|"The aroma was so strong I caught it as I was pouring. It was pure candy."|
This blend utilizes teas from Nuwara Eliya (my favorite), Dimbulla, and Uva - the three main tea producing areas in Sri Lanka. Rounding out this blend are cornflowers - blue blossoms that don't contribute to flavor, only decoration - and natural flavors. No mention of the type of bergamot oil used, Calabrian or otherwise, or whether vanilla extract was utilized. Not a big deal, though.
On first whiff, the first aspect that struck the nostrils was obviously the vanilla. The flavoring agent used was creamy and nutty, almost like a white chocolate bar with peanut. I give them props for whatever flavor type they used, for it smelled like natural vanilla bean nibs. I didn't really get an impression of the black tea presence. Visually, the cornflowers dotted the black tea canvas in little pocket marks, not too boldly, though.
Brewing instructions for this blend - as per usual with Culinary Teas - were remarkably detailed. I could paraphrase here, but that would take up a paragraph. I went for a lighter approach - 1 tsp in 8oz of boiled water for three minutes. They suggested one could go as high as seven minutes, but there was not way I was chancing a tannic AND citrus-sour cup.
The liquor brewed to a chestnut brown. The aroma was so strong I caught it as I was pouring. It was pure candy. Any bergamot scenting or black tea bite was masked by a creamy shroud. To the taste, it was something different entirely. The creamy aspect was markedly more reserved in lieu of the citrus and mild black tea bitterness. I was thankful that I could tell it was still a Ceylon even beneath the other flavors.
This is an Earl Grey for the middle-road folks. It's not too light, not too hearty, just wonderfully moderate. Another word for moderate or middle-ground is "vanilla". This would please just about any fence-sitter, which probably explains why I liked it.
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