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Recent Tasting Notes
Bought this one yesterday just because I am a big fan of Twinings and English blends in general. I am sadly disappointed. It’s hard to call it tea. It is just dusty powder, the one that you find in the cheapest teabags sold in markets. Smells and tastes like a typical, cheap Indian Assam CTC tea. What happened to Twinings? I love Gunpowder and Prince of Walles, I used to drink a lot of Lady Grey, but this one is complete disaster and shame to your company.
Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Malt, Vegetal
This is the blend that used to be called 1706, and which I remember really enjoying as a teenager before I “found” tea properly. It’s nice to revisit, although it’s not quite as impressive as I remember it being. I feel like it used to have more presence, and more to differentiate it; it was somehow “softer” than English Breakfast, less tannic, with a lot of sweet maltiness. Now, I think I’d have trouble telling the two apart.
Today’s cup, I’d say, was a slightly more tannic version of English Breakfast. It’s a good, hearty “builder’s” style tea, for sure, absolutely great with milk, and robust in flavour. I could say the same about their English Breakfast, though, which I find noticeably stronger and maltier than their Everyday blend. The effect you get with English Breakfast and English Strong Breakfast largely depends on how long you leave it to steep – ESB is perhaps a little quicker to achieve strength, but you can get there with EB quite easily.
I feel like these two are basically the same tea, and I don’t think there’s a need for both of them in a range that already has a lot of black breakfast-style blends. 1706 used to be a heritage blend, rather than just an EB clone; I’m kinda sad seeing what it’s become.
Twinings don’t give much away when they describe this tea, other than that it’s “100% black”. Yes, well done. I think it’s an Assam/Ceylon blend; it has that classic light citrus, but with a sweeter, maltier backbone than Ceylon alone would have. It’s fairly tannic, and stronger than I was expecting – it’s described as “light and refreshing”, but I don’t really agree. I mean, it’s lighter than their English Breakfast, but it’s by no means as light as a darjeeling or a pure ceylon.
It tastes a lot like Twinings Everyday, to me, and it also reminds me of Teapigs English Breakfast. That used to have a Rwandan tea in it, and it made me wonder if this blend does too. There’s something in the background that I can’t quite put my finger on, and that might be it. I’m pretty sure there’s a third tea here, in addition to Assam and Ceylon, although they’re definitely the biggest components.
I quite like this, as a robust, straight black, breakfast-style blend. I drank it without milk today, but left a little longer (3/4 minutes) and I’m sure it would take milk if you wanted it to. It’s not particularly unique, but it’s pleasant enough. At this price point, you can’t really complain.
“For when you want to taste every note”, says the description. I have to say, I’m struggling to find any notes in this one, because it’s a pretty standard bagged black. In taste terms, except a mild citrus brightness in the background, there’s nothing much to distinguish this from any number of other bagged, generic, breakfast-style teas. I will say that it’s clean-tasting, refreshing enough, and easy to drink either with or without milk. If you’re not looking for anything more, that would probably make it a winner, but I’ve moved beyond that point in my tea journey. That’s not the fault of this tea, but it does mean that I find it underwhelming.
There are Twinings teas that I find convincing – their English Breakfast, for example, is pretty sound if you’re looking for no-fuss simplicity. I just think that if you’re taking the time to choose something like a Ceylon or a Darjeeling, you’re probably looking for something with a little more nuance – but you’re not going to find it here.
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Aaaaa chamomile, what would I do without you? So far, I have found that this is the most effective blend of chamomile for me to deal with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression. It also tastes really sweet, so that’s a pickmeup in itself! My favourite blend of chamomile. The packaging is also gorgeous!
3rd taster of the starter box I received a few days ago and definitely the worst (although I was looking most forward to trying this fruit infusion) : already in nose a lot less interesting than the other tasters (blackcurrant&blueberry or strawberry&raspberry), as I cannot get mango anywhere and the strawberry is very subtle. Then, after steeping it 4 minutes, this is basically an infusion of the hibiscus backbone…neither mango nor strawberry is present. It´s sweet but fortunately not overly sweet (neither is the taste or smell artificial), so it´s easy to drink, has a nice colour and that´s about it. Quite little reason to repeat!
Flavors: Hibiscus, Strawberry
The second taster of the small Twinings taster box. Another hibiscus-backbone fruit infusion, but here the hibiscus doesn´t overpower the blackcurrant and blueberry, as this infusion is named. I´m not a big fan of blackcurrant, but here its strong flavour is reasonably balanced (with the hibiscus?). Cannot get the blueberry though. Overall a more than decent fruit infusion.
Flavors: Black Currant, Hibiscus
The other day, my husband “discovered” a litle taster box by Twinings he had received once and had put aside in his bag. I am now doing the tasting of the 3 different fruit infusions, starting with this “strawberry & raspberry”. Both the tea bag as the steeped tea smell nicely, nothing too artificial (quite common with these fruit infusions), and this is fortunately confirmed when drinking it.
The only thing that starts to bother me with the "better "of these fruit infusions (in my opinion when taste isn´t artificial) is that they seem to be all aromatised hibiscus infusions, so the hibiscus is key and the name of the infusion is the aroma which makes the difference between the different infusions, in this case strawberry and raspberry. Very easy to drink, although I prefer infusions a bit less dominated by the hibiscus…
Flavors: Berries, Hibiscus
If there’s one advantage to having a cold, it’s forcing me to be a bit more creative with my tea. This isn’t a particularly exciting tea at the best of times, being straightforward chamomile and mostly dust at that. No whole flowers here! In an effort to try and help myself sleep and soothe my throat at the same time, I added the juice of 1/4 lemon and 1 tsp of honey to a cup I’d steeped for 3 minutes. It’s actually delicious, and breathed fresh life into a normally boring supermarket staple. I sometimes find chamomile too sweet, and I worried that the honey would push it over the edge, but the fresh lemon juice brings it back from the brink and adds some much-needed balance.
I still didn’t sleep very well, on account of not being able to breathe, but my throat felt soothed for a while at least.