|"The perfumey bergamot totally dominated the Darjeeling tea base. First Flush Darjeelings are rather mild to being with, so pairing it with such a heavy bergamot pretty much made it impossible to enjoy."|
While I am girl that likes Earl Grey blends, I don't love them. For example, I don't mind having a cup of Earl Grey now and then for review purposes here at Teaviews, but I don't actually stock an Earl Grey in my personal tea collection. I do have an Earl Grey La Creme though. I think that the reason that I requested this one is that it uses a First Flush Darjeeling as a tea base, and I was thinking that the fruitiness that often accompanies a Darjeeling might pair nicely with bergamot oil. This particular sample has gotten passed over a number of times for review, however, as it has none of the extras that Earl Grey blends sometimes contain such as orange peel, flower petal shreds, etc. (visually unappealing) and the aroma coming from my sample package is that of a rather heavy and perfumey bergamot. Since nothing was really calling my name amongst my current samples, I decided to proceed with reviewing this one with the hope that the prepared cup would be tastier than the dry sample alludes.
I prepared this using water brought to a boil and allowed to cool off to about 205 degrees and gave it just over a 3 min infusion. The cup brews up to a shade of amber and is rather light in color for a black tea but that is expected of a First Flush Darjeeling. The prepared tea is very much still dominated by the heavy bergamot oil. While I did pick up on the citrus associated with the bergamot oil, which seemed more lemon than orange to me, this one remained too perfumey to me. Further, the perfumey bergamot totally dominated the Darjeeling tea base. First Flush Darjeelings are rather mild to being with, so pairing it with such a heavy bergamot pretty much made it impossible to enjoy. I am unable to tell you if the Darjeeling was floral, muscatel, fruity or otherwise. I will tell you that the tea base tasted like it was probably of a good quality as it was very smooth and there was no bitterness whatsoever. I enjoyed that aspect of the cup best. However, I found myself wanting to tweak this blend in one of two ways. Either pair it with a stronger tea base that can hold it's own against the strong bergamot presence or use a lighter, friendlier bergamot. If given the choice, I would go for the later option.
Overall, I can't count this amongst my favorite Earl Grey offerings. I did enjoy the smoothness and lack of astringency from what I believe is a quality tea base, but I just found the bergamot to be too heavy and perfumey--almost cloyingly so. I would love to try an Earl Grey offering that uses a Darjeeling tea base, but paired with a light zesty bergamot. I think that this one might appeal to folks that enjoy Earl Grey more than I do and are more 'hard core' Earl Grey lovers. However, I can't see me purchasing this for myself. However, the rating did get bumped up a couple notches for using a quality tea base. A number of my fellow reviewers liked this one reasonably well so you might bear that in mind. Fortunately, KTeas sells sample sizes so you can try it out without having to commit to a huge quantity if this interests you. Further, at the time of this review, KTeas has a number of their products on sale so it is a great time to place an order with them.
» Read more about this reviewer on Laura's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Laura.