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Afternoon Tea

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The spirit of British tea drinking, captured in a single cup…

In the words of the novelist Henry James: 'There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.' But what makes the tradition so distinctly British?

It all started when the 7th Duchess of Bedford called for tea in her boudoir one afternoon in the 1840s - feeling a little peckish, she asked that the tea might be accompanied by a light snack. Devotees of afternoon tea ceremony have never looked back, and it wasn't long before we were feasting on scones, cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Do you have a favourite afternoon tea food-pairing? Do tell.

Our signature Afternoon Tea is an elegant blend of Chinese black tea, oolong and jasmine-scented green tea, with flavours of bergamot and a flamboyant flourish of pink and white petals. The rich black tea blends beautifully with the refreshing floral taste of the green, while the hint of bergamot creates the lightest suggestion of an Earl Grey. It's an ideal tea for Earls and Duchesses alike.


The Great Taste Awards have been described as the Oscars of the food world—so you can imagine we were pretty chuffed when our Afternoon Tea won a gold star at this year’s awards. The judges called it “bright, with a pleasant sweetness”.

  • Tea Type

    Flavoured Black Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Refreshing, Rich

  • Tastes like

    Rich, refreshing and superbly aromatic

  • Food pairing

    Classic afternoon tea – scones, rich cakes

  • When to drink

    Traditionally 4pm is the ideal hour for afternoon tea

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

* * - - - (9)

9 Reviews

* * * - -
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* - - - - Not a change for the better by MW on 23rd August 2016

I am in complete agreement with others who have stated the previous blend was far superior to this revised one. Why change a great formula? The original afternoon tea was the one I purchased frequently; both on-line and in store, however this latest blend will no longer be on my shopping list. Sorry!

* * * * * Not Earl Grey but a perfect, refreshing alternative by Dan on 19th July 2016

I actually love this tea now. For me, it is perfectly balanced, just enough bergamot, a light hint of rose, a hint of green tea and the result is a perfect tea for me. If you want the traditional Earl Grey, this may disappoint. However, if you want a refreshing tea with a great flavour, then this is perfect. I find I keep wanting more as when brewed correctly, there are no overpowering flavours or notes.

* - - - - What happened to the Afternoon Earl Grey? by Jette on 2nd May 2016

Needed to restock tea. Our favourite blend is the Whittard's Afternoon Earl Grey. Don't find it in the webshop any longer, so asked in a shop and was told that it has been discontinued! Why? We have tried to make our own blend mixing the Afternoon tea and the regular Earl Grey in various combinations, but the combination of rose petals and orange peel is absolutely terrible. We spent an evening around the table with tweezers to take out the rose petals and orange peel to get a tea that we could drink, but it is certainly not as enjoyable as the good old Afternoon Earl Grey. Now searching its replacement.

* - - - - Why mess up a good tea by Max on 19th April 2016

Nowhere near as good will not buy again ... Shame

* * - - - I thought I was alone in noticing the flavour was nowhere near as good! by Kate Shirley-Quirk on 31st March 2016

Very happy to read that others have noticed like me that Jasmine has been removed from this once lovely tea.... it was my absolute favourite tea and now is nice but not exceptional at all. I cannot see why Whittards would change this fantastic recipe? Like the other reviewers I do hope they will read all these disappointed comments and reinstate the original recipe when they can??

* * * - - Sadly not as good as it was by Clare on 3rd March 2016

I agree wholeheartedly with the other reviewers - I have drunk this tea for the past 20 years and the new recipe is far inferior to the old one - this tea is watery and lacks the vibrant taste of the previous one. Why change something that everyone loved and was so successful? Am very disappointed but will persevere in the hope that you bring it back up to its previous excellent standard

* * - - - Formula change: worst decision ever by Oli Moore on 17th January 2016

I'm absolutely distraught about this... Afternoon tea is... WAS my absolute favourite whittard tea. I used to buy it regularly not just for myself but for my friends who absolutely adore it. Having entered the store to purchase my 'usual' order, you can imagine my absolute HORROR having returned home to enjoy my favourite tea and find it was just atrocious. This was not even enjoyable for me, as the others above have said, as far as teas go it's not the worst tea, but it was too weak for my friend and far too bitter for me. It's basically just a terrible version of the whittard earl grey. Watery, bitter, earl grey. They also have the absolute audacity to say on the box that it's a 'classic'. WAKE-UP-CALL! If you CHANGE the recipe, it's NOT A CLASSIC. Not to mention, if it was already successful, WHY WOULD YOU CHANGE IT! To say that I'm completely befuddled would be an understatement. I feel totally confounded and completely betrayed. The idea now that I will never taste my favourite whittard tea again is heart breaking - please change it back else I will have very little reason to enter your store again. PS - if you change a recipe, perhaps ensure that the staff inform people purchasing the tea!!

* * * - - Good but not as good as it used to be by Elina on 7th January 2016

Absolutely adored the previous formulation, it had much more jasmine and was far more fragrant. With the repackaging, it seems like a new formula which is much milder, a little more generic, and tastes more watery. I'll keep on buying though, in the hopes that the old formulation is brought back, or maybe i just bought a not so good box

* * * * - lovely tea but previous formula better by Pia on 24th December 2015

I discovered this tea a few years ago and has been my firm favourite ever since, however i feel that the formula has been changed recently as it used to have a stronger floral taste. Still a lovely tea but prefer previous incarnation.

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We’re confident that you’ll love our products as much as we do. Our Taste Guarantee means that if anything fails to meet your expectations you can return for an exchange or full refund – just remember to enclose the original receipt if you're returning it by post or popping in store. That way you're free to try something new, without the risk of disappointment.



The Chinese invented paper, gunpowder and the compass. But their finest innovation has to be tea, reputedly first discovered by the emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BCE. Originally prepared as a medicinal brew, tea became a drink in its own right during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), and today China produces thousands of different varieties ranging from black, green and white tea to oolong, puerh and yellow tea. If you’re looking for a bit of teatime reading take a look at Lu Yu’s ‘Tea Classic’: first written in 780 CE, it covers everything from cultivation methods to tea etiquette…

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A note from Whittard

“I’m a huge oolong fan – the sheer diversity of different flavours is pretty mind-boggling. My favourites are the creamy, almost buttery high grown oolongs grown in Taiwan.”

- Bethan, Specialist Tea Buyer
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