This is the smoothest black tea I have ever had! Absolutely no astringency whatsoever! I really love this tea and this was unexpected to me as I went in with cynicism. Let me explain. When I began my loose leaf tea journey not that long ago, I made quite a hefty purchase from English Tea Store. They have reasonable prices, an amazing selection, great reviews, and they had a cute teapot I wanted and needed for a very fair price. So I went for it and got a ton of black teas.
Later I discovered I preferred greens, and oolongs. So my black teas sat around a little while as I learned more about other types of tea. Now I am back to my black tea discoveries. Also I want to say I was a heavy coffee drinker so one would think I would favor black tea but for me this was just not the case. Regardless, I have all of this black tea that is either going to be enjoyed by me, or passed onto some trade partners who I feel will appreciate it more.
So back to Lady Londonderry: This tea has a mouthfeel of a weak coffee, but I must say that I typically drink very dark, robust, rich coffee so to most this tea would be the same mouthful of a typical coffee, or what I call diner coffee. The liquor is medium brown and if you tilt your cup toward sunlight you can still see the sides or bottom of your cup if drinking from a more shallow tea cup. In a coffee mug it would look deeper and darker.
What English Tea Store says about Lady Londonderry:
Our Lady Londonderry Tea is a delightful afternoon tea with a malty floral flavor and hints of strawberry and lemon. This tea is made from black tea, dried orange, daisy white and natural flavors. Use it for hot or iced tea. Either way, your family and guests will feel like royalty!
There is a light floral flavor but also a sweet berry citrus flavor within it. I see this tea as the ultimate tea for an English tea party! This is the tea I envision Alice and the Mad Hatter sitting around sipping with friends! Sweet, like Alice, a little malty and nutty like the Mad Hatter, and floral and twisting like the Technicolor surroundings the would have about them!
There is no bitterness in this tea even though there are flavors such as orange and lemon they are so wonderfully sweetened by the sugary strawberry and balanced delicately by the daisy. I am still simply sitting here in awe of how much I do love this black tea! If you could have seen me as I weeded through my black tea selection which is quite large in comparison to the teas I so covet, you would have been able to tell by my expression, something of a turned up nose, and smushed ick face, that I was by no means ready to be impressed by any black tea in my stash!
Now recently I did order some amazing black tea from another vendor that is well-known for having the best of the best teas and well I hate to think of myself as a tea snob, thinking a tea can only be amazing if it comes from specific sources or has a specific price tag attached to it but to my credit, I have had some bad luck with black tea over all as my palate just does not agree with black tea in general.
My meandering point is that this tea is that amazing and I mean come on, at only $13.55 a pound its like black gold only really inexpensive high quality gold. Yeah I sort of twisted up that comparison I know.
As the tea cools there is this almost creamy quality to it – this tea just keeps delighting and surprising with every sip! Yes another tea to add to my permanent collection and a black tea to boot! This brings my permanent black tea collection up to three teas. I am that picky about black tea! You see I have my samples which are abundant, then I have some teas I have ordered because they are very good and I like them.
Then I have what I consider my “stash” to me, the stash are the teas I can’t live without, would want in case of Armageddon, NEED to have at all times. They are few, they are precious, they are always on hand! This tea has risen to those ranks! Now if only I can get myself invited to have tea with Alice!