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English Tea Store

Lady Londonderry from English Tea Store

LadyLondonDerryTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  English Tea Store

Tea Description:

Our Lady Londonderry Tea is a delightful afternoon tea with a malty floral flavor and hints of strawberry and lemon. This tea is made from black tea, dried orange, daisy white, and natural flavors. This tea is delicious hot or iced, and either way, your family and guests will feel like royalty!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Ah … this is nice!

The black tea base is so smooth and malty.  I like that I’m getting a rather rich, malty taste but it’s not an overly assertive tea.  It truly is a perfect afternoon tea.  Not a strong or hefty cup of tea that you need in the morning, but a pleasantly smooth cup – an ideal tea to brew for guests to make them feel welcome.

There are pleasant floral notes that are soft and add a touch of femininity to the cup.  The notes of strawberry and citrus are delicate.  I like it when I find flavored teas like this – where the flavoring is strong enough to be tasted but not so strong that they’re overwhelming the flavors of the tea.

To brew this tea, I had just enough of it in the sampling that I received from a friend to brew in my Kati Tumbler.  I put the loose leaf into the basket of the Kati and added boiling water to the tumbler and let it steep for 3 minutes.

The result is a really enjoyable cup that isn’t overly astringent.  I feel a slight dryness toward the end of the sip.  The sip starts out smooth and sweet with light floral notes.  Then I start to pick up on the strawberry and the strawberry is a whisper of a flavor but it lingers well into the aftertaste where I experience that berry tingle.  The lemon is a light “brightness” that weaves its way throughout the sip and it’s a very uplifting flavor.

Very nice, indeed!

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea Blend from English Tea Store

BuckinghamPalaceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Green

Where to Buy:  English Tea Store

Tea Description:

The Buckingham Palace Garden Party tea loose leaf blend from English Tea Store is a delicate medium tea with a hint of Earl Grey and Jasmine. This is a lighter afternoon tea.

Every May, the Queen holds a garden party at Buckingham Palace, a lovely English springtime tradition. The tea that is served is a long time favorite, a delicious Palace medley specially selected for this occasion. Intriguing hints of high-grown pure Ceylon Earl Grey blend effortlessly with the soft jasmine from Fujian Province. Couple this with malty Assam (from the estate of Borengajuli) flavory Dimbula Ceylon (from Hatton), brisk and golden cup East of Rift Kenya (from Kambaa and Kagwe) and you have one of the most flavorful teas to come from the British Isles. Each cup is a cup of mystery – the flavors all come to the fore at separate times – one minute you taste the Earl Grey, the next second you can almost feel the soft floral notes of jasmine and finally you get the satisfying fullness of the Assam Ceylon and Kenya blend. Enjoy this tea and be a part of the annual tradition in the west gardens of Buckingham Palace, without having to dress up.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea is an example of a tea that I should have read the description of before I brewed it, because by simply looking at the loose leaf, it is difficult to tell that it’s a blend of black and green teas.  I should have used a slightly lower temperature to steep this tea!  And there is some bitterness as a result.  I steeped this for 3 minutes using boiling water, and I think I should have used water that was closer to 180°F.  Even with the bitterness, it isn’t a bad tasting tea, but I think it could be better.  Unfortunately, I don’t have more of this tea to experiment with it.

The aroma is lovely!  I can smell the bergamot and the jasmine, but neither offers an overpowering fragrance.  This seems to be nicely balanced between the two classic ingredients of jasmine and bergamot.

The black tea is rich and flavorful.  I can taste the malty notes of Assam and the aforementioned bitterness may be a result of the Assam’s presence in the blend.  The bitterness is not something that I find off-putting as it’s not an intrusive flavor.  It doesn’t get in the way of me tasting the other flavors of the tea nor does it get in the way of the enjoyment of the overall cup.  I’d rather the bitterness not be there, of course, and if I had a little more of this tea, I’d experiment with it a little to figure out a better way to brew it so that the bitterness wasn’t present.

The green tea is a little less discernible than the black tea.  This isn’t surprising, as green tea tends to have a lighter flavor than black tea.  However, that isn’t to say that the green tea can’t be tasted because I definitely taste it’s softer, somewhat vegetal taste and a silky texture that is unmistakably green tea-ish.

The jasmine is a sweet, exotic note that compliments the tangy bergamot.  The bergamot it not as strong as I typically like a bergamot in an Earl Grey blend, however, since this is a “garden party” blend (for Buckingham Palace, no less), I can let the softer bergamot slide because a stronger bergamot essence may very well overpower the delicate notes of jasmine and a good balance between the two has been achieved here.  It’s a pleasantly floral, tangy cup that is very satisfying.

Overall, an enjoyable cup that I’d suggest as an afternoon cuppa.  It’s not quite robust enough – in my opinion – to serve as a breakfast blend or that first cup of the day when you need that jump start.  This is ideal to serve to guests though, and makes a lovely cup of tea to enjoy in the afternoon, even if your garden party is a party of one.

Assam Black Tea from English Tea Store

EnglishTeaStoreTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  English Tea Store

Tea Description:

The Assam Tea blend from English Tea Store contains only the finest Assam tea for this product. This is a strong tea, and makes a great start to the day. Our pure Assam tea has a deep bronze color and strong malty flavor. It is very refreshing drink for any time of day. We recommend this tea be served hot with milk and a little sugar, but it is also delicious served with lemon or it can be used to make iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Assam Black Tea from English Tea Store is a seriously hearty black tea … or as my father would say:  It’ll put hair on your chest.  Hopefully, it won’t put hair on my chest.  I would hate to have to explain how it got there to my cosmetologist.

