|"The aroma was a perfect balance between a vanilla introduction and a floral farewell."|
Named for the stout, long-standing monarch of the late-1800s, this blend takes a few Yankee-ish liberties with the original formula. Along with the black tea and bergamot are vanilla bean and rose petals. The latter of which was the first thing I beheld when opening the bag. These aren't just buds or shavings, rather full-on flowers. They possessed a golden hue, which at first made me think of citrus fruit. The aroma also deceived me. The combination of vanilla, bergamot and rose fused to create a very tropical scent - dazzlingly springtime-like on an overcast day.
Brewing called for a lighter approach than I was used to for a black blend - water brought to 195F and a four-minute steep. I usually went with boiling water and a three-minute infusion, but the lighter temp seemed a fair approach for the fair Queen. I did it their way with 1 tsp. in 8oz of water.
The liquor brewed quite light for its type - an even amber infusion one could imagine flies trapped in. The aroma was a perfect balance between a vanilla introduction and a floral farewell. While the rose petals were large in the dry batch, they didn't overpower the infused form. Bergamot was found somewhere in the middle of the fragrance but understated. As for flavor, rose took point on the forefront, followed by vanilla and citrus, and all seemed to coalesce in a very pleasant finish. Not bathwatery like some rose-blended teas. Definitely not a manly Earl by any means, but a cup fit for a Queen? Most definitely.
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