Hampstead TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Varieteas Box (October) – 4/30
Hooray, I remembered to delve into my Varieteas box today! I chose this one because I’m not overly fussed on straight mint teas (I prefer a bit of liquorice in the blend or chocolate) and I kind of want to use up the bags I’m not excited about.
This was a pleasant surprise though. While there’s not a whole lot going on and it’s a basic, does-what-it-says-on-the-bag cup of tea, it’s super refreshing and tasted pretty good after my dinner. A decent palette cleanser, but not something I’ll end up buying.
Flavors: Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint
I felt like something pretty straightforward this morning, and this blend of peppermint and spearmint seemed like just the thing. It’s pretty nice, but also pretty much as you’d expect – there’s nothing especially unique here. I’d say the spearmint is more prominent than the peppermint, and contributes a delicate sweetness that sits over and above the danker, more cooling peppermint. It’s one of the better balanced mint teas I’ve come across in a while, and I actually wouldn’t mind keeping a few around to drink after dinner or just before bed. I’ve never seen these around, though, so that might be a pipe dream. I’d probably not order online/direct from the company just for these, but if I found them in a shop I’d happily buy a box.
One thing I’m noticing about some of the teas in my Varieteas box – this one included – is that they’re marked as free samples (and so presumably not for resale?) While I appreciated the convenience and variety while I was off work and travelling, I’m not sure I’d subscribe or buy another box from them. Some things about it seem a little dubious – like the age of some of the teas (what I recognise as old branding/packaging on more than a few), the inclusion of trade/catering brand tea, and those that are clearly marked as free samples. I’m not particularly pleased to be paying a premium price for that kind of thing, to be honest.
i do love green tea so much! http://www.favewallpapers.com/60916-saucer-leaves-drink-tea.html
Flavors: Artichoke, Ash, Brown Toast, Decayed Wood
I am a tea snob: I usually buy varietals, not blends, and buy it loose, never tea bags. But I found myself in Rome and looked everywhere for a good Ceylon-type or Darjeeling tea that would be a good robust, bright brew that I could drink with milk, or in a weaker proparation, without. To my great surprise and delight I found Hampstead’s Organic Fairtrade (already two pluses for it in my book) English Breakfast blend. It’s now my favorite of this type. I hope I can find it back in the USA. Great aroma in Rome’s very hard water, or Carolina’s clayey soft water.
Flavors: Caramel, Pecan, Pumpkin, Round, Smooth, Tannin, Toasted Rice, Tobacco, Vanilla, Whiskey, Winter Honey
This is a pre-made iced tea which I don’t usually drink but my parents got me one to try (their idea of ‘if it’s tea, Kayleigh will love it’). Yes for those who have not read my name is Kayleigh, just to make sure no one gets confused.
Well I like that this tea is organic and natural, never tried any of Hampstead’s range before so it’s a new venture completely.
Flavour is mild in terms of thickness, very lemony and refreshing. Like a mild, flat lemonade. Very light and sweet but not overly so. Still I’m finding it very pop/soda like. Though honestly it’s not too bad, not sure I would buy it in but if I saw it in a restaurant I may have some. Stronger than Lipton’s Lemon iced tea.
I picked this up a while ago at Winners when they were selling some Fauchon teas. The box was pretty. This is a tea I could easily drink at work. I read the box (I thought anyway) and decided to pick it up.
So I am at work, I open the first individually sealed packet and there. Is. A. Smell. Hmmmm. What is going on. I put the bag into my cup and flip over the packet to read it. Oh no! My beloved Earl Grey has been…(dramatic pause)…Darjeeled!!!!
I am no fan of Darjeeling. I don’t know why. I have never ever like it. In taste and smell it reminds me of cheap cigarette ash. No matter what kind of Darjeeling I have tried, I just don’t like it. I find it worse when it is in a blend because that is usually the first and only ting I can taste.
Well…proceed with tainted tasting note, I guess. Even though I don’t prefer Darjeeling, I think I will be able to finish off this box of 20 tea bags. There is some bergamot in there. It is super light, all trampled and beaten up from the Darjeeling. Not as much as the package makes it out to be (“the zing of the bergamot oil…”), but it is just a work tea. I often don’t even taste the teas I drink when I am at work, I just quickly gulp and move on.
