103 Tasting Notes
Free sample which was included in the Platinum Collection I had ordered from Taylors of Harrogate.
Not a lot of information available on the sample pack, but online I can read : "Take the best Sri Lankan tea that money can buy – fresh, floral and gloriously lemony – and muddle it with the flavour of rhubarb, apple pieces and hibiscus. That’s Black Ruby: a mixed-up medley of fine winter harvest Ceylon and juicy, sweet-tart fruit infusion. Seriously refreshing.
Ingredients: Black tea, hibiscus, rosehips, sweet blackberry leaves, apple, natural flavourings, natural rhubarb flavourings (1%)."
Essentially a “black tea with rhubarb flavoured herbal blend” I´m quite impressed because for once hibiscus and rosehips don´t take over the subtleties of the black tea, but on the other hand the rhubarb isn´t very present either : as a matter of fact, I can only lightly discover it in the tea´s aroma. Overall a nice black tea, and while the flavourings don´t dominate, I still have the feeling it would´ve been better without them.
It´s always a special moment when I get an old-fashioned letter from a good friend…and what can be better to cherish this moment than make myself a cup of tea to accompany the reading? Today I had some mountain pearls, fresh and crisp…a real summery tea, if you ask me, without needing fruit or extra sweetness. In nose very grassy, but fortunately in taste it isn´t at all so herbal.
This is one of the rare teas Taylors of Harrogate offers online in its Discovery range. When browsing through the teas and coffees of this range, I decided to try the “Platinum Collection”, a collection of 3 black teas. Moreover, this “Three Kings” is a blend of a Darjeeling, an Assam and a Kenyan black tea, bringing out the best of both, no, three ;-) worlds. Not overwhelmingly fragrant, but brewed for 4 minutes the result is very balanced. Maybe missing the wow factor I recently experienced with other teas, but a very solid blend indeed! Complex taste but will need further tasting to define all flavours.
Strawberry lemonade sounds nice, especially to be enjoyed when the weather is nice. It was a free sample from my last order, so I waited for a lovely spring day to try out this tea. In nose there are hints of strawberry, but the hibiscus is very present, and it smells natural (which isn´t always the case with hibiscus) and the elderberries are dominating, especially in length. Brewed for 4 minutes, as indicated on the tea bag, it tastes primarily as a fine hibiscus infusion (in hindsight, it´s probably the combination of hibiscus and elderberries which gives it a finer appearance)…nothing much going on for the rest though, and I definitely cannot make the link with a strawberry lemonade, as the citrusy aspect is very subtle (it might be more present when taken cold).
Flavors: Hibiscus, Rosehips, Strawberry
This first time I stuck to the preparation indicated on the note by Whittard of Chelsea, i.e. take one teaspoon of the rolled leaf tea, add water at 100ºC and have it steep 3-5 minutes. I used a mug with a matching (ceramic) filter …what a nice way to see the leaves open up!
The dry tea smells nice and intense, what I often find lacking with green teas…and the resulting hot brew although light in colour is quite fragrant and again intense aromatically speaking.
With just the right degree of bitterness, it stays crisp and I like that. Next time, I´ll reuse the leaves for multiple infusions, to see whether it manages to make my enjoyment of this tea even bigger!
I had chosen this tea when shopping in the Palais des Thés shop in Angers last Summer, but although I had intended to drink it iced, I hadn´t opened the packet over Summer. I brewed a pot (in a new cast iron tea pot) and it was nice : more fruit (natural) than herbal, and nicely balanced (not overly sweet, nothing artificial, overall quite subtle in taste… maybe therefore named “romantique”?)… naturally w/o theine, this makes a wonderful late night drink!
I needed to drink this tea again, and so I did. I bought myself a kettle where I can heat the water to 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100ºC and I decided to test it with this tea, as it is recommended to brew it with water heated to 60ºC. I might still need a precise balance to get 2g (as also recommended), but I think being able to get 60ºC w/o trial and error is a major improvement : not only did the tea taste “fuller” (as tea more than hot water), it stayed at a more or less stable temperature for a longer time as well, I have the impression. What a difference that makes to the enjoyment of this tea!
Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells and rapping up like pipes and drums
Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
And we’ll wear it ’till the night comes
… (Joni Mitchell – Chelsea morning)
Nothing better than to “put on the day” with a cup of Chelsea breakfast : the addition of Kenya tea makes this breakfast blend stronger, maltier, and definitely more “my cup of tea” than the standard English breakfast blend.
Flavors: Malt, Tea
OK, I admit it : I love the “revisited” packaging of these Whittard tea bags! As I really love bergamot flavoured teas, this might have been a sure bet, although I´m not too fond of fruit (flavoured) infusions, and green teas very often have a grassy taste I cannot appreciate…let´s have a taste. I brewed the tea bag as indicated on the box (infuse for 2-3 minutes with water heated to 80ºC), and I must say it´s quite a nice surprise : aromatically the mango dominates, but not overly so, while one notes the green backbone in the just degree and the mouthfeel is definitely bergamot, to satisfy Earl Grey lovers as myself. As far as I´m concerned, this tea suits me more than most of the green earl grey teas I´ve tried so far…maybe the mango addition makes it work after all!
Flavors: Bergamot, Green, Mango
This is also a taster tea bag I received recently. Not exactly the type of tea I would buy (neither the green tea nor (even less, really) the coconut), but I´m always willing to try out things, teas for instance. I prepared the tea as indicated on the tea bag and the first thing I noticed was the colour : grassy green. It smells like freshly cut grass as well, the coconut coming through in a very subtle way. In mouth there are aspects I like (coconut subtle and natural) and others I´m not a fan of (again the grass-like flavour)…unlike other green teas which can be very “weak” even if steeping for a while, this tea is quite the opposite, whether it concerns its taste, smell or visual appearance. This might really be appreciated by others, it´s not my cuppa…
Flavors: Coconut, Green