Being a big tea drinker I've always been a big fan of Whittard. Established in 1886 by Walter Whittard, whose first venture was a small shop in Chelsea, in London, selling the finest tailored blends of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I must admit I hadn't seen many Whittard's shops around for sometime, but stumbled across one when we were wondering around Portsmouth on our last holiday. I picked up this rather fetching traditional looking tea box as I always have a fancy for spiced tea, as some readers may know from my blogs in the past. On popping open the silver bag in the box I was taken back by the heavy orange smell mixed with cinnamon and cloves. I quickly scanned the box and was a little confused to find that this black tea is best drunk without milk! On infusing the thick dark tea I found that it was almost coffee coloured. I restrained the urge to add milk and decided that I would try the first mug without. There was always forty-nine other tea bags left in the box to decide whether I preferred milk in Spice Imperial or not, and then of course there would be a long long trek back to Portsmouth.
On first smell I let the steamy dark liquid tickle my nostrils with its orange and spicy fragrance. On first taste I could definitely pick up on the orange peel to start with followed by cloves and then cinnamon, there was a soft sweetness to the brew also that followed the orange peel and spices balancing out the flavours with vanilla. This was an excellent expert brew delivered by an excellent expert tea blender. It's just a shame there isn't a Whittard's shop nearby where I live anymore. There was an apt quote from Noël Coward on the top of the box open opening that stated; "Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't drink tea?" I heartily agree!
Information on the box;
125g box with 50 rounded tea bags. Ingredients included; black tea, cinnamon, citrus peel, cloves, and dark vanilla pods. Origin; Indonesia.