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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: The English Tea Store’s Devonshire Tea

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The Subject: Devonshire Tea from The English Tea Store.

Rating:

Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: N/A
Aroma, dry: Very “tea” – aromatic like a good black tea should be
Aroma in the cup, plain: Very “tea” – aromatic like a good black tea should be
Taste, plain: Smooth, mild, only a slight tang that a little sweetener tamed
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Very “tea” – aromatic like a good black tea should be
Taste, enhanced: Milk and sweetener added. Even smoother. Go easy on the sweetener.

2nd Infusion: Didn’t do

Chilled: Didn’t do

Comments:
This black tea is blended from the teas of 4 estates in the high mountains of Kenya. See the story of this tea in my article on The Taste of English Tea Blog.


We used 2 bags in 16 ounces of water and didn’t attempt a 2nd infusion. I was perfectly prepared for a taste that was similar to the lower end bagged teas. That’s the skeptic in me. Both hubby and I were not only pleasantly surprised (hey, it’s a bagged tea) but downright thrilled. Normally, bagged black teas have a bitter edge that requires milk and, for us at least, some sweetener. This tea, unlike the Typhoo we tried awhile ago, was mild even after using two teabags. We liked it plain with just a light touch of sweetener to take away a slight tang. A bit of milk made the tea even smoother. Hubby describes this as just downright great tea with a very “British” taste and no aftertaste, even when drunk plain.

We didn’t try the tea chilled but, based on how it tastes hot, we suspect that it would be great and need just a bit of sweetener, even by those here in the Southeast who like their “sweet tea” (chilled with a ton of sugar).

Our rating is based on this bagged tea versus other bagged teas. We didn’t lower the rating, therefore, by half a teapot for it being a bagged tea. We did deduct half a teapot because of this being an organic tea. The trend to organic is very troubling. There is plenty of evidence that pesticides dissipate before the produce ever reaches your market. Organic farming just lowers the production per acre and unnecessarily increases prices. We hope that this trend will die down as reason prevails.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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