Whether or not it will actually cause hair to sprout where it wouldn’t normally, this tea definitely does have some gusto.  It’s a good, strong black tea – the kind of tea you want to serve first thing in the morning when you need that extra burst of energy most.

This is one of those really rich, malty Assam teas.  It has nice caramel-y undertones, and would take to the addition of milk and honey very well.  This makes a really good latte!  Another suggestion:  swap out your normal teaspoon to stir this tea with a cinnamon stick.  This won’t add a super strong cinnamon taste … just a touch of cinnamon goodness.  It’s quite lovely.

Because this is a finely chopped CTC loose leaf, I would recommend keeping that in mind and reducing the steep time.  If you would normally steep an Assam tea for 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water, for example, I’d go with just 2 minutes with this tea.  After steeping for 2 1/2 minutes, I am noticing some bitterness to this.  Not too much, but, I think that the next time I’m steeping this tea, I’ll cut it back to 2 minutes in boiling water to eliminate that bitter note.

Angels Dream Tea Blend from English Tea Store

AngelsDreamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Green Teas

Where to Buy:  English Tea Store

Tea Description:

The Angels Dream Tea blend from English Tea Store is a heavenly tea with maple sweetness, blackberry pungency, full flavored Assam and a mystery green tea. We have sought the heavens to try to find the flavor befitting all the virtues of this tea’s namesake. The natural flavours of Maple and Wild Blackberry enhance the excellent teas we have selected from the tea world’s finest regions – Sri Lanka, Formosa and Assam (India).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Angels Dream Tea Blend from English Tea Store is one that I wish I had read the website description before I brewed the tea.  Had I realized that there was green tea in this as well as black tea, I would have utilized a lower brewing temperature.

However, even with the boiling water and a full three minute steep time, this turned out really good.  I can taste the sweet maple notes, the juicy blackberry, and I can taste the rich, malty Assam tea in the background.  The green tea notes are a little more difficult to discern, but I will say that one place where I do notice the presence of the green tea is that this tea is lighter than a typical Assam tea.

There is some bitterness to this which is probably due to the Assam’s presence in the tea just as much a it is owing to the green tea being brewed at too hot a temperature.  And while the bitterness is noticeable, it isn’t bothersome or off-putting.  It’s there, but, I’m able to overlook it in favor of the other tasty flavors that are going on in this cup.

The maple is a prominent taste.  It tastes the way I’d expect maple to taste:  sweet and rich.  The blackberry is sweet but there is some berry tartness to it too.  The black tea base is rich, full-flavored and astringent.  The astringency leaves the palate feeling slightly dry and clean at the finish.

It’s a good tea that would probably be even better had I brewed it properly, but it is a very forgiving tea! This is one that I think those who like a good flavored tea would find enjoyable!

Lapsang Souchong Black Tea from English Tea Store

lapsangsouchong

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  English Tea Store

Tea Description:

The Lapsang Souchong China Tea blend from English Tea Store is a smooth crisp character with the remarkable heady aroma of a pine and oak wood fire.

The tea originates from Fujian province. The Fukienese word ‘souchong’ means subvariety – that is a subvariety of other black teas from the Wuyi mountains of Fujian. When Lapsang Souchong was first exported to western European countries and became famous on the international markets – it was no doubt due to the distinct aroma and flavor. Interestingly the best Lapsang is produced in the nature preserve located in the Wuyi mountains where the high mountains with thick pine forests and heavy mist provide the ideal environment for growing top quality tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said on many occasions, I tend to be wary of heavily smoked teas.  And Lapsang Souchong … well, it really doesn’t get much smokier than that, does it?  This Lapsang Souchong Black Tea from the English Tea Store is so smoky that I could smell the smoke before I even opened the tin that I had it stored in.  Smokin’!

The reason for my wariness of smoky teas is that … I find the heavy smoke to be a bit off-putting.  It smells to me a bit like a campfire combined with cigar smoke and I’m not … into drinking a liquefied version of that.  And as I’ve mentioned a few times, my first few experiences with Lapsang Souchong have not been positive.  I have since learned better ways to brew the tea so that I can enjoy it.

Here’s what I do:  I bring the water to a boil and then I steep the leaves for about 10 – 15 seconds, and then I strain off the liquid and discard it.  A little rinsing of the leaves.  Then I steep the tea for 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water, and strain it immediately.  From this process, I get a tea that is smoky, but not so smoky that I can’t lift the cup to my lips without feeling put off by the smell of smoke.  It smells smoky, it tastes smoky … just not as smoky as I’d experience if I were not to do the rinse and steeped it longer for 2 1/2 minutes.

And when I say I can enjoy the tea … I really do like it!  The smoky tones are still very clearly defined, but, I also taste other aspects of this tea that I really like.  I taste the caramel-y undertone that sweetens every sip.  It has a rich, robust taste to it that is invigorating.

No, Lapsang Souchong is not my favorite tea now.  It probably never will be.  But I like it now.  It’s not something that I’d drink daily, but it’s something that I do enjoy about once a week … and this Lapsang Souchong from English Tea Store is a really pleasant example of a fine tea.