags, and they are the old fashioned style of teabags that we had growing up, not individually wrapped.
As it was hot outside, I decided to do a glass of iced tea, after walking to buy the tea bags.
I used 2 tea bags and 250 mL of boiling water. That’s about 6 grams of tea. Then I filled up a big bowl with ice and poured the tea in. That was enough to make one extra large cup. I squeezed in part of a lime as well. I also added sugar.
The first thing I noticed right away was the colour. Immediately after pouring in the water you see the most beautiful gold tea colour.
The flavour was light and drinkeable. I didn’t find it strong like Liptons.
The review for the hot version will follow. Special thanks to Stockman for suggesting this tea.
For the hot version, I decided to go with two tea bags and 250 mL of water and then added some cold water after. The tea had a good flavour.
I also tried ot hot with lots of milk and sugar. I found it a bit week, even using two tea bags. The asssam in my cupboard was tastier. I will continue to try thus tea as I have lots left.
The last of my Taylors of Harrogate samples. This is probably the one I enjoyed most out of the three I tried. It has a pleasant buttermint vibe going on, and it also reminds me of spearmint softmints which are just…the best. The sencha base is smooth and unobtrusive, allowing the mint and vanilla flavours to shine.
As green teas go, this one’s pretty perfect in my book. No bitterness or astringency, flavourful, lives up to its name. It’s a teabag, which I don’t usually go for, but it’s convenient and since I’m really busy at work at the moment, that suits me!
I’d drink this one again. I’d actually really like to try it cold brewed.
My second sample from Taylors of Harrogate. One thing I will say about these is that they smell amazing while they’re brewing. This one is pretty much spot on rhubarb and custard, and it’s a real shame that they don’t taste as good at they smell!
This one is also a fruit tea, and has the same hibiscus/rosehip base as Sour Cherry. It’s that tell-tale red colour pretty much straightaway. The initial sip is very tart and a touch sour (thank you, hibi!), but there’s a distinctive creamy rhubarb flavour in the midsip that’s really almost dessert-like and quite delicious. It lingers well into the aftertaste, too. Rhubarb seems like a pretty rare flavour in tea, at least in the UK, so this is one I’d happily drink again if given the opportunity.
My samples came with a card that lists the rest of the range, and the Rose Lemonade immediately captured my attention. There’s also a green tea with grapefruit and lime that I’d quite like to try. I’ve got one more sample to try – green tea and sweet mint, and I’m looking forward to that one because spearmint is one of my favourite things! I like that Taylors are trying to do a few unusual combinations as well as the stuff you’d expect, but what I’d really like is a fruit blend that doesn’t use hibiscus as a base. It’s a lifelong dream, I know.
This came as a free sample from Taylors of Harrogate. It’s a fruit tea, in a bag, and its predictably heavy on the hibiscus. It takes on that tell-tale bright red hue pretty much straight away, and it’s mostly all I can taste, at least initially. There is some cherry in the mid-sip, but it’s more fleeting than I would have hoped. It reminds me a bit of cherry throat sweets – soothers, or tunes, or something along those lines. It’s a little bit sour, but I think that’s mostly the hibiscus and rosehip. I get flashes of liquorice and aniseed, which are a little odd, but they do add a sweetness that helps to pull the tart, sour hibiscus back a bit and make this a palatable cup. Really, though, it’s not particularly well balanced, and there are definitely much better fruit teas out there. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this one, but it wouldn’t be one I’d go out and buy in quantity.