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Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: The English Tea Store’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party Black Tea

The Subject: Buckingham Palace Garden Party Black Tea from The English Tea Store.


Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Earl Grey, Jasmine
Aroma, dry: Strong floral (rose, lilac) with hint of citrus
Aroma in the cup, plain: Strong floral (rose, lilac) with hint of citrus
Taste, plain: Strong floral (rose, lilac), no citrus, bit of an edge, slight bitterness
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Floral altered
Taste, enhanced: Floral altered

2nd Infusion: Since is bagged tea, did not try one

Normally, I avoid bagged teas as much as possible. However, the name of this tea was so intriguing, having visited Buckingham Palace (strictly outside the gates), that I had to try it. I have had a fantasy (since watching the changing of the guards) of attending a garden tea party at the Palace and wanted to see if this tea would take me there (in my mind, that is). I can cheerfully say, “Mission accomplished!”

Hubby tested the tea with me, first smelling the tea dry and then tasting the brewed tea. The smell of the tea dry in the bag gives a true foretelling of the taste in the cup. We both detected strong floral notes, especially rose and lilac. Hubby also detected a definite citrus aroma. These scents are typical of Earl Grey tea flavored with oil of bergamot (a type of orange) and jasmine.

To get a good infusion in the Little Yellow Teapot, I used two bags. The taste of the tea plain in the cup carried forth those floral notes along with a bit of an edge. I detected a slight bitterness, but hubby didn’t. The bitterness was mellowed for me by a little milk and sweetener (the stuff in the blue packets), but hubby thought the floral notes were heightened with these enhancements.

Overall, this tea seems to be a great occasional tea, making it perfect for tea parties (that’s why I had my second cupful in one of my special bone china teacups with saucer and little gold teaspoon). Serve it with some mild tasting foods like finger sandwiches made with cream cheese or rich-tasting Scottish shortbread cookies. They will balance out the strong floral.

We deducted a half teapot for this being a bagged tea versus loose and a half teapot for the somewhat overwhelming floral taste and aroma. Hubby took off another half teapot for the floral lingering so long on the palate after finishing off a cupful. I added a half teapot just for the way it carried me off to that imaginary tea party with the Queen.

Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.


  1. Perhaps I'll visit Buckingham Palace one day. London is probably one of the best destinations possible for me outside the US as a tea tour.


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