Featured in a recent article of mine as one of the teas that I would like to explore more, Devonshire Tea is a black tea that I decided to get to know a little better this month. A blend of different black teas (rather than a pure black tea) this blend uses teas grown in Kenya. Tea from four different plantations are combined to produce this rather unassuming, but really quite tasty blend that is sold out of the company’s headquarters in Plymouth, England. It is a bagged tea consisting of quite finely broken up tea leaves, and so is more along the lines of Tetley or Typhoo (“normal tea” to the Brits) than whole or loose leaf black teas such as Nine Bend Black Dragon Tea.
I enjoy both bagged and loose tea, and therefore the fact the Devonshire tea comes in bags is not a turn off. Rather, I appreciate the convenience of bags (especially in the morning when I am in a rush), and I approach this tea knowing that it is going to fall more into the “morning cuppa” group than the “specialty indulgence” group of teas.
That said, it definitely is a lighter tea than some of the teas considered “morning cuppa” favourites. It certainly has a bold flavour, but without the harshness that the bagged black brand favourites sometimes have. But I actually quite enjoy the harshness of these other teas because I add milk to my morning black tea, which softens the edge of the astringency. Adding milk to Devonshire tea still works nicely, but it does make it a sweeter, softer cuppa, which may not be to everyone’s taste. However, if you are one of those people who enjoys taking their black tea without milk, then you might find Devonshire Tea is more to your taste than other bagged black teas such as PG Tips or Typhoo.
Although I tend to prefer bolder, stronger black teas in the morning, there are some days when a mellower tea is better suited to start off the day. For these mornings, Devonshire Tea fits the bill perfectly, but on other days it seems better suited as an afternoon tea – for my tastes at least.
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