Living just a 40-minute train ride from central London, the capital was always alluring when I grew up. Weekend trips to go shopping at Stratford and meandering walks around Spitalfields are some of my favourite memories. But I must admit, I haven’t ever done the big sights and I’ve never laid eyes on the tower of London myself.
Basilur Tower of London is an English breakfast style tea made from pure Ceylon black tea. It’s hearty and warming, with a message scrawled inside the impressive gold-effect book-style tea tin that speaks of history, kings and queens, and royal tradition.
But does it actually taste good? That’s what I’m going to find out this week in my tea review.
Basilur Tower of London Tea at a Glance
Full Review – Basilur Tea Legends Black Tea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Ceylon
- Flavour Notes: Tannins, black tea, low bitterness, minerals
- Aroma: Malt, tannins, minerals, earth, stone fruits, salt, rich
- Milk or Lemon: Milk or dairy alternative
- Where to Buy: Amazon UK
The first aroma you get from the dried leaves is strong. Malt and tannins dominate the aroma, with subtler notes of minerals. If you like to drink heavily oxidised oolong and Chinese “rock” teas, I imagine this tea would be to your palate.
You can brew this tea quite lightly, unless you want to add milk (see brewing recommendations below). It creates a clear and bright amber brown colour. It’s a lot lighter than your usual English Breakfast tea… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The aroma that swirls up with the steam of the brewed tea is far richer. It’s malty and strong with minerals – it even smells a little salty, or at least slightly savoury. Many of my past tea reviews that I’ve described with the word “malty” have been sweet, like a malted milk biscuits. But this tea is the complete opposite. I’m intrigued, to say the least.
The flavour is good to sip slowly and savour. It’s a bold black tea with low bitterness and high tannins. Lingering mineral notes play right at the back of your tongue and last well into the aftertaste, tempting you to take another sip.
As for texture, this tea has a medium body in flavour but is actually quite watery and light. Overall, it’s an interesting drinking experience.
I really enjoyed the flavours of this tea, but my issue is that it doesn’t fit the theme. Tower of London and any British-themed tea evokes thoughts of hearty and strong breakfast tea. Basilur Tower of London is anything but that.
How to Brew Basilur Black Tea
Basilur recommend using 1 teaspoon of loose leaf (or 1 teabag if you have the bagged version of this tea) and letting it steep for 3-5 minutes in 100°C water.
My review photos are a 3-minute brew, which comes out quite light. The bitterness is low at 3-minutes, however, so it’s a good brew time if you like to drink tea black. If you want to add milk, brew for 5 minutes or longer.
I highly recommend eating something sweet while you sip this tea. The sweetness will contrast with the bitterness and balance it out. A plate of biscuits should do the trick!
Why Basilur Tea Legends Tower of London?
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing quite a few Basilur teas in my time. The romantic mini book tins contained some of the most delicious green tea blends I’ve ever tried. When it comes to packaging, Basilur go all-out. If you need a special tea gift for Christmas or any other occasion, Basilur is your go-to brand.
Basilur Tower of London comes in a large, book shaped tin with a plastic resealable bag inside. It certainly keeps the tea fresh. Written on the inside of the book tin is this inscription:
Tower of London which speaks of ancient history, pre and post world war eras where Kings and Queens used this magnificent castle to rule their land and affect the whole world[…]
I love how romantic it sounds… but it’s really not historically accurate. The Tower of London was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and hasn’t been used as a royal residence since 1547. If you ask any Brit about the Tower of London, they’ll know it better as a formidable prison that held notorious criminals such as the Kray twins. It’s associated more with torture and execution (and even mystery) than ruling Kings and Queens.
It’s not ancient, home to the monarch, nor the castle from which they ruled pre or post world war era. This isn’t obscure information either – it’s all on the Tower of London Wiki page.
History lesson aside, the tea quality is decent and there’s not really anything to complain about here!
I do recommend trying this tea, especially if you like your tea without milk. It would best suit a more experienced tea drinker who can enjoy the unusual flavour notes, rather than someone looking for a standard every-day-cuppa.
If you’re looking for a slightly different yet still hearty black tea, then read my review of T2 Melbourne Breakfast next. Rich vanilla and bold black tea all rolled into one. It’s pancakes and syrup in a cuppa!