Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing some of the pieces from New English Teas’ – Vintage Victorian Collection. They very kindly gifted me three pieces from the collection and originally I was going to review them all separately but with all of them containing the same teas either loose or bagged I thought doing that may be a little redundant. So instead I’m going to feature them all in the post so all the thoughts on all of them are in just one place and easy to find. As some of the sets contain the same teas to do the post separately would just be me reviewing the same teas three time over which I’m sure none of you want to read and honestly I don’t want to write the same review three times either.
Loose Leaf Tea Set | This set contains 3 loose leaf black teas: An Earl Grey, An Breakfast tea (CTC) and An Afternoon Tea (CTC) | Having tried all three teas in this set my favourite was the Earl Grey. It is the only one in this set that isn’t a CTC and with it being mostly a broken leaf blend it was the standout of the set. The bergamot could have done with being a tiny bit stronger but for the most part is was nice however because the bergamot isn’t super strong I would recommend having this on its own and not adding in milk. It does however take honey well and is nice with an added slice of lemon.
Now onto the two CTC black teas. My favourite of the two was the Afternoon Tea but because these are CTC, if you use to much and you steep them for to long they will be hard to drink and very astringent. The Breakfast Tea is definitely what you would expect from a CTC breakfast blend, it was strong, heavily malty and thick. It takes milk and honey very well and that how I would recommend you drink this.
There is a time and a place where CTC is something I’ll reach for. When I am in pain CTC is easy and quick to steep especially when bagged like it is in the other two sets New English Teas sent its just convenient and when I’m in too much pain to stand for too long that is what I’ll reach for. The afternoon tea was a little Calmer than the breakfast blend if that makes sense but again make sure you are only using a little and don’t steep it too long. It’s malty, nutty and slightly woody but again takes milk and honey very well and that how I would recommend you have it.
Because CTC black tea is not something I would ever recommend drinking on its own no matter the blend, its very easy to over steep and can quickly become harshly astringent and drying. I’ll be honest while these teas did make me feel some nostalgia because they remind me of the black tea I would drink when I was younger they are not something I would ever reach for over loose leaf. I can see them being good for people who are just getting into tea and don’t want to take a big jump from their bags straight away but these are not teas I would recommend giving to a tea lover. They will definitely find it hard to get enjoyment out of something like this.
My favourite way to use CTC tea like these is in baking as they are strong and its easy to add in a strong black tea flavour to anything you want to bake as long as you don’t over steep them because it will make your bakes bitter.
In this set there was also three teas: again a breakfast blend, an afternoon blend and an Earl Grey but these time they are all in bags and the Earl Grey is much finer than it was in the “loose leaf tea” . I’ll be short and sweet here as to not repeat myself, the tea in these bags was not my favourite, the breakfast and afternoon bags tasted exactly the same as they did in the first set only I could taste that it has come from a bleached teabag and these added paper notes were not nice. I didn’t think the tea could have gotten much finer than it was in the first set but somehow these bagged teas managed to be much finer and almost like dust; they definitely look like fannings to me. Again I can see myself using these to bake but I can’t see myself drinking them in a day to day basis.
The Earl Grey bagged was also fannings and somehow the bergamot managed to get weaker and again I could taste the bag as well which I do not enjoy at all. Again if you know someone who only drinker bagged teas because they are probably the only people who will get enjoyment out of this set, its just not one for people who love high quality loose leaf tea it has a very obvious target market. Again I may use these to bake with as I think I’ll be able to get a good strong note of black tea in cakes and things but other than that I can’t see myself drinking these teas again.
The Breakfast Tea Box | This box simply contains just the bagged breakfast teas. I won’t go on forever as you know what I think of the breakfast tea already. These teas have their place and sadly that’s not in a tea lovers cupboard but there is definitely a market out there for them. I do however really enjoy this tins they are beautiful, very well designed and definitely something I will get use out of in the future.
They are beyond aesthetically pleasing and the with the sheer amount of great designs they have you are sure to find something for everyone (that loves bagged tea) on their website. I wish there was a way that you could just buy their tin sets on their own because I would buy so many of the tins from this set to house all of my tea collection.
These teas were simply just not my cup of tea because I’m so used to high quality loose leaf I just couldn’t help but compare them and because of that I just didn’t get as much enjoyment out of them as I wanted to. However I do see a place in the market for them however it’s very clear to see that I am definitely not part of that target market. I would definitely recommend that the company consider filling their loose leaf tin collection with broken leaf / full leaf teas in all the tins, it may cost them a little more but it will be much more appealing to loose leaf lovers and would open up their target market.
Overall Teacup Rating (For Everything featured in this review) : 2.5/5
If you want to find out more about New English Teas you can do that here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I possibly can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*