Upon closer inspection of the box, it does say this is a Darjeeling Earl grey, but it is kind of buried under all of the cute graphics and fancy writing. No wonder I missed it. Damn marketing…
Due to snow shoveling, paperwork shoveling, and elder care anxiety, I hit an exhaustion wall very early last night. Tried an orphan sample of this; I don’t generally like valerian, but the lemon masked it pretty well. As to its medicinal value, I was in bed by 8:00 p.m.—due largely in part to the fatigue, but this no doubt contributed.
A review of Organic Fairtrade Lemon Valerian by Hampstead Tea London
Company: Hampstead Tea London
Tea Name: Organic Fairtrade Lemon Valerian
Tea Type/Varietal: herbal
Steeping Vessel/Amt Leaf: cup/ tea bag
Liquor Color: lightest honey brown
Water Temp: 200
Time: 2-3 minutes
Using freshly boiled water I put my tea bag in my cup and left it to steep for a few minutes. The tea’s aroma is sweetly of the chamomile and liken to the color of honey or a very light brown. It is soothing as I sip of this tea; it makes me feel calm as the infusion is meant to calm one at the end of the day.
I even added a few drops of my Sleep Support tincture (for those nights when you can’t get to sleep. You can take this tincture straight or in water to help to help you relax and get some shut-eye). I obtained this tincture as part of my summer CSA share from Sweetgrass Herbals (www.sweetgrassherbal.com) and this did seem to liven the cup that much more. The dropper also contains valerian; so it is my double dosage with the hope for a good night sleep.
Overall tasting notes: A calming infusion of lemon and chamomile which goes to making this valerian tea a wonderful relaxant.
Cup’s characteristic: calm and soothing cup of tea
Liquor color: lightest brown/ honey like
Taste: mildly citrusy with hints of chamomile
A review of Organic Fairtrade Green Tea by Hampstead of London
Company: Hampstead of London
Tea Name: Organic Fairtrade Green Tea
Tea Type/Varietal: green
Region: Sri Lanka/ China/England
Steeping Vessel/Amt Leaf: cup/ tea bag
Liquor Color: lightest brown to golden honey
Leaf Characteristic: tea is dark and red under direct light it is like a pomegranate red.
Water Temp: 190 Fahrenheit
Using freshly boiled water I put one tea bag in my cup and left it to steep for several minutes. The tea’s aroma is freshly clean and light brown in coloring. It is more like honey. When I sip of the tea there is a slight astringent in the cup and the more I sip of tea it seems to lessen. I am guessing because I use to it by now.
Tea, also has slight tingling effect on the palette.
Overall tasting notes: This is a delicious tea; it is invigorating and freshly clean as green teas tend to be.
Cup’s characteristic: fresh and mildly astringent
Liquor color: light brown to darken honey.
Taste: refreshing taste with slight astringency that improves with more sips. Tea leaves a tingling effect on the palette, and this dissipates with each sip as well.
This is a very good tea that is both refreshing and clean with mild astringent.
I have the loose tea version.Smooth ,fresh,grassy,a little fruity(reminds me of soft,juicy fruit like plum and dried prune at the same time ),flavorful and mild. The green flavor is actually strong,but in a very gentle and subtle way so it’s easy to accept.My first sip is bitter ,but all I get from then on is fresh sweetness of herbs itself.
From TeaEqualsBliss. Sorry I forgot to let you know when the envelope arrived. With all the stress of late, I forgot my manners.
Now on to the tea. Unfortunately I think this is a little past its expiration date. I can taste what I think is sencha and I can taste lime sort of but really it is more the shadow of what this once was :( I can tell by the way it plumped up and the fact I can see lime zest through the bag, it had great potential.
First, my humble and apologetic thanks to the donor of this one…I think it was teaequalsbliss, but if it wasn’t, the rest of you know l love you anyway, yes?
Second, I am a Midwestern farm kid with a very plebian spice repertoire. I will publicly admit I don’t have a clue what saffron’s supposed to taste like.
And finally, the tea itself (you were just holding your collective breath waiting for my pronouncement, I’m sure): It was bitter. I hit exactly the middle range on time (2:30), with water boiling as advised, and it put wrinkles in my tongue. But—and you may have experienced this—I still got a sense that the base itself was pretty good black tea. Dropped in a sugar cube and re-evaluated. Improved marginally to “formerly bitter black tea that now has a little bit of a metallic thing going on.”
I hate not having wonderful things to say about a tea, but that’s what this whole forum experience is about.