|"I would recommend this not so much as an Earl Grey but as a high quality, organic black tea, with a with a light citrus twist. The overall profile is more about the leaves's exceptionally malty contribution than the bergamot's."|
Following the directions on the package, I infused 2 level teaspoons of tea in 8 ounces of water heated to 208 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. The liquor is instantly coloured a deep mahogany hue. Although still detectable, the bergamot scent is definitely on the lighter side now. I take a sip and then wow! A very happy combination of malt, biscuit, sweet potato and cocoa notes emerges from the leaves. I do wish the website specified what types of teas were used because this blend is darned delicious. It's as though the best of an Assam, a Ceylon and a Yunnan have been rolled into one. The bergamot is present in the background, giving again, an almost floral and fresh tinge to the finish. The body is exceptionally thick and creamy. I stirred in a bit of milk partway through and the tea handled the addition beautifully. The blend is naturally very sweet, with just a touch of astringency to the finish. I do not recommend adding any sweetener here. In a nutshell, the overall profile is really more about the leaves's contribution than the bergamot's.
Although the package recommends that this tea be used only once, I tried re-steeping the leaves for 4 minutes. The brew is certainly less spectacular than the first, yet still respectfully palatable. Only the body is noticeably lacking compared to the first steep. Otherwise the sweet biscuity notes of the leaves are still going strong and the bergamot again lends its citrusy lift to the finish.
I really must mention this company's packaging as it was truly commendable: the generous sample was vacuum packed in a thick foil envelope, ensuring maximum freshness. Plus a description of the tea, as well as a complete set of brewing instructions were printed on the label. A tea reviewer's dream! Attention to these kinds of details, while not unique, is rare and makes me more likely to buy from this retailer in the future.
I find myself in a bind trying to rate this tea. The richly textured, malty cup is a delight to drink. However if I was really in the mood for an Earl Grey, this is not what I would reach for. Instead I would choose a blend where the bergamot flavour is featured more prominently. Ultimately my penchant for sweet, biscuity teas wins out. I admit it, I could drink this again and again! Especially since the price tag isn't too high and there seems to be free shipping for this item. I would recommend this not so much as an Earl Grey but as a high quality, organic black tea, with a with a light citrus twist.
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