Spiced Imperial from Whittard of Chelsea 1886

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Whittard of Chelsea 1886

Tea Description:

Set against smooth black tea, this blend is enriched with the exotic taste of cinnamon bark and fragrant citrus peel; scented with spiky cloves and long dark pods of vanilla. From your steaming cup these majestic flavors curl and twist. Let them take you on a journey to lands rich with the fragrance of spice.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This smells so good.  It is spicy with strong cinnamon notes and hints of clove.  It has a delightful citrus-y undertone and a background note of earthy black tea with just a subtle touch of vanilla in there too.

I expected it to taste super spicy, like the spicy-hot cinnamon hearts.  But it doesn’t.  It certainly does have a warm level of spice, but I wouldn’t call it spicy.

What I am liking right off the bat with this tea is that the black tea is not hidden beneath all these spices.  It is evenly matched with the cinnamon, which is the strongest flavor of the spices.  The cloves come through about mid-sip, while the orange notes seem to peek through, brightening up the entire cup.  The vanilla is more of a subtle, distant note, and I find myself wanting a little bit more from it.  However, as it cools, the vanilla seems to rise to the surface, and gives me what I was hoping for.  It doesn’t ever become a strong flavor in the cup, but, it becomes a little less shy about revealing its flavor after the tea has had a couple of minutes to cool.  Not cold, it’s still hot … but, it’s not as hot as it was when I first poured the cup.

I am enjoying this, but I do find myself wishing there was a little more  … something … from the black tea.  From what I am tasting, I would speculate that this is a Ceylon, and it is pleasant enough and tastes good, but, it’s just not quite as solid a tea as I would like.  It’s a bit too mild here; I think needs a bit more roundness to it.  I think that this could have done well with a touch of Assam, perhaps, or maybe Nilgiri, to give it a slightly denser flavor with a hint of malty flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a very enjoyable tea – I just think it could be even better!

Overall, though, I am really enjoying this warmly spiced blend – it evokes thoughts of autumn – my favorite time of year – and reminds me that it is on its way!  And this tea would be a delightful one with which to start those days in fall.  I can’t wait!

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