Posted by: TomA | 4 November 2009

Blind Tea Tasting

You might now that I’m rather partial to a cup of tea. You might even know that my favourite brew comes (besides those cups of Pu-Err or Almond Cream in Lee Rosy’s) in the form of Yorkshire Tea (bags normally, I’m too lazy at work for loose leaf).

So imagine my surprise when a work colleague mentioned a superior tea! Oh how we ridiculed, for there can be no superior tea to Yorkshire, surely, I thought. Or can there?

No, don’t be so silly.

Yet, curiosity got the better of me. What was the magical tea? Was it really better? How would I go about answering these deep philosophical questions?

Said work colleague came to the rescue, with the offer of a bag of this new, super tea. But, to keep this fair, it had to be tastest blind. This is the story of that tasting…

Three envelopes were produced. One contained the staple of my working life, a Yorkshire tea bag. A second envelope contained this imposter of a tea bag, one tea bag supposedly so good, it was better. A third envelope, not to be opened until the very end, contained the identities of the tea contained within each envelope.

Tea is a serious business. James and I, a trusted tea drinking chap from round the corner of the office, set about how this should be executed. Two identical mugs were procured from the kitchen, with our two envelopes and some rather detailed and technical scoring sheets drawn up from considered research from the internets.

A bag went into each mug once we’d had a good smell of each. Tea A smelt delicious, with a slightly woody aroma. Tea B also smelt delicious, but perhaps lacked the air of fragrance of A. This was going to be tough.

Boiling water went into each mug, similtaneously, and both teas were allowed a minute or two to steep. Having removed the bags (saved for later in case further tests were required), we noted the coloury and aroma of both teas. Again, tea A smelt wondrous, a real thing of beauty. Tea B wasn’t far behind though, with a slightly richer colour but lacking the depth of aromas.

Now, to taste.

A comes through again. B is still a fine brew, but there’s something about A that is just, well, better. Cleaner, denser, deeper. More aromatic.

How would our competing brews compare with milk? Tea B turned into a fantastic brew, one I’d very joyed to sup at my desk. Sadly, it was trumped by Tea A once more – this was an ideal cuppa.

Tea A wins. Without a doubt. But which brew is which? Would our staple Yorkshire tea bag come out trumps, seeing off this challenger, or would it have been displaced from our hearts?

There was only one way to find out. The third envelope had to be opened.

It contained the identities of both teas.

Which would it be?


The tension mounted. We waited. And waited. While the instigator, our colleague who’d been so kind as to introduce a new and fine tea, sat in a meeting.

And we waited.

Find out the result after the jump…

Finally the time for the opening came.

You want to know the results, yeah?

Scroll down….



…. further…



… and tea A was….





[mighty drum roll of epic proportions]





…. about to be unveiled as….






not Yorkshire tea, which resided in envelope B,








Betty’s Tea!

We have a new tea supremo! And a bloody good cuppa it is indeed! Blended by Betty’s & Taylors of Harrogate, those fine folks that also make Yorkshire, it was champion.



  1. […] did us Yorkshire tea lovers guess right? (Tom guessed A; James guessed C; Bee guessed D). In a previous blind tea tasting, James and I compared Yorkshire with Betty’s Tea Room Blend, with Betty’s coming out on […]

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