When a tea comes with the name Darling Grey, I know I have to try it. This week I am reviewing the delicious Whittard Darling Grey in loose leaf format. This is a twist on the classic Earl Grey, one of the many that are available, containing orange flavours.
So, has Whittard made a darling of a tea or is it better going straight on the compost heap? Let’s dive in to find out.
Whittard Darling Grey at a Glance
- Blend: Chinese black tea with lemon, orange, orange blossom, and bergamot flavouring
- Flavour: Soft and sweet black tea, like orange zest scented brioche bread with a hint of bergamot
This is a wonderfully soft tea with a mellow black tea base and delicious sweetness. The juicy aroma is also fabulous and I have no hesitation recommending this tea.
Full Review – Darling Grey by Whittard of Chelsea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Chinese black tea
- Additives: Orange peel, lemon peel, orange blossom, cornflower petals, bergamot flavouring
- Flavour Notes: Orange zest, fresh brioche bread, soft black tea, gentle bergamot, lemon, sweet
- Aroma: Very fresh bergamot, orange peel, vibrant, juicy, subtle black tea
- Milk or Lemon: Lemon, if desired
- Where to Buy: Whittard Official Teashop
The initial aroma from the dried tea leaves immediately scored 10/10 on my rating score sheet. It’s incredibly fresh with notes of bergamot and orange peel. It is so vibrant and juicy, as if the citrus fruits were juiced and zested just moments before I opened the packet.
Once brewed into a very pale and clear soft brown tea, the aroma is… disappointing. It was unlikely to score another 10/10 for the aroma of the brewed tea, but I still didn’t expect it to vanish quite so much as it did. Rather than vibrant and juicy, it is soft with subtle citrus notes and light black tea.
Now let’s see if this darling has a good flavour.
From the first sip, this tea is orange fresh. There’s this warmth and sweetness combined with orange zest that reminds me of freshly baked brioche bread with candied orange peel on top. The black tea is gentle and smooth with soft sweet notes of bergamot and lemon appearing in the aftertaste.
Added to this, Whittard Darling Grey has a slick and smooth texture that just top off the experience in a glorious way. This is an amazing tea with a wonderful flavour and aroma. I have no hesitation recommending it to Earl Grey lovers and haters alike.
How to Brew Orange Earl Grey Tea
This tea is quite gentle, but it doesn’t need a gentle brew. I used boiling water to brew 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for 3 minutes. You can brew for up to 5 minutes if you’d like a stronger brew, or try using 2 teaspoons per cup instead.
I have a notorious sweet tooth and I found this tea to be perfectly sweet without anything added. However, if you must add a sweetener to Whittard Darling Grey, then I would recommend honey. If you prefer sharper and more drying notes in your Earl Grey, then float a slice of lemon in it instead.
Why Whittard of Chelsea?
I am a huge fan of Whittard of Chelsea and I am part of their affiliate program, so if you decide to purchase one of their teas I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). This helps to keep the blog running!
That being said, I strive to make sure that my blog is unbiased. That’s why their Piccadilly Tea scored a measly 2.9 out of 5 and it’s also why you can trust me when I say that Whittard Darling Grey is 100% worth trying. The tea leaves are sourced from China, which is a little vague but better than no origins being listed. As for the flavour elements, this tea contains real chunks of lemon peel and orange peel.
Whittard of Chelsea tend to use flavourings sparingly, particularly in their loose leaf blends. Only the bergamot is from flavouring, which is totally fine. Most tea brands opt to use flavouring as the essential oils from the bergamot fruit can be quite pricey.
The only room for improvement that I can see would be swapping the black tea base for something a little higher in quality. While it is certainly nice, I wouldn’t call it luxury. A fine loose leaf black tea – perhaps a single origin variety – would really complement the beautiful balance of citrus fruits and take it to the next level. Let me know what you think would improve this tea in the comments below.
Overall, Whittard Darling Grey is an absolute delight and I was surprised to find that it has a higher rating than Whittard’s Earl Grey on the blog here at Immortal Wordsmith. The best place to buy this tea is directly from Whittard or by visiting one of their high-street stores. Occasionally it might be found on Amazon, but it’s not part of their main line-up so that’s not a guarantee!
If I had to recommend one darling piece of tea equipment to sip Whittard Darling Grey from, it would be the Scandinavia Style Teacup. Available in pink, yellow and red colours, it is as sweet as this tea set. There’s free UK shipping in the Immortal Wordsmith shop as well!