|"A decent, if dainty, cup. Rock out with your pinky out."|
There have been many attempts to shake up - and occasionally feminize - the Earl Grey recipe. Sometimes by adding more bergamot, less bergamot, changing up the black tea base, using a whole other tea entirely, or adding extra blossoms for accentuation or a change of taste/pace. The most famous of these shake-ups is Lady Grey, which takes an already slightly sour beverage...and adds MORE citrus. As if that were really necessary.
My Urban Tea's Lovely Earl Grey (or Lavender Earl Grey) does something I've never seen before and adds two unlikely ingredients to the blend; strong ingredients at that, jasmine and lavender. These two disparate blossoms both have their fans and detractors. When in abundance, I consider myself a detractor. Jasmine teas aren't my favorite, and I've only encountered one lavender blend that met with approval. When understated, they work quite well, yet I have no clue if they'd work well together.
The dry presentation alone had a lot going on. Bergamot was front and center on first whiff, rounded out by the petal punch of the jasmine contribution. Said blossoms also made up the majority of the botanical additives - all loud, large and yellow. If I looked hard enough, I found some lavender in there, but - to my relief - not much.
Brewing instructions on the site echoed my own thoughts exactly; 1 tsp of tea per 8oz cup of 200F water. Not much I'd do to deviate from that. I prefer my Earls at a three-minute steep.
The liquor brewed a light red-brown, much lighter than the usual Earls I'm used to - save for one that used first flush Darjeeling. I wondered if that was the case here, a high-alt Ceylon or Himalayan being used as the foundation. The nose was - as expected - floral but with a creamy texture more indicative of a Cream Earl Grey. I didn't smell the "essence-of-soap" aspect usually brought on by the lavender. On taste, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting to like this at all. The mixture just sounded wrong. However, the lavender blossoms coupled with the bergamot dominated in a citrus flower spellbind. The aftertaste gave a clean residual, which I'm sure was the minor (and thankfully muted) lavender conclusion.
A decent, if dainty, cup. Rock out with your pinky out.
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