|"In a world where most Earl Grey offerings have a bergamot dominated cup that totally covers up the flavor of low quality black tea, JING's version still has a very noticeable, citrusy bergamot that shares the stage with the rich, quality Ceylon tea base."|
I have had this sample for awhile now and have repeatedly passed over it when choosing a sample to be reviewed. This is unlike me when it comes to an offering from JING as everything I have tried from them has been above average. However, I happen to know the reason why this ones keeps getting passed over----I am not world's greatest lover of Earl Grey blends in the first place and I have had two Earl Grey's recently that were rather off-putting. Both of those other Earl Grey offerings had some very perfumey bergamot that was really too intense for me---and one of them had a crappy tea base too. I will say that the aroma coming from my dry sample from JING not only contains some cornflower petal shreds but some relatively perfumey smelling bergamot as well. After my previous experiences, that perfumey bergamot was making me nervous. However, I should have known that this one would revive my interest in Earl Grey blends because JING is one of those tea companies that doesn't stock crappy products.
I prepared this following the parameters on JING's website, which call for boiling water and a 3 min infusion time. The color of the brewed drink is very dark and rich looking. This is one of those blends where the intensity of the bergamot aroma from the dry sample does not really translate into an intensely bergamot flavored cup. I say that is good thing. The Ceylon tea base is thing that truly makes this stand out from most of the Earl Grey offerings on the market. It is clearly a quality tea base and you can taste it. In a world where most Earl Grey offerings have a bergamot dominated cup that totally covers up the flavor of low quality black tea, JING's version still has a very noticeable, citrusy bergamot that shares the stage with the rich, quality Ceylon tea base. I noticed nothing floral about the brewed cup that might have come from the flower petal shreds that according to JING's website are, "aromatically neutral" and are really just there to appeal to the visual senses. Since JING mentions on their website that this one was specifically developed for those that like to add milk to their tea, I decided to add a splash of milk. Both the bergamot and Ceylon tea base can hold their own in the milk, but I can't say that I enjoyed it better that way than I did unadulterated. I also added a splash of French vanilla cream to this one to try it out as Earl Grey Creme and would have to say that I enjoyed that more than just with the plain milk. However, I still believe this one is best enjoyed straight up.
This is one of the two best Earl Grey blends that I have tried to date. I really enjoyed both the tea base and the balance of the bergamot in the cup. The only way that I could I could pick a clear winner between this and my other favorite Earl Grey blend is to do a taste off and I do not have any of the other blend in the house currently. However, I can wholeheartedly recommend this blend to both avid Earl Grey lovers and those still getting their tea cup wet when it comes to Earl Grey blends. Quality ingredients really do make all the difference. Overall, this one gets a serious thumbs up. Further, if you are shopping with JING, I would strongly recommend that you add some of their Jasmine Silver Needle to your cart. That is one of my JING favorites.
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