Hatley Castle Blend Tea Bags

Picture of Hatley Castle Blend Tea Bags
Brand:Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd
Style:Green and Black Tea Blend
Product page:Hatley Castle Blend Tea Bags

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Reviewer pic80 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
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Here's still another quality green-black blend from Murchie's, who has a large menu of them and seems to have mastered the apparently delicate art. The blend also is over a century old too, with an interesting history: a custom job originally prepared by company founder James Murchie for Laura Dunsmuir, wife of James Dunsmuir (a former BC Premier). Mrs. Dunsmuir served the tea at elegant, high-falutin', Victorian-era dinners at their lavish castle on a rural part of Vancouver Island, no doubt to the profitable delight of Murchie. Buoyed by this and a couple earlier successes, he also got gigs preparing teas for visiting British royalty, and the company became a mainstay in Canadian tea. After the Dunsmuirs died, the castle and estate became a military university, then later, what's now known as Royal Roads University, where the HCB tea still is served and sold.

One of the smoothest, most richly flavored blends of this type in Murchie's array of them, HCB also seems to have such a good interplay between green and black teas that it almost tastes like a tea type unto its own, and a delicious one at that. Based on their photo of the loose-leaf version, it seems to be about 70–80% black tea by volume, though the types and origins of the tea components aren't specified. The flavor is moderately robust, especially after a long steeping of around 5 minutes, consistently smooth from first hot sip through aftertastes to cool cup bottom. The taste is not powerful, mind you, but not delicate and shy either...a somewhat assertive, yet even-keeled and unflappable tea. Consistency and fundamental goodness are this blend's strengths. I can see why the societal upper crust of Victorian Victoria liked this.

My only complaint about HCB was that the aroma—both in-cup and dry-bag—was rather weak, and much less noticeable in the nostrils than the flavor on taste buds. That's too bad, because it's a nice blend. Since Hatley Castle is so well-balanced, I still recommend this tea if you're looking to try a quality, no-frills green-black blend, without added spices nor flavorings, at reasonable price (in the U.S. anyway, with the favorable $CAD exchange rate).
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