Saturday, January 26, 2013


Guilt is a nasty thing. And I have been suffering.

Late last year, the nice folks at Whittard sent us some teas to test. But I was busy, then I got a stomach bug, then I had a Christmas shopping panic, flu, a holiday...

 The tea has been waiting in my Kitchen. Chastising me. Every time I stepped in there.

 NO MORE! New year, new start. I've got the kettle on and I've brewed up three mugs at once to show you how serious I am.  Here we go.

1. Whittard Assam
I'm a big fan of Assam. Did Whittard know this? Anyway - the nice, round teabag brews up well and goes a good malty brown colour. It's got a really smooth taste with quite a strong (but not unpleasant) tannin-y aftertaste - a bit of sharpness. I think this would be a good staple cup to get you through the working day. Yes - I like it. I've just drained the cup.

2. Whittard Orange Blossom Tea A loose leaf tea! This stuff was a pleasure to open & smell (even if I split the package & spilled tea everywhere). The black tea is in quite large ebony coloured flakes and there are big bits of dried, zesty peel. I liked this - it's very reassuring in a world of chemically-derived flavor additives to see that an orange has really been involved. I brewed this tea in a hurry and didn't warm my pot - so the resulting tea is a bit pale. The orange scent comes through. And the flavors pair well together. I added my usual spoon of sugar - this may have been a bit of an error. It enhances the orange and makes it taste a bit like you're drinking tea whilst eating orange jelly. Next time I think I'd cut my usual sugar & be happier with the cup. The tea doesn't seem to be bitter so I think that would be safe enough. I imagine this would be a good tea to drink black, if your proclivities run in that direction. it's quite a refreshing cup - I can imagine it going well with a weekend breakfast of pancakes.

3. Whittard Green Tea
A confession - I don't like green tea. So I packaged this one off to Janine. However, since she has a baby to look after and has moved house and I haven't reminded her, the results are not back in yet. We'll update this post when we have her feedback.

4. Betty's Spiced Christmas Blend
Obviously this one didn't come from Whittard - but since I'm in a rare reviewing mood, I thought I'd add it on. It was a Christmas present from the lovely Janine (T&C's resident Queen of Tea). It smells like your average Chai - I'm getting cloves from the scent. And maybe Cardamom and Ginger? The spices are so well balanced it's hard to pick out exactly what's involved. The tea is mellow and not bitter at all - so the main feeling you get when drinking this is comforting and mellow. I think there's something fruity in here, too. Orange? Or bergamont? I could check the packaging but I think that might spoil the fun. I'm not sure how different this is from a normal Chai (there could be a tea test in that!) but it's an enjoyable and relaxing cup. I'm struggling to finish it - but that has more to do with the fact that I've just downed three cups in a row than being any comment on the tea.

So! That's it. Tea is nice in all its many forms.

One item is now ticked off my guilt list. Next up: laundry pile. Watch out world, I'm on a roll...

Big thanks to Whittard for the tea samples and to Janine for being my tea-themed Christmas fairy.