Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mugged: Whittard Teas

Subject: Whittard Teas
Teas Mugged and Rating [see key]:
Whittard Original 4+
Russian Caravan 4+
Darjeeling 5+

As a red-blooded American, when someone ask me what words I associate with the UK, one of them has always been tea. Having visited London I know their is a great love for coffee and espresso, evident by great coffee roasters and coffeehouses alike, but their is something unshakably British about tea. Thus, it was my pleasure to objectively sample three teas from Whittard of Chelsea, a tea purveyor since the late 19th century that is still going strong. They sent out to me three of their staples: Whittard Original, Russian Caravan and Darjeeling, each of which I sampled according to the steeping directions upon the box.

The Whittard Original, a blended tea of Kenya, Assam and Ceylon, smacked of lemon, light caramel, a bit of rose bud amidst a creamy, smooth body. A tasty tea that while a bit astringent, also held a delicious quality that would further lend itself to a touch of cream.

The Russian Caravan actually reminded me of a tea I was constantly served during a brief time in the wilds of Russia (somewhat near Swan Lake).  The flavor held notes of granola and black cherry, along with a moderate maltiness making for deep-bodied, sweetness.

The Darjeeling, an Indian-grown tea that produced a full-bodied cup tasting of lemon rind, slight malt, vanilla and cream, blasted forth a bright and muscatel tea. Of the three teas, this was the most flavorful and underserving of dairy.

While these three teas were definitely lower-grade teas than what I usually consume (ground up leaves, no distinction of origin (or flush in the case of the Darjeeling), etc.), each of the teas still held some wondrous aspects that I would elevate over the general swill-in-a-bag obtained at your local supermarket. And on the flip side, Whittard also offers some spectacular, high-end teas that I am eying up myself. Simply put, give Whittard of Chelsea a try for some of your tea needs.

note: tea was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.

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