99 Tasting Notes
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
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
I notice that it´s quite hard writing a review for a tea when it´s so good you´re drinking it over and over again.
I bought a 250g pouch of this 1st flush Darjeeling in 2017, and although I´ve been drinking other teas (and coffees, I´m quite a coffee fan as well) as well, this is the one I turn to when I have my ceramic tea mug and infuser at hand : so easy to put a tsp of tea in the infuser and have it in place for 3-5 minutes.
Last weekend I had my sister-in-law over (she introduced black tea to me, as my mother was more of a herbal tea drinker) and of course, I served her this very elegant tea. Both she and my brother liked it as well…
When we visited Borough market together on Saturday, I saw at a tea stand where a similar tea was sold that you could easily steep this tea a second (and even a third) time, and I might try it one day, but it just feels this way it´s perfect : not too strong, not too weak, and the same applies for a bitterness you want/need in a black tea. Bliss.
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