Review: Culinary Teas Baroness Grey

Black Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Cornflower Tea, Culinary Teas, Earl Grey Tea, Lemon Tea, Orange Tea, Rose Tea, Uncategorized Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A wonderful twist on an old standard, brimming with the taste of lemon zest, bergamot and floral notes."
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.7/10
Other Teaviews: Laura gave it 7.3/10
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culinarybaronessgreyI was immediately intrigued by Culinary Teas' evocatively-named Baroness Earl Grey, both on a historical and flavour level. Who was this mysterious Baroness and what does her tea taste like, I wondered. Would it be as delicious as my beloved Earl Grey? Fortunately, Culinary Teas' great website tells me that they named this tea for a woebegone 16th or 17th century baroness who lost her husband at sea during a trading voyage to China. It also provides lots of more practical information which is always a pleasure: the provenance, detailed brewing instructions (hot and iced) and a list of ingredients. It's definitely worth a look.

This tea is described as containing black tea, dried orange and lemon pieces, rose and cornflower petals, cinnamon, as well as natural flavours (presumably including bergamot essence, without which there can be no Earl Grey!). All of the above ingredients are abundantly present looking at the dried blend, with the exception of the cinnamon, which I can't seem to spot. The tea leaves are of varying lengths and the colour of espresso. Overall, the mixture looks and smells lovely in a Victorian sort of way. The bergamot takes second place as the smells of spicy lemon and rose petals dominate the blend. It's easy to imagine this perfume trailing behind a lady in all her furs and feathered hats, sadly wandering about the docks looking for her husband.

Once brewed, the scent is a bit tamer, leaning more towards the gentle sweetness of the cinnamon and cornflowers. Following the instructions on the site, I chose a 4 and a half minute steep. The result is a bronze-coloured tea, brimming with the taste of lemon zest. This is a flavourful and invigorating cup, floral and astringent all at once, not unlike freshly crushed lavender. The sweetness of flower petals is quickly followed by the peppery bite of lemon peel. To my delight, the taste of bergamot is abundantly present throughout, without overwhelming the delicate floral notes. As the tea cools, the aftertaste becomes more citrusy, making it a great candidate for an iced tea as well. A second 4 and a half minute infusion leads to another pleasing cup, although with less expansiveness and definition in the flavours. The floral notes have faded at this point. What remains is passable citrus Earl Grey, not bad at all for a second steeping really.

This is wonderful twist on an old standard, indeed a noble tea that's been expertly blended by the folks at Culinary Teas. I would very much recommend this tea to any Earl Grey lover looking to venture out into new territories, without straying too far from home. Well worth it!

— To purchase Culinary Teas Baroness Grey, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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