Williamson Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes


It’s nice, but it’s not Builder’s. It is a strong tea if I use two bags in one 8 oz cup and steep for at least 3-4 min, but it doesn’t have the same floral notes that Builder’s does. Still respectable. I’ll take it over Yorkshire, Typhoo, Barry’s, and even, dare I say, PG Tips.

Flavors: Malt

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Origin: The heart of the Kenyan highlands on a farm powered entirely by renewable energy during the day with the use of solar power.
Ingredients: Kenyan Purple Tea

Aroma: Deep, rich black tea with a sweet edge. Once steeped develops into a sweet caramel based scent.

Flavour: Gentle note of sweet with a spiced fruit hint, that develops seamlessly into a toasted buttery note, resonating the flavour of honey roasted almonds. Further depth is added with a sudden heavy caramel piquancy that is found in the long lasting finish.

Learning Point: Purple tea contains an antioxidant that acts as a PH indicator, turning orange/pink with acidic solutions and a greenish colour for alkaline.

Final Thoughts: Fun to play around with, but the flavour is a little disappointing, with the exception of drinking it iced, which was delightfully light and refreshing. I would love to hear from someone who tried this and loved it, but it’s not something I would personally come back to. Overall, I think purple tea is something every avid tea lover should at least try, just for the experience.

For more visit https://tastethetea.co.uk/2016/10/02/purple-blush/

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Caramel, Fruity, Honey, Tea

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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So I made Earl Grey Zucchini Pecan Bread today!

I used two kinds of Earl Grey in the recipe for twIce the bergamot goodness! The first was Andrews & Dunham’s Mount Gray and you can check out my tasting note for that tea here:


I’ve detailed the process and final product a little more thoroughly there.

Evol Ving Ness

Very inspired, Ms. Strange. Love this.

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So today is my first day off in over two weeks…

While mostly I just want to be lazy around the house today, I figured I should probably also do something that I can count as productive. And I decided that productive thing would be baking some bread! Of course, I’m not a real baker so I used a box bread recipe thinger; but I customized it and made it my own.

The main things I added were pureed pumpkin, and of course I had to include tea! In this circumstance I used this Earl Grey and mixed the fannings from two of the tea bags into the batter, and then I swapped out the water for the recipe with a very concentrated Earl Grey brew. Like, five teabags for ten minutes sort of concentrated…

Also, I don’t own a bread pan apparently even though I was SURE I did so I had to improvise a little bit. So, instead of baking my bread in a bread pan I used a roughly loaf of bread shaped/sized casserole dish instead. Thankfully it worked just fine, and now I have delicious Pumpkin Earl Grey bread to snack on for my day off!

The bread is sweet, rich, lightly spiced and has wonderful pumpkin and Earl grey flavours exploding from it with each bite. I cut myself off a thick slice and also melted some Swiss Cheese on it as well, and that only added to the divine, sweet flavour. I’m just loving this combination so much; it’s the best thing I’ve baked in recent memory honestly.

And a picture: https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15541620_10209019867587822_7333098820095302600_n.jpg?oh=5aecc0b175e31f1307d651cd555a4e4b&oe=58B19C28

The tea is the Columbian Bitaco Green Tea from LP’s Regional group buy. Review on that tea and the pairing to come next…

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So Duchess Grey tea bath…

Very, very soothing and relaxing with the added bonus of being incredibly aromatic and wonderful smelling. Not that peppermint tea baths, or most of the other ones I’ve tried, haven’t been. Doesn’t have the same tingly sensation on the skin that peppermint tea baths do either; but still very wonderful.

I used four teabags, and my bath water looked and smelled as concentrated as a normal mug of tea would.

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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.


haha pineapple jam! lovely

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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.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Earl Grey by Williamson Tea
345 tasting notes

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drank Earl Grey by Williamson Tea
726 tasting notes

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!

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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.

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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.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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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.

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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.

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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.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Hesper June

Okay, so this would not be for than.
I like to be slapped in the face with the bergamont:)



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drank Lifeboat Tea by Williamson Tea
9 tasting notes

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.”

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Pretty much the same as the Earl Grey from Williamson.

Very, very fine CTC.

It has a stronger bergamot than the Earl Grey did and more flavor as well. Between the two I’d prefer this one, but again, nothing I’ll keep on hand.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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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.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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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.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

This elephant tin is just awesome right up to my valley
Mark Wendell has sale on other tins
Very tempting;)


I so should not have looked at the Mark Wendell site. I have not wanted a yixing pot before now but I am in lurve with that black dragon anniversary pot!


So sorry;)

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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…

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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

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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Small leaf tea,no good.

4 min, 15 sec

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drank Irish Breakfast by Williamson Tea
2220 tasting notes

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.

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