Review of English Rose (Teabags)

8 of 104 of 53 of 571 of 100

Two background caveats here:
1. I'm not a big fan of overt rose scent in beverages; something about drinking common garden flowers that I've cultivated, like rose, marigold or lavender, still seems weird to me (even though I do like jasmine tea...go figure!).
2. I haven't had rose congou tea from China yet, for comparison with this, so I can't tell you for now if this is a good match or cheap imitation.

On a gift package's individual, 5-bag box, Whittard describes this as, "A village fĂȘte tea for scones and strawberry jam...". Fancy, fancy! The ingredients list simply is black tea and flavoring, but the photos of the loose version on Whittard's website show dried rose petals and whole rosebuds. So another mystery here is how much of the "flavoring" in the bagged version is rose oil, vs. more finely chopped flowers, or both. Some of the specks in the dry bag seem different in color than the tea, so I'll give it benefit of doubt and say natural petals.

Those aside, and for what it is, I thought Whittard did a nice job of balancing the rose and the base tea. The latter is fairly simple and unassuming, but noticeable against the rose flavor, and rather like a mainline Ceylon. The dry aroma: mild rose, milder than in the flavor and in-cup scent. The taste is naturally sweet, more than sharp or bitter, which is why it might play well with desserts. Even after excess steeping, the tea holds true to itself and doesn't veer off into some cloying component, (e.g., no offputting bitterness). It's probably worth a try for fans of real rose congou to see how an English version measures up.

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