I’m a fan of Whittard Tea (I’ve written about them before) – not just for their tea (oh, and the attractive packaging), but for their retail shops too, which are brilliant. If you’ve never been to one, I urge you to pop by for a visit. You will find them in shopping malls and in cities and towns from Basingstoke to York.
Whittard shops are filled with the most wonderful tea (and coffee) as well as a fab selection of mugs, teapots, tins, tea accessories, and loads of other goodies. Their customer service is fantastic, and every Whittard shop I have ever been in is always fully stocked and just an all around enjoyable experience. Tip: There are usually free samples available towards the back of the store.
NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S TEA BAGS
Recently, I had a chance to try some of Whittard’s tea pyramids – triangular tea bags made from sheer bio-degradable mesh and filled with whole leaves (or fruit) to infuse perfectly in your cup. These mesh tea bags are beautiful – they look and feel like silk.
Times have changed, tea lovers! Do not be fooled by the old ‘all tea bags contain inferior tea’ blah blah blah. Yes, this may be still be the case with some tea vendors, but we are now seeing more and more leading-edge tea companies (like Whittard) using full leaf tea in quality tea bags that are roomy enough to allow those leaves to fully unfurl, releasing all that tea glory!
A SAMPLING OF WHITTARD TEAS
I must say it was almost impossible to narrow down my list of the teas I wanted to review. Whittard offers black tea, white tea, green tea, yellow tea, Oolong tea, Pu-erh tea, Rooibos, single estate tea, flavoured tea, fruit & herbal infusions, and artisan tea. I mean, how in the world does one choose?
But choose I did and because autumn is my most favourite time of year, I decided to go for 3 blends that sounded comforting and autumnal:
The first was Baked Apple which is actually an infusion and not tea (it’s only ‘tea’ if it contains tea leaves). Whittard’s Baked Apple is a delicious mixture of apples blended together with almond, cinnamon, hazelnut and cream flavours.
The scent alone is worth your trying this tea, but honestly, it was lovely. I expected it to taste similar to other apple flavoured ‘teas’ but this one had a pleasing, distinctive, more authentic apple taste than previous ones I have tried. (And the cinnamon is not overpowering as sometimes can be the case when paired with apple.) I sampled this tea straight up, with no milk or sugar.
Next, I tried the Masala Chai black tea with spices. Masala Chai, or mixed spice tea, originates from India. Recipes vary from family to family but the inspiration stays the same.
Enticingly aromatic and beautifully warming, I sampled this tea with generous lashings of milk and sugar to evoke a traditional Masala Chai. If there was ever comfort in a cup, Whittard Masala Chai is it.
TRUFFLE PRALINE TEA
Truffle Praline was the final tea I tasted – a black tea with white chocolate pieces, rose petals and flavouring.
Again, oh my, the aroma was amazing. This is a light tea but with a very decadent taste. The small pieces of white chocolate (I promise you will be tempted to pick them out and eat them on their own!) add just the right amount of chocolate flavour, and the praline pulls it all together to form a truly rich tasting cup of tea. I sampled this tea with just a hint of sugar. If I had to pick a favourite of all 3, this one – Whittard’s Truffle Praline Tea – was it.
But don’t take my word for it – try these teas for yourself!
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