I have a feeling that this is going to be a magnificent tea. Whittard of Chelsea is great at two things: quaint British themes and delicate “fancy” teas. Whittard Covent Garden tea is both of those. Inspired by the fruits and flowers sold at the Covent Garden market in London, this black tea blend is equal parts fragrant and appetising.
If you are looking for a sumptuous afternoon tea, this one really fits the bill. Read my full review below to find out what flavours to expect and how best to brew it. I’m reviewing the London-themed mini caddy version, but the discovery caddy and plain loose leaf boxes hold exactly the same tea blend.
Whittard Covent Garden at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea with petals and apricot peach flavouring
- Flavour: Citrus-sweet black tea with mellow notes of apricot and flowers
Although the aroma is quite floral, the flavour isn’t soapy in the slightest. This black tea is light, smooth and citrus-sweet with notes of apricot and sugar cookies.
Full Review – Covent Garden Blend Mini Caddy
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Ceylon black tea
- Additives: Marigold, safflower, cornflower, flavourings
- Flavour Notes: Citrus, sweet, black tea, light, mellow, apricots
- Aroma: Floral, sugar cookies, bergamot, orange, butter, roses
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Whittard Official Website
The aroma from the dried tea leaves is surprisingly sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be enchanted by the aroma of sugar cookies, orange, and butter mixed with roses, bergamot and a subtle floral note from the mixed petals. It’s well-balanced and I really could stand there and smell the dried tea leaves all day.
You should also take a moment to note the colour of the brewed tea. It’s one of the most vibrant I’ve had the chance to see (my photos don’t do it justice) and the ochre egg yolk gold colour scored a 10/10 on my rating system.
Once brewed, the aroma loses some of that intensity, with just a smooth black tea and floral medley remaining. But not to worry – the flavour will soon win you back. On that first sip, there’s a gentle tingle of citrus sweetness and a very smooth yet light black tea.
This is a mellow and gentle tea with a slight tang from the sweet apricot notes. It’s fruity without being berry-like, as many fruit teas are. The silky, slightly drying mouthfeel also makes it ideal for drinking alongside food, to refresh your mouth between bites.
How to Brew Whittard Covent Garden Black Tea
Whittard recommend a 100°C brewing temperature for this tea, but I think 95°C is more appropriate, given the ingredients and lightness of the tea. So, fill a mug with 250ml of boiling water and then add the tea leaves. Use a generous teaspoon – approximately 2g if you like to weigh the leaves.
I brewed my tea for 3 minutes, which was perfect for my tastes. I like my tea quite light, so brew for up to 5 minutes if you like it stronger. However long you brew it, don’t add any milk. I also don’t feel like this tea needs any sugar, honey or lemon. It’s perfectly sweet and balanced already.
Try drinking this tea with savoury food first. This will enhance the sweetness of the tea. If you eat something very sweet and then take a sip of Whittard Covent Garden tea, you may find that the tea seems duller and less sweet as a result.
Why Whittard of Chelsea?
Whittard of Chelsea are a dominant tea brand in the UK and you can find their stores littered across small towns in England. If your high-street has Waterstones and FatFace stores, then there’s usually a Whittard tea store somewhere nearby. It’s that kind of place.
The black tea used is Ceylon and the flower petals are a visual delight. However, the fruity and sweet notes are entirely made from flavouring.
On the one hand, it’s clearly very good as I didn’t suspect it was flavouring rather than dried apricot pieces until I checked the ingredients. On the other hand, I wish it was all-natural ingredients!
If you have glass teaware, I recommend you brew this tea in it. The petals are really quite beautiful and although the leaves aren’t all whole, you can still watch them unfurl a little as they brew.
This is a gorgeous and well-blended tea. Flavouring aside, there’s nothing to complain about. I really enjoyed the flavour and aroma in equal measures and will be saving this for afternoon tea. At the time of writing, I cannot find this tea available on Amazon (although Whittard do occasionally sell their teas on there) so your best bet is to use Whittard’s official website.
Afternoon tea? It wouldn’t be complete without an earl grey or a sticky tea loaf fruit cake. I have an article with earl grey tea recipes to try, including biscuits (cookies), London fog, and a fig/almond fruit cake infused with earl grey.