|"To the tongue, it was a little dry at first, but not too much like some Keemun/Assam black tea-based Earls. The Ceylon gave it a delicate finish; like a ballet-trained ninja piroetting stage right."|
The aroma for this was all sour-citrus bergamot, but there was a bodied presence from the black tea a bit. Ceylon teas tend to have fragrance of fruit, mint and soil; traits I think were imparted due to the altitude in which they grew. A faint impression of that was on display here along with the usual citrus rind presence. Petals are present for - as JING says - "visual appeal", but don't lend anything beyond that. The blue ones I thought were mallow at first, but I was surprised to learn they were cornflower. Yellow ones were also on display, but they were not mentioned in the tea notes.
Brewing instructions were a welcomed shade of vague. JING recommended 1-2 tsp per cup infused for three minutes. No mention of temperature or size of cup. For some reason, this was a welcomed change. A British invitation to "just wing it". I went with 1 tsp in 8oz of hot water.
Surprisingly, the tea did brew to a shade similar to walnut, just as the JING profile stated. The scent was...oh, heck, pleasantries escape me. It was awesome. Bonified bergamoty awesomeness. To the tongue, it was a little dry at first, but not too much like some Keemun/Assam black tea-based Earls. The Ceylon gave it a delicate finish; like a ballet-trained ninja piroetting stage right.
I will confess that the first time I tried this, I brewed it for about four minutes. It was extremely bitter. I forgot to take into account that it might be a more fragile high-altitude black tea. At just the three-minute steep time, it is nearly a perfect Earl Grey. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't sweeten or cream well. Quite a parodox, given the tea merchant's claims to the contrary. I put sugar and French vanilla cream in it, and it actually soiled the tea experience for me. Of course, any Brit would look at me and say, "Blame the French."
As an American, I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
But Southerners would probably whisper to at least keep the sugar.
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