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For some reason my phone decided to turn perfectly adequate pictures into blurry nightmares. Sorry, friends, but I can’t fix it for some reason.

I wanted to try the “Russian style” of tea. My mum was going to England, and I knew I could get this tea at Whittard. Whittard has not disappointed me with the quality of their teas, and since I knew that she was going there anyway to buy tea for her friend, I asked her to get this too. .

Type: Black

Instructions from packet: Use fresh water. Water left in the kettle loses vitality and makes tea taste dull. Rinse the pot with boiling water to bring out the tea’s flavour. Add 3-4 teaspoons of tea to a 6-cup pot. Pour in boiling water and leave to brew for 3-4 minutes. Pour through a strainer; add milk to taste. Whether you add milk before or after is open to debate.

Description from packet: A blend of China teas, the name comes from the 17th century when camel caravans transported China tea to Europe. During the journey, the teas took on the smoky taste of the campfires. We launched it just after the First World War and it still captures a spirit of adventure. An aromatic and full-bodied tea with a sweet, malty taste.

Ingredients: 100% black tea.
The look: The tea is a mixture of leaf cuts: some are fine and coiled whereas others are long and straight. The leaves are a rich brownish black colour.

The smell: The tea smells very strong with a soft maltiness to it too. There’s something fresh and sweet about how it smells, too.

First steeping: A very, very strong black tea with a mellow smoky flavour. This tea is bold! As you drink it, it mellows out a little bit, but that sweet (but not sickly), pleasant maltiness remains. This blend has apparently existed for almost a hundred years, and I can understand why. It is a very enjoyable cup of tea.

Second steeping: I suppose you can steep this twice, but the second steeping conjures up images of builder’s tea in my mind. It’s acceptable, but it doesn’t have any of the complexity of the first steeping.

Rating: 9/10

Alternately, slightly manic smile with claps

Alternately, slightly manic smile with